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Psychedelic Substances Research Group

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Psychedelic Substances Research Group

The term “psychedelic” was coined for a group of substances also known as classical hallucinogens like lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin, dimethyltryptamine (N,N-DMT), 5-methoxyDMT (5-MeO DMT) and mescaline. The group of psychedelics shares agonism at serotonergic (5HT2a) receptors as main mechanism of psychoactive action. In recent years, there has been an increasing interest for classic psychedelics, not only in basic and clinical research, but also in the public media. Psychedelics have been investigated as tools for the treatment of several psychiatric disorders such as major depression, substance-related disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders (OCD) and existential anxiety and depression associated with a life-threatening illness.

In a broader sense of the word, “psychedelic” has also been used for other substances with a potential to facilitate substantially altered experiences, like MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine), and ketamine, a dissociative anesthetic. Those substances show overlaps with classic psychedelics, but also differ in several regards. The trust-promoting and anxiolytic effects of MDMA in particular are used for the therapeutic process in MDMA-assisted therapy that has intensively been investigated for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The Psychedelic Substances Research Group is not only investigating therapeutic applications of psychedelics, but also sociocultural and subcultural aspects of psychedelic usage outside of the clinical context.  

Another focus of our research is on aspects of psychedelic harm reduction and integration regarding the recreational use of psychedelics. Those include the management of acute adverse effects and challenging experiences as well as the treatment of post-acute psychedelic-related disorders like hallucinogen persisting perception disorder (HPPD), depersonalization-derealization syndrome (DPDR), psychotic episodes and anxiety disorders and problems with integrating difficult experiences.

Finally, we are interested in comparisons of substance-induced phenomena across substances and with non-pharmacological methods that induce altered states of consciousness as well as with psychiatric symptoms (e. g., hallucinations).

Dr. med. Tomislav Majić
Dr. med. Dimitris Repantis 

Dr. med. Michael Koslowski
Dr. rer. nat. Timo T. Schmidt, FU Berlin
Dr. Lukas Basedow 
M. Sc. Psych. Laura Bechtold
M. A. Chiara Caporuscio 
Dr. rer. nat. Ricarda Evens
Dipl. Psych. Malte Klar
Dr. med. Dario Jalilzadeh Masah
Dr. med. Derien Marbin
Dr. Roman Marek
Dr. med. Dipl.-Psych. Thomas G. Riemer
Amy Romanello
M. A. Olga Ulkova  
Dr. med. Marija Franka Žuljević, University of Split (Croatia)


Anna Gröticke
Bente Lubahn
Linda Ortlieb
Simon Reiche
Marie Traub