A strong psychedelic says he can help reset the brain that was first used to treat depression.
DMT – called the “fuel molecule” because it changes human consciousness and creates experiences that have been compared to a spiritual awakening – is one of the main ingredients in ayahuasca, a potent herbal brew that is consumed in shamanic rituals in the Amazon region.
While DMT is a Class A drug that is illegal to distribute or possess, it is a naturally occurring tryptamine that is produced by the human body and found in many plants and animals.
Its role in the human body is unknown, but the intense psychedelic experiences DMT has have been compared to near-death experiences.
However, it is now being tested as a potential cure for depression for the first time – and scientists say it has the potential to provide longer-term symptom relief when used in a therapeutic setting.
Small Pharma, the company conducting the study, says, “The fact that DMT is produced endogenously in the brain gives confidence that DMT is safe.
“The psychedelic effects last about 20 minutes compared to 6-8 hours for psilocybin, making it practical clinical practice.
Scientific Director of Small Pharma said the BBC: “We believe the effects are almost immediate and last longer than traditional antidepressants.”
Likening the drug to “shaking a snow globe,” she says it is believed to disrupt entrenched negative thought patterns, which can help transform therapy into a more functional form. “
It will be the first time people with moderate to severe depression will receive DMT in a clinical trial.
You don’t have to suffer in silence when your sanity is struggling. Here are some groups you can contact if you need help:
Samaritans: Telephone 116 123, 24 hours a day, or confidential by email to [email protected]
Childline: 0800 1111. Calls are free and will not appear on your bill
PAPYRUS: A voluntary organization that supports suicidal teenagers and young adults. Telephone 0800 068 4141
Depression Alliance: A charity for people with depression. Not a hotline, but provides useful resources and links to other information website
Students Against Depression: A website for students who are depressed, in a bad mood, or who commit suicide. click Here visit
Bullying in the UK: A website for bullying children and adults. click Here
Campaign against miserable life (RUHIG): For young men who feel unhappy. Has a website Here and a hotline: 0800 58 58 58
The study is taking place as a ketamine-assisted therapy clinic is to be opened in Bristol.
Ketamine is already used for depression, but is currently not accompanied by psychotherapy.
Unpublished research by Celia Morgan, professor of psychopharmacology at the University of Exeter, suggests that ketamine, when accompanied by therapy, has many longer-lasting effects.
Prof. Morgan presented her research at a conference and said there was increasing evidence that drugs like psilocybin – the active ingredient in magic mushrooms – LSD, ketamine and MDMA (ecstasy) – can be used safely in the treatment of mental disorders.
“These drugs seem to enable you to approach difficult experiences in your life, to sit with and process them.” she told the BBC.
However, Prof. Morgan also said it was important that the drugs were used as part of therapy, acknowledging concerns that “people might think they could try some recreational drugs”.
“But it’s really not the way it works,” she said.
Prof. Michael Bloomfield, a consultant psychiatrist at University College London, told the BBC that while psychedelics are a “really exciting” area of research, caution is needed to over-promise the drugs’ potential.
He also said it was a therapy field that could be open to abuse and abuse, he said.