Date and time:

Tue, 10 May 2022

14:00 – 17:00 BST


50 George Square

Screening Room G.04

NewingtonEH8 9JU

United 6

The use of psychedelics as a tool for healing and well-being has seen a ‘renaissance’ in the past 10 years. Research in the US and in the UK is seeing positive results in the areas of depression, trauma, PTSD, anorexia, problematic substance use and a range of other health issues.

Despite Scotland being a leader in many health areas, psychedelic research has not gained traction, and there are currently no clinical or community research trials underway. This is changing, the Scottish Psychedelic Research Group (SPRG) and Recovering Justice Scotland hosted within the School of Health at the University of Edinburgh, is providing space for interdisciplinary and inter-institutional collaboration on a range of topics.

This event will provide a space for professional networking, and to hear more about the exciting research being conducted in the UK and globally . We will discuss how we can get research up and running in Scotland and how you can get involved . There will be a r panel event followed by a networking/conversation space.

The panel will consist of

Pavel Bem is a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and family therapist and has almost 30 years of experience in area of drug policy. He spent 20 years in various policy roles and high management functions at international, national as well as local levels focusing mainly at developing of cost effective public health strategies and harm reduction services. He has served for various governmental as well as international bodies (EU, UN, WHO, Council of Europe, Group Pompidou, PHARE). He was a pioneer at developing the public health oriented drug policy in former Czechoslovakia as well as in other countries of Central and Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America. Mr. Bem served many years as a Czech Drug Tzar. He was twice elected as a Lord Mayor of the capital city of Prague and as a Vice-president of the Committee of the Regions of the European Parliament. As a Member of the Czech Parliament he has successfully submitted and introduced the law on the Medical Cannabis. Currently, he is a university teacher at the 1st Medical Faculty of the Charles University, leading the team of psychotherapists and family therapists at the Addictology Clinic and serving as a “low threshold psychiatrist” at the Contact Center Sananim for drug users in Prague. He is an expert and a Member of the Czech National Drug Commission. Since 2012 he is a Commissioner of the Global Commission on Drug Policy, self constituted body of former presidents, head of states and politicians aiming at ending the war on drugs and introducing drug policy.

Jake Hawthorn is a psychiatrist currently working part-time as a specialty doctor in addictions in NHS Lothian, and studying part-time for a Masters in Contemporary Drug and Alcohol Studies at the University of West of Scotland. He is a co-founder of the Scottish Psychedelic Research Group where he hopes to help start up research into psychedelic-assisted therapy for people with addiction in Scotland. Jake is also a member of the Psychedelic Health Professionals Network – an educational organisation working to educate health professionals and the general public about psychedelics, and support people to experience psychedelics in a safe and legal retreat setting in the Netherlands.

Dr Mourad Wahba is a Specialist Registrar in Psychiatry currently working in Newcastle within the Cumbria, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear NHS Trust (CNTW). Mourad has a keen interest in psychedelic therapy and has worked as a sub-investigator on the psilocybin for treatment resistant depression trial that recently concluded. He is part of a small team working in Newcastle that aims to facilitate the delivery of psychedelic therapy within the region, both through hosting research trials and delivering teaching sessions on psychedelics and their potential applications.

Shelan Ofori is a PhD Candidate at University College London, where she is part of the UNITy project (see further One of the main aims of this study is to visualise DMT induced neuroplasticity, following a memory destabilization intervention, in hazardous drinkers. Before this, Shelan worked on the CannTeen study at UCL, this was a pharmacological fMRI study which involved acute administration of cannabis to participants.

This event is a collaboration with

Recovering Justice ,

Edinburgh University Department of Social Sciences

and the Scottish Psychedelic Research Network