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BBC follows drug trial for depression

woman lying on a bed being treated by a doctor
woman lying on a bed being treated by a doctor Image credit: radiotimes.com

Under usual circumstances drug trials are carried out behind closed doors and have very little public attention, but this week a BBC documentary aims to lift the lid on a new potential treatment for mental health.

In The Psychedelic Drug Trail scientist Professor David Nutt joins Dr Robin Carhart-Harris and Dr Rosalind Watts from Imperial College London to discuss how the active ingredient of magic mushrooms, known as psilocybin, can help patients suffering from depression if taken with an antidepressant.

The programme, filmed over a course of 16 months, follows the effects the trial has had on those taking part in the trail and asks the question can psychedelic drugs benefit people struggling with the illness.

Jack Bootle, Head of Commissioning, Science and Natural History, told the BBC: “I’ve long suspected that psychedelic drugs - if used safely and correctly - have the potential to transform mental health, so I’m fascinated to see how this trial unfolds.

"As rates of depression continue to rise, it’s vital that we find effective ways to treat this debilitating condition - even if that means using substances which people may consider taboo.”

The Psychedelic Drug Trail is on BBC TWO Wednesday May 19 at 9pm and available afterwards on BBC iPlayer.