Usually, medical experiments produce some sort of fear and loathing in those who participate in them. But one experiment in London has many potential participants excited, as the study asks for them to take cocaine.
King’s College London, a prestigious university, sent an email to students asking for “healthy male volunteers, 25-40 years of age, to take part in a clinical study involving nasal administration of cocaine.”
It was sent by a professor on Thursday to postgraduate and undergraduate students at the school. It had seven “question and answer” sections to explain the experiment as fully as possible.
“What will happen?” is one, and states: “After cocaine administration, repeated biological samples (blood, urine, hair, sweat, oral fluid) will be taken to compare and investigate how cocaine and its metabolites are spread through the human body.”
But addicted students looking to get a quick fix are out of luck, as the email states they’re only looking for “fit and well” participants who have no past medical history and no history of using recreational drugs.
The project was approved by the London Westminster Research Ethics Committee and “contributes to the College’s role in conducting research, and teaching research methods.”
A spokesperson for Kings College said it will be a safe study and monitored by medical supervision.
“This is an important scientific study to investigate how cocaine and its metabolites are spread through the human body,” the spokesperson said. “All the relevant ethical approvals were received for this study. The study will be conducted under the highest level of medical supervision in a dedicated clinical research suite.”
The entirety of the email reads:
HEALTHY VOLUNTEERS NEEDED
Who are we looking for?
Healthy male volunteers, 25 – 40 years of age, to take part in a clinical study involving nasal administration of cocaine. Medical and dental students will not be enrolled to this study.
What will happen?
After cocaine administration, repeated biological samples (blood, urine, hair, sweat, oral fluid) will be taken to compare and investigate how cocaine and its metabolites are spread through the human body.
What are the requirements?
Potential participants must be fit and well, have no past medical history and not be users of recreational drugs. They must be happy not to cut or dye their hair for 120 days during the study follow up period.
How long will it take?
During the first visit we will check your suitability for the study. The second visit (main experiment) will be around thirty days later and will take most of the day. We would then like to see you 5 more times over a 90 day period so that some repeat biological samples can be taken.
Will you benefit from taking part in this study?
There is no direct benefit from taking part. Reasonable financial compensation will be made for your time, effort and expenses incurred from completing the study.
Who is overseeing the study?
The study will be supervised by the Clinical Toxicology department from St Thomas' Hospital, London. The research team includes a medical doctor (registrar or consultant) who will be present at all times.
All participant information will be anonymised and held confidentially. All participant information will be anonymised and held confidentially. If you are interested in taking part and would like to find more information please primarily address any enquires to the Chief Scientific Officer) at [email address deleted] were you will be provided with a full participant information sheet.