For the last decade we have been witnessing a so-called “renaissance” psychedelic substances science (including LSD, DMT, psilocybin and MDMA, among others). Throughout history, many traditional societies around the world have known, appreciated and worked with these compounds. However, our scientific understanding of their effects has long been neglected due to international legislation that has prohibited their use, even for research purposes. The partial declassification of these compounds in some parts of the world has led to important preliminary results following research in the fields of neuroscience and psychotherapy, which was carried out within academic and clinical settings with rigorous methodologies.
Due to the fact that in Swiss law allows for research on these substances, Switzerland fosters a productive and open environment that is noticeable in the international academic landscape. These substances are illegal, but the law does allow for their use for research purposes. Thus, numerous research groups have been formed, present at the univerities of Basel, Zurich, Fribourg and Geneva.
Moreover, psychiatrists can apply for “compassionate use”: an authorization to use these compounds and prescribe them as medicines to alleviate treatment-resistant psychopathologies. In this regard, Switzerland is unique on the international stage and has a number of very competent clinicians and worldwide experts in the psychotherapeutic use of psychedelics.
This conference aims to allow clinicians and researchers to acquire and deepen their knowledge about the present situation in this domain and its future developments. The importance of these substances in various fields will be highlighted by experts from different linguistic regions, approaching the domain with diverse perspectives.