Oregon’s psilocybin mushroom therapy reforms took effect on January 1, two years after voters approved a measure to allow therapy using the psychedelic fungi. The delay was due to lawmakers who were tasked with creating the regulatory framework for the production and sale of the mushrooms, the New York Times reports.
Psilocybin mushrooms have shown promise in treating severe depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, end-of-life anxiety among the terminally ill, and other mental health conditions. A study published last year in JAMA Psychiatry found two doses of mushroom therapy paired with psychotherapy led to an 83% decline in heavy drinking among participants; individuals given a placebo reduced their alcohol use by 51%.
Measure 109 authorized the creation of psilocybin service centers where anyone over 21 can consume the mushrooms in a supervised setting. The law required a state-certified facilitator to be present during sessions, which can last five or six hours. Oregon will not allow the retail sale of psilocybin mushrooms. Following the success of the initiative, 25 of the state’s 36 counties opted out of the program.
Sam Chapman, executive director of the Healing Advocacy Fund, an organization that backed Measure 109 and has been working to guide the implementation of the program, told the Times that “Psychedelic medicine is starting to transcend partisan politics in a way that few issues have.”
“It’s our responsibility to create a golden standard that’s worthy of wider implementation.” — Chapman to the Times
In 2018, the federal Food and Drug Administration granted psilocybin mushrooms “breakthrough therapy” status for major depressive disorder, which paved the way for clinical trials. Psilocybin mushrooms remain outlawed federally.
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