Doctors call for access to psychedelic therapies in New Mexico | Health, Medicine and Fitness
By MORGAN LEE – Associated Press
SANTA FE, NM (AP) – Doctors and researchers are urging New Mexico lawmakers to allow the use of psychedelic mushrooms in mental health therapies aimed at overcoming depression, anxiety, psychological trauma and mental illness. alcoholism.
A legislative panel heard on Tuesday from advocates who hope to expand the scope of medical treatment and research aided by psilocybin, the active psychedelic ingredient in some mushrooms.
Oregon is the only state to date to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin.
Recent studies indicate that psilocybin may be useful in the treatment of major depression, including mental distress in terminally ill patients, and for drug addiction, including alcoholism, with low risks of addiction or overdose. under medical supervision.
Physician Lawrence Leeman, professor of medicine at the University of New Mexico, urged lawmakers to move forward without waiting for federal decriminalization or regulatory approval to expand responsible therapies using psilocybin doses.
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Leeman and other advocates described emerging psilocybin protocols, involving six-hour supervised sessions and in-depth discussions of subsequent counseling experience. He warned lawmakers that the public interest breeds illicit clandestine experimentation without safeguards.
“I think these drugs show great promise,” said Leeman, who also runs a program that provides prenatal and maternity care for women with substance abuse issues. “If this goes ahead, let’s do it safely, let’s make sure we have people who are well trained (to administer psychedelics)… Let’s make sure people have counselors to see afterwards. “
It was unclear whether any New Mexico lawmakers would seek to legislate the medical use of psychedelics, which are still federally illegal. The Democratic-led Legislature convenes its next regular session in January 2023.
The study of psychedelics for therapeutic purposes has made inroads in states led by Democrats and Republicans, including Hawaii, Connecticut, Texas, Utah and Oklahoma. And psilocybin has been decriminalized in the cities of Washington and Denver as well as Ann Arbor, Michigan; Cambridge, Mass.; and Oakland and Santa Cruz in California.
In several states, military veterans help persuade lawmakers to study psychedelic mushrooms for therapeutic use in the treatment of post-traumatic stress.
Currently in New Mexico, legal access to psilocybin-assisted therapy is available primarily through clinical trials.
Yale University psychiatrist Gerald Valentine said this excluded people with low incomes and serious medical conditions. He said the University of New Mexico is expanding its expertise in psychedelic-based therapies and a supportive environment can be found in communities such as Santa Fe, known as a progressive hub for healing and the arts. .
“We’re starting to answer these questions about who might benefit from this therapy,” Valentine said. “I feel very lucky to be able to really bring that to life in real life situations.”
Classic psychedelics include LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, and ayahuasca. Herbal psychedelics have long been used in indigenous cultures around the world.
At least one religious group in New Mexico uses the hallucinogenic ayahuasca tea from the Amazon as a sacrament. A 2005 U.S. Supreme Court ruling guaranteed access to ayahuasca imports for a temple on the outskirts of Santa Fe affiliated with the Brazil-based Centro Espìrita Beneficiente União do Vegetal.
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