Psychedelics for our military

The $883.7 billion National Defense Authorization Act for 2024 makes for some interesting reading, not only for what it left out, but what it included. What you won’t find is the medical cannabis pilot program for veterans promoted by many, but you will find a treatment program using psychedelics

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for veterans and active duty with traumatic brain injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder.

Specifically, it calls for clinical trials with the Department of Defense to create a system wherein they can spend up to $10 million on psychedelics research. It only gives them 180 days to get started. Covered conditions, besides TBI and PTSD, include depression and insomnia.

Some of the drugs to be used are psychedelic drugs psilocybin (magic mushrooms), MDMA (ecstacy) and 5-MeO-DMT (from toad glands).

There are some reported successes from using psychedelics. The Food and Drug Administration said in 2017 that they’d had positive results using LSD and the magic mushrooms. The amounts given are small and are called “microdoses.” A short report with a lengthy list of citations in the Marine Corps Gazette in 2019 describes the use of LSD, mushrooms and more to attempt to gain an edge in efficiency and productivity when it comes to attention to detail, mental processing and reasoning. The report points to the way LSD changes the brain’s method of problem solving. Maybe this explains why it might be useful in helping veterans who suffer from PTSD. By creating new ways to think about things?

Yet another study, documented in the Lancet Psychiatry journal, found that the magic mushrooms reduced PTSD symptoms. The trial combined three doses of the mushrooms with psychotherapy. After Phase 2 of the trial, 56% of participants no longer had PTSD when checked 12 months later, after having suffered for many years.

If you want to learn more, listen to a podcast on the topic that includes a veteran who participated in a psychedelics study nine years ago:

© 2024 King Features Synd., Inc.