Johns Hopkins Opens Huge Psychedelic Research Center
Johns Hopkins University has opened a $17 million Center for Psychedelic and Consciousness Research with the aim of discovering the therapeutic properties of psychedelics for issues such as addiction and depression.
The move has long been called for, although isn’ without controversy, with some saying that psychedelics worsen mental health and addiction issues, with counter-arguments believing them to be a cure.
Center Director Roland Griffiths said: “The center’s establishment reflects a new era of research in therapeutics and the mind through studying this unique and remarkable class of pharmacological compounds.
“In addition to studies on new therapeutics, we plan to investigate creativity and well-being in healthy volunteers that we hope will open up new ways to support human thriving.”
At Johns Hopkins, much of the early work with psychedelics has focused on psilocybin, the chemical found in so-called magic mushrooms.
Further studies will determine the chemical’s effectiveness as a new therapy for opioid addiction, Alzheimer’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder, post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (formerly known as chronic Lyme disease), anorexia nervosa, and alcohol use in people with major depression.
Researchers hope to create precision medicine treatments tailored to individual patients’ specific needs.
The center will provide support for a team of six faculty neuroscientists, experimental psychologists, and clinicians with expertise in psychedelic science, as well as five postdoctoral scientists.
The center’s faculty will also train graduate and medical students who want to pursue careers in psychedelic science, where there have historically been few avenues for career advancement.