Psychedelic Science and Therapy are integral interests of several members of FINDER, especially those committed to research.
Firmly rooted in the principles of harm reduction and an integrative approach to substance use, we try to promote an open, unbiased view on psychoactive substances.
Last weekend five of us participated in the largest gathering of like-minded people here in Europe: Breaking Convention, a multi-disciplinary meeting of more than 800 people at the University of Greenwich, London.
The program ranged from hard-core scientific presentations on fMRI brain mapping under the influence of LSD, drug politics and legalisation issues and current development in MDMA therapy studies to film presentations and performances.
A kaleidoscope of topics and ideas.
Our contribution was a presentation of a model on Integrative Use of Psychedelic substances that was presented by Dr. Henrik Jungaberle and Dr.med. Andrea Zeuch.
Based on first scientific data, it is designed to allow for unprejudiced understanding and communication on the issue of drug use without the subtle stink of immanent addiction and destruction that comes with most notions on psychedelics in public discourse.
Not every drug use is automatically addictive or destructive – as public opion permanently tries to suggest. And beyond the idea of every intake of psychedelics being automatically problematic and dangerous, there lies a whole field of unproblematic and beneficial use- with a range from therapeutic use in controlled professional contexts to creativity increase.
In a period of time where both drug decriminalization/legalisation on one hand and sharper restrictions (such as the planned Psychoactive Substance Act banning even every future Psychoactive substance in the UK) are in place, bringing together all who can speak in favour of a rational and evidence-based approach to psychoactives is of utmost importance.
The credibility of refined scientists like David Nutt helps immensely to bridge the gap between activists and the general public, helping to turn the public opinion in favour of such crucial projects like MDMA-assisted trauma therapy for PTSD that would not have stood a chance 20 years ago.
But today they are being implemented – mainly in the United States, but also in Switzerland and Israel. With groups of therapists and scientists in countries preparing to follow suit, for example in Australia or in Germany, where FINDER is part of such an attempt in cooperation with MAPS.
Having been a most inspiring and informative event, Breaking Convention has provided all of us with new motivation, energy and ideas to work towards a paradigm change on Psychedelic Substances fit for the 21st century.