UW will offer a master’s degree in psychoactive drugs
The UW-Madison School of Pharmacy is launching a master’s program in psychedelic drug therapy in fall 2021, the first of its kind in the nation.
All online Psychoactive Pharmaceutical Investigation Program will seek to examine the relationship between psychedelic drugs and mental health, including MDMA, also known as ecstasy; psilocybin, the active ingredient in mushrooms; ketamine and more.
Many of the drugs studied in the program fall under the Schedule 1 classification, which means that they are prohibited for medical purposes and highly addictive, according to to the Drug Enforcement Administration.
However, the therapeutic drug sector is expected to grow by 20% per decade. According to UW News, the market will be worth around $100 billion by 2030.
“This master’s program has been designed in collaboration with external partners to ensure that graduates will leave the program with real-world knowledge and in-demand professional skills,” said Cody Wenthur, director of the psychoactive pharmaceutical investigation program. noted in a press release. “The scope of ‘revival’ psychedelic research is rapidly expanding beyond academic research.”
These drugs have been linked to relief from issues such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions, according to the Wisconsin State Journal.
“Anything that can help reverse these extremely worrying results will be greeted with great enthusiasm,” Wenthur said. noted.
Currently, the Food and Drug Administration has appointed psilocybin as a “breakthrough therapy” drug to treat depression and MDMA to treat PTSD.
UW-Madison has already made breakthroughs in psychedelic drug treatments, as the university is currently a research site for a Phase 2 study of psilocybin mushrooms to treat depression and a phase 3 study of MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
UW Health also currently uses ketamine therapy to treat depression.
The program starts in 2022 and will offer an accelerated one-year option. Students will also be able to complete a 12-credit capstone certificate in psychoactive pharmaceutical investigation. Doctor of Pharmacy students will also have the opportunity to take courses on the subject.
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