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.


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.


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 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.


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.


Reasons for signing

It's natural medicine demonised by Draconian laws

Alex M. 3 days ago

Its about time plant medicines are recognised for their benefit and stop fobbing people of with fake pharmaceutical that only mask symptoms. Stop putting profit before health

Ant 3 days ago

It's a natural substance used by humans for millenia and crucial to human happiness and harmony - it's a medicine, entheogen and psychotherapy tool and needs rescheduling. Also reason, science, research, evidence.

Kala O. 3 days ago

I have had depression and anxiety since I was a child, I am now Sixty two. I must have tried virtually every anti depressant, talking therapy, and even too much money to talk about on rtms. I would love to be able to try psilocybin, there appears to be some very positive results from trials so far, and I think definitely needs to be looked at seriously for us sufferers from mental health.

Charlotte A. 3 days ago

I have suffered from severe depression through my teenage life and although I had the strength to breakthrough the depression I suffer from extreme anxiety/panic attacks which affect me everyday. I currently medicate with prescribed anti-depressants (venlafaxine) which mostly keep these attacks to a minimum. Venlafaxine and other anti-depressants retrain the brain to uptake seratonin at the cost of various, severe side effects. Some of the side effects include worsened depression/anxiety and suicidal thoughts, nausea, heart palpitations & tremors, decreased sex drive and hazy vision. The strain on the heart, body and mind from severe panic/anxiety attacks is worrying for anyone with this condition and makes it almost impossible to partake in normal everyday activities. Treatment is vital for any sufferer but the side effects can be almost as insufferable as the condition itself. I think it is fair to say that we are on the verge of an epidemic concerning mental health issues in younger generations and we should be exploring every option available to address these issues. During a visit to Amsterdam I tried a mild psylocibin variety for the first time and within 20 minutes of consuming I felt like my old self. My anxiety completely disapated and I felt the kind of happiness you experience as an excited child for the first time in my entire adult life. I did not experience any psychedelic effects from the mild strain of shroom and being a natural substance I urge that the injunction on psylocibin mushrooms be lifted, and under UK regulation we use this natural substance in place of harmful man made drugs. Various man made drugs which profit pharmaceutical companies are no different to any illegal, pure, untampered drug and in this case the illegal drug (psylocibin), in my opinion, is safer, healthier and most definitely the way forward for mental health treatment in the UK.

Jordan J. 3 days ago

I am signing this petition because I believe if psychedelics are used in a responsible way they can help promote better mental wellbeing and quality of life. People should not have to suffer from depression or PTSD because the government fails to recognise the benefits psychedelics can have on one’s life and relationships. It is time for us to move forward and find better ways to help our people rather than prescribe them with drugs from pharmaceutical companies that hinder their ability to improve themselves as many of these drugs have negative side effects. In our country we are seeing an increase in mental health and it is clear that the standard drugs are not benefitting anyone, not the people nor the government who spends billions in these sectors. It is disappointing to see that our government allows the selling of alcohol and cigarettes, which sadly some people believe it can alleviate their stress and problems when in fact it is a drug addition, an addiction to alcohol and an addiction to nicotine which is a fatal drug if it was to be injected directly into your vein. We need to seek better ways to help our people, our nation!

Ray 4 days ago

Having read widely scientific knowledge on psychedelics, having suffered from mental health issues, having studied the national, global and personal consequences of mental health problems - it is beyond time that the UK governments anti-science, anti-progress stance is reviewed.

Jack H. 4 days ago

I had experience in 1970’s of psylocybin and have since had 30yrs experience as a psychotherapist. No hesitation in supporting further research as discussed.

David R. 5 days ago

I work within a psychotherapeutic context, have done extensive research, and believe it would be hugely beneficial for clients

Claudia 5 days ago

Is supoort psychdelics againts depression

Karl K. 7 days ago