Acknowledging the potential risk of using psychedelics to treat addictions, we are taking a deliberately cautious approach to our research. There is still limited scientific evidence for the use of psychedelics in this area and our research will attempt to ‘fill this gap’ in a rigorous, systematic way. Our research is conducted under controlled circumstances, with a strong focus on safety and without undue influence by funding sources. We currently do not use psychedelic drugs outside of clinical research protocols that have been reviewed and approved by UW’s Institutional Review Board. We aim to:
- Improve our understanding of the safety and efficacy of psychedelic compounds for individuals with addiction and other mental health problems.
- Conduct clinical trials to identify the best pairings of novel compounds and behavioral interventions to treat a variety of substance use disorders.
- Develop a standardized training program for clinicians and therapists who want to incorporate the safe and effective use of these treatments into practice.
As the use of psychedelics and other novel compounds becomes more prevalent, we aim to develop standardized training programs for clinicians and therapists who want to incorporate the safe and effective use of these treatments into their practices.
We are in the process of developing a clinical rotation for trainees to engage in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. The rotation will engage learners who want to participate both in direct patient care and in research to provide first hand experience using psychedelic compounds to augment psychotherapy. We are currently fundraising for this project and hope to launch this in the next 12-18 months.
Additionally, the Center has been working to develop a curriculum for healthcare providers across the state to help prepare providers to address the growing questions patients and families have about psychedelics. The curricula is in development and we are actively fundraising to develop the funding needed to provide the important public health service across the state of Washington.
The center is engaged in a range of collaboration with multiple basic-science labs at UW, and also with a range of biotech companies and research groups from other universities. The goal of the Center’s pre-clinical arm is to share resources, help inform future clinical trials, and improve our understanding of how to best use substances like psilocybin, ketamine, MDMA and other compounds safely in a clinical application.
In collaboration with Washington State University, we are conducting a qualitative study interviewing “underground” psychedelic providers. We are interested in better understanding the current practices and observations from those using psychedelics for therapeutic intention in the community. This project will be complete at the end of 2023.
We are working to develop a range of clinical trials to identify the best pairings of novel compounds and behavioral interventions to treat a variety of substance use disorders.
The Center was recently awarded funding from the State of Washington to conduct a study of psilocybin to treat veterans and first responders with both PTSD and Alcohol Use Disorder. This study will begin enrollment in 2024 and will examine the safety, feasibility and effectiveness of psilocybin to treat PTSD/AUD and will help inform policy-makers about best next steps pertaining to increasing access to psilocybin for Washington Residents.
Additionally, the Center is developing a project that aims to investigate the potential efficacy of combining MDMA-assisted therapy (MDMA-AT) and neurofeedback training (NFT) as a novel treatment for PTSD across various types of trauma, including those stemming from historical instances of racial marginalization and oppression.
Please note: The Center for Novel Therapeutics in Addiction Psychiatry does not provide direct clinical services and does not have any active clinical trials at this time.