Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont signed legislation this week that will allow a limited class of patients to use psychedelic
“This bipartisan budget gives taxpayers their largest tax cut in history, while paying down approximately $3.3 billion in unfunded liabilities, making groundbreaking investments in childcare, crime prevention, environmental protection, and caring for our most vulnerable residents,”
The psychedelic therapy provisions are largely identical to a standalone bill that was approved by lawmakers in committee earlier this year, although the legislation is limited to patients who are military veterans, retired law enforcement officers or health care workers. The
The legislation creates a pilot program with the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to provide qualified patients with the funding necessary to receive MDMA-assisted or psilocybin-assisted therapy for depression, anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder. The program would be implemented as part of an expanded access program approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The bill would not legalize psychedelics for general medical or recreational use.
Lamont’s approval of the legislation was praised by Martin R. Steele, a retired U.S. Marine Corps general and co-founder of Reason for Hope, a psychedelic-assisted advocacy organization.
“For far too long, the men and women of the armed services have had to carry the mental and emotional burdens of combat without access to effective treatments. Psychedelic therapy represents a major breakthrough for veterans and civilians alike to heal and lead productive lives,” Steele said in a statement. “We have a duty, responsibility, and urgency, to help all those suffering from trauma. I commend the governor’s office and leaders in the legislature for the life-saving action they have taken through this landmark legislation.”
Psychedelics Show Promise As Mental Health Therapies
Clinical research and other studies into psychedelics including psilocybin, MDMA and ketamine have shown that the drugs have potential therapeutic benefits, particularly for serious mental health conditions such as depression, addiction and anxiety.
And last month, a team of researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Imperial College in London
“The effect seen with psilocybin is consistent across two studies, related to people getting better, and was not seen with a conventional antidepressant,” Robin Carhart-Harris, the lead author of a report on the research,
David Nutt, head of the Imperial Centre for Psychedelic Research, noted that psilocybin could provide new treatments for patients who have not made progress with commonly used pharmaceuticals.
“For the first time we find that psilocybin works differently from conventional antidepressants – making the brain more flexible and fluid, and less entrenched in the negative thinking patterns associated with depression,” said Nutt. “This supports our initial predictions and confirms psilocybin could be a real alternative approach to depression treatments.”