Psychedelic therapies at end of life in California By William Heath
Psychedelic therapies are a new and emerging field of medicine with the potential to revolutionize the way we care for people at the end of life. Psychedelics are a class of drugs that alter consciousness and perception. They have been used for centuries in traditional and spiritual practices, and are now being studied for their potential to treat a wide range of mental and physical health conditions.
One of the most promising areas of research on psychedelics is in the field of palliative care. Palliative care is a type of care that focuses on improving the quality of life for people with serious or terminal illnesses. Psychedelics have been shown to be effective in treating a number of symptoms that are common in palliative care patients, including anxiety, depression, pain, and spiritual distress.
In California, there is a growing interest in using psychedelic therapies to support people at the end of life. A number of organizations and individuals are working to make psychedelic therapies more accessible to patients and families. The benefits of psychedelic therapies at end of life are promising and it’s vital that we shift the regulatory environment with advocacy to let local, state and federal agencies know you in support of psychedelic therapies. SB 58 is currently pending in the California Assembly, just a few votes away from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk.
Psychedelic therapies can offer a number of benefits to people at the end of life. For example, psychedelics can help to:
- Reduce anxiety and depression
- Improve pain management
- Promote spiritual growth and acceptance
- Increase connection with others
- Help people to find meaning and purpose in their lives
Psychedelic therapies can also help people to face death with more courage and peace. In a study of cancer patients who received psilocybin-assisted therapy, 80% of participants reported that the experience helped them to have a more meaningful death experience.
How to access psychedelic therapies at end of life in California There are a few different ways to access psychedelic therapies at end of life in California. One option is to participate in a clinical trial. There are a number of clinical trials underway that are studying the use of psychedelics for palliative care patients. Another option is to work with a private therapist who is trained in psychedelic therapy. There are a growing number of therapists in California who are offering psychedelic therapy to patients at the end of life. It is very important that your primary care physician be included in this conversation.
Finally, some patients may be able to access psychedelic therapies through the Right to Try Act. The Right to Try Act allows patients with terminal illnesses to access investigational drugs that are not yet FDA-approved.
Psychedelic therapies are a new and promising approach to end-of-life care. They have the potential to help people at the end of life to reduce their suffering, improve their quality of life, and face death with more courage and peace.
If you are interested in learning more about psychedelic therapies at end of life in California, please visit the following resources:
● California Center for Psychedelic Therapy: https://www.psychedelictherapyca.com/
● Pacific Treatment & Research In Psychedelics: https://www.pacificneuroscienceinstitute.org/treatment-research-in-psychedelics/
● MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies): https://www.maps.org/
Please note that psychedelic therapies are still under investigation and are not yet FDA-approved for end-of-life care. It is important to talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of psychedelic therapy before making a decision.