Open Up Therapeutic Possibilities for PTSD-Afflicted Veterans

Target: Shereef Elnahal, Under-Secretary of Veterans Affairs for Health

Goal: Advocate for usage of approved psychedelic drugs for veteran mental health therapies.

They were once stigmatized as party drugs of the free-spirited sixties. And because of the negative connotations, psychedelics have been illegal in the United States and many other parts of the world. Recently, the tide has begun to shift. Many states are now considering or have granted access to the controversial drugs. Colorado and Oregon recently approved therapeutic uses for psilocybin, more popularly known as magic mushrooms. Australia and Canada have made similar strides. And the U.S Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has even formally approved one psychedelic. Now they have the opportunity to take another important step forward in destigmatizing treatments that are demonstrating overwhelmingly positive mental health outcomes.

MDMA (otherwise known as molly or ecstasy) has shown significant promise in at least two clinical trials in which the drug was used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and other mental illnesses. The FDA has already granted breakthrough status to MDMA and psilocybin, which means they can be deployed in treating conditions deemed life-threatening. If and when this drug gains full approval from the FDA, it could be a game-changer in the Veterans Administration (VA) system for service members suffering from PTSD. Acceptance by the largest healthcare provider in the United States could also help open the gates for broader research and applied usage in other medical arenas.

Sign the petition below to encourage the VA to embrace the possibilities for better mental health outcomes.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Dr. Elnahal,

Well-structured clinical trials are increasingly demonstrating the potential of psychedelic drugs to provide breakthrough advances in post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions often resistant to traditional treatments. An estimated seven percent of veterans currently suffer from PTSD, with the numbers much higher for those who served during certain conflicts. And one study found a particularly pronounced presence of PTSD in veterans who utilized VA care.

Psychedelics could revolutionize mental health care for veterans. With several drugs inching closer to formal FDA approval (and some already approved for the most urgent cases), now is the time for the VA to invest in and explore psychedelic therapies. Veterans can once again protect and serve Americans by helping destigmatize treatments that could possibly save countless American lives, including their own.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Matthew W. Johnson


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