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The Psychedelic Drug Trial

  • 2021
  • Documentary

Summary

Documentary chronicling a ground-breaking new trial at Imperial College London, which sees a psychedelic drug tested against an antidepressant as a treatment for depression. Filmed over 16 months, the programme follows a team of scientists and psychotherapists as they compare the effects of psilocybin, the active ingredient of magic mushrooms, with an antidepressant on a small group of participants with clinical depression.

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Review

The image of psychedelic substances has seen a dramatic swing in recent years. The stereotype of the spaced-out flower children still exists. But alongside it now stands the image of the Silicon Valley entrepreneur and the hi-tech self-improvement junkie, looking to boost creativity and cognition, uproot buried traumas or gain philosophical insights by taking drugs.
Beyond the stereotypes, there is serious medical research going on at Imperial College London, where psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, is being tested as an alternative to standard antidepressants. 
Professor David Nutt and Dr Robin Carhart-Harris are big players in this field, and here we follow them over 16 months, as they trial psilocybin on clinically depressed patients, helping to destigmatise these fascinating chemicals.


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Credits

Crew

rolename
DirectorSam Eastall
EditorZoe Davis
Executive producerAnna Murphy
ProducerAlice Martineau

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