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.


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.


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.


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.


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.


Reasons for signing

This is the future.

Saśa G. about 2 hours ago

I suffer from CPTSD

Charlie V. about 20 hours ago

I am a sufferer of anxiety and mild to severe depression, my diagnosis is psychosis but I believe it to much more than that.
PTSD symptoms I experience and anxiety that stops me from going outdoors at all.
I reside mostly in my bed everyday and I have heard that treatment of psychedelic can help and assist me to have a better quality of life and above all can help me better understand my mind more and allow me to compartmentalize more appropriately.
Thank you

Andrew C. 1 day ago

Psychadelic substances are much more than recreational drugs. I've suffered from depression for roughly six years. A couple of LSD trips have turned me into a changed man and I've not been depressed a single day since. It's as intriguing as it is amazing. The substance might've saved my life.

Mateusz K. 1 day ago

I have severe depression and anxiety and would be interested in trying it in a controlled safe environment. Ive heard loads about it helping people. The nhs is not helping me, my gp surgery is sponsored by mirtazapine its theyer answer to everything, been taking mirtazapine for years and im still deeply depressed and lost the mental health team in wales is shocking i spent 2 days on the ward and they did nothing for me... So i had to convince them to let me because they were making me worse. ive lost my partner friends family and kids and a job to my mental health and ive moved home 6 times in 3 years because i think the world is against me. Im at the end of the rope i cant go on like this much longer im 3 years away from 30 loosing my mind alone yet the nhs says im fine. i hate taking mirtazapine or amtryptline to cope with life or even buy diazapam on the street just so i can sleep at night. Starting to take its toll on me i want to get rid of tables and my mental health but don't know how 😔

Luke R. 1 day ago

Government policy should be based on rationality and careful consideration of evidence, rather than gut feeling and hearsay.

Mental illness is a massive drain on the UK economy, not to mention a terrible ordeal for individuals who suffer from it. Just as heart medication or painkillers should be judged by how well they treat patients and how few harnful side effects they have, so too should these.

The scientific evidence is growing and policy needs to adapt with it.

Jon S. 1 day ago

I believe the plant world provides us with a host of remedies for our ills that our current society based on vested interests and the power of Big Pharma is needlessly turning its back on.

Tony H. 2 days ago

War on plants is immoral

Thomas 2 days ago

I believe that plant medicines should be available to all. Prescription pharmaceuticals are not an adequate response to psychological/emotional suffering, can be disempowering, don't address wider social conditions and often come with all kinds of unwanted side effects. Since a sense of isolation and dislocation commonly feature in poor mental health, the potential of psychedelics to create healing through enhanced feelings of connection with self, others and the natural world could have a transformative impact on the deepening 'mental health crisis' and should be explored as a matter of urgency.

Fern B. 2 days ago

this treatment could be life-changing for those who do not benefit from current medications/therapies. Easing the restrictions on scientific research is justified as it has already been demonstrated that there are medicinal uses to this compound and therefore it does not belong in Schedule 1!

Nick M. 2 days ago