". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Washington Thinks PTSD Awareness Month Is a Good Time to Fund a Psychedelic Trip

June 29, 2023

June is Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Awareness Month. For politicians, this month presents an opportunity to introduce a political agenda they hope demonstrates their awareness of trauma survivors (which, at this point, is a large swath of the population). This is exactly what happened in Washington earlier this month, when a bipartisan group of House members announced an effort to create a $75 million federal grant program to study the use of psychedelic drugs for servicemembers dealing with PTSD, chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), or traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Despite historical knowledge about the effect of psychedelic drugs, it can be difficult for caring people to withhold their blessing to a “treatment” that has been touted as a breakthrough to human suffering. However, if politicians are not checked, psychedelic drugs, both supposed clinical and street use, will be the next wave of very questionable psychological practices that sweeps through our country.

Unfortunately, this process has already begun. The medical and political fields are already characterizing the use and practice of these drugs as a treatment that will help conditions that are resistant to other forms of therapy. This “new therapy” will promise to be evidence-based and backed by science. Right now, therapists have been trained to hold sessions that involve guiding their clients through traumatic material while treating a person in a drug-induced state.

How can I give this warning so emphatically? It is a lesser-known fact that drug advocates have been working behind the scenes for years to make psychedelics look respectable through science. As the co-founder of Mind Medicine, a psychedelic advocacy and pharmaceutical group, stated, their goal is to “get the average person to realize that these are not evil drugs — they can be used as medicines and be successful at treating unmet medical needs.”

Before you take a psychedelic trip, here are a few things that you should know about the promotion of these drugs:

  1. They are deemed to have no clinical value and are potentially damaging in the long-term.

Since the Nixon administration, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has marked psychedelics as Schedule I substances because they lack clinical value, can be addictive, and hold the potential for long-term physiological and psychological damage, including schizophrenia-type symptoms.

  1. Small studies have been touted as big successes.

For the past 30 years, research studies involving psychedelics were not backed by public funds — until recently. Studies have been popping up on clinicaltrials.gov without much discussion or awareness in the general public. These initial studies have small sample sizes but are advertised as “success stories” for reducing mental health symptoms by microdosing these drugs.

  1. Our society is vulnerable to accepting bad answers for the mental health crisis.

Several factors make our nation susceptible to accepting dangerous practices like psychedelic drugs. For starters, mental health concerns have increased for every age group and so have the calls to alleviate this psychological pain. Currently, nearly 20% of the population suffers from anxiety disorders, and suicide ranks as one of the top 10 causes of death in the United States. Recent data from the CDC assessing mental health and Gallup polls post-COVID-19 pandemic also show that Americans are in distress.

Drug advocacy groups are not about to waste a crisis — a mental health crisis, that is. Groups like Mind Medicine have been seeking FDA (national) approval for psychedelics under the expectation that the drugs will provide an alternative treatment for many mental health conditions. Veterans and First Responders were already enlisted in these studies prior to this month’s announcement for federal funding.

  1. Big Media has been working to change the 1960s narrative about psychedelics.

It is important to recognize the concerted effort to change our minds about the usefulness of these dangerous drugs. The promotion of this agenda did not come out of thin air; rather, it has been a collaborative effort. Note the media outlets that have worked to change the American public’s attitude toward psychedelic drugs. Turn on NetflixHulu, or other streaming services, and you’re likely to find shows and documentaries on the usefulness of drugs like LSD (acid), DMT (spirit molecule), MDMA (ecstasy or mollies), and psilocybin (magic mushrooms). These shows are priming us to accept the recreational and “prescription” use of psychedelics to solve both our mental and spiritual ills.

  1. The endgame is legalization.

The real goal here is to nationalize the use of these drugs (some states have already passed measures to legalize recreational use), which have the potential to significantly alter our society and offer bad treatment for those suffering from trauma, anxiety, and depression.

The strategy to promote psychedelic drugs has been taken right out of the playbook of Big Marijuana. Given what we know from the marijuana playbook, we can promise that “research studies” and popular media will continue to promote medical benefits associated with these drugs. But know that the endgame is for psychedelics to be legalized at every local and state level for recreational use.

Given the state of mind in the country, we must recognize that we are vulnerable to accepting interventions with big claims of success even when those claims are backed by bad science.

Just like other panaceas posed by pharmaceutical companies, psychedelics will be the next drug to enjoy the mirage of Big Science that is funded by our tax dollars.

Be a wise consumer of science and suspicious of claims about drugs that can heal every psychological pain — in this case, everything from resistant anxiety, posttraumatic stress, depression, alcohol, and tobacco abuse.

You can contact organizations like Smart Approaches to Marijuana (SAM) to learn more from groups that have been pushing back on the financial and political influence of Big Marijuana and other drugs.

Americans should let their elected leaders know this legitimizing of psychedelics is unacceptable. If our country proceeds down this road, we will all be the worse off for it.

Dr. Jennifer Bauwens is the Director of the Center for Family Studies at Family Research Council.