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The Challenges of Psychedelics in Psychotherapy

The study and use of psychedelics in psychiatric therapy have been exceptionally repressed by current paradigms in psychiatry and psychology, the biological symptom-suppression transformation in psychiatry, the prohibitionist drug war, and modifications in the insurance industry that limit patients’ access to care.

Concepts and Paradigms

The power of concepts or paradigms to arrange and limit thinking in researchers and specialists is displayed in the current obsession for quick one-step biological options to practically every kind of psychological distress or disorder.

The symptom-reducing or eliminating anti-anxiety, antidepressant, and antipsychotic medications have shifted the focus of psychiatric training from dynamic psychiatric therapy and psychoanalysis to psychopharmacology.

Massive funding offered for research study in this area is a collusion between the government and the pharmaceutical industry.

As valuable as symptom-relieving drugs may be, when used properly, they are not sufficient to address the complexities of addiction and conflicted human personality.

Psychedelics are a totally new family of medicines that can amplify the healing properties of a psychotherapy relationship and transport patients into life-altering realms of consciousness.

Although these medicines are no more panaceas than symptom suppressors, they are worthy of exploration and advancement.

Psychedelics need to be studied in methods appropriate to comprehending the nature of their action.

Consciousness expanding drugs are distinctively sensitive to the attitudes and beliefs of the doctors using them and to the setting in which they are provided.

The War on Drugs

There is a 17 billion dollar dark cloud on the horizon of freedom in the United States. The federal budget for the “war on drugs” has actually grown 3,200% since 1970.

More than 400,000 citizens are in prison on controlled substance convictions (Shenk, 1999).

The prohibitionist drug war brought us an attitude toward drugs of abuse that is oddly reflected in etymology. The Greeks had a word for it: phármakon indicated drug, pharmakós, nevertheless, meant scapegoat!

Our public law towards drugs of abuse reflects these original paronomastic confusions. With the exceptions of alcohol and tobacco, our laws scapegoat drugs for the social ills that foster their abuse (Escohotado, 1999).

Substance abuse and dependency are sequels to misery. Such despair is frequently, though not always, rooted in the despondence of social injustices.

The federal government lavishes billions locking up drug dealers, interfering with the internal politics of drug-producing nations, and intercepting deliveries of controlled substances.

This policy casts a totalitarian shadow both at home and abroad. At the same time, the obstacle to provide education and chance rather than penalty for the disadvantaged is avoided.

In 1962 and 1965 ever more oppressive limitations were put on genuine clinical research with LSD and other hallucinogens.

In a May 1966 congressional hearing Senator Robert Kennedy asked how drugs that were worthwhile six months before all of a sudden ended up being awful.

The frightening answer to his question was that LSD had left the lab and recorded the bodies, minds, and hearts of America’s defiant youth (Mangini, 1998; Shenk, 1999).

After hearing the evidence Kennedy gave a courageous admonition:

Maybe to some extent, we have forgotten the reality that (LSD) can be extremely valuable in our society if utilized effectively (Subcommittee on Executive Reorganization, 1966 p. 63).

In 1968 the American Journal of Psychiatry brought a short article about the devastating effect of negative promotion and federal constraints on legitimate LSD research (Dahlberg, 1968).

The paper records a disgraceful psychiatric witch hunt. Ongoing research study projects were canceled and authentic researchers were attacked as “kooks”.

Previously approved projects were denied supplies of LSD by the National Institute of Mental Health (Pollard, 1966).

By 1970 LSD became illegal. It was lumped with heroin and placed by the Drug Enforcement Administration into the new Schedule I category: drugs that have no acknowledged medical use and have high abuse capacity.

This act neglected and denied numerous articles documenting the value of psychedelics as adjuncts to psychiatric therapy.

Monetary Restrictions

In the United States, the insurance coverage market has evolved into “health maintenance organizations” (HMOs) and “Managed Care” plans.

These brand-new entities manage clients’ access to healthcare and define eligibility for reimbursement according to a brand-new series of often-secret guidelines.

It is clear to the majority at this moment that this system serves to limit patients’ access to care. Managed care has actually efficiently cut the delivery of both inpatient and outpatient care in the private sector.

A national research study of independently guaranteed individuals looked at 3.9 million psychological health care claims from 1993 to 1995.

The scientists concluded:

For patients utilizing outpatient services just, those detected with substance abuse experience the largest decrease in expenses (23.5%) (Leslie & Rosenheck, 1999).

The August 1999 Consumer Reports published a study of 19,000 people guaranteed by HMOs. People with serious health problems had more problems getting care than did people without serious health problems.

Both groups had problems getting care. Problems took place from just 5% of the time to as much as 30% of the time (Kagan, 1999).

Many people discover that, when you require it, the existing healthcare delivery system does not deliver. Salaries of HMO executives soar above the norm for other chief executives in the country.

Intervention in the definition of illness and delivery of care has had an extensive effect on psychiatric therapy and addiction treatment reimbursement.

The tendency is to define treatment as what is reimbursed by the ruthlessly budget-minded insurance industry.

By comparison, the Veteran’s Administration reports reduce in inpatient care paralleled by a boost in outpatient service delivery. The general public sector is liable to its constituents whereas the private sector views information as proprietary and private.

This post highlights the shortsighted nature of this approach to treatment. It highlights changes in federal government financing for inpatient addiction treatment and research study likewise moves toward symptom-oriented approaches that are superficial and hardly ever sufficient.

An Age of a New Era

We need to psychedelics in another light. Studies have shown that psychedelics have shown promising results in treating psychological disorders and having lasting effects than conventional medicine.

We need more funding in learning and researching psychedelics to further understand the drug’s amazing healing powers. Only then can we progress and help heal people that are in desperate need of a cure.

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