Legalized Psilocybin Centers In Oregon Gaining Traction, But More Research Data Still Needed.

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The ballot for Oregon Measure 109 authorized the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to create a program to permit licensed service providers to administer psilocybin-producing mushroom and fungi products to eligible individuals. 

Last year, Oregon voters said ‘yes’ to legalize psilocybin treatment to adults over 21 years-old. The ballot for Oregon Measure 109 authorized the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) to create a program to permit licensed service providers to administer psilocybin-producing mushroom and fungi products to eligible individuals. 

More Psilocybin Service Centers

Since then 20 service centers and over 200 facilitators to assist clients during treatment have been licensed by the OHA. After almost 12 months since the historic vote, what progress has the industry experienced since then?

One thing the centers have learned is creating a conducive and calming environment is just as important as figuring out the right dosage for patients. 

“Sound insulation is important. People are crying, people are playing music, so we have a very strategic placement of both of white noise machines and as much soundproofing as you can do in a 120-year-old house with lath and plaster walls,” says Courtney Campbell, who manages the Portland treatment center Chariot.

In regards to dosage, Campbell who works with several facilitators admits that they are still in the midst of establishing best practices for dosage and treatment. 

“We hold bimonthly facilitator meetings where we talk about… the dose, the rationale for the dose and how the experience went. And that’s very helpful in informing how to determine the appropriate dose for somebody,” says Campbell.

Under Oregon state regulation, facilitators are not allowed to administer a patient more than 50 mg of psilocybin analyte in a single session. But facilitators can choose to give less than that if they think it is more suitable to a patient’s profile. 

Potential Psilocybin Research

According to Campbell they’ve observed some interesting patterns. For example, patients who indicate having a sensitivity to coffee also appear to have heightened sensitivity to psilocybin. On the other hand, patients that are already on SSRI (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor) appear to have a higher tolerance and require a higher dose to have a deeper experience. 

Although a person is not required to have a diagnosis of a mental illness or medical referral to be treated they are required to provide detailed personal information and go through intensive intake interviews. According to the facilitators, most people who show up at the centers are not looking for recreational drugs but simply seeking to increase their self-awareness and/or address their mental health concerns. 

There are however some concerns that lead some to question the effectiveness of these treatments. For now the Oregon Health Authority is not collecting data on the number of clients served in the state, although according to the nonprofit Healing Advocacy Fund the number is over 750. 

And it is this lack of empirical research that has led some from the medical community to object to the legalization of psilocybin. 

“We’re certainly not saying we don’t want psilocybin to be medicine,” says Daniel Nicoli, a member of the Oregon Psychiatric Physicians Association   “We’re just saying we want the research in place.

He explains further that he doesn’t intend for the measure to be overturned but wants there to be more data collected and research done for psilocybin treatment in general. 

Check out other Psilocybin friendly cities HERE.

Follow this link to read the full report from NPR.

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