Belgium

This page has been made possible with the help of Tim Cools, a psychedelic coach and member of PSBE.

Psychedelics have been forbidden in Belgium for over 100 years. The stringent rules have led to no research taking place. Among the population, about 1% use psychedelics [1]. Some researchers and the Psychedelic Society Belgium (PSBE) advocate for the reignition of psychedelic research and therapy.

Psychedelic Research in Belgium: A Brief History

No significant research on psychedelics has taken place in Belgium. Though ketamine is available to doctors (as it is worldwide), psychedelics have been forbidden for over 100 years. The cultivation of mushrooms was forbidden on the 25th of February 1921 [2].

Psychedelic Research in Belgium Today

Presently, no universities are directly doing research with psychedelics. Lennart Cok, clinical psychologist and president of PSBE, has advocated removing psychedelics from drug laws in one of Belgium’s largest newspapers [3].

“We must enable and encourage Belgian research in this area. A future embedding of these promising therapies in our mental health care could provide much-needed perspective for patients and their care providers.”

The Belgium psychiatrist Mathieu Seyanaeve is involved in psychedelic research in the UK, where he works on a trial using psilocybin for depression [4]. Well-known psychedelic researcher Kim Kuypers, associated with Maastricht University, has stated that she would like to become the first Belgium MDMA-assisted psychotherapist [5].

Next to psychedelic research, a handful of coaches are assisting with psychedelic integration in Belgium. Of these coaches, some also offer psychedelic sessions hosted in The Netherlands. The Sante Daime church, where ayahuasca is taken as a sacrament, also has a local chapter (Céu da União) in Belgium. Because of legal restrictions – also in The Netherlands – the members are not offering services.

Key Organisations

The Psychedelic Society Belgium (PSBE) is a non-profit organisation created in 2020 to promote a better individual and communal quality of life through the safe reintegration of psychedelics in healthcare and society. Next to advocacy, PSBE aims to promote and fund research on psychedelics in Belgium and provide educational information on psychedelics.

A local chapter of Thank You Plant Medicine is also active in Belgium.

References

1. Vlaams expertisecentrum Alcohol en andere Drugs. (2020). https://www.vad.be/assets/factsheet_hallucinogenen_dec2020_def

2. Law on the trade in poisons, hypnotics and narcotics, psychotropic substances… (1921). https://www.ejustice.just.fgov.be/cgi_loi/change_lg_2.pl?language=nl&nm=1921022450&la=N

2. Cok L. (2021). Psychedelics as a final life preserver. https://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20210302_97969202

3. Van den Eynde, H. (2021). Psychiatrists test psychedelics for major depression. https://www.standaard.be/cnt/dmf20210301_98187997

4. Cordia, A-M. (2017). Kim Kuypers wants to become the first Belgian MDMA therapist. https://charliemag.be/wereld/kim-kuypers/

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🧑 Which companies & people work with psychedelics in Belgium
🔬 Trails & conferences taking place in Belgium
📈 In-depth psychedelic reports (Sprout & Tree)

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