Disclaimer | In Crisis?
If you are in crisis or contemplating self-harm or suicide, please call 988 or visit 988Lifeline.org, which provides free and confidential emotional support to people in suicidal crisis or emotional distress 24/7 in the United States. An extensive list of International suicide prevention hotlines can be found there. Remember: You are needed, you deserve to be here, and you are not alone. Reach out, and do not give up.
Having a Challenging Trip?
If you are experiencing a difficult psychedelic event, or still need help processing one, call or text 62-FIRESIDE. The Fireside Project offers free emotional support during or after a psychedelic experience. You can also download their app. Their services are completely confidential, and their staff is rigorously trained, compassionate, and knowledgeable regarding psychedelics. You can also contact SAMHSA’s National Helpline at (800) 622-HELP (4357). Their confidential helpline is available 24/7 in English and Spanish for individuals and family members experiencing emotional distress or crisis.
Additional support resources can be found in the Zendo Project directory. The Zendo Project was founded in partnership with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. Their extensive list of harm reduction resources, emotional support services, and peer support hotlines offer a vast array of tools to help you move through a challenging experience and come out the other side feeling empowered and secure.
Having a Medical Emergency?
If you or a loved one are experiencing a medical emergency and require immediate attention, please dial 911 (USA) immediately.
Are You a Veteran Having a Medical Emergency?
If you are a veteran experiencing a difficult trip or crisis, please contact (800) 273-8255 and Press 1. This will connect you to the Veteran Crisis Line. Their hotline is staffed by experienced personnel, many of whom are also veterans. A trained responder will answer your call 24/7 to help you through a crisis, anxiety, or thoughts of self-harm.
Emotional and Crisis Support for the LGBTQIA+ Community.
Members of the LGBTQIA+ community may face unique and difficult situations during a challenging psychedelic experience. If you need emotional or crisis support, dial (888) 688-5428 or visit LGBThotline.org. Their hotline is designed for people of all ages and staffed by a dedicated team of highly trained volunteers from all parts of the LGBT+ community. They also offer a dedicated line for LGBT+ seniors that you can reach at (888) 234-7243.
Be Wary of Fentanyl-Contaminated Drugs.
The United States is experiencing a synthetic opioid epidemic that has claimed thousands of lives due to street drugs being adulterated with other drugs, such as fentanyl. Fentanyl is an incredibly powerful and deadly narcotic, with doses as low as two milligrams (a dose so small it could fit on the tip of a pencil) being potentially deadly. While it is never recommended to consume any illicit substances, it is critical that you or the people you know test any drugs you may ingest for fentanyl. Several non-profit harm reduction organizations, such as DanceSafe, offer fentanyl testing strips and at-home drug testing kits.
The information we provide is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider. Some individuals with preexisting mental health conditions should not use psychedelics. Always consult with a trained medical professional about your specific healthcare needs.
Are Psychedelics Legal?
Most classical and non-classical psychedelic drugs are prohibited in the United States under the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. This family of chemical compounds are considered Schedule I drugs, the most tightly controlled and generally illegal class. This includes psilocybin (aka Magic Mushrooms), Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), Ayahuasca, Ibogaine, Peyote, 2C-B, Cannabis, and others. Ketamine is also controlled under the same act and listed as a Schedule III drug. Due to the illegal or controlled nature of these drugs, it is not advised that you attempt to purchase, source, or otherwise possess any Scheduled substances, as you may be at risk of civil and criminal penalties.
The information provided on this website is intended for informational and harm reduction purposes only and does not constitute medical or legal advice. Nor is this information, or any journalistic stories, anecdotes, visual or artistic material intended as a replacement or supplement for medical or legal advice. It is important to understand that using any psychedelic compounds from the streets has significant risks and is unlikely to produce the promising results emerging in some clinical trials which involve particular dosing and purity, along with specific, carefully crafted psychotherapy in a safe, controlled environment. Various psychedelics purchased illegally often are adulterated with other, possibly harmful substances, making it difficult and not advisable to self-medicate for PTSD, anxiety, depression, or for the treatment of other mental health issues.
In this week’s Psychedelic News Roundup, explore the story of a Colorado-based family who came together to try magic mushrooms in a search for peace and healing. Other news includes the launching of a new Phase III clinical trial and one rapper’s ayahuasca journey.
A Family’s Healing Journey Through Psychedelic-Assisted Psychotherapy
Originally covered by CBS News, a grandmother, her two daughters, and her granddaughter embarked on a transformative journey, utilizing psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy with psilocybin (aka magic mushrooms). This therapy session, tailored for women, became possible following Colorado’s decriminalization of psilocybin’s use. Delaney Sanchez, 23, struggling with anxiety and ineffective medications, joined her 59-year-old mother, Dana, and 77-year-old grandmother in this unique healing experience, motivated by the possibility of finding relief from her mental health issues.
The therapy, conducted by Heather Lee, a therapist with over 30 years of experience and training in psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, involved drinking mushroom tea and then retreating into personal introspection with eye masks and headphones. Each woman’s experience varied: Dana Sanchez felt uneasy, Delaney initially struggled with overwhelming anxiety before finding peace, Danielle Sanchez, 25, experienced a profound sense of peace and love, and Donna Strong, the grandmother, confronted somber reflections about her life.
Despite the varied experiences, all the women felt that healing had occurred. Dana Sanchez appreciated the shared journey and the strength it revealed in her family. The session concluded with an integration session, where they shared their experiences. Heather Lee, the therapist, reflected on the growing interest in emotional and psychospiritual healing, indicating a broader “psychedelic renaissance” where more people are seeking soul healing through such innovative therapies.(1)
Compass Pathways Launches UK Phase III Psilocybin Study and New Research Centre
Compass Pathways plc., a biotechnology company focused on mental health innovations, has announced the initiation of the UK component of its global Phase III study of COMP360 psilocybin treatment for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). This research, approved by the UK’s Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency, will be conducted across multiple UK sites, including the newly opened Centre for Mental Health Research and Innovation in London. This Centre is a collaborative effort between Compass Pathways, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience at King’s College London.
The Phase III program, comprising two pivotal trials (COMP 005 and COMP 006), is significant as the largest randomized, controlled, double-blind psilocybin treatment clinical program to date. COMP 006, involving multiple dose arms, will be conducted in the UK and globally, while COMP 005 is US-based, focusing on a single 25mg dose of COMP360. The Centre for Mental Health Research and Innovation aims to advance psychedelic research and develop new mental health care models in the UK. Led by renowned clinical investigators, the Centre will initially focus on TRD and anorexia nervosa, exploring integrative treatment models and digital technologies for personalized mental health care.
Kabir Nath, CEO of Compass Pathways, highlighted the urgency of innovating mental health treatments, emphasizing the role of public-private partnerships in this endeavor. The launch of the Phase III study and the new Centre represents a significant step towards addressing mental health challenges like TRD. David Bradley, Chief Executive of South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, and Professor Allan Young of King’s College London, expressed enthusiasm for the potential research partnership to improve mental health care in the UK. The collaboration aims to explore the safety, effectiveness, and delivery mechanisms of psychedelics in treating various mental health conditions.(2)
Enthea to Cover Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy in Legally Permitted States
As covered by Marijuana Moment, Enthea, a Massachusetts-based health benefits provider known as the only licensed provider of psychedelic health plans, has announced its decision to cover psilocybin-assisted therapy in states where it’s legally permitted. Sherry Rais, CEO and co-founder of Enthea, emphasized the clinical evidence supporting the effectiveness of psilocybin-assisted therapy, noting that Oregon and Colorado have already legalized its use. Enthea, which previously offered coverage for ketamine treatment nationwide, plans to incorporate psilocybin therapy into its standards of care, anticipating a rollout to its provider network early next year.
Enthea aims to cover psilocybin-assisted treatments by mid-2024, expanding its scope of mental health treatment options. Dan Rome, co-founder and chief medical officer at Enthea, expressed confidence in the potential benefits of psilocybin therapy, citing encouraging results from published studies and therapist feedback. Additionally, Enthea aims to further broaden its services to include therapies with other substances like MDMA, following their approval and the FDA’s recognition of MDMA as a breakthrough therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The movement towards legalizing and utilizing psychedelics for therapeutic purposes is gaining momentum across the United States. Other companies, like Bennabis Health and CannaCoverage, have also introduced medical marijuana coverage in workplace benefit packages. Various states, including California, Massachusetts, and Wisconsin, are exploring or implementing legislative reforms for the therapeutic use of psychedelics. Moreover, the federal government is showing increasing interest in researching the therapeutic potentials of psychedelics, particularly for mental health conditions like PTSD and substance use disorders.(3)
Transform’s New Guide Offers a Four-Tier Model for Regulating Psychedelics
In a story coming to us from Marijuana Moment, a new guide titled “How to Regulate Psychedelics: A Practical Guide” has been released by the Transform Drug Policy Foundation, a UK-based organization. Authored by Steve Rolles, a senior policy analyst at Transform, the guide aims to provide a well-thought-out framework for regulating the nonmedical use of psychedelics like psilocybin, LSD, DMT, and mescaline. The guide emphasizes the need for evidence-based regulation in the context of global drug policy, often marred by what Rolles terms the “madness” of the drug war. It seeks to extend regulatory logic to psychedelic substances, considering both their risks and benefits.
The 124-page guide outlines a four-tier model for psychedelic regulation. The first tier advocates for noncommercial legalization, including home cultivation and not-for-profit sharing, echoing the “grow, gather, gift” model. The second tier proposes membership-based social clubs for regulated drug access, inspired by models in Spain, Uruguay, and Malta. The third tier suggests licensed production and retail businesses with strict regulations for public safety, limiting advertising, and forbidding child-appealing product designs. The fourth tier focuses on facilitated use in therapeutic settings, requiring trained and licensed practitioners to administer and supervise psychedelic experiences.
The guide places significant emphasis on embedding equity and justice provisions within any regulatory model, advocating for financial support, and prioritizing equity applicants in the licensing process. It also addresses concerns around international drug treaties, noting that while plant-based psychedelics might not face significant legal hurdles, synthetics like LSD could. Transform’s guide, available for free, targets policy makers, but is relevant to anyone interested in post-drug war policies. It arrives amidst a global shift in attitudes toward drug regulation, with various reports and UN agencies advocating for a health-oriented, decriminalized approach to drug policy, emphasizing human rights and environmental considerations.(4)
André 3000 Shares Ayahuasca-Inspired Track on Upcoming Album New Blue Sun
In an article from the Huffington Post, ahead of the release of his debut solo album New Blue Sun, André 3000, the renowned Atlanta rapper, has opened up about an extraordinary ayahuasca experience that inspired one of his new tracks. In an NPR interview, he detailed his transformative experience during a three-day ayahuasca retreat in Hawaii, where he felt an intense connection with all things on the first night, followed by a profound transformation on the second night, where he envisioned himself as a panther during a psychedelic event.
The psychedelic experience led André, also known as 3 Stacks, to create the instrumental track “That Night in Hawaii When I Turned Into a Panther and Started Making These Low Register Purring Tones That I Couldn’t Control … Sh¥t Was Wild.” He described undergoing “toning,” a process where he involuntarily made vibrational noises, and how these sounds influenced the song’s melody. The artist mimicked these tones on the album, wishing he had recorded the original sounds during the session.
André 3000 reflected on how the ayahuasca experience, which he described as akin to “20 years of therapy,” significantly changed him, mainly when he was in a low mental state. He also discussed his instrumental solo album, with tracks like “I Swear, I Really Wanted to Make a ‘Rap’ Album, but This Is Literally the Way the Wind Blew Me This Time.” This album reflects a departure from his rap roots, showcasing a deeper, more reflective side influenced by his psychedelic journey.(5)
Stories like those shared above highlight the ever-changing landscape of psychedelic medicine, public opinion, and the shifting tides of legalization around the globe. As we continue moving forward with the psychedelic renaissance, we will see more and more families like the Sanchez’s who embrace psychedelic medicine as a way to heal. They, and those like them, are the true heart and beneficiaries of the vast potential of psychedelic medicine.
This material is not intended as a replacement or substitute for any legal or medical advice. Always consult a medical professional about your health needs. Psychedelics are widely illegal in the United States, and readers should always be informed about local, state, and federal regulations regarding psychedelics or other drugs.
- Grandmother and her family try mushroom tea in hopes of psychedelic-assisted healing – CBS News. (2023, November 15). Www.cbsnews.com. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/mushroom-tea-psychedelic-assisted-healing-colorado-4-women-grandmother-retreat-psilocybin/
- Pathways, C. (2023, November 15). Compass Pathways initiates the UK component of the global phase 3 study of psilocybin treatment in treatment-resistant depression and launches a new research center. GlobeNewswire News Room. https://www.globenewswire.com/news-release/2023/11/15/2780782/0/en/Compass-Pathways-initiates-UK-component-of-global-phase-3-study-of-psilocybin-treatment-in-treatment-resistant-depression-and-launches-new-research-center.html
- Adlin, B. (2023, November 15). Health Benefits Provider Will Cover Psilocybin-Assisted Therapy In States Where It’s Legal. Marijuana Moment. https://www.marijuanamoment.net/health-benefits-provider-will-cover-psilocybin-assisted-therapy-in-states-where-its-legal/
- Adlin, B. (2023, November 15). New Guide On “How To Regulate Psychedelics” Lays Out Four-Tiered Model Focused Specifically On Nonmedical Use. Marijuana Moment. https://www.marijuanamoment.net/new-guide-on-how-to-regulate-psychedelics-lays-out-four-tiered-model-focused-specifically-on-nonmedical-use/
- André 3000 Says He Got High On Ayahuasca And Transformed Into A Panther. (2023, November 16). HuffPost. https://www.huffpost.com/entry/andr%C3%A9-3000-panther-ayahuasca-new-blue-sun_n_65552fbbe4b05723e4bb9ca6#:~:text=The%20Outkast%20musician%20said%20the