The United States Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) has opened a number of its locations for clinical trials of drugs such as MDMA and psilocybin in the last year. This development marks the first time in nearly half a century that the VA has been directly involved in the clinical research of psychedelic drugs.

Historic government research of psychedelics largely ended around 1970 when the Controlled Substances Act became law and the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) stopped funding studies into the drugs’ therapeutic potentials. Investigations  through the 1970s into the Central Intelligence Agency’s Project MK-Ultra — which consisted of a number of abuses and human rights violations — cast a further dark cloud over government research of psychedelics. (The government did have psychedelic cluster bombs stockpiled long after the therapeutic research drought began, though, only destroying them in 1989.)

The fact that the VA facilities are now being used for psychedelic clinical trials marks a huge turning point in the general perception of psychedelic drugs. So which VA locations are currently opening their doors to psychedelic trials, and what are they researching?

MDMA

MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in Veterans With Combat-Related, Refractory PTSD (RECRUITING)
VA Loma Linda Health Care System
Loma Linda, California
Sponsor: VA Loma Linda Health Care System
Collaborator: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies

Study Comparing Two Versus Three Active MDMA-assisted Sessions in U.S. Military Veterans With Chronic PTSD (RECRUITING)
James J. Peters VA Medical Center
Bronx, New York
Sponsor: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies

PSILOCYBIN

Psilocybin-Enhanced Psychotherapy for Methamphetamine Use Disorder (RECRUITING)
Portland VA Health Care System
Vancouver, Washington
Sponsor: Portland VA Research Foundation, Inc
Collaborator: Steven & Alexandra Cohen Foundation

Repeat Dosing of Psilocybin in Migraine Headache (RECRUITING)
VA Connecticut Healthcare System
West Haven, Connecticut
Sponsor: Yale University
Collaborator: Wallace Research Foundation

Effects of Psilocybin in Concussion Headache (RECRUITING)
VA Connecticut Healthcare System
West Haven, Connecticut
Sponsor: Yale University

Psilocybin for the Treatment of Cluster Headache (ACTIVE, NOT RECRUITING)
VA Connecticut Healthcare System
West Haven, Connecticut
Sponsor: Yale University
Collaborators: Heffter Research Institute; Cluster Headache-Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgia (CH-TAC), LLC

Psilocybin – Induced Neuroplasticity in the Treatment of Major Depressive Disorder (ACTIVE, NOT RECRUITING)
VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven campus
West Haven, Connecticut
Sponsor: Yale University
Collaborator: Heffter Research Institute

Psilocybin for the Treatment of Migraine Headache (ACTIVE, NOT RECRUITING)
VA Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven campus
West Haven, Connecticut
Sponsor: Yale University

An Open Label Study of the Safety and Efficacy of Psilocybin in Participants With Treatment-Resistant Depression (P-TRD) (ACTIVE, NOT RECRUITING)
Multiple locations including VA Palo Alto Healthcare System/Stanford Medicine
Palo Alto, California
Sponsor: Sheppard Pratt Health System
Collaborator: COMPASS Pathways

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