In the state of Pennsylvania, a movement led by former members of the military has declared that there is an urgent need to make psychedelics widely available as a treatment for conditions such as severe depression and PTSD. The available treatments for mental health often aren’t effective, leaving veterans grappling with side effects, including muscle spasms and cramps, weight gain, and addiction.
Prior studies have found that military veterans have an elevated risk of developing depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injuries. Research conducted in 2018 found that 23% of veterans exhibited PTSD symptoms. With psychedelics seeing a resurgence in mainstream popularity and scientific research, initial studies have found that psychedelic drugs have the potential to treat mental health conditions, with few side effects.
Speaking at the state capitol, veterans in Pennsylvania stated that the medications and treatments that are currently prescribed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs hadn’t changed in ages and rarely provided any relief, sometimes even worsening problems such as depression and suicide.
Psychedelics, on the other hand, have the potential to revolutionize mental health treatment, they noted. State Representative Tracy Pennycuick, who is also a retired army combat veteran, stated that the current system clearly wasn’t working as the state was losing nearly two dozen veterans every day to suicide. She added that an approved psychedelic treatment was “on the brink of happening.”
Pennycuick has been a part of national efforts to raise psychedelic awareness, especially in regards to its mental health applications. She also introduced two bills that would allow researchers to study psychedelics. However, the FDA may have made her bills obsolete after it approved a pilot psilocybin program that would allow researchers to grow the mushrooms that produce psilocybin for later use in clinical trials.
Pennsylvania veterans, as well as former first responders who are dealing with issues such as depression and PTSD due to combat-related trauma, will be able to take part in the clinical trial. If Pennycuick has her wish, the trial may involve as many as 200 people. She expects more pilot programs in other states in the near future as the FDA officially deemed psilocybin and MDMA as “investigational drugs” with breakthrough potential.
Retired Navy fighter pilot Mark Keller, who also spoke at the capitol, suffered from major trauma and depression due to his role in an operation that led to the loss of 12 innocent lives. His efforts to seek help from the Veterans Association led him to “incompetent providers” who prescribed strong medications that left him feeling numb, addicted and still traumatized. That all changed when he turned to psychedelic treatment.
The experience was “extremely profound,” he reported, and allowed him to address his trauma and move on from the memories that had shackled him for years.
It appears that novel treatments such as psychedelics and ketamine administered by companies such as Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) are proving to be significantly more effective than traditional formulations for mental health, and as more of these compounds are approved, veterans stand a real chance of beating the PTSD and trauma they face as a result of their experiences on the battlefield.
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