In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the advent of legal psychedelic therapies, what those therapies entail, and how to find a psychedelic therapist for your needs. Psychedelics have now achieved a strong foothold in the mainstream curative treatments for mental health, with many people starting to acknowledge the relief that can be offered by ketamine infusions, LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA, despite all of them remaining illegal and unapproved for medical uses, except ketamine. Important research is being done with good results, and more cities and states are decriminalizing psychedelics, but ketamine infusion therapy is the only legal psychedelic medicine that is currently available in the US and throughout most of the world.
Below, we’ll discuss how to define psychedelic therapy, and the importance of receiving treatment from a psychedelic therapist when all other traditional options have failed.
What is Psychedelic Therapy?
A psychiatric procedure involving the ingestion of any psychedelic substance for a psychotherapeutic process is known as psychedelic therapy. Psychedelics are often combined with talk therapy for enhanced results, but not required.
A psychedelic therapist is someone who provides treatment, expertise, and talk therapy when, as safely as possible, administering medicine with psychedelic effects.
For therapeutic purposes, psychedelic drugs that alter consciousness are widely used and researched in clinical and non-clinical environments. These drugs are either derived from plants, such as psilocybin, DMT, Ibogaine, and peyote, or are chemical compounds that include ketamine, LSD, or MDMA.
Psychedelic therapy has been used to treat:
- Suicidal thinking
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
- Eating Disorders
- Other mood disorders and mental health conditions
Psychedelic drugs work in 2 primary ways. The first is influencing various neurotransmitters in the brain, such as glutamate, serotonin, dopamine, or norepinephrine. The second is the psychological component or experiential aspect of mind-body dissociation and new insight. Some possible additional benefits include:
- Spiritual experience
- Sense of well-being
- Increased sociability
Types of Psychedelic Therapy
Psychedelic therapy is dependent on the types of substances having psychedelic effects.
This drug has the ability to offer feelings of euphoria, increased sociability, and alteration of perception. In addition, researchers claim that it has a great potential to cure post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) results in consciousness and mood improvement and has been used to treat anxiety and dependency.
Therapists have used Ayahuasca to treat addiction, anxiety, and depression.
With similar properties to LSD, psilocybin induces the alteration of mood, perception, and consciousness. Plus, it helps treat anxiety and depression.
How Ketamine Infusion Therapy Can Help and Why It’s Important to Seek Out Licensed Medical Professionals
More than 20 years of research has proven ketamine infusion therapy to be a highly effective treatment for psychological disorders, including depression, PTSD, anxiety and more. Ketamine is the only FDA-approved psychedelic medicine that has been used for more than 50 years in a variety of settings. Because of this, there is an enormous body of safety and efficacy data about ketamine for depression that we do not know about the other agents. Typically, ketamine treatments require six infusions at a fully-licensed ketamine infusion center over a 2-3 week period. The minimal Ketamine side effects diminish very quickly, and many patients find relief from their symptoms in as little as one or two infusions, although some patients require additional treatments depending on the severity of their condition.
When seeking a provider for ketamine infusion therapy, it’s incredibly important to find accredited facilities and licensed medical professionals. The legality of psychedelic treatments is rapidly changing, but providers and patients are at risk of legal issues and patients are vulnerable to untrained or malicious “providers” when turning to the black market.
Licensed clinics and medical facilities can help educate people of the ways in which they may benefit from psychedelic therapies such as those described here. Organizations such as Ketamine Clinics Los Angeles are staffed by professionals with specialized knowledge in psychedelic treatment modalities who can provide safe environments for psychedelic therapies and the appropriate care plans associated. Your comfort and safety is paramount to a therapeutic benefit and there is a great deal of nuance and variety in technique.
Cautions of Psychedelic Therapy
In general, psychedelic therapy is a safe procedure, but there is a chance of few risks.
Negative Psychological Reactions
This includes symptoms such as anxiety, paranoia, and panic attacks. The patient may experience anxiety attacks or fear of losing control.
Risk of Personality Changes
Some have claimed that these drugs have the potential to change your personality and alter the mind long-term. A recent study revealed that psilocybin therapy increases openness and extraversion. As a result, patients may find themselves more open and willing to try new things, accept certain realities and expand their state of being.
Self-Treatment and Its Risks
Psychedelic therapies are typically best performed by a licensed provider or clinician specializing in the specific treatment. Unfortunately, one of the most dangerous mistakes people make is self-treatment with psychedelic substances, which can trigger bad experiences or worse. It is ill-advised to attempt to treat oneself.
If a patient requests a psychedelic experience, a qualified psychedelic therapist should ensure the patient has clear intentions and expectations for treatment. Additionally, it’s worth noting that a valuable psychedelic experience depends largely on the following:
- Mindset: Your state of mind going into the treatment.
- Setting: Being in the right environment during the experience.
- Dosage: Administering the right amount of a mind-altering substance is critical to a therapeutic experience.
The Future of Psychedelic Drugs in California
California legislators have passed legislation to decriminalize magic mushrooms, ecstasy, ibogaine, mescaline, MDMA, LSD, and DMT, considering the increase in mental health challenges across the country. The bill is now expected to move to congress for further progression.
As ketamine has been legal for more than 50 years, ketamine infusion therapy clinics are leading the way as safe places for people to heal from mental health issues. Learn more about ketamine infusions and if they may be the right treatment for you.