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.


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.


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.


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.


Reasons for signing

i have bipolar and believe this substance should be schedule 2 and available for research for anxiety depression and with no long term mental ill affects

Louise H. 3 days ago

Psychedelics are not dangerous unless improper usage is practiced, and can help a lot of people who would use them responsibly.

Griffin M. 3 days ago

These psychs/entheogens obviously help far more than the psychiatric meds out there. Legalize em all !!! Peace be with you :)

Nesshue 3 days ago

I think we need to try al means to alleviate suffering. Psilocybin is a potential powerful means to do so.

Jacko B. 3 days ago

My personal experience of foraging for mushrooms has brought me to know this remarkable fungi.
As a recreational drug it seems to have no drawbacks, if taken in sensible doses.
Medicinally, I do wonder if SOME patients' own anxiety would clash with the (temporary) mind altering experiences of ingesting psilocybin.
It does seem to be one of the most benign of recreational drugs. And have no doubt, it is used by hundreds of thousands of revellers. Just do a short survey of festival goers, or watch the odd person looking for them in the fields of the UK in October and November.

Joe C. 3 days ago

I'm a psychotherapist and I see people struggling with issues that would be considerably relieved by the use of psychedelics, such as Psilocybin, and make them more engaged and active participants in their own lives and in their communities, rather than seen as a liability.

3 days ago

The evidence is promising so why restrict the research. Anti-depressant drugs are already being used every day but a more effective, not to mention natural, way to cure severe anxiety and depression would lessen the dependency on other more harmful drugs and ease the burden on the healthcare system in the long term.

Ali 3 days ago

The UK needs to take a lead on this matter - Scientific research of a substance that has such potential to help with mental illness should not be held back by ignorance.

Jack B. 3 days ago

I'm signing because I agree that Psilocybin should be rescheduled so that it can be utilized in support of people with mental health conditions.

Jeremy G. 3 days ago

Look at the facts, look at history. It's amazing the impact it has on people wellbeing. Antidepressants are horrible.

Sarah J. 4 days ago