Psilocybin: a ‘breakthrough’ for mental health

Psilocybin: a ‘breakthrough’ for mental health


Most of us know at least one person struggling
with depression or anxiety. It might be a friend or family member, and you probably
want them to get all the help that they can. What you might not know is that one of the
best things you can do to help people suffering from these conditions
is to ask the government to reclassify psilocybin the psychedelic ingredient of magic mushrooms. This will make it easier for doctors like
me to test it as a treatment. We need to find new treatments because studies
show that existing medications don’t work well for up to half of those suffering from
depression and anxiety. Millions of people in the United Kingdom need
more effective treatment options as soon as possible. Preliminary studies, like the ones I’ve
been involved with at King’s College London and Imperial College London, suggest that
psilocybin can help many patients who haven’t benefited from the standard treatments get
back to feeling their usual selves. And whilst many standard treatments involve
taking a drug every day, psilocybin therapy involves just a few day-long sessions, with
no ongoing medication. It seems psilocybin could bring hope and relief to many patients,
including some who have been suffering for years. Unfortunately, psilocybin is currently classified
as a Schedule 1 substance by the UK government. This means it cannot be prescribed by doctors
outside of licensed studies, and makes conducting research with psilocybin
much more time-consuming and expensive relative to other drugs. By reclassifying psilocybin to Schedule 2,
research would become easier and cheaper, so that people can benefit from this treatment
sooner. You might be worried about the safety of psilocybin. But studies of people who use psilocybin mushrooms
have repeatedly found that they are remarkably safe relative to other commonly used recreational
and medical drugs. Psilocybin is not toxic to the body, not addictive,
and does not adversely affect long-term mental health when used responsibly. Indeed, it may
improve it! Click the link to learn more and sign the petition so that people suffering from depression and anxiety get the help they need.

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