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Center for Psychedelic Research and Therapy Launches at Texas University

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Dell Medical School at the University of Texas’ Austin campus will now host a psychedelic research centre, according to a press release issued on Thursday. 

Dubbed The Center for Psychedelic Research and Therapy, the newly established institution will examine the potential “for drugs such as psilocybin, MDMA, ibogaine and ayahuasca” to act as treatments under the supervision of trained providers.

Conditions such as PTSD, depression, and anxiety will be the primary indications researched, with care objectives being focused on Texas’ substantial veteran population, the second highest of any U.S. State. 

Veteran support organizations The Mission Within and The Heroic Hearts project will act as program partners, helping to organize and encourage psychedelic research with veteran subjects suffering from mental health issues.

This announcement adds Dell Medical to the growing list of academic-affiliate psychedelic research centres currently operating in the United States as the first of its kind in Texas.

“This research will bring further scientific rigor and expertise to study psychedelic therapy,” said centre co-lead Charles B. Nemeroff, professor and chair of Dell Med’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and holder of the Matthew P. Nemeroff Endowed Chair. “Recent studies have demonstrated considerable promise for these drugs when incorporated with clinical support, and this work has the potential to transform how we treat conditions like depression and PTSD, and to identify synergies between these and other well-established therapies to achieve long-term benefits for those seeking treatment.” 

Earlier this year, the State of Texas passed a psychedelic research bill put forward by Representative Alex Dominguez initiating the study substances such as psilocybin, MDMA, and ketamine for the treatment of mental health issues in veterans. 

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The legislation authorized Texas’ Health and Human Services Commission, in collaboration with Baylor College of Medicine and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, to conduct clinical psychedelic research studies with psilocybin-assisted therapy for treating veteran PTSD. The commission was also directed to carry out a scientific review to evaluate the therapeutic efficacy of the given psychedelic substances and provide quarterly reports. 

A full report will be submitted by December 2024.

Former Texas Governor Rick Perry also publicly endorsed the measure during its formative stages in April.

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