The use of psychedelic medicine in mental health is a serious approach that has been shown to offer tremendous relief for many debilitating psychological and physical ailments. Further research is underway to obtain FDA approval for several psychoactive substances to legally treat this urgent suffering. In the meantime, it is our collective task to educate each other on the available findings and the ways that these medicines can be used and misused, so that we can lessen any harms associated with irresponsible consumption (often stemming from misinformation) and build a brighter future.
It is my goal to share what I know with others in Alabama, and abroad, and continue learning everything I can on this complex topic.
In October I hosted an educational event for mental health practitioners and the general public called 'The Ethics and Urgency of Psychedelic Medicine in Mental Health.' You can check it out HERE.
ARTICLES & LINKS
INTEGRATION & HARM REDUCTION
This journal article from Frontiers in Psychology best describes my posture around psychedelic medicine in therapy. It illustrates the benefit to individuals and society of allowing opportunities to discuss past psychedelic experiences, especially when they have been disorienting or traumatic.
It also explains why offering a forum to verbalize past, present, and future use of these medicines with a non-judgmental professional can increase the likelihood of implemented safety precautions and reduce the harms associated with these powerful compounds.
LINK: Frontiers in Psychology
KETAMINE ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
There are three basic ways Ketamine can be used to aide in mental health: (1.) as something that re-balances the brain's chemistry, (2.) as a tool that makes the mind more moldable and, therefore, more responsive to therapy and open to other life changes, and (3.) as a window into profound internal insight and/or 'spiritual' experiences that can spark significant growth when processed.
Most commonly, individuals receive IV infusions or nasal sprays in a doctor's office to achieve the brain-balancing effects. Continuing to take the medicine to receive its ongoing benefits is the general recommendation here.
Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy (KAP) takes a more holistic approach. It incorporates all three dimensions and can be used to accelerate therapy. The aim, here, is to make enough therapeutic progress that Ketamine can be phased out.
It is currently the only legal option for psychedelic therapy with a licensed professional counselor, which makes this particularly notable.
I've written more on Facebook, and the following article and book are also excellent.
LINK: Data from several sites that practice KAP (Journal of Psychoactive Drugs)
BOOK: The Ketamine Papers