Psychedelics for Mental Health

Background

The Psychedelic Society, along with other organisations and individuals listed below, are calling on the UK government to reschedule psilocybin, a compound that has been called a ‘breakthrough’ treatment for mental health.

Recent trials using psilocybin to treat depression and anxiety have returned staggering results, with 80% of patients reporting improved wellbeing or life satisfaction for up to six months from just a single dose.

Psilocybin is currently a Schedule 1 substance. Schedule 1 substances are not authorised for medical use and can only be supplied, possessed or administered in exceptional circumstances under a special Home Office licence. This means psilocybin cannot be prescribed by doctors, and that conducting research with it is extremely time-consuming and expensive.

By rescheduling psilocybin from Schedule 1 to Schedule 2 or below, research would become faster and cheaper, and doctors would be able to start prescribing the substance when they see fit.

Petition text

To the UK Ministers for Drug Policy and Mental Health,

4 million people suffer from depression & anxiety in the UK1. Research has shown the potential of psilocybin to treat these conditions2, 3, 4, 5, yet it is being hindered by the restrictive Schedule 1 status of the substance. Out of compassion for those suffering from depression & anxiety, we ask that you take immediate action to reschedule psilocybin.

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Supporting organisations

If your organisation supports this campaign, please let us know.

Featured signatories

Caroline Lucas MP

Green Party co-leader and MP for Brighton Pavilion

Our drug laws will only start to keep people safe when they start taking account of the evidence rather than being based on dogma and scaremongering. There’s already evidence that psilocybin can have benefits for sufferers of depression and rescheduling would allow more patients to potentially benefit from further research, as well as giving doctors the option to prescribe it. This is a small change that would make a big difference, including potentially helping to protect anyone tempted to self-medicate under the current regime.


David Nutt

Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology, Imperial College London

Research into the treatments we urgently need is being suffocated by anti-science laws - and the UK’s leadership in this field jeopardised with it. Unless the government acts quickly to reschedule psilocybin, we will soon be outpaced by other countries to whom mental health and scientific development is a priority. We need laws that support science, not stifle it.


Jon Hopkins

Producer and musician

It is time to move on from the irrational anti-science stance taken by our government and re-evaluate how we look at psilocybin. From personal experience I know that the feeling of oneness and awe that it reliably offers, plus the much-needed reminder that we are part of an infinitely wise and vast system, has a hugely positive effect on mental health. It allows us to see things anew and releases us from the prison of our own self-centred thoughts.


David Badcock

CEO, DrugScience

The inability to conduct medical research on psilocybin due to scheduling laws is denying thousands of individuals from accessing potential life changing treatments that would be far more effective than the current treatments that are available. This must change.


Adam Wilder

Founder, Togetherness

This would be absolutely epic. Not just in terms of research in how to treat anxiety and depressions - it will start to have massive positive effect on culture, changing how we understand ourselves and relate to each other.


Ronan Harrington

Founder, Alter Ego

Nothing can stop an idea whose time has come. The convergence of our mental health crisis with the scientific consensus that psilocybin is a game changer for the treatment of depression is now too difficult to ignore or turn our backs on. We owe it to our friends and family members who are suffering to break from the irrational taboo surrounding psychedelics.


David Luke

Senior Lecturer in Psychology, University of Greenwich

The current drug laws are stifling to clinical and pure research and counterproductive to the positive mental health of the nation.


Steve Rolles

Senior Policy Analyst, Transform

The politics of the war on drugs continues to create barriers to medical research - not least through the mis-scheduling of psychedelics. Ill-considered scheduling decisions from a long distant era are now holding back the exploration of research with potentially far-reaching benefits for our health and well being. A relatively simple change in scheduling would be an important step in facilitating this work. It's time we stopped playing politics with people health and allowed doctors and scientists to do what they are best at.


Jeremy Gilbert

Professor of Cultural and Political Theory, University of East London

Psilocybin was proscribed as part of the political backlash against the counterculture (and largely as an afterthought to prohibiting LSD), on the basis of literally no sound medical evidence of risk or harm; the clinical case for potential benefit is now overwhelming, while the case for risk or harm has yet to be made by any qualified party.


Amanda Feilding

Director, The Beckley Foundation

The number of antidepressants prescribed in England has more than doubled in the last decade, but the most common treatment, SSRIs, do not work for up to 50% of people. With no major breakthrough in drug development for three decades, it is vital that we facilitate research into better alternatives. Let us put health, and the reduction of suffering ahead of political expediency and rigid-thinking. Let’s reschedule psilocybin now.


Darren Springer

Founder, Shroomshops

I am in support of and encourage the research looking into using psilocybin (the active psychedelic ingredient in magic mushrooms) as a means to support those who suffer from mental health challenges. I am in full support of the research that can potentially address these issues but also keen to see its use as a preventive measure too.


Dr Ben Sessa

MBBS (MD) MRCPsych

I am doctor working with patients who are struggling to recover with traditional approaches. Psychedelic therapies with psilocybin and other compounds (e.g. MDMA) are a safe and effective form of treatment that my patients deserve.


Samantha Moyo

Founder, Morning Gloryville

Psychedelics have not worked as a solution to my personal mental health challenges however, I know a lot of people who have experienced positively transformed through the use of psychedelics. Each person must have the right to choose their healing modality of choice and no "government", represented by similar minded conservatives, should decide for the people!


Reasons for signing

I support this cause. Psilocybin mushrooms have given me the most significant single contribution to stepping out of depression. I take them once a year to stay mentally healthy and their effect lasts the whole year. It's been seven years now and no relapse into depression! :)
This is a field that needs research.

Beatrice S. about 1 hour ago

I see first hand the positive effects of taking psilocybin in a safe setting regularly through my work facilitating the psychedelic experience retreats.

Biz B. 1 day ago

I'm signing because I'm depressed, near suicidal, and the anti depressants don't work. I'm desperate like a lot of people, the "government" needs to stop controlling what i have access to.

Matthew J. 2 days ago

I believe in the medical application and self improvement and discovery applications of psychedelics

2 days ago

I think this is a very important step to end the misery of people who suffer with "Mental Health" problems as, I myself have in the past and it was horrific

Karen 2 days ago

They are clearly good for people and are often the most positive experience of your entire life.

Sw 2 days ago

I’m a believer

Michelle 2 days ago

There should be no ban on health professionals using any medication which has been shown to benefit people.

Linden S. 3 days ago

I care about people's mental wellness and since the War On Drugs began mental illness has risen, and continues to rise, to unmanageable proportions. Pharmaceutical corporations get richer and richer by not only 'keeping' people ill but 'making' people ill with the toxic antidepressants and anti psychotic medications they churn out. The further away we get from nature the sicker we humans become. We need these natural medicines back.

Jane F. 3 days ago

Plant medicine should be legal!

Catherine 3 days ago