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University of Colorado Announces New Psychedelic Research Center in Denver
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University of Colorado Announces New Psychedelic Research Center in Denver

Seraiah Alexander
Seraiah Alexander
July 01, 2024
2 min

The University of Colorado, Denver (CU Denver) has recently announced the launch of the CU Center for Psychedelic Research to explore the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. The center will be dedicated to studying how these substances can be used to treat mental and neurological conditions and will also investigate the economic and social impacts of psychedelic legalization and decriminalization in Colorado. This move places CU Denver among the ranks of other renowned institutions with facilities dedicated to psychedelic research, such as Johns Hopkins University, New York University, and the University of California.

As psychedelic medicine gains more traction in the scientific community, there is a growing need for more rigorous research and comprehensive studies to fully understand its complete potential. While several smaller studies and trials have found promising results, establishing dedicated research centers, such as CU Denver’s new facility, is necessary for further advancing our knowledge. These centers will help push forward more large-scale, controlled studies that can validate preliminary findings and explore more therapeutic applications. 

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“There is so much potential to find new ways we can help people,” explained Dr. Jim Grigsby in a statement. Dr. Grigsby serves as the center’s chief science officer and executive director, and is also a psychology professor at CU Denver. “We already have several small studies in planning, and a national study underway. We are in talks with several possible collaborators in Colorado, and beyond, because there appears to be so much promise in this area of research now that we as a nation are jumping into the study of psychedelics again.”

The center, located on the Auraria campus in downtown Denver, will train clinical practitioners and individuals seeking state credentials to administer psychedelics under Colorado’s Proposition 122. The curriculum will focus on the clinical administration of psychedelics, therapeutic techniques, and safety protocols. 

Yet beyond the scientific aspects of psychedelics, the new center will also focus on the broader implications of psychedelic use. For decades, psychedelic research has been banned due to strict drug policies enacted during the 1970s war on drugs. The classification of psychedelics as Schedule I substances has resulted in a prolonged period where scientific exploration of these substances was virtually nonexistent.

However, with a recent shift in public opinion and regulatory policies, there has been a revitalized interest in psychedelic research. While research is catching up with the therapeutic potential of these drugs, we are still unaware of how their newfound acceptance can impact aspects like public health, economic growth, and equitable structures. 

The CU Center for Psychedelic Research will focus on creating evidence-based public policy recommendations by collaborating with policymakers and local and state agencies to ensure the safe, equitable, and effective integration of psychedelics into modern medicine. 

“At the heart of our work is creative and careful science that may help improve quality of life for many people, including individuals in marginalized and traditionally underserved groups,” noted Grigsby.


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Seraiah Alexander

Seraiah Alexander

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