299 Alhambra Circle Ste #418 Coral Gables, Fl 33134
(305) 624-7900 jhppa@aol.com
Dedicated to serving patients efficiently and effectively

Balm for Scarred Psyches?  PTSD and Psychedelics? Part 2 A Psychedelic Renaissance at the VA

Balm for Scarred Psyches?  PTSD and Psychedelics? Part 2 A Psychedelic Renaissance at the VA

The last known experiment at a Department of Veterans Affairs clinic with psychedelic-assisted therapy started in 1963. That was the year President John F. Kennedy was assassinated. “Surfin’ U.S.A.” topped the music charts, and American troops had not yet deployed to Vietnam.

At the time, the federal government was a hotbed of psychedelics research. The C.I.A. explored using LSD as a mind-control tool against adversaries. The U.S. Army tested the drug’s potential to incapacitate enemies on the battlefield. And the V.A. used it in an experimental study to treat alcoholism.

But booming recreational use of drugs, including hallucinogens, sparked a fierce political backlash and helped set in motion the war on drugs, which, among other things, ended an era of research into the therapeutic potential of psychedelics.

Nearly six decades later, a handful of clinicians have brought back psychedelic therapy within the Veterans Affairs health care system. If their studies show promising results, they could mark a major step in the quest to both legalize and legitimize psychedelics and make them broadly available for clinical use.

I spoke to four of the government researchers leading studies into the use of MDMA, often called Ecstasy, and psilocybin, to treat mental illnesses that have been resistant to current therapies for many veterans. The researchers addressed their motivations, misgivings and hope for the future of medicinal psychedelics.

Digging through memories like an archaeologist

Dr. Shannon Remick, 34, has the military in her blood — having been raised by an Army mother, a Marine father and a Navy stepfather. That familiarity with the armed forces is part of what drove her to become a psychiatrist at the V.A., where she found that a significant number of combat veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder were not responding to conventional treatments.

Last October she likely became the first clinician since the 1960s to administer psychedelics as medicine to a patient at a V.A. clinic. The 10 patients in her study at the Veterans Affairs clinic in Loma Linda, Calif., are combat veterans with PTSD who volunteered to undergo three sessions with MDMA in hopes of exploring the underlying roots of their distress.

CLICK HERE to read more.

Comments are closed.