Dell Medical Center Brings Psychedelics to Veterans and Other Patients with New Research Center

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Amid a psychedelic resurgence in Austin and world-renowned medical studies, the University of Texas at Dell Medical School in Austin has opened a center for psychedelic research and therapy to combat health issues. serious mental.


It is the first of its kind in Texas and will seek to help people with depression, anxiety, and PTSD, especially those who have not benefited from more traditional treatments.

They will implement an assortment of drugs, including ibogaine, a root bark from Central Africa that has been used to treat opioid addiction; ayahuasca, a psychoactive drink originally used among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon; psychedelic mushrooms (psilocybin); and MDMA (often called ecstasy or Molly).

Psychedelics have gained a hippy-dippy reputation since their use by members of the counterculture movements and young people since the 1960s. Although each of them has been used recreationally or in religious ceremonies, they are also behind a growing body of research – institutions like Johns Hopkins University, University of California at Berkeley, and the Icahn School of Medicine have opened centers similar to Dell’s most recent. research center.

(Dell School of Medicine)

Charles B. Nemeroff, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Dell Med and co-director of the center, said the studies held promise.

“This research will bring more scientific rigor and expertise to study psychedelic therapy,” Nemeroff said. “Recent studies have shown tremendous promise for these drugs when incorporated with clinical support, and this work has the potential to transform the way we treat conditions such as depression and PTSD, and to identify synergies between these therapies and other well-established therapies to achieve long term. benefits for those seeking treatment.

The centre’s first patients will be military veterans living with post-traumatic stress disorder as well as those with long-term bereavement or depression and those who suffered trauma in childhood. Two veteran programs for those looking to treat their PTSD with psychedelics, The Mission Within and Heroic Hearts Project, will be the centre’s first partners.

Instead of taking them daily like traditional medicines, the medicines will be administered several times during a psychotherapy session with a mental health care provider. According to Greg Fonzo, assistant professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Dell Med, the use of psychedelics may help patients’ brains be more adaptable.

“A key ingredient in how psychedelic therapies promote mental health may be their ability to improve neural plasticity, the process that allows the brain to adapt to new experiences – which, combined with brain modulation therapies, can deliver maximum benefit, ”Fonzo said. “The potential implications are far-reaching for people with these conditions and their families, as well as for the future of treatment and mental health care.”

The drugs are not yet approved by the FDA, but there has been recent progress: six states have decriminalized psychedelic mushrooms, while Oregon has legalized them for medical purposes. In Texas, the House Bill 1802 was passed in the last legislative session to allow for a study on the use of alternative therapies for veterans with PTSD.


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