Towards a psychedelic Enlightenment

In 2010 journalist Steve Cotler coined the term “The New Psychedelic Renaissance” to refer to the renewed interest that the field of psychiatry and psychotherapy was showing towards psychedelic drugs. After some 40 years of ostracism, these drugs were returning to scientific laboratories to explore their therapeutic potential and study their neurobiological mechanisms of action. A decade after the so-called psychedelic renaissance, there are already two substances very close to obtaining their authorization for use for medical purposes (i.e., MDMA and psilocybin), many others are in different phases of clinical trials (e.g., DMT, 5-Meo-DMT, ibogaine, LSD), there are popular initiatives to decriminalize psychedelics of plant origin (Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico). In countries like Canada or Switzerland, the use of psychedelic drugs is allowed in therapeutic treatments. The production of scientific literature is so abundant that it can hardly be followed, there are multimillion-dollar investments for the development of psychedelic drugs, ceremonies with plants for traditional use such as ayahuasca or peyote have become globalized and, in general, there is an interest on the part of the general public in exploring the eventual benefits of these substances. Faced with this new overwhelming reality, it is time to stop and reflect on the current situation and where we are going. It’s time to move from the psychedelic Renaissance to the Enlightenment. Society is becoming psychedelic, so it is imperative to offer evidence-based information to enlighten people interested in this renewed social phenomenon.

We want to organize a conference on the 19h of November on Fuerteventura (Canary Islands, Spain): a conference of Psychedelics and Mental Health. At this conference there will be some of the leading experts in Spain and other European countries performing research and treatments with psychedelics, from different disciplines and with experience in clinical and social fields. This conference aims to be an enlightening forum for both mental health professionals and the general public where a historical tour of psychedelic science and culture will be made, the main investigations that have been carried out in recent years will be summarized, current research will be presented, and the integration of these substances in contemporary societies, as well as their legal aspects, will be discussed. This conference also intends to be a forum for discussion, establishing contacts and generating alliances to promote research with psychedelics in Fuerteventura and create associations with educational purposes that continue to illustrate the potential for human well-being of psychedelics.