Diversity, equity, and access in psychedelic medicine

Although it is exciting to witness the culmination of decades of drug policy advocacy and clinical research, the psychedelic science movement struggles with many of the same social issues that plague healthcare in general. The healing properties of plant medicines and their derivatives were originally brought to Western consciousness by indigenous cultures from all over the world. These practices are now being adapted to Western models of healthcare, in part, to achieve governmental approval as medical treatments. The current models of psychedelic psychotherapy being utilized in clinical trials are resource-intensive and therefore likely to remain out of reach for the socioeconomically disadvantaged if approved as medical treatments. Moreover, people of color and women are uncommon in leadership positions in the psychedelic research community, and few people of color are included as research participants in psychedelic studies. This piece introduces a special issue with a focus on issues of diversity, equity, and accessibility in psychedelic medicine.