Jo Neill, a professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Manchester School of Pharmacy, said the psychedelic could revolutionize psychiatry.
She claimed the drug has shown long-term effectiveness in treating depression, anxiety, addiction, and other conditions, but its outdated classification creates obstacles to research and clinical trials.
She said: “We’ve been on the same drugs since the 1950s. It is heartbreaking how little we have achieved in psychiatry.
“Psychedelics are what we should have been looking for all along. Shamans have known about its healing properties for a long time.
“I met a war veteran and his story encouraged me to quit the lab and focus on enabling research into psychedelics.”
Continue reading: Magic mushrooms could “revolutionize” the treatment of PTSD veterans.
The ferret spoke to a veteran who was so isolated, anxious and withdrawn he had suicidal thoughts, but who claimed two treatments of psilocybin changed his perceptions and allowed him to heal.
Professor Neill was aware of his case. She added, “This adds to the growing clinical evidence that psychedelics are a long-lasting, side-effect-free drug.”
“They are not addictive and can actually be used to treat addictions — one study of LSD had a 40 percent success rate in treating alcoholics.”
“Our laws make it very difficult to research psychedelics and that absolutely needs to change. We know this drug is safe and effective.”
Psilocybin appears to reboot the brain and increase neuroplasticity — the brain’s ability to rewire and form new connections.
According to research, psilocybin is safe when given with psychotherapy, does not cause long-term dependence, and patients who require ongoing treatment do not develop tolerance.
Research from the University of Manchester found that current drug laws in the UK pose a significant obstacle to research.
Psilocybin is still classified as a Schedule 1 drug, alongside substances like crack cocaine and heroin.
Scientists working with Schedule 1 drugs reported that obtaining the necessary home office licenses is costly and time-consuming, often causing research delays.
Organizing a compliance visit can take up to four months, while some research groups report waiting up to 12 months for an inspection to obtain a license.
Continue reading: Scientists study how mushrooms become magic
A rescheduling would bring the UK in line with other countries like Australia, which earlier this year allowed the prescription of psilocybin and MDMA for treatment-resistant mental illness, experts say.
However, some researchers have cautioned to proceed with caution given potential financial conflicts of interest, while others have claimed more data is needed.
A number of mechanisms exist in some Canadian states to provide access to psychedelic medicines.
In the United States, possession of psychedelic substances has been decriminalized in several states, including Colorado, Oregon, and California, and legislation is being passed in other states.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accelerated psychedelic drugs for treatment.
This story was produced in association with The Ferret, Scotland’s independent and award-winning investigative platform. Join: theferret.scot