The opioid crisis has done irreparable harm in the United States of America: It made J.D. Vance a star. More devastatingly, it’s ruined countless lives and is the cause of tens of thousands of deaths per year. One day, safer alternatives to opioids may become readily available on the market. Ketamine as a medical treatment is gaining a lot of steam in different parts of the country. And perhaps in the near future, you’ll be able to get a more holistic alternative at the pharmacist—like psilocybin mushrooms.
Arizona has introduced a bill that would seek $30 million in grants to research the effects of psilocybin mushrooms and how they could be used to help cure certain ailments like mental illness, eating disorders, and chronic pain.
Currently, psychedelic mushrooms are a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act. This means the Drug Enforcement Administration doesn't recognize any medical uses for it and sees them as having a high potential for abuse. Other Schedule I drugs include heroin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), marijuana (cannabis), 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (ecstasy), methaqualone (Quaaludes), and peyote. There have been many different claims— some from bestselling books—that psychedelic mushrooms actually have great medical benefits, but medical trials that could influence the everyman and the governmental powers that be are what count.
Dr. Sue Sisley of Scottsdale Research Institute helped create the bill and told the Arizona Republic that the aim of the study is for true, unbiased research. "We don’t have an agenda here," she said. “We are not trying to make psilocybin legal. We are trying to collect objective data on the good and bad of this. Healing from trauma and the list of things potentially studied under the bill are truly bipartisan issues."
The primary subjects for the trials would include military veterans, first responders, frontline healthcare workers, and people from underserved communities. These are the people who are most in need of an alternative to opioids. There’s a reason people have been singing the praises of mushrooms for so long. This proposed research effort could offer clearer answers on how much mushrooms can cure issues like post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and addiction.
Who would’ve thought Arizona of all places would be on the front lines of groundbreaking medical research that looks to curb the damage the pharmaceutical industry has done?
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