(LibertySociety.com) – Earlier this year, the state of Oregon officially began offering psychedelic mushroom therapy at 13 different locations throughout the state. Psilocybin mushrooms, which were widely used in the 1960s and 70s, can now be consumed in the presence of a licensed facilitator. Researchers believe that the alleged non-addictive drug could help people who do not respond to other types of therapy or medications. Studies have shown promise that people with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other types of depression could have a breakthrough with the use of the mushrooms. Individuals who are battling addictions could also finally find a solution.
Colorado followed in Oregon’s footsteps, with voters choosing to approve a ballot measure to decriminalize the drug in 2022. While Oregon’s decriminalization bill allows for counties to ban the mushrooms by a resident vote, Colorado counties and cities are only allowed to regulate the facilities. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) designated the drug as a “breakthrough therapy” back in 2019, which allowed researchers to act expeditiously to develop and review the drug. It remains a Schedule I drug and is still illegal at the federal level. Notably, Democratic California Governor Gavin Newsom vetoed a similar measure, arguing that guidelines for treatment need to be drafted before decriminalization.
The American Psychiatric Association believes that more research studies need to be conducted on test subjects before the drug is decriminalized. Dr. Charles Nemeroff, who works for the University of Texas at Austin as the chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral science, said that he is “really uncomfortable with this.” He recalled a patient whose life was upended after undergoing a psychedelic therapy session that he supervised. He expressed concerns about Oregon’s decision to impose minimal oversight regarding the use of the drug. The treatment package comes with a hefty price tag of $15,000, which includes a multi-day introduction to the facility and the person conducting the therapy session. One-time treatments cost around $3,000, with a complimentary follow-up appointment.
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