With the increasing acceptance of psychedelic research these days, companies and organizations are looking for more and more volunteers to assist in their tests and programs. Before you sign-up for what you might imagine to be a free trip in the name of science it would be wise to review exactly what these groups have on offer.
Here I have compiled a handful of some of the leading groups that offer the public a chance to get involved with psychedelic science as either volunteers for psychedelic drug testing or on the less trippy side of things - office work.
The most impressive organization in this field would have to be MAPS ( Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies ). MAPS is an independent organization that survives on being totally funded by public donations - some of which can be as large as several hundred thousand dollars.
A totally professional and highly respected group, MAPS advertises for volunteer positions at other organizations and hospitals as well as its own in house psychedelic testing programs.
It provides a wealth of information regarding the use of psychedelics for overcoming issues related to addiction, stress, mental illness and more. It is also a highly regarded resource for freely available, unbiased information related to both the risks and benefits of the use of psychedelic.
To read more about what research and volunteers opportunists are available through MAPS click the below link
JOHNS HOPKINS MEDICINE
With a 100 year history of psychiatric and behavior science research behind it, John Hopkins Medicine is one of the leading providers of patient care, teaching and research in these fields. JHM clinical research has provided some major breakthroughs and understandings in the fields of bioinformatics, genetics, neuroscience and molecular biology.
In the past, research volunteer programs have offered a chance for people to partake in trials related to marijuana, MDMA , LSD, DMT and psychedelic mushrooms. Such research typically related to addiction. Current programs on offer are a limited to marijuana trials but you can keep an eye on the volunteer page ( listed below ) to see what other opportunities open up in the future.
More info :
For an example of the kind of psychedelic research done by JHM you can view a report from 2006 in which they researched mystical experiences related to psilocybin use ( magic mushrooms ) here :
Here is another report about psilocybin and patient levels of openness and empathy:
HEFFTER RESEARCH INSTITUTE
The Heffter Research Institute was founded in New Mexico in 1993 with the non-profit goal of developing knowledge and standards of practice related to the use of psychedelics in a medical context.
Their research builds on the basic knowledge of psychedelics and expands it into new fields of neuroscience, medicine, religion and cultural practices. Perhaps their most important work is in conducting clinical research studies to investigate potential therapeutic applications of classical psychedelics.
The board of directors includes some of the world's leading psychedelic researchers in the fields of MDMA, DMT, Psliocybin and Marajuana.
Current ongoing research is focusing on the use of psilocybin in the treatment of cancer, alcoholism and obsessive compulsive disorder.
For more info including some great free PDF reviews ( click on HRI review ) of past research follow this link :
The Beckly Foundation was formed by a group of psychedelic research luminaries including Dr Albert Hoffman no-less ! It runs as a charity in the UK and is devoted to explore applications of psychedelics through rigorously controlled scientific investigation as well as promoting drug reform policices related to psychedelic compounds.
Within the scientific research arm their main aim is to increase understanding of brain function and consciousness. It is closely tied to Imperial College, London where you can find Professor David Nutt - a leader in sensible drug policy in the UK.
Their website is a little short on information regarding how members of the public can apply for volunteering in present and future studies. I would recommend dropping them an email through their contact form ( in the nicest, professional way ) and see if you get on board that way.
More Info :
OPEN FOUNDATION ( Netherlands )
The Open Foundation is based in the Netherlands and much like MAPS is a non-profit group dedicated to psychedelic research especially in the fields of neurological response and activity while using psychedelics.
Despite being a country known for its more liberal approach to drugs policy, The Netherlands has surprisings few psychedelic research organizations. So its great to see these guys shining the light for rational scientific methods.
One thing that I really like about Open is its large collection of videos and recordings of lectures related to the past, present and future of psychedelics in society ( both ancient and modern ).
The majority of Open's work is concerned with lecturing and sharing information. As such actual volunteer positions are limited however they occasionally have positions for people with video editing skills, presentation skills and the like. So if you prefer the more technical side of volunteer work within a psychedelic science scenario - they might be able to help you out.
PRISM - ( Australia )
PRISM is a rather newish organization, formed in 2011 as a non-profit association that investigates the role of psychedelics as potential healing medicines.
It is currently working in collaboration with MAPS in MDMA-PTSD ( Post Traumatic Stress Disorder ) research. It's research is based in Australia with volunteer subjects recruited locally. Currently it is working on MDMA assisted therapy for PTSDs in war veterans.
More Info :
I am keen to grow this list out to include any other top research groups that offer the public a chance to get involved. So if you know of any more groups then please add a comment below with a relevant link.
A number of the sites mentioned above have links to plenty of wonderful articles, books and past research results. It would be prudent read up on what has gone on in past research by these groups so you can best prepare yourself with relevant questions and answers should you get a opportunity to volunteer.