Don’t Block Psychedelic Research

Stop the DEA from Scheduling DOI & DOC!

SSDP is leading the fight to keep psychedelic research legal.

In April 2022, the DEA announced their intention to move two psychedelic research chemicals that have been used safely for decades to Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act—effectively blocking research.

Within weeks, SSDP’s Science Policy Council—a group of PhD students and other researchers who are fighting back against the War on Drugs with SSDP—leapt into action, demanding a hearing. After extensive legal back-and-forth, the DEA backed down in August 2022, withdrawing their proposal.

Unfortunately, the fight was not over. In December 2023, perhaps imagining the move would be lost amongst the end-of-year holiday season, the DEA again proposed scheduling DOI and DOC. SSDP again demanded a hearing to stop the scheduling, which after some more legal maneuvering, we now expect to happen sometime next year.

The future of psychedelics rests in our hands. Join the fight to keep DOI and DOC legal!

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A Crucial Call to Action: The Misguided DEA Scheduling of DOI and DOC

The recent announcement by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) to schedule 2,5-dimethoxy-4-iodoamphetamine (DOI) and 2,5-dimethoxy-4-chloroamphetamine (DOC) as Schedule 1 Controlled Substances has ignited significant concern within the scientific and medical communities. This decision threatens to severely limit vital research into these compounds, which have shown substantial promise in various therapeutic applications, including pain management and addiction treatment.

The Importance of DOI and DOC in Research

DOI, in particular, has been a cornerstone in neuroscience research due to its high selectivity for the 5-HT2A serotonin receptor, a critical component in understanding and potentially enhancing the therapeutic effects of psychedelics. Over the past two decades, DOI has been cited in more than 900 research articles, contributing to our understanding of complex neural mechanisms and offering potential pathways for breakthrough treatments.

Moreover, recent studies utilizing DOI have shown encouraging results in managing pain and reducing opioid cravings—a beacon of hope in the ongoing opioid crisis. The scientific value of DOI and DOC cannot be overstated, as these molecules help to deepen our understanding of brain function and could lead to revolutionary treatments for numerous psychological and physiological ailments.

The Flawed DEA Scheduling Process

Unfortunately, the DEA’s decision-making process for scheduling these substances appears to be significantly flawed, lacking in scientific rigor and transparency. This approach not only undermines the agency’s credibility but also impedes critical scientific progress. The categorization of these chemicals as Schedule 1—indicating that they have no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse—contrasts sharply with the reality of their use in research settings and their minimal recreational usage.

Bureaucratic Barriers to Research

Scheduling DOI and DOC as Schedule 1 substances imposes onerous financial and bureaucratic obstacles on researchers. Obtaining a Schedule 1 license involves a daunting array of red tape and substantial costs, which can be prohibitive for many research institutions, particularly smaller labs and academic departments.

Legal Challenges and Community Mobilization

In response to the DEA’s proposed scheduling, SSDP’s Science Policy Council, along with other stakeholders, has filed a petition challenging this move, citing the lack of substantive evidence and the negative impact on research. A hearing was scheduled but has since been postponed indefinitely due to ongoing legal challenges questioning the legality of the DEA’s administrative hearing process. This delay presents a critical window for action.

The Need for Advocacy and Support

It is crucial for anyone with influence in Congress or connections within the Biden administration to advocate against the DEA’s intent to schedule these substances. Support from health departments and national institutes like HHS and NIDA could also prove pivotal in emphasizing the necessity of these compounds for scientific advancement and public health.

A Call to Action

We urge the broader community, especially those who could be directly impacted by these potential treatments, such as veterans and individuals struggling with addiction, to voice their concerns and push for a science-based, rational approach to drug scheduling. The ability to research and potentially utilize DOI and DOC could lead to significant breakthroughs in treating some of today’s most challenging health issues.

In conclusion, it is not just about keeping two chemical compounds available for research; it’s about preserving the integrity of scientific inquiry, advancing medical treatment, and ultimately, impacting lives positively. The DEA’s current path is a disservice to science, to health, and to the principles of justice and compassion. Let’s stand together to advocate for sensible drug policy and ensure that potential treatments can reach those in need without undue governmental interference.

We do this work because the war on drugs is a war on us.

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