Psychedelic Therapy Treatments Could Be Approved “Within Next Two Years” According To New Federal Letter
According to a federal letter from the U.S. health secretary, obtained by The Intercept, the Biden administration “anticipates” that MDMA and psilocybin therapies for PTSD and depression will be approved within the next two years.
The letter, sent by assistant secretary for mental health and substance use Miriam Delphin-Rittmon to Rep. Madeleine Dean, D-Pa, states that the administration is “exploring the prospect of establishing a federal task force to monitor” the emerging psychedelic treatment ecosystem.
“SAMHSA agrees that too many Americans are suffering from mental health and substance use issues, which have been exacerbated by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, and that we must explore the potential of psychedelic-assisted therapies to address this crisis.
SAMHSA also agrees that the use of psychedelic medicines will require a broad-spectrum interdisciplinary stakeholder approach to effectively tackle the complexity of issues that stakeholders anticipate will arise with their introduction.”
In collaboration with the Assistant Secretary for Health, SAMHSA is exploring the prospect of establishing a Federal Task Force “to monitor and address the numerous complex issues associated with emerging substances.”
“The Task Force may establish and oversee the functions of a public-private partnership that can broadly focus on addressing numerous complex issues associated with psychedelic (psilocybin) and entactogenic (MDMA) medicines but whose risks to public health may require harm reduction, risk mitigation, and safety monitoring.
“Collaboration across federal agencies with outside stakeholders will be the most effective way to ensure we are thoughtfully coordinating work on emerging substances such as MDMA and psilocybin.”
After years of waging a “war” on drugs and dubbing all drug use as “public enemy number one,” this idea of legalized psychedelic therapy treatments is a strong indicator that top officials are open to voting on the approval of legalized psychedelic therapy treatments.
Last week, Cory Booker, D-N.J., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., introduced a bipartisan bill in the Senate to force the DEA to stop barring terminally ill patients from experimenting with controlled drugs, which passed early trials.
The right to try experimental therapy became federal law in 2018. However, the DEA currently blocks the use of psilocybin, a Schedule I controlled substance, among people with late-stage cancer who wish to be treated with psychedelic therapy.
The need to find alternative treatments for those suffering from depression, PTSD, and those in recovery, is dire.
In a comment to The Intercept, Rep. Dean states:
“About 300 people a day from drug overdoses in this country. I call it a jetliner of souls every single day.
We know the toll the loss of our loved ones takes on their immediate family and upon entire communities. My son Harry is now nine years, seven months into recovery for opioid addiction.
This is a heart-wrenching crisis, and it’s time for bold, innovative solutions to save the lives of our children.”[via The Intercept]