The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), which funds research on drug abuse and addiction in the United States, is also responsible for funding psychedelic-related research. NIDA has supported research with the psychedelic psilocybin since the 1960s, but in recent years, they have established a special program to focus on the brain health and psychedelic treatments for epilepsy. This program is called the Psilocybin Initiative for Medical Research (PIMR).
For the past couple of years, federal funding for research into psychedelic drugs has been on the decline. But now, the National Institutes of Health is making a renewed push to get more studies started, in part because of a dramatic increase in medical applications for psychedelics.
After many attempts to classify psychedelics as a schedule I drug, the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) finally relented and placed them in the same category as heroin, LSD, marijuana, and psilocybin. So, what does this mean for the future of psychedelics? What are the next steps the government is taking, and what does this mean for the future of our country?
Dr. Francis Collins, director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and one of the top health officials in the United States, said current federal restrictions are hindering marijuana research. told Sen. Brian Schatz to the director during a Senate Appropriations subcommittee hearing on psychedelics and cannabis. The senator said the NIH reports on potentially promising clinical trials that have undergone peer review and asked for an update on how the NIH plans to proceed and resolve issues.
Dr. Collins responded that there is a resurgence of interest in psychedelic drugs, which for a time were considered an area that researchers were not legitimately allowed to explore, and that he thinks we have come to know more about how the brain works, that we have come to realize that these are potential tools for research purposes and that they can be clinically useful. Watch the hearing below at 01:40:00:
The NIH director explained that although LSD and MDMA are also being investigated for their therapeutic potential, it is psilocybin that is currently receiving the most attention. As for NIH’s next steps, Dr. Collins said he is talking with other federal agencies, including the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA), about whether or not to hold a workshop to say It’s good that we’ve learned so far what else we want to do in terms of developing the next generation of clinical trials to see where they are beneficial – outside of depression and things like PTSD. He also said that he thinks we should look at this issue in depth next year.
Progress has been made, but there are still obstacles
Federal agencies at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the NIH, are hosting a series of conferences on the therapeutic potential of the psychedelic mushroom psilocybin. This is the National Institute of Health’s first round of research on psilocybin. It was a comprehensive and timely lecture series that brought together the world’s leading experts, including scientists, medical scientists, clinical psychologists and oncologists. Objectives included assessing the current state of science, identifying research gaps and opportunities, and identifying future research needs to be explored by the various scientific communities.
It was during this series that Senator Schatz asked Dr. Collins if any progress had been made in removing barriers to studying the plant, and in promoting marijuana research. To this, Dr. Collins responded that they have made some progress, but there are significant barriers for researchers to access list 1 substances.
The director went on to say that the government should ease restrictions on Schedule 1 so that researchers have fewer restrictions and more opportunities to access substances for research purposes. The Director further explained that he had spoken with the Director of NIDA, Nora Volkow, and they both agreed that there needed to be a change in the classification of substances called Schedule 1-R so that they could do more free research on substances despite their inclusion in Schedule 1.
NIH director takes action despite previous agency position
Psychedelic.Support explains that the path to FDA approval requires that the drug’s toxicological profile be characterized in animal models before it can be tested on humans. However, this is not easy to achieve because access is hampered by content planning – even when resources have been allocated for this purpose.
The NIH is considered the largest government foundation that funds medical research, and according to media reports, the NIH categorically supports research that considers psychedelics to be abused drugs in the first place. But you can see that the director is taking steps to make a difference. Dr. Collins explained that the DEA recently authorized expanding the number of marijuana suppliers for research, but a better solution would still be to take cannabis off the list and adjust the list of other psychedelics to make it easier for the researchers who so desperately need it.
Dr. Collins also says that the therapeutic potential of psilocybin has been tested in three randomized controlled trials for depression, and that this could be very interesting now that we are all looking for new approaches. Perhaps this resurgence of interest in psychedelics for medical purposes was enough to cause the NIH to shift its focus from psychedelics as drugs of abuse to exploring these substances as treatment options for people who are receiving no or ineffective treatment.
Psychedelic.Support also argues that prescriptive answers are needed for the development of psychedelic drugs, such as how the psychedelics work in a particular context, the timing of administration, a structured approach or whether multiple approaches work, how quickly and for how long symptoms reduce, whether people relapse, and if so, whether the drug can free them from relapse. Hopefully a closer look at the benefits of psychedelics will force the NIH to allocate more resources and provide some answers.
Chane Ley, aka Button Fairy, is a South African cannabis advocate and enthusiast with an infectious personality and a great love of travel. She loves to educate people and challenge standards.The National Institutes of Health (NIH) recently announced a new study that will look into the potential benefits of psychedelic drugs for mental health and addiction. These are drugs that can alter the brain’s function, particularly for the positive, such as in treating depression.. Read more about psychedelic therapy definition and let us know what you think.
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