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Post: Science supports healing power of psilocybin | PODIUM

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Science supports healing power of psilocybin | PODIUM

German Ascani In 2022 Coloradans voted yes on Proposition 122, allowing regulated access for adults 21 and older to natural psychedelic medicines, including psilocybin, that show promise in treating a variety of mental health conditions. For nearly a year, regulators and an expert advisory board have been carefully crafting requirements for Colorado’s new psilocybin therapy program, and in 2025, Colorado will officially become the second state to offer this groundbreaking modality for those who can safely benefit.

As a psychiatrist with 17 years of experience in the public and private sector, I am hopeful about the access to care this program can offer Coloradans with mental health conditions. So many in our state have long been suffering with depression, PTSD, end-of-life anxiety associated with cancer and other serious conditions that are simply not responding to currently available treatment models. These conditions are labeled "treatment-resistant conditions." Research from leading medical institutions demonstrates psilocybin can be an incredibly powerful tool for recovering from mental illness, leading the Food and Drug Administration to award psilocybin a breakthrough therapy designation for treatment-resistant depression, which allows expedited development and review of psilocybin therapy.

A commentary published April 29 in The Gazette, however, frames psilocybin as a dangerous substance with no accepted medical benefits and suggests psychedelics will be available for purchase just like marijuana edibles found in retail dispensaries across Colorado ( “Exposing Colorado’s psychedelic conflicts of interest” ). This is simply wrong.

First and foremost, Colorado’s therapeutic psilocybin program does not allow for dispensaries or retail sale of psychedelic medicines. Adults seeking healing through a psychedelic medicine process must undergo a screening and intake assessment with a licensed facilitator to identify heightened risk in the context of their medical and psychological health and determine if this treatment is appropriate for them. Individuals will only access psilocybin therapy with close supervision and support from trained and licensed facilitators. Pregnant women, children and those with certain physical and mental conditions will be excluded from participation.

Furthermore, the April 29 commentary blatantly mischaracterized a survey on challenging experiences with psychedelics to argue psilocybin is by and large a dangerous substance. […]

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