The United States and drugs have a tumultuous relationship. From the War on Drugs in the early 1970s to the cannabis revolution, it’s only natural that psychedelics are the new substance the government can’t stop talking about.
If you’re anything like us, you’ve always been interested in how the political world creates cultural shifts in drug culture. Because you also know that all drugs aren’t made equal, and how we choose to use some of them can have life-changing results.
Psychedelics have been a contentious issue for Americans for decades. They’re mostly associated with hippies in the 60s and 70s, music festivals, and New Age therapies. But they actually date back to 1938 when Albert Hoffmann concocted LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide).
What people don’t know is that indigenous cultures have used trippy fungi for thousands of years. Millennia of plant medicine came before Hoffman’s lab work and the government’s swift ban of all psychedelics.
But the tides are turning, ever so slowly, and we’re seeing the narrative shift around what shrooms and other types of psychedelics can do for people in the right contexts.
Let’s look at it.
Change Ahead: The Biden Administration’s Stance on Decriminalization
Psychedelic therapies are not legal in most states, and with psilocybin (shrooms), they’re almost nonexistent. Some states allow licensed providers to issue ketamine-assisted therapy, but even these are hard to come by.
Naturally, with such a widespread ban, people have taken therapy into their own hands — sometimes with horrible consequences. Partly in response to the deaths and harm from misuse and regulation, Joe Biden’s Administration released a federal letter stating it “anticipates” regulators will approve both MDMA and psilocybin-based therapies within the next 2 years.
Currently, the administration is considering developing a “federal task force” to conduct exploratory research on emerging psychedelic treatments throughout the United States.
Delphin-Rittmon, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Miriam, sent a letter to Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa. The fact that it was written in the first place is a major accomplishment for advocates nationwide.
The correspondence marks the greatest shift in psychedelic decriminalization to date. Since the War on Drugs launched in 1971, it’s been gradually losing momentum after 2010. When Washington and Colorado fully legalized cannabis in 2012, other states followed suit. We’ll likely see the same thing happen as psychedelics become more mainstream and legalization takes place.
From a Counterculture Movement to a Life-altering Therapy
The conversion around psychedelics has been mum for most people. There was only one message they were continually fed by society: “Don’t do them.”
While it’s true you should exercise caution when exploring any substance, the message that all psychedelics are bad can be harmful. It may prevent someone from exploring a therapy that could help them heal from a lifetime of trauma and anxiety.
The truth is, psychedelics could help someone who has wrestled with years of existential depression finally find answers and, ultimately, peace.
Psychedelic-assisted therapy also has numerous implications in clinical practice, from treating eating disorders and PTSD to helping people comes to terms with a terminal diagnosis.
Like any experimental therapy, there is both excitement and skepticism surrounding the use of psychedelics. The DEA recently withdrew its motion to ban 5 psychedelics, all of which are tryptamines with strong medical potential.
The opposition to the DEA proposal was so strong that it even resulted in a threat of legal action from several companies. It’s clear that the public’s opinion on these drugs has radically shifted over the years, and changes are necessary to reflect all the potential these substances present.
What is psychedelic therapy, anyway?
You see “therapy” thrown around a lot when people refer to substances, even if they never take them under a professional’s supervision. While we personally think you can benefit from taking shrooms even on your own, psychedelic therapy is actually a real clinical practice.
With a trained mental health counselor, someone takes psychedelics and experiences a trip. And if you’ve ever tripped, then you know how eye-opening and, sometimes, terrifying it can be. You are awakened to truths about yourself and the world that may be hard to deal with, but it’s ultimately a life-changing experience.
It’s the therapist’s role to help their clients make sense of what their mind reveals under the influence. Follow-up sessions are done sober, so the client can draw their own meaningful conclusions with professional guidance and support.
Combined with the fact mental health professionals understand the nuances of so many psychological disorders, they can make psychedelic therapy tailored to a particular set of symptoms.
Addressing symptoms of a specific condition can establish a framework for the trip. It helps the client set a more focused intention and, hopefully, develop greater awareness and healing through their journey.
Psychedelic therapy usually uses ketamine, but it can also include psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and mescaline.
A 2020 review of psychedelic treatments found that 65% of studies produced lower symptoms of depression and anxiety. Although the studies were small and had some flaws, the prevalence of improvement was a noteworthy feature in the majority.
What is psychedelic therapy used for?
It depends on your situation. Psychedelic therapies show extreme promise in treatment-resistant depression, anxiety disorders, including PTSD, addiction, and eating disorders.
As for whether they could work for you, we suggest talking to your doctor or reaching out to a licensed therapist. They can’t make the call for you, but they can help you understand the potential benefits, risks, and process better.
Why America Needs Psychedelic Therapies
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) support the federal push for FDA approval. It responded to the letter by acknowledging the mental health crisis in the United States, which only worsened during the pandemic.
SAMHSA believes that taking steps to explore psychedelic therapies is a beneficial step for everyone.
Dean proposed a 24-month FDA approval period for MDA and psilocybin. The former would be approved for medical treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, and the latter would be approved nationwide to treat depression.
SAMHSA is entirely on-board to collaborate and aid the approval process. The task force needs to collaborate between public and private sectors to make sure all the biggest risks and concerns are fully addressed within a 2-year period.
There are a lot of clinical and regulatory milestones to reach before FDA approval, which means task forces are a must if we want to see a nationwide change by 2024.
It’s time to make a change that benefits people’s lives for the long-run. Those who have suffered in silence for years, or run out of options because prescription medications didn’t work. Psychedelic drugs aren’t the enemy, and it’s greater acceptance and regulation that can help people begin to truly see their amazing potential.
Saving American lives is more important than pushing a destructive and, frankly, false narrative about psychedelics. They aren’t all made equal, and many of them do far more good than harm.
Consider the heroic U.S. Army veterans who return from combat zones and struggle to readjust. Their lives are robbed by PTSD, driving many to self-harm, abuse substances, and withdrawal from support system.
They couldn’t get psychedelic support in the states, so they traveled to Mexico and other treatment centers to get drugs banned in the U.S. Under the guidance of experts, they addressed their PTSD, depression, and trauma.
After trying ibogaine, a rare plant from Africa, one solider said that he was able to completely let go of everything that he’d survived, including pain from early childhood that he’d carried his entire life.
Is psilocybin the best psychedelic drug to try?
We still have a ways to go before magic mushrooms, aka psilocybin, are widespread and legalized for therapeutic use. Before that, it’s a good idea to delve deeper into research and understand why this drug has been chosen among all the other options as a treatment for depression.
Psilocybin is the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. It activates the brain’s prefrontal cortex, increasing communication between neurons and breaking down barriers. Many people experience trips thanks to psilocybin, the hallucinogenic component of shrooms. It’s been shown to rewire parts of the brain in people with depression, helping them heal and rediscover life.
It’s all about flexibility. We know that our brains are highly malleable thanks to neuroplasticity. This means we can change how our brains work, including how we respond to things, the emotions we experience, and the thoughts we have.
Depressed people’s brains tend to become more rigid. It’s what forces them to ruminate and experience the same negative thoughts, beliefs, and feelings on loop. Psilocybin can open the brain further, allowing greater room for positive change and new experiences.
A study of MRIs of 60 people found that participants who took psilocybin while attending regular psychotherapy sessions showed significant improvement. They became less avoidant, which helped them engage in therapy more, and had changes to their brain that people who received a placebo did not experience.
Less Risk, Amazing Benefits
One of the reasons psilocybin is seen as one of the best psychedelics is its relatively low risk. Like all psychedelics, you should avoid it if you have a history of psychosis or are at a higher risk of developing it (think family history).
However, there are little to no negative health benefits from taking shrooms from a reputable source. We’re not talking about street drugs. At Schedule 35, we source our own shrooms from local growers and provide our customers with only the highest quality products.
The low risk factor makes psilocybin more likely to be approved than other psychedelics. It isn’t considered an addictive substance either, so people can take it without worrying about becoming dependent on it.
It’s for this reason people turn to psilocybin as a treatment for addiction, where people have already become compulsive users of other drugs in the past. The goal of shrooms isn’t to become habit-forming — it’s to open new pathways in the mind and experience a higher form of living.
According to research, the benefits of psilocybin range from decreased depression and anxiety to increased hopefulness. Among cancer patients, the benefits of psilocybin lasted as long as 5 years after taking shrooms.
In our own experiences, psilocybin has helped us:
- Worry less
- Concentrate better
- Be more productive
- Experience greater creativity
- Have less mood swings
- Improve focus
- Stay energized all day
Discover the Difference for Yourself
You don’t have to wait until the Biden Administration approves of psychedelics to experience the magic. Schedule35 is the number one source for high-quality, safe psilocybin microdoses. We make it easy to heal from home.
Just make sure you consult with a physician before you choose to microdose. If you’re on any prescription medications, don’t take magic mushrooms. Use your best judgement, and do your research beforehand.
Check out our microdosing guide to get the full low-down.
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Is there any data about how people with a family history of bipolar or schizophrenia/psychosis might be able to get away with microdosing safely, but would not be able to tolerate higher doses like 2 grams?