Brain and Body

Yale University to Revive the Field of Psychedelic Research

January 12, 2016 | Kelly Tatera

Bright colors, abstract pattern, psychedelic image
Photo credit:

For the first time in almost 50 years.  

A new study group at Yale, the Yale Psychiatry and Psychedelics Group (YPPG), will focus on researching the use of psychedelic substances in the fields of psychotherapy and psychiatry.

Following the emergence of LSD, scientists first explored how psychedelic substances could influence the human mind and treat psychological disorders back in the 1950s. Unfortunately this research was cut short following the hippie revolution in the 60s — restrictive regulations were implemented in response to the widespread unauthorized use of psychedelic drugs among the general public.

By 1970, LSD and a number of other psychedelics were placed in the “Schedule I” drugs category — the most restrictive category — by the US Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This positioned psychedelics alongside widely used addictive drugs like heroin, and Schedule I compounds are claimed to possess "significant potential for abuse and dependence" and have "no recognized medicinal value.”

Unsurprisingly, the research on psychedelics came to a halt. Now, decades later, Yale University plans to bring it back.

The newly formed group will allow clinicians and scholars to learn about and discuss the re-emerging field of psychedelic science and its potential for therapeutic use. The first meeting will take place on January 19th, and they will continue on the third Tuesday of every month afterwards.

SEE ALSO: This Psychedelic Drug May Be Released in Our Brains as We Die

While it’s certainly difficult to receive permission to conduct trials using psychoactive drugs, there have been some recent studies that explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelic substances.

For example, recent research has found that psychedelic mushrooms could cure smoking addictions and reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients. Swiss scientists published a paper on LSD’s ability to help terminally-ill patients overcome death-related anxiety, and other trials have explored the use of MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) among war veterans.

YPPG plans to invite prominent researchers in the field of psychedelics from around the world to come discuss the resurging field of science. The organization hopes that by combining and consolidating the expertise of the scientists at the forefront of psychedelic science, the field will see breakthroughs in the oncoming years.

YPPG hopes to unearth the true effect of psychedelic substances and their clinical implications, and guide future research in the exciting field.

After research of psychedelic substances was terminated in the early 1970s, it’s thrilling that we are finally seeing a revival of the study of psychedelic substances. In the near future, we could see groundbreaking discoveries of the therapeutic potentials of substances like LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA.

Hot Topics

Facebook comments