Why it matters: The article sheds light on the increasing number of military veterans with PTSD who are seeking psychedelic-assisted treatment in Mexico, despite these substances being illegal in the US. It also highlights the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelics for mental health treatment and the efforts by lawmakers and veterans advocacy groups to support veterans in accessing these treatments.
What they are saying: Veterans who have undergone psychedelic-assisted treatment in Mexico have reported positive experiences and significant improvements in their mental health. They describe the treatment as a transformative experience that allows them to process their trauma, release emotions, and feel a sense of relief and renewal. Researchers and veterans advocacy groups argue that legalized access to psychedelics in the US can provide effective treatment options for veterans with PTSD.
The big picture: The use of psychedelics for mental health treatment, particularly for veterans with PTSD, is gaining recognition and support. Massachusetts Governor Maura T. Healey recently filed legislation that includes a proposal to explore the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics for veterans. Lawmakers on Capitol Hill, including Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Dan Crenshaw, have endorsed research into psychedelics for mental health treatment. However, the federal prohibition on psychedelics remains a major barrier.
What to watch: It will be important to monitor the progress of the legislation in Massachusetts and the efforts of lawmakers at the federal level to legalize psychedelics for mental health treatment, particularly for veterans. Additionally, President Joe Biden’s stance on psychedelic treatment could have a significant impact. If there is increasing support from lawmakers and the White House, it may pave the way for greater access to these treatments for veterans and others who could benefit.
My take: The testimonies of veterans who have undergone psychedelic-assisted treatment in Mexico are compelling and suggest that these substances can provide significant relief for PTSD symptoms. The increasing recognition and support for psychedelic treatments in the US, especially for veterans, is promising. It is crucial for lawmakers and government agencies to prioritize research and policy changes that allow for legal and safe access to these treatments. Veterans deserve all available options for effective mental health care, and psychedelics show great potential in this regard.