Science

Trips and traps: psychedelics seek legitimacy in the world of modern medicine

“Currently, only one manufacturer in the world produces psilocybin for trial purposes, to the tune of £100,000 per gram. Factor in the cost of a schedule 1 drug license (around £5,000), and it’s easy to see why researching psilocybin costs five to ten times more than researching heroin”.

Drugs like psilocybin and LSD are incredibly useful in psychiatry, and they’re virtually inert physiologically – there have been no recorded deaths from toxicity. As a pharmacologist I look beyond what the government arbitrarily calls legal or illegal, and I look at the relative benefits of the compound. When you do that, it’s a very frustrating arena in which to work….attitudes are changing, albeit slowly. Mainstream media outlets, he says, are drifting towards the terminology of ‘prohibition’, implying that the parallels with Prohibition Era America are perhaps becoming harder to ignore. For now, though, he concedes his job is ‘hard work’. “I’ve chosen a very difficult time to do this,” he [Sessa] says. “In ten years it’ll be easier because once this first raft of studies are all in, then the government-based bodies or big research companies will be more likely to back future research. Its very novelty, however, is what makes it so frustrating. Rather than coasting along on earlier efforts, researchers have no choice but to put in the grunt work. “Long after the excitement from Robin’s trial dies down, it will be about getting through those months of badgering people, and making your case again and again to try to get the funding that you need,” he says. “I think with passion and hope does come optimism, but there’s a lot of work to do, and you just have to plod away. It’s early days.”

Original Article (Voltefaceme):
Trips and Traps: Psychedelics Seek Legitimacy in the World of Modern Medicine
Artwork Fair Use: Taken byfir0002

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