Psychedelics & Chronic Pain Discussion: Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy for Chronic Pain - An Invitation to Share Your Views FREE EVENT

  • Wed 2nd Jun 2021, 7pm – 9pm UK time (UTC +01:00)
  • Online
mental health psychedelic therapy psychedelic research psychedelic science chronic pain pain management
Hosted by The Psychedelic Society
Activity Psychedelic Science & Mental Health
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We are inviting people living with chronic pain to join us for an open discussion about the potential use of psychedelics for managing chronic pain.

The most recent health survey found nearly 40% of the UK population experience chronic, noticeable pain every single day. As one of the leading causes of disability worldwide and the potential to severely impinge a patient’s quality of life, finding effective treatments is crucial.

Evidence has suggested that psychedelics could be as effective as traditional psychiatric medications for treating conditions such as depression. Many currently prescribed painkillers have high rates of severe side effects and addiction  - could psychedelics provide a safer option? There are different theories why and how psychedelics could manage and even treat chronic pain, but unfortunately, scientific research is limited.

We believe that research should be informed by those most affected by it. If you are someone with pain who has used psychedelics and has either found a positive, negative, or no effect on your condition then we invite you to come and share your experience. We also welcome those who haven’t used psychedelics but are simply interested in learning more or looking to build and connect a community of like-minded people. 

Facilitated by scientific researchers, we hope that listening to your perspectives will help inform future studies on possible ways to treat and manage chronic pain with psychedelics.

The event will consist of open and directed discussions in break-out rooms and the opportunity to ask and discuss ideas with knowledgeable clinicians and researchers in the field of psychedelics and pain. Discussions will be recorded so that they can be transcribed and analyzed. The identities of attendees will  remain entirely anonymous  

How will recordings be used?

We will take all measures to ensure that recordings remain confidential. These will be stored in a password-protected file and may be used in academic publications. Your IP address will not be stored. Research data will be stored for a minimum of three years after publication or public release. 

Who will have access to the recordings?

The Psychedelic Society is the data controller with respect to your personal data and, as such, will determine how your data is used. Responsible members of Imperial College may be given access to data for monitoring and/or auditor as otherwise required by law.


James Close

James Close is a UK based clinical academic working on the frontier between physical and mental healthcare. His current research focuses on the potential role for psychedelic drugs in pain management, specifically, the action of psilocybin in people living with chronic pain. James’ foundation in physiotherapy, and later an MSc focusing on pain science, laid the ground for him to extend into research and psychologically informed pain rehabilitation. He currently practices as part of a multidisciplinary team in the Pain Management Center at Charing Cross Hospital. 

In 2018, he joined Imperial College London’s Center for Psychedelic Research as an honorary clinical research fellow and has since collaborated on several projects including the wide-reaching Psychedelic Survey and ‘Psilodep II’ clinical trial on psilocybin for depression. Underpinning his work is a commitment to diversifying and integrating underrepresented voices in the running of both clinical pain services and psychedelic research.  

Dr Kirran Ahmad 

Kirran is a senior anaesthetic registrar with a specialist interest in chronic pain. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Nottingham in 2009 and attained the Fellowship of the Royal College of Anaesthetists in 2016 and has spent 12 years working on the NHS frontline and more recently with patients suffering from chronic pain. She has seen first-hand how difficult chronic pain management is for both patients and clinicians alike. Kirran uses her experience in patient-focussed care to provide an integrative and holistic approach to pain management, focussing on root causes and the associated psychosomatic presentations.

Kirran joined the Centre for Psychedelic Research in February 2021 where she is pursuing her passion for advancing medicine through new and innovative treatments. Here she will be working across a number of exciting studies including psilocybin for chronic pain.

Mick Thacker

Mick is a former Professor of Physiotherapy, Pain and Rehabilitation at London South Bank University and has previously held posts at Brunel University, St George’s Medical School and King’s College London. He has extensive and varied translational expertise in pain science and the management of pain that spans clinical practice, neuroscience and philosophy. Mick has performed Doctoral level studies within the fields of neuro-immunology and philosophy of pain, and Post-Doctoral research in neuroimaging. 

Mick is recognised as a leading authority in how pain mechanisms manifest. He is a keen explorer of, and advocate for a new and better understanding of pain and the need to develop new pain management strategies. This has led Mick to develop a particular interest in Predictive Processing (PP) and its application in facilitating a better understanding of pain affecting individuals and wider society.

Julia Bornemann 

Julia Bornemann is a PhD candidate at the Centre for Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London. With a background in neuroscience, she has been involved in several psychedelic trials and now focuses her research on investigating the therapeutic potential of treating Chronic Pain conditions with psychedelic substances. Special interests include embodiment, mindfulness, compassion, stress, movement, and public involvement in research.

Dr Robbie Drake

Robbie is a Senior Research Associate and Lecturer in the School of Physiology, Pharmacology & Neuroscience at the University of Bristol. Robbie studied at University College London before completing his PhD at Bristol University in 2014. He is interested in the neurophysiological mechanism that may impart susceptibility to developing chronic pain following injury. Currently, his work is focussed on the contributions of the prefrontal cortex, a region of the brain concern with higher function in cognition and emotion, to pain perception and pain state development. 

His recent work has shown that changes in the communication of the prefrontal cortex with lower brain regions following injury is causal in the development of sensory hypersensitivity and negative mood. Psychedelic drugs have prominent effects in the prefrontal cortex and he is interested in exploring these effects as a potential novel therapeutic for the treatment of chronic pain and disorders of mood that are frequently seen together.

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