Psychedelic-Assissted Therapy for Veterans and Personality Improvement
Psychedelic-assisted therapy at the VA
Psychedelic-assisted therapy has recently gained mainstream acceptance among civilians, but what about for members of the military and veterans?
This therapy may soon be an option for some veterans. As “Lucid” reports, “psychedelic-assisted therapy is on the rise at some veterans administration hospitals.”
Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA therapy to treat post-traumatic stress disorder have been so successful, with 68 percent of participants in remission, the FDA granted MDMA a special ‘Breakthrough Therapy’ designation. But this therapy is not yet available all over the country, prompting more researchers to call on the VA to create protocols for MDMA, psilocybin, and ketamine therapies. These psychedelics are still classified as Schedule 1 narcotics, and it will take political will and bipartisan support to win FDA approval.
If that happens, researchers at the forefront of these therapies hope to see VA hospitals nationwide using psychedelics to help veterans by the year 2024.
Could the use of hallucinogens actually improve your personality?
A new study published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology looked at how psychedelics affect personality. Researchers recruited adults who were planning on using hallucinogens in the near future and asked them to fill out a survey regarding their personality, based on the five-factor model of personality traits:
- Openness to experience
Participants took the survey three times — before their psychedelic experience, two weeks after, and four weeks after. The results were impressive, with people reporting a reduction in neuroticism and an increase in agreeableness, even four weeks after their experience.
Brandon Weiss, a psychologist at Imperial College London and lead researcher told Psychology Today, “[F]irst, people seemed to report that they were not as quarrelsome or critical in their interactions with others. Second, people reported that they were less easily upset by things and less anxious.”
Weiss also pointed out that despite these positive outcomes, hallucinogens can be dangerous, especially with people who have pre-existing psychosis. More data is needed to confirm the studies’ findings. As a large number of participants did not follow through with the entire survey. But this is more evidence that hallucinogens could be another tool to help with mental health.
Scientists Want to Know More About DMT Entities People Encounter
DMT is one of the most potent entheogens known to man, and the trip it induces is significantly different than other psychoactive substances. Users describe being transported to a distant realm where they meet seemingly autonomous entities, and often those same entities appear to different people. Now, researchers are attempting to catalog these experiences to figure out just what, or who, those DMT entities are.
DMT comes in more than one form and is an endogenous compound found in a multitude of plants, animals, and humans. Since it was synthesized in 1956 by Hungarian chemist Stephen Szara, it has baffled both users and researchers alike.
Recently, Dr. Roland Griffiths, a behavioral psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins University, published a questionnaire asking anyone who has taken DMT and met autonomous entities–beings that seem to act independently of one’s self–to provide details of their experience.