Wisconsin University Launches Psychedelics Center With Goal Of Increasing Diversity In Research

MJ moment

Another university has announced the launch of a psychedelics research institute—and this one is taking special interest in ensuring that participants reflect the diversity of people who stand to benefit from the substances, which has been lacking in studies to date. The University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Pharmacy on Monday announced the creation of the Transdisciplinary Center for Research in Psychoactive Substances. It’s the latest academic institution to prioritize such research as psychedelics reform continues to advance at the federal, state and local level. Researchers will look at the therapeutic potential of psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA in the treatment of conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder, major depressive disorder and opioid addiction. It will also work to provide educational training for the next generation of psychedelics scientists and practitioners. Importantly, the department stressed in a press release that the center will work to diversify the participant pool in its research, recognizing that people of color have often been underrepresented in psychedelics studies. “There is a substantial imbalance in the numbers of Black, Hispanic, Asian and Native American research participants in studies of psilocybin and other psychoactive medications,” Paul Hutson, founding center director and a UW–Madison School of Pharmacy professor, said. “The center will seek opportunities to improve the representation of minorities, elderly and marginalized groups in the forthcoming research on psychedelics.” “Efforts to accomplish these goals align with established projects at the university that investigate the role and impact of psychedelic compounds across different cultures, including Indigenous communities,” he said. Hutson told Marijuana Moment in an email that the reason for the lack of diversity in this kind of research is multifaceted. Historical exploitation of minorities in health-related studies and challenges associated with having the time and resources to participate within certain communities are some of the factors, he…

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