January Program: Psychedelic Drug Treatment

Who Should Administer Psychedelic Drug Treatment for Depression, Anxiety and Addiction?

In 2020,  Oregon became the first state to approve the use of a psychedelic drug, psilocybin, for non-therapeutic use by adults 21 and older.  Passing Measure 109 had immediate consequences: In Oregon it created a retail psilocybin industry and gave the Oregon Health Authority two years to determine how to qualify people over-seeing the use of the drug. In California, it created an incentive for entrepreneurs and investors to work on passing a similar measure in our state.

Psilocybin in Oregon is not required to be taken in medically supervised settings.  Small clinical studies show that the drug can benefit and even cure people with depression, anxiety and addiction.  So, if a person can take a drug and get relief or even be cured by one or more doses, should a prescription by a medical professional really be required? Is there even a benefit taking psilocybin or other hallucinogenic drugs while undergoing psychotherapy?

A California version of Measure 109 is likely to appear on the 2022 election ballot.  Anticipating that such a measure would pass by using the marketing tactics employed in Oregon, eleven start up companies have formed in the last one to two years.  Some of these companies have already gone public.

So far no hallucinogenic drugs have been approved by the FDA.  We are fortunate though to have faculty at Stanford University and UC researching the uses of hallucinogenic drugs to treat resistant depression, anxiety, drug addiction and PTSD.  Researchers like Dr. David E. Olson of UC Davis have even figured out that psychedelic drugs can grow brain neurons.

Dr. Jennifer Dore, an adjunct professor at Stanford University, will speak with us about her work in psychotherapy over the last five years using another psychedelic drug, Ketamine, on January 25, 2022 from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m.  She’ll tell us about how effective these drugs really are and what risks they pose to the people who take them.

Register to attend
Return to Jan/Feb 2022 Newsletter