In January, a man with terminal cancer received the first federally approved magic mushroom treatment in Canada. Now the first clinic in Calgary has opened psychedelic therapy. Let’s know more about psychedelics and the research behind them.
Crux of the Matter
What Are Psychedelics?
They are hallucinogenic drugs, which mainly triggers an altered state of consciousness and causes psychological changes. Eg: LSD and psilocybin (magic mushroom).
What States Of Consciousness?
Meditation, mystical experiences, near-death experiences and ego death. However many such drugs are illegal worldwide under the UN conventions.
What Does The Research Say?
Certain studies conducted using psilocybin in therapies reveal that these drugs may assist with treating depression, mental illnesses, alcohol and nicotine addiction, etc.
What About ATMA’s Calgary Clinic?
It is Canada’s first psychedelic therapy clinic with the National Psychedelic Training Center. Their foremost patient was also granted a Section 56 exemption by Health Canada.
Which Psychedelic Drug Would They Use?
Psilocybin. It is still undergoing clinical trials but is safer for use for removing end-of-life distress for cancer patients.
Is This Palliative Care Therapy?
Yes. It is a treatment designed to decrease the symptom burden of a complex medical condition, in order to improve the
patient’s quality of life.
How Will It Work?
“It’s kind of the opposite of what a typical antidepressant or psychotic medication would do. Typically, they will suppress or numb down what’s happening in your emotions and spirit body, whereas the psychedelics will actually raise those things and allow a therapist to work with you to really work through and not just suppress whatever that is that’s holding you back, for example, for depression or anxiety, PTSD especially.”ATMA Clinic’s CEO David Harder
- Have a Good Trip: Adventures in Psychedelics is a 2020 documentary film, in which the premise revolves around celebrities telling anecdotes about hallucinogenic drug usage. It is among the final film appearances of Fred Willard, Anthony Bourdain, and Carrie Fisher.
- The term psychedelic is derived from the Greek words psyche meaning “mind” and deloun meaning “to manifest“, hence “mind-manifesting“. The word was coined in 1956 by British psychiatrist Humphry Osmond.
- A trip sitter is a term used by recreational or spiritual drug users to describe a person who remains sober to ensure the safety of the drug user while he or she is under the influence of a drug; they are especially common with first-time experiences or when using psychedelics, dissociatives and deliriants. This practice can be qualified as a means of harm reduction.