"We need to find a way to hold on to the beauty and magic and wonder of these substances but we have to find a language and a mechanism to make them accessible because it´s the current situation that´s exclusive and inaccessible. It´s what I´m doing. Medicalizing is increasing accessibility and inclusivity, not reducing it."
Dr Ben Sessa (MBBS BSc MRCPsych) is a consultant psychiatrist based in the UK and one of the world´s leading psychedelic drug researchers. Sessa specialises in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with a special interest in the developmental aspects of trauma in children and how this contributes to adult mental disorder and especially substance dependence. Using this experience of child psychopathology, he carries out assessments for the family law courts and provides psychiatric care to teenagers and adults with post-trauma symptoms.
Dr Sessa is currently a senior research fellow at Bristol, Cardiff and Imperial College London Universities, where he is conducting the UK’s first clinical studies with MDMA-assisted therapy for the treatment of PTSD and alcohol dependence syndrome. In the last ten years he has worked on several UK-based human pharmacology trials as study doctor or as a healthy subject administering and receiving test doses of LSD, psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine. He is the author of several dozen peer-reviewed articles in the mainstream medical press and has written two books exploring psychedelic medicine; The Psychedelic Renaissance (2012) and To Fathom Hell or Soar Angelic (2015).
Dr Sessa is an outspoken lobbyist for drug reform in the UK, advocating for a more progressive policy of regulation that would reduce the harms of recreational drug use and provide increased opportunities for clinical psychedelic research. He is also co-founder and director of the Breaking Convention conference.
This was an eye-opening conversation that got me thinking about the notion of inclusivity/exclusivity of psychedelic medicines and the way we can use language to assess the risk/reward factors of drug use, research and therapeutic interventions in modern society. Ben is a tremendously impassioned voice in this renaissance and a true pioneer in the way those struggling most may find assistance with psychedelic therapy.
Thanks for listening and please share this and other episodes with your friends. Feel free to get in touch via email if you´d like to share your thoughts and experiences too!
Follow Dr Sessa: https://twitter.com/bensessa?lang=en
Ben´s website: http://www.drsessa.com/
Current research, clinics & training: AWAKN Life Sciences Inc
Intro music: https://www.akirathedon.com/
Outro music: Roof: So So - Epidemic Sound
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