Oregon to Offer Magic Mushrooms for Psilocybin Therapy From January

In 1995, Amanda joined the United States Air Force at the height of her confidence. Originally a shy kid from the central region Oregon, she spent most of her teenage years building her self-esteem, performing in beauty pageants, theater, choirs, and debates in high school. At the age of 20, she went to the local recruitment office to enlist in the army, ready to travel the world and practice discipline.

By the end of her military service in 2000, her confidence had “faded away,” as she describes it. Amanda, whose last name is being withheld to protect her privacy, was sexually assaulted by a military member a year after she enlisted. Her mental health suffered, and after years of turbulent relationships with other service members, she was honored to be discharged from the army nearly four months pregnant, with severe symptoms of dementia. Post-traumatic stress disorder has not been diagnosed.

She eventually returned to Oregon angry, irritable, divorced twice, and had a new baby. More than 20 years later, Amanda is working as a grief counselor in Medford and has managed most of her PTSD symptoms.

After taking a class on psychedelic therapy, she became interested in trying psilocybin, a hallucinogen derived from magic mushrooms, to try to undo some of the trauma that has been ingrained in the body. “I really believe that psilocybin therapy can reconnect or even change those neural pathways, because I need to reset,” Amanda said in an interview with The Daily Beast. “I did my best, but I don’t know how to fix that part and I really need to.”

Amanda will soon have her chance. In January, Oregon will become the first state to offer controlled use of magic mushrooms, thanks to Proposition 109, which is passed by voters in 2020 and allows legal production, distribution, and management psilocybin at licensed facilities. The state will begin processing permits in January, and organizations connecting veterans with hallucinations will be closely monitoring the rollout, hoping the Beaver State will host future psilocybin retreats , where new groups of facilitators can be trained, and many of them have trained support people who are likely veterans.

The Heroic Hearts program currently offers ayahuasca retreats in Mexico and Peru to veterans with a history of military combat and/or sexual assault. Founder Jesse Gould said he hopes to set up an outpost in Oregon within the next year. A military veteran who believes ayahuasca has helped him cure PTSD, Gould envisions a pilot program in which veterans are treated with magic mushrooms in a group therapy environment run by veterans. self-healing by leading psychedelic.

“We are trying to create this self-supporting ecosystem to reduce costs, make it scalable, and take the burden off therapists,” says Gould. “Veterans can help support their siblings with whom they are related. It’s about training communities to heal themselves.”

Jesse Gould is the founder of the Combat Heroes Project.

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The Synaptic Institute, an organization that trains new psychedelics, recently announced plans to set aside scholarship funds for veterans participating in the training program, which could amount to $8,000. Veterans of War, a program that provides scholarships to service members for psychedelic retreats in Peru and Costa Rica, intends to train veterans to be facilitators at a service site in future in Oregon. Mission Inside, which runs psychedelic retreats in Mexico for special operations veterans, also plans to set up a training program in Oregon for service members.

Dr Martin Polanco, founder of TMW, said: “A lot of people when they go to a retreat and experience psychedelic healing, they want to give back and they want to participate.

Despite numerous studies demonstrating the effectiveness of psilocybin in treating symptoms of depression, addiction, and PTSD, the Food and Drug Administration still classifies psilocybin as a Schedule 1 Drug—not valid. medican. Both Oregon and Colorado have legalized controlled use of psilocybin, with Colorado’s program expected to roll out in 2024. Other cities, such as San Francisco and Washington DC, have already passed measures vote to legalize the drug.

Veterans who want to try magic mushrooms without breaking U.S. laws must travel to Latin America or the Caribbean in search of a retreat. Armand Lecomte, a former Marine who claims the psychedelic treatment saved his life, helps orchestrate psilocybin retreats in Jamaica several times a year for MycoMeditations. A Portland, Lecomte resident urged state and local leaders to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin. He said he plans to train to be a licensed facilitator in Oregon.

“It is ludicrous that these veterans have to leave the country they serve to receive the healing they need,” he said. To date, 30 men in Lecomte’s battalion have died by suicide. “If some of my brothers had access to this, they would still be here.”

Although 56 percent of Oregonians vote in favor of Proposition 109 in 2020, a majority of counties voted this November to reject it. Back in July, while commissioners in rural Deschutes County considered adding a legal psilocybin ban to the ballot, retired Navy SEAL Chad Kuske urged local leaders to consider veterans. soldiers.

After 12 combat deployments and years of PTSD, depression and anxiety, Kuske turned to psilocybin therapy in Mexico. “It completely changed my life,” he said at the meeting. “If you’re a veteran struggling with traumatic brain injury or PTSD, going to a foreign country can be incredibly scary,” Kuske told the county commissioners. “Especially when you are about to embark on a healing journey.”

After voters passed Proposition 109, Rose Moulin-Franco moved to Ashland, Ore. of treatment. A former soldier who served in the Vietnam Era, she began exploring hallucinogen use after the death of her husband, who developed “terrible PTSD” after three tours in Vietnam. .

Moulin-Franco finds hallucinations helpful in letting go of past hurts. She, like Amanda of Medford, is living with the pain of sexual assault in the military. (According to a New York Times analysis, one in four women in the military faced sexual assault while serving.) After her husband’s death, Moulin-France became a trauma specialist. .

Until recently, she had her eye on a distant land in Jackson County as a potential wellness center location. But county commissioners voted to limit psilocybin service centers to rural areas of the county and include kibosh in that plan. Moulin-Franco is frustrated, but determined to build a service center wherever she allows. “My county wants me to treat veterans with PTSD and TBI next to noisy freeways? Good, but it’s not ideal,” says Moulin-Franco.

Describing herself as traditional, veteran pilot Amanda said she hopes to one day be able to legally try psilocybin in a safe, clinical setting. She doesn’t think she’s comfortable finding magic mushrooms on the black market, says Amanda. And the idea of ​​traveling abroad for treatment is a no-brainer.

“I didn’t do drugs growing up. I don’t like doing illegal things,” Amanda said. She says she wants to try magic mushrooms with a trained, certified facilitator she knows and trusts. “I want to do it in a clinically relevant and evidence-based way. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have much faith in it.”


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