With Phase 2 studies on cancer-related depression and anxiety now complete, Heffter is excited to investigate other conditions that might be successfully treated with psilocybin.

Drawing on the scientific expertise and longstanding partnership of the world’s leading investigators of psychedelics, Heffter mentors the next generation of psilocybin researchers and therapists, vets new approaches, supports proof-of-concept studies, and gathers the evidence base for therapeutic treatments that, pending FDA approval, will be available to patients in need.

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2016 has been a watershed year for the Heffter Research Institute and its programs! We believe that our work is contributing to what we hope will be a paradigm shift in the way that many psychiatric and addictive disorders are treated. We hope you enjoy reading about all of the great things we have accomplished this past year.

Johns Hopkins and NYU Studies of Psilocybin for Anxiety and Depression in Cancer Patients

Our big news is the publication of two Heffter-supported studies on psilocybin treatment of anxiety and depression in cancer patients at Johns Hopkins and NYU on December 1. You can access the free full-text articles by clicking on those links.

The story about these studies was widely covered by the media. For example, it was on the front page of the NY Times that day: A Dose of a Hallucinogen From a ‘Magic Mushroom,’ and Then Lasting Peace. An analysis of all the media reporting indicates that the studies were covered in at least 600 media outlets that collectively reach millions of readers and viewers.*

So psilocybin research is now virtually common knowledge. At the end of this letter is the latest list of weblinks to all the online stories we found that mention Heffter’s role in this research.

Heffter Research Institute is proud to have supported new psilocybin studies published December 1 in The Journal of Psychopharmacology reporting the effectiveness of using psilocybin to reduce depression, anxiety and existential distress in cancer patients. Below is a round-up of articles discussing the recent findings...

Two randomized controlled trials published today in The Journal of Psychopharmacology report unprecedented findings on the use of psilocybin to dramatically reduce anxiety, depression and existential distress in cancer patients.

These two studies — reviewed and funded by the Heffter Research Institute and conducted by the NYU School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University — showed that a single dose of psilocybin, in conjunction with psychotherapy, produced rapid, robust and enduring (for more than six months) antianxiety and antidepressant effects in patients with life-threatening cancer diagnoses.

“These findings, the most profound to date in the medical use of psilocybin, indicate it could be more effective at treating serious psychiatric diseases than traditional pharmaceutical approaches, and without having to take a medication every day,” said Heffter Medical Director George Greer.

The recent survey of difficult recreational psilocybin experiences by Heffter Board member and researcher Roland Griffiths, Ph.D. and his team at Johns Hopkins University draws two main conclusions that at first may seem contradictory. On one hand, psilocybin use outside the medical setting occasionally involves traumatic and potentially harmful experiences, as well as occasionally dangerous behaviors. On the other hand, most people report improvements in their quality of life after these difficult experiences.

The medical research setting provides crucial protections from harm that the recreational setting does not: a psychiatric evaluation to exclude subjects with a history of a serious mental disorder that could recur with psilocybin. Another key protection is the presence of specially trained psychotherapists with experience administering psilocybin to support subjects through distressing and confusing experiences, which can happen to anyone in any setting. Finally, the medical research setting provides hours of both pre-session preparation and post-session integration psychotherapy sessions to help the subject maximize the benefit from the session and ensure the positive impacts are enduring.

Please join Heffter Research Institute President and co-founder David Nichols for his presentation “Nearly Half a Century Studying Psychedelics,” an overview of his pioneering career in the field of psychedelic research. Dr. Nichols will appear at 7:00 PM on Saturday, April 30th, at the California Institute...