Center for Novel Therapeutics in Addiction Psychiatry (NTAP)

The mission of the UW Center for Novel Therapeutics in Addiction Psychiatry is to create powerful new ways of treating people struggling with alcohol, opioid, tobacco and other addictions by combining psychedelic compounds with evidence-based behavioral interventions.

Main Challenge

Addiction continues to ravage our community and there is an urgent need for innovative and effective treatment options for those impacted by substance use disorders. Promising studies suggest the efficacy of psychedelics when paired with therapy, but more data is needed. Our Center seeks to accelerate the process so more people can get the help they need. Learn more.

Our Approach

Acknowledging the potential risk of using psychedelics to treat addictions, we are taking a deliberately cautious approach to our research. There is still limited scientific evidence for the use of psychedelics in this area and our research will attempt to ‘fill this gap’ in a rigorous, systematic way. Our research is conducted under controlled circumstances, with a strong focus on safety and without undue influence by funding sources. We currently do not use psychedelic drugs outside of clinical research protocols that have been reviewed and approved by UW’s Institutional Review Board. We aim to:

  • Improve our understanding of the safety and efficacy of psychedelic compounds for individuals with addiction and other mental health problems.
  • Conduct clinical trials to identify the best pairings of novel compounds and behavioral interventions to treat a variety of substance use disorders.
  • Develop a standardized training program for clinicians and therapists who want to incorporate the safe and effective use of these treatments into practice.


Nathan Sackett, MD, MS
Director, Center for Novel Therapeutics in Addiction Psychiatry