In an article about the relentless rise of psychedelic research, the latest issue of Vrij Nederland magazine (December 12, 2015) extensively mentions The OPEN Foundation. In her article entitled “Tripping on prescription”, journalist Freke Vuijst sets off with some quotes from a cancer patient who was able to kick her end-of-life anxiety altogether by participating in the New York University psilocybin study. Having brushed the main aspects of the NYU study and its amazing successes, the author goes on to sketch the history of the first wave of psychedelic research and the subsequent ban on LSD and other substances. Joost Breeksema, chairman of The OPEN Foundation assesses the negative impact Jan Bastiaans’ therapeutic work in the Netherlands and the justified criticism it elicited.
The article then switches back to the present and near future, where phase-3 trials are underway for MDMA/PTSD and psilocybin/end-of-life anxiety. Absent public funding and research investments from the pharmaceutical industry, the difference between the United States and Europe is marked. Whereas the US have an important private charity tradition and large research universities, Europe and the Netherlands are used to rely on public funding, which means research is rather scarce, despite the obvious rise in public interest.