A groundbreaking British study has found that the psychedelic drug psilocybin can be safely given to patients, and may be used to treat a range of mental health conditions.
Recreational use of the drug – isolated from so-called “magic mushrooms” – has led to it being prohibited in the UK as a Class A substance.
But scientists believe it could have powerful therapeutic uses when administered in groups overseen by trained psychotherapists.
Research from King’s College London, in partnership with COMPASS Pathways, has now established that doses of either 10mg or 25mg can be safely administered to up to six participants simultaneously in controlled settings.
The study, published in The Journal of Psychopharmacology, has been described as “an essential first step in demonstrating the safety and feasibility” in the therapeutic uses of the drug.
It was given to patients within a controlled setting alongside talking therapy and is being considered a potential treatment for issues such as treatment-resistant depression (TRD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“Current treatment options for these conditions are ineffective or partially effective for many people, resulting in a significant unmet need,” explained KCL.