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.

Sign

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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Reasons for signing

I'm signing because psilocybin is a safe and effective depression treatment.

Travis S. 7 minutes ago

My experience using small doses of these special little mushrooms. Has always been uplifting.
A dose after the heartbreaking death of my lovely Mum, really helped me to find peace within myself and a better understanding of others.

Jane C. 20 minutes ago

I've personally felt relief the day after a trip.

Sam M. about 3 hours ago

I believe mental health will be treated in a far superior way with these techniques.

Debbie R. about 4 hours ago

The healing potential of psychedelic substances should no longer be withheld from the public. Lawmakers need to respect the findings of research.

Renee H. about 6 hours ago

I completely agree

Matthew D. about 9 hours ago

this is the future of medicine

Maria about 15 hours ago

I strongly believe that the careful and considered use of substances like psilocybin and MDMA can, with therapeutic support, do so much to help people gain precious personal insights and deal with complex issues such as trauma. As someone who works in mental health I long to see the day when we can formally recognise the benefits of these substances for one-off or occasional ongoing supported treatments - as opposed to letting those who suffer from conditions such as depression and PTSD struggle with their symptoms or feel consigned to what sometimes turns out to be years on anti-depressants.

Felicity R. about 15 hours ago

Once we start to understand the non-physical and dive into our collective unconscious many remidies will surface. We have been denied understanding of the true Self, with disconnection and fear running rampant in our society. Ego dissolution brings connection and with the correct therapy this can be integrated or programmed into any consciousness leading to a better acceptance and love for it. Depression or disorders, deviant behaviours and hate all stem from lack of connection and tramua which hasn't healed. Psychedelics bring spirituality and clarity through subjective experience and with us developing a better base understanding with support therapies for these medicines, we will be able to overcome man and bring our society into the next age.

Jonathon B. about 20 hours ago

I believe the ban on these stuff were unjust and further research is required for humanity's greater improvement. One of the baby steps.

Ani P. about 22 hours ago