The Post COVID cathinone hydra

Written by Professor Fiona Measham and Dr Michael Pascoe A study published in the journal of Drug Science Policy and Law describes tumultuous changes to the UK MDMA drug market following Brexit and COVID-19 lockdowns. In this first academic publication from The Loop’s ‘back of house’ testing service, nearly half of substances sold as MDMA were  …


Effects of Mixing and Dosing MDMA, LSD, and 2C-B with Dr Friederike Meckel Fischer

Dosing in psychoactive drugs Dosing represents one of the three critical elements that determine the quality of a drug experience, alongside set and setting. Determining appropriate dosages can be difficult due to ambiguity in drug purity, drug experience of the individual, tolerance, and the aforementioned set and setting. While these represent general guidelines, experience, variability  …


#45 - MDMA and LSD Therapy with Peter Gasser

 Today’s episode features Dr Peter Gasser, the president of the Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy.  Professor Nutt and Dr Gasser talk about the rather unusual and innovative attitude to psychedelic research in Switzerland.   How can Britain learn from the Swiss? What are the drug policies in the Albert Hofmann’s – the discoverer of LSD –  …


Ask the experts: Psilocybin and MDMA Research

In this webinar, two of the world’s leading psychedelic research experts; Dr Ben Sessa and Dr Meg Spriggs, answer questions on the therapeutic applications of MDMA and psilocybin!   Who is Dr Ben Sessa? Dr Ben Sessa is a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist who has worked with young people and adults in the field  …


#41 - MDMA and Couples Counselling

 This week’s episode features “The Mithoefers” – Annie and Michael Mithoefer – the pioneers of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Michael Mithoefer, MD is a Clinical Investigator and acting Medical Director of MAPS Public Benefit Corporation. Together with his wife Annie, they completed the first phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in 2009 and  …


#37 - Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

 This week’s episode features Richard ‘Rick’ Doblin, who is the founder and director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) – a non-profit research organisation he established in 1986. Somewhere between getting an undergraduate degree in psychology and a doctorate in public policy, Rick, having had discovered psychedelics, began his fight against unjustified  …


MDMA for Alcohol Use Disorder

In this webinar, Dr Ben Sessa explains how MDMA therapy could treat alcohol use disorder (alcoholism), based on results from his recent safety and tolerability study. He gives background into the psychological trauma which often causes addiction and alcohol use disorder, and how modern psychiatry struggles to treat these conditions at the root cause. He  …


Women in Psychedelic Science - Part 3

The Contradictions of Ketamine: results from a new clinical trial treating alcohol use disorder – Prof Celia Morgan Celia Morgan is a Professor of Psychopharmacology and Head of Psychology at the University of Exeter. She started researching ketamine at UCL for her PhD with Val Curran over twenty years ago and branched out into research  …


#23 - Neuropsychopharmacology

The tables have been turned in this one-off special of the Drug Science podcast. In this episode, Professor David Nutt is interviewed by renowned singer-songwriter – Joss Stone. Professor Nutt is the Chair of the Drug Science Scientific Committee and currently the Edmund J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Head of the Neuropsychopharmacology Unit at  …


#22 - Medical Psychedelics Working Group

On July 14th 2020, the UK’s leading independent scientific body on drugs has launched the Drug Science Medical Psychedelics Working Group. Building off the success of the Medical Cannabis Working Group, the Medical Psychedelics Working Group is a consortium of Drug Science experts, leading academics, researchers and policy specialists, supported by industry partners. The group’s aim  …


Medical MDMA Educational Resources

MDMA (3,4-Methyl​enedioxy​methamphetamine) was first synthesised in 1912 by chemists at the pharmaceutical company, Merck in Germany. In 1985, MDMA was placed in schedule 1, resulting in no research being conducted into the potential therapeutic applications of MDMA between 1985 – 2000. However, since then, MDMA has been included in over 5000 academic articles and administered to  …


Launch of the Medical Psychedelics Working Group

On Tuesday July 14th, 2020, Drug Science will launch a new working group of experts, policy makers and scientists. Its primary role is to campaign for the rescheduling of all psychedelic drugs for research and medical purposes. However, current UK regulations have created serious and considerable barriers to legitimate research associated with Schedule 1 regulations.  …

#10 - MDMA-Assisted therapy

Dr Ben Sessa was the first doctor to administer MDMA assisted therapy in the 21st century and Christopher Trudgian was one of his very first patients. They both join Professor David Nutt to answer the question… can MDMA be used therapeutically to treat addiction and/or PTSD? The links between childhood trauma/PTSD and adult addiction are very  …


#2 - Drug testing at festivals

Professor David Nutt sits down with Fiona Measham, Anna Wade & Janine Milburn for an in depth look into why drug testing is so vital at festivals and beyond. Topics discussed include; Janine’s views following her daughters accidental overdose, how drug testing works at The Loop’s facilities, tackling the idea that the practice sends ‘mixed messages’,  …


First safety study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in patients with alcohol use disorder

Authors: Ben Sessa, Chloe Sakal, Steve O’Brien and David Nutt Published: July 15, 2019 Read the full paper here (open access) We present the preliminary data in the Bristol-Imperial MDMA-for-Alcoholism (BIMA) study, an ongoing open-label safety and tolerability proof of concept study exploring the potential role for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy in treating patients with alcohol  …

Are the neurocognitive deficits associated with MDMA caused by statistical deficits in ecstasy research? A systematic review

Author: Timothy Amoroso Published: July 24, 2018 There is growing concern that the majority of modern research may be comprised of false findings, which is partly attributed to unacceptable flexibility in data analyses. Here this issue is considered in the literature suggesting that MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) may be associated with neurocognitive deficits. Research suggests that increased  …

The early use of MDMA (‘Ecstasy’) in psychotherapy (1977–1985)

3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), also known as ecstasy, was first synthesized in 1912 but first reached widespread popularity as a legal alternative after the much sought-after recreational drug 3,4-methylenedioxy-amphetamine (MDA) was made illegal in 1970. Because of its benign, feeling-enhancing, and nonhallucinatory properties, MDMA was used by a few dozen psychotherapists in the United States between 1977  …


My dead daughter's shoes

This blog piece was originally a speech delivered by Anne-Marie Cockburn at the Nordic Reform Conference 2017 Hello, I am Martha’s mum. I don’t hear that very much these days, so I say it very proudly in these moments when I can. I am here to represent an incredible group of families from all over  …

Specific harm reduction strategies employed by MDMA/ecstasy users in the United States and the United Kingdom

Both recreational and problematic 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)/ecstasy users could benefit from employing harm reduction interventions intended to preserve health and prevent negative consequences. To evaluate whether use of such interventions varied by country of residence and frequency of ecstasy use, we used web-based surveys to assess how often 104 lower-frequency and higher-frequency American ecstasy users and  …


Recreational MDMA testing - a European perspective

As the United States experiences an overwhelming opioid crisis; as the world’s press is flooded with extra-judicial killings targeting drug “offenders” in the Philippines; as young Australians overdose on novel psychoactive substances and teenagers in the UK on ecstasy, there can be only one certainty: drugs are here to stay. Despite some countries reaffirming farcical  …

Underground MDMA-, LSD- and 2-CB-assisted individual and group psychotherapy in Zurich: Outcomes, implications and commentary

Underground psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy has persisted in Europe despite the banning of the substances LSD and MDMA in the 1960s and 1980s, respectively. This article describes the work of a Zurich-based psychotherapist providing individual and group psycholytic psychotherapy, whose practice persisted for several years before she was arrested in 2009. The article provides commentary on the  …


Ecstasy, legal highs and designer drug use: A Canadian perspective

Recreational drug use in Canada is not uncommon, but as with most societies, illegal drug use carries harsh penalties resulting in a criminal record when an individual is successfully prosecuted. Popular drugs of use in Canada include ecstasy, cannabis (including some synthetic cannabinoids sold as ‘Spice’ and ‘Incense’) and several emerging psychoactive ‘legal highs’. Surprisingly,  …