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Health | 05.27.2022

How To Participate In Psychedelic Clinical Trials

Psychedelic-assisted therapy starts with clinical trials. Here's how you can participate.

There’s a growing acceptance of psychedelic substances

While your friends might dose a mind-altering drug like psilocybin for fun, these substances are being used in clinical trials for therapeutic reasons. 

What’s called psychedelic-assisted therapy is quickly moving through North America. It’s becoming a reliable option for people struggling with certain mental illnesses who no longer want to rely on pharmaceuticals. 

If participating in clinical trials sounds interesting, keep reading to learn more.

What Are Psychedelic-Assisted Clinical Trials?

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Before doctors can begin prescribing psychedelics, they must hold clinical trials first.

These trials let patients safely and legally dose different levels of MDMA, psilocybin, LSD, or other substances. A trained clinician will also look after patients

  • Before dosing a psychedelic to examine their mental state
  • During the psychedelic experience
  • After the trial for a follow-up

These trials are held in a controlled environment that helps patients feel at ease without any exterior burdens like noises, distracting visuals, etc.

Clinicians will also ask patients a series of questions to examine how their mind is reacting to the substance.

How Can You Participate?

If this sounds interesting to you, be aware that only people with eligible conditions are allowed to participate. 

Here’s a brief example of eligible factors from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

  • Have PTSD (with symptoms lasting for at least 6 months)
  • Be in good physical health
  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Agree to be video recorded during visits with therapists
  • Not be pregnant, and commit to not getting pregnant during the study
  • Be available for 18 weeks
  • Be available for a full day one time per month for 3 months for all-day therapy
  • Be willing to remain overnight at the study site after each day-long therapy session and be driven home after

It’s worth noting that these trials are pretty tough to get into. Some doctors leading clinical trials for PTSD can only accept five people. 

There are a ton of universities and research centers with detailed pages explaining how to participate in psychedelic-assisted clinical trials. One helpful source is the John Hopkins Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research

If you’re already aware of what these trials do and want to get your name on the list, visit clinicaltrials.gov. This source lists all current clinical trials that are either recruiting or getting ready to recruit. It also lists the following;

  • The location for each trial
  • Which substance you’ll be taking
  • What conditions you must have to participate

Although the recruiting process may be challenging, it’s worth a shot. This is especially true if you have an eligible condition and are seeking alternatives to pharmaceuticals and prescribed medications. 

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