Washington State Psychedelics Trial Targets PTSD And Alcohol Use Disorder, Mandated By Law

After Washington Gov. Jay Inslee greenlighted SB 5263 creating a pilot program for psilocybin therapy led by the University of Washington’s School of Medicine is preparing to begin treatment on Jan. 1, 2025.

Based in Seattle, the mandated clinical trial will recruit between 30 and 40 military veterans and first responders with PTSD and Alcohol Use Disorder (AUD,) most likely through community groups already working with prospective participants, according to Chris Talbott.

The trial will be conducted in a controlled environment with psychotherapy sessions before and after in which participants will undergo their psychedelic experiences with two therapists present in the room. Divided into two groups, the placebo arm (15 to 20 participants) will be given a chance to undergo the treatment after the first round.

Addiction psychiatrist and professor Dr. Nathan Sackett, who will oversee the study, say researchers at UW hope that targeting this specific population with these two comorbidities can better help understand if psilocybin-assisted therapy could be a viable treatment moving forward.

Sackett further stated there are “a dizzying number of new indications” currently being explored, many of which are very challenging to treat. 

“We have very limited options for our patients and it’s very frustrating. These are life-debilitating disorders. I think at this stage, my general attitude is (that) we are desperate for new solutions,” he concluded.

Psychedelics legislation is moving forward in Washington state at a local level as well with Jefferson County joining the growing list of places that have decriminalized naturally-occurring substances like psilocybin and ayahuasca.

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