Initial research on psychedelics back in the 1950s and 1960s found that treatments involving psychedelic drugs could lead to positive mental health outcomes. However, the U.S. government criminalized psychedelics in the late 1960s. The substances remained illegal for decades until a few states began loosening their own psychedelic policies in recent years.
With psychedelics seeing a resurgence in mainstream and scientific interest, Congressional leaders are calling for more research on the potential of psychedelic drugs to treat debilitating mental health conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression.
For example, House Appropriations Committee leaders have included provisions for spending on psychedelic research in updated spending measures for several federal agencies. In a recent report that was added to a Department of Health and Human Services spending bill, the Congressional leaders included two provisions on psychedelics.
The first provision encouraged research into substances capable of alleviating severe depression and PTSD. It called on the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to scout for private-public partnerships in studies on the relationship between psychedelics and mental health and to issue a report on the matter six months after the bill is passed. The second section discusses psychedelics as a potential treatment for conditions such as PTSD and depression that tend to affect veterans.
The report also highlights the high rates of veteran suicides and notes that initial research into psychedelic drugs has indicated that they can be effective at treating the conditions causing veteran suicides. The 2020 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report shows that between 2017 and 2018, an average of 17 veterans took their lives each day. The section mentioned that research on psychedelic treatments from Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, Yale University, Baylor University and New York University had provided promising results.
Moreover, the report called on the NIH and other federal agencies to take part in such research and expand it where applicable to help develop psychedelic-based therapies for severe mental health disorders. More specifically, committee leaders called for psychedelic research on treatment-resistant major depressive disorder and PTSD, especially for veteran participants.
The section covering drug paraphernalia states that none of the funds provided by the bill should be used to purchase or distribute any cylindrical objects or pipes for the purpose of inhaling or smoking Schedule I controlled substances.
A similar report that was issued last month for the Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies (CSJ) contains a section asking for a Government Accountability Office (GAO) analysis of the factors that act as barriers to psilocybin in local, tribal and state programs.
As more pressure is mounted on the federal government to enact reforms, psychedelics companies such as Cybin Inc. (NYSE American: CYBN) (NEO: CYBN) could gradually see improvements in the regulatory environment in which they operate.
NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Cybin Inc. (NEO: CYBN) (NYSE American: CYBN) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://ibn.fm/CYBN
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