View our work programme of future research and find out how to contribute as an expert.
- Work on this project will be announced later in the spring
- View our guidance for expert contributors
Drugs with psychedelic effects impact a wide range of cognitive processes through their actions on specific proteins in the brain. The use of these drugs to treat mental health conditions was explored in psychiatry in the 1950s and 1960s. Recent research is exploring their effects on a wide range of mental health conditions. Research to date shows that they can offer benefits in treating depression, anxiety, substance dependence, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, anorexia nervosa, and as an adjunct to psychological treatments. The drugs can also be used to explore brain function, particularly processes underlying consciousness.
This note will outline the latest knowledge about the role for psychedelic drugs to treat a wide range of mental health disorders and the recent data on risks and benefits. It will explore how the national legislative framework on controlled drugs impacts researchers’ ability to carry out studies, with reference to international legislative approaches. It will also explore public attitudes to using these drugs therapeutically.
The timetable for this project will be announced later in the spring.
This POSTnote will outline current figures on prison populations, implications of an increasing UK prison population and prisoners’ welfare and safety.
This POSTbrief will be a technical explainer introducing AI technologies. It will explain the main types of AI, give examples of their current and potential future applications, and provide a glossary of common terminology.