In November 2020, Oregon became the first state to legalize the clinical use of psychedelics. Likewise, in Colorado, the use and possession of psychedelics are also legalized. These psychedelics include psilocybin and MDMA.
In more modern research to improve mental healthcare in America, psychedelics have been found to improve symptoms. Incorporating psychedelics into mental healthcare can benefit many individuals, easing their anxieties and allowing them to process the outside world through a more relaxed and positive lens.
The Decriminalization of Psychedelics
The decriminalization of psychedelics, particularly in Colorado and Oregon, occurred due to these substances’ promising effects. These effects include reducing harm, psychedelics being used throughout the population, and their legalization improving the criminal justice system.
What Are the Benefits of Psychedelics?
For those struggling with mental health, psychedelics may improve symptoms alongside other therapies or counseling. Clients with depression, anxiety, suicidal tendencies, substance use disorders (SUDs), or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may benefit from psychedelic use. With more research on psychedelics and mental health, these substances are shown to improve symptoms of social anxiety in adults as well.
The specific benefits of using psychedelics as part of mental health treatment include the following:
- Improved symptoms of depression and anxiety
- Increased emotional well-being
- Quick turnaround for mental health improvement compared to current therapy options
- Improve behavior and functioning
- Greatly decrease suffering
Social and Criminal Justice Improvements
With an ongoing War on Drugs over the past decades, psychedelic usage has been marginalized and has encouraged discrimination. As a result, many people of minority groups have been targeted. This incarceration of many members of minority groups due to psychedelic usage or possession leads to issues in employment, greater stigmatization, and other life-changing problems.
By legalizing psychedelics, members of minority groups have better opportunities in society as a whole. The legalization of these substances, therefore, improves the lives of many American citizens on a level of justice.
Using Psychedelics for Mental Health
Psychedelics in mental health treatment are well-paired with other services and therapies such as transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS), eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and NeuroCoach. These services improve brain processing and help clients understand their traumas and mental health issues on a deeper level.
When paired with psychedelics, TMS, EMDR, and NeuroCoach have quicker and better results. This is due to the positive, relaxing effects of psychedelics which open the mind to accepting more pleasant emotions.
Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation
TMS is used to treat depression by stimulating the brain with electromagnetic fields. These pulses target parts of the brain affiliated with depression in a safe way.
Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing
EMDR is a therapy offered at Roots Recovery that replaces negative emotional reactions to difficult memories with more positive ones. This therapy involves a series of repetitive eye movements for 20-30 seconds to encourage a change in emotional reaction. The eye movement stimulates the brain and therefore stimulates a person’s memories by recalling a traumatic event and restructuring their emotional response.
NeuroCoach is a new approach to mental health that focuses primarily on the brain. The research revolves around the brain’s neuroplasticity, meaning the brain is capable of restructuring itself. This specific approach, using this foundation, incorporates cognitive neuroscience, positive psychology, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and coaching practices. A client’s emotions, thoughts, and behavioral processes are deeply rooted in this approach.
In a series of questions, the client works with their coach to develop a new set of life goals, actions, and plans. As their brain searches for an answer, this activation allows for deeper understanding and learning. This allows clients to generate a new life path and restructure their brain processes to match these new goals.
Are Psychedelics Right for You?
While psychedelics can be a great treatment approach for some people, other clients are not qualified for psychedelic use. Though shown to be non-addictive at a therapeutic level, adding substances to an individual’s mental health treatment plan may not be beneficial. The short-term effects of psychedelics may include:
- Unrealistic visions and senses
- Intense senses
- Distorted perception of time, space, and one’s own body
- Intense changes in emotion and an altered state of thinking (that is not desired in an individual’s mental health treatment)
- Physical changes such as muscle twitches, headaches, sweating, chills, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, numbness, dry mouth, increased body temperature, increased heart rate, and higher blood pressure
The intense effects of psychedelics are based on the dosage, the patient’s height and weight, general health and mood, and past experiences with psychedelics (if applicable). Professionals and doctors will be able to implement psychedelic usage into an individual’s treatment plans after thorough observation.
If psychedelics are a good fit for a client, Roots Recovery encourages their use in order to provide the best opportunity for each client.
Here at Roots Recovery, we follow recent and modern research in mental healthcare in order to improve and adjust our treatment plans for clients. Recently, the use of psychedelics for mental health treatment was legalized in Colorado and Oregon. This new legalization improves society in general, allowing more opportunities for minorities who are typically affected by drug laws. It also improves the world of mental healthcare. When paired with other therapies and services, psychedelics can help clients experience faster improvements in their mental health. Psychedelics allow the brain to enter a positive state of relaxation, allowing clients to delve deeper into their minds and reprocess their thinking. Call Roots Recovery at (562) 473-0827 to learn more.