Research has been mounting in support of prescribing psychedelic medications to treat various mental health and substance use disorders, including treatment-resistant depression, panic disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, insomnia, traumatic brain injury, and opioid addiction. Psychedelic medicines include psychoactive substances extracted from chemicals and plants. These naturally occurring substances are increasingly being researched to serve as natural alternatives for changing perception, emotion, and other cognitive functions. Given recent, widespread state actions to decriminalize the production and use of psilocybin, prescribing psychedelics via telehealth is showing signs of soon becoming a booming telehealth specialization.
Recent Events Leading to the Decriminalization of Psychedelic Drugs
Several developments In 2018, the US Food and Drug Administration identified psilocybin as a “breakthrough therapy” in treating severe depression. The agency uses this designation for drugs that demonstrate substantial improvement over existing treatments in early trials.
In a July report by InsightAce Analytic, the global psychedelic therapeutics market was valued at US$ 3.61 billion in 2021 and is expected to reach US$ 8.31 billion by 2028. These projections were based on InsightAce Analytic’s prediction that the current rise in stress levels and chronic health conditions worldwide, as well as the recent shift toward natural alternatives to conventional medicine, are likely to “propel” the global market expansion for psychedelic medicines.
States Legalizing Psychedelics
In November 2020, Oregon became the first state to legalize psilocybin-assisted therapy. The Oregon Health Authority Public Health Division’s Center for Health Protection webpage titled “Oregon Psilocybin Services” states:
The Oregon Psilocybin Services Section implements Ballot Measure 109 (now codified as ORS 475A), which was passed in November 2020 and directs the Oregon Health Authority to license and regulate the manufacturing, transportation, delivery, sale, and purchase of psilocybin products and the provision of psilocybin services. To read a summary of work accomplished during the development period, please see the OPS 2022 Year in Review.
From Telebehavioral Health Institute – Read More