Psychedelics truly are experiencing somewhat of a renaissance after being flatly ignored and outright banned from human scientific research for many decades. In the last decade or so there been a huge increase in the understanding of how these fascinating drugs work and the exploration of their potential to treat mental illnesses.
One area that is receiving some interest – but little formal scientific research – is the practice of using very small doses (we're talking about doses of perhaps 10 to 15 µg of LSD) of psychedelics to improve mood and work performance. At first it may not be immediately obvious how a drug that can make you see fractal spirals in your lunch box could possibly improve your work performance.
To help us understand more about the practice of ‘micro-dosing’, the Global Drug Survey (GDS) has collaborated with the Imperial College London psychedelic research group to undertake one of the biggest studies of micro-dosing ever conducted.
Now in its sixth year, and with a target of over 150,000 respondents, the GDS has a mission to make drug use safer regardless of the legal status of the drug. Created by a network of researchers, clinicians, and harm reduction organisations, the survey aims to broaden the scope and reach of our knowledge.
We'll being asking exactly how common the practice of taking very small doses of LSD or psilocybin (“magic mushrooms”) is, how people may go about micro-dosing, and whether it worked or not.
We will also be asking the question of whether you've ever treated physical or psychiatric conditions with psychedelics.
If you'd like to help us understand a bit more about how psychedelics are being used, and what benefits they may offer to people, please spend a few minutes taking part in the world’s biggest survey on drug use.
Dr Adam R Winstock is the founder of the Global Drug Survey and a consultant psychiatrist
Dr Robin Carhart-Harris is the Head of Psychedelic Research at Imperial College London