Psychedelic therapy at a crossroads at the dawn of 2023

[Image courtesy of Erin Williamson under the Creative Commons License via Flickr]

In several ways, psychedelic therapy continued to make strides toward legitimization in 2022. Michael Pollan’s best-selling psychedelic treatise “How to Change Your Mind” formed the basis for a popular Netflix series. Several celebrities declared that psychedelics had improved their lives.

Decriminalization efforts gaining steam

Colorado decriminalized psychedelic plants, as did the city of San Francisco. (Several other U.S. cities have done so earlier.) On January 1, 2023, Oregon will authorize therapy based on the magic mushroom compound psilocybin under Ballot Measure 109, which passed in November 2020. The state will restrict the treatment to licensed facilities with therapists with specific training. In 2023, New York state and California could legalize natural psychedelics. In Canada, Quebec became the…

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What is the role of preparation and integration in psychedelic therapy?

[Photo by Polina Kovaleva]

The organizations that have made the most progress in the clinical development of psychedelic agents — broadly defined — have tended to prioritize psychological support before and after drug administration.

A position statement from the the American Psychiatric Association notes that, in preliminary research, psychedelics “have generally been combined with structured psychotherapy protocols proposed by investigators as integral to achieving full therapeutic benefit and ensuring participant safety and wellbeing.”

According to Doug Drysdale, CEO of Cybin (NYSEAMERICAN:CYBN), such support shouldn’t be confused with psychotherapy. “But getting the patient prepared is important,” Drysdale added. Such sessions can help set patients’ expectations, so they are not shocked or surprised during the psychedelic therapy session. Such sessions can also help…

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