Yampa Valley clinics prepare psychedelic mushrooms for mental health therapy

Colorado voters elected to legalize the use of psilocybin mushrooms. Local treatment centers are preparing to incorporate the mushroom into their programs.
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Training progress for several therapists at Minds in Motion Integrative Care Clinic in Steamboat Springs to offer supervised services with psychedelic mushrooms in 2024 after Colorado voters narrowly passed Proposition 122, or access to natural psychedelic substances is on

Angela Melzer, owner of Minds in Motion, said the state’s timeline for implementation of psychedelic-assisted mental health therapy measures approved by Proposition 122 is late 2024, but providers have “a lot of work to do before then.”

An important step in allowing psychedelic mushrooms to be offered to adults 21 and older at licensed facilities is the creation of a regulatory structure for those facilities by DORA, or the Department of State Regulatory Agencies. Colorado Gov. Jared Polis will also appoint a 15-member advisory board.

In addition, providers undergo training, which some Minds & Motion employees have started through an organization called MAPS, or the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which is headquartered in San Jose, California, Melzer said. .

Kristen Malia, Clinical Mental Health Counselor at Minds in Motion, said, “I believe in medicine and feel that it can be helpful and helpful to people, so let’s do it by writing about it and talking about it and Destroy it by sharing the article to show efficiency.”

Proposition 122 also decriminalizes the personal possession and sharing of five natural psychedelic substances by persons 21 and older, but the sale remains illegal. The use of psychedelic substances is also illegal under federal law.

Psychedelic mushroom use was decriminalized in Denver in 2019, and Colorado joins Oregon as the second state to decriminalize mushrooms and establish a regulated industry for plant-based psychedelic drugs.

Kristen Malia, clinical mental health counselor at Minds in Motion, says that the use of psychedelic mushrooms can be effective if given correctly with the care of a facilitator.
Kristen Malia / Courtesy Photo

Steve Walls, with A&S Counseling in Craig, said four trauma-focused counselors will participate in the training for group exercise psychedelic mushrooms.

“If this is going to be legal in Colorado, we have to have the ability to provide quality aftercare,” said Walls, whose group will study the research to see if they can offer the treatment as a licensed facility. Will offer service.

Recent voter approval paves the way for legal, supervised use of the therapy, which is primarily intended for patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, depression or anxiety. Researchers are also investigating use in terminal cancer patients or palliative care.

Professor Scott Thompson, director of the Center for Novel Therapeutics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, said that although his and other research studies In order for the use of psychedelic mushrooms to show efficacy, the voter-approved measure has several lingering issues that need to be worked through. He noted some concerns such as the regulation of product quality and processing, as well as the time and expense for treatments not covered by medical insurance. The professor also questioned whether facilities receiving federal funding would be able to prescribe the drug.

Professor Scott Thompson, director of the Center for Novel Therapeutics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine, says research studies show efficacy for the use of psychedelic mushrooms.
University of Colorado / Courtesy Photo

The state law refers to two substances — psilocybin and psilocin — in psychedelic mushrooms as well as three other plant-based psychedelic substances that the state may expand for use in 2026, such as mescaline that is derived from the peyote cactus.

Thompson’s big concern is proper supervision for the use of psychedelic mushrooms in a controlled setting because typical doses provide a powerful experience of up to six to eight hours. Mind-altering substances can take people to dark places where a professional therapist should be there to help the patient process.

“It certainly seems safer and more cautious to use these potent substances under the watchful eye of trained instructors as defined by law,” Thompson said.

The professor added that the use of psychedelic mushrooms is “not for everyone”, especially not for use by patients suffering from bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. He said patients need to be properly counseled by a professional facilitator so that they are not intimidated by mind-altering effects such as visual changes.

“It’s incredibly powerful. You’re no longer in control of your thought process. The risk of a bad trip is real, and that’s why people have found they need a preparation session before using this drug,” said Prof. Told. “People say it’s one of the most powerful and meaningful experiences they’ve ever had.”

“The promise of psychedelic medicine is incredible,” said Thompson, who has been working on the research for four years. “There is no doubt that the talk therapy portion is an incredible benefit and an essential part of the law.”

In general, the research suggests that “side effects are fairly minimal, and they are remarkably safe compounds,” Thompson said, noting psychedelic mushrooms are not addictive.

Malia agrees that patients can go through “tough stuff during the journey” with psychedelic mushroom treatments. The experience can be effective in reducing symptoms of mental health challenges and supporting people through trauma, she said.

“There is a lot of uncertainty about how we can introduce this, but it is moving in the right direction,” she said.

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