World's Most Powerful Hallucinogenic Drug Will Be Trialled For Depression Treatment
Researchers in the UK are launching a trial to see whether the world's most powerful hallucinogenic drug could be used to treat depression.
Regulators have given scientists the green light to administer DMT, or N-Dimethyltryptamine, to people under a controlled setting to study its effects.
The Independent reports it will first be given to people without depression to measure its effects and then compare it with reactions from people with depressive illnesses.
The drug has been used for hundreds of years, especially during rituals in South American cultures where DMT can be found in the ayahuasca brew.
When taken in this form, the psychedelic journey can last around six hours. When it's administered in a powder or crystallised form, the trip can go for 10 to 20 minutes.
The trial will be conducted by the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London, who will be working with neuropharmaceutical company Small Pharma.
Carol Routledge, chief scientific and medical officer at Small Pharma, hopes they will be able to find a new way to look at depression.
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She said in a statement: "The psychedelic drug breaks up all of the ruminative thought processes in your brain - it literally undoes what has been done by either the stress you've been through or the depressive thoughts you have - and hugely increases the making of new connections.
"Then the [psychotherapy] session afterwards is the letting-things-settle piece of things - it helps you to make sense of those thoughts and puts you back on the right track.
"We think this could be a treatment for a number of depressive disorders besides major depression, including PTSD, treatment-resistant depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and possibly some types of substance abuse."
At the moment, the drug is a controlled substance in the UK and is classified under the Class A band, which is in the same category as crack cocaine, cocaine, MDMA, heroin, LSD, magic mushrooms and meth.
If someone is caught with a personal possession amount of DMT, they can expect a maximum penalty of seven years in jail, however that gets upgraded to life if it's for supply.
As a result, the Home Office has to give scientists permission for the trial to go ahead.
Featured Image Credit: PA
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