Make Psychedelic Treatment Mainstream Already!

I just was lying there and I felt like I couldn't be at more peace then, right then and there.

Tony White, Calgary

When you consider what Tony White has been through, those our powerful words. White had been suffering from anxiety and depression since his terminal cancer diagnosis, and on January 1 he finally got some relief in the form of magic mushroom treatment. This is the first such federally approved treatment involving psilocybin in Alberta, Calgary (that’s in Canada, above us).

Psilocybin is the naturally occurring chemical compound found in many species of fungi that produce the psychedelic effects associated with magic mushrooms. In the medical community it has yielded positive results in combatting anxiety and depression, has led to improved psychological well-being, decreases in cancer-related demoralization and improved quality of life.

Flickr/Frerk Meyer

Health Canada (the equivalent of our FDA) began granting exemptions in August last year to patients diagnosed with cancer to treat their end-of-like distress with this type of psychedelic treatment. So far, they’ve granted 20 exemptions.

But the hope of clinics in Canada is to take this treatment beyond cancer patients and the terminally ill. They want to use it to help treat victims of sexual abuse, clinical depression, PTSD and other serious mental health conditions that plague our society.

It's kind of the opposite of what a typical antidepressant or psychotic medication would do. Typically, they will suppress or numb down what's happening in your emotions and spirit body, whereas the psychedelics will actually raise those things and allow a therapist to work with you to really work through and not just suppress whatever that is that's holding you back, for example, for depression or anxiety, PTSD especially.

David Harder, CEO ATMA Journey Clinic (Calgary)

Now, I hope this doesn’t sound too insensitive - but in my mind the government is allowing this only with terminally ill patients because the risks associated are relatively unknown and these patients are, for lack of a better word, expendable to them in a way. They’re going to pass on soon so why not try to improve the quality of life they do have left and study the effects of the treatment at the same time to see if has broader applications than just a modified quality-of-life care plan? There’s really not much risk involved.

Well, if Tony White is any indication, it definitely helps. But it will probably take a while before we see this type of treatment seen as a primary option, as opposed to an alternative. This despite countless medical studies and research confirming the amazing benefits of psychedelic treatment. I genuinely think this will be life changing for a lot of people and will have lasting impacts on the way we deal with mental health issues. Once it’s embraced and becomes widely accepted.

Everything I have read about this approach to mental health has ended with the same conclusion, but in different words, so I’ll do the same:

When administered correctly, in the right environment and under proper supervision this type of treatment just works. Patients feel mentally, physically and spiritually better afterwards. Plain and simple.