Going To War For Legal Psychedelic Drugs

As geopolitical tensions intensify and conflicts erupt, the Western war machine may now NEED access to legal psychedelic drugs

Depression. Anxiety. Post-traumatic stress disorder.

As our fearless leaders create ever more-dysfunctional societies (and an ever more-dysfunctional planet), all three of these mental health epidemics are growing at a disturbing rate.

While depression, anxiety and PTSD are endemic across all demographics, these disorders are especially prevalent the among armed forces. Psychedelic drugs have shown enormous potential to provide superior treatment-care options for all three of these conditions.
Now there is a growing clamor on both sides of the Atlantic that psychedelic drugs need to be legalized for, in particular, treating the rising epidemic of mental health issues among military personnel.

For 40 years, Western governments have fought a “war” to keep most psychedelic drugs under the strictest criminal provisions. Now these same governments may need to legalize psychedelic drugs – to use on their own military personnel – or see their capacity to wage war severely impaired.

It is the epitome of irony.

On July 27th, two articles were published that pressured governments to end criminal prohibitions for some of these substances. This call was specifically connected to the potential of psychedelic drugs to treat mental health disorders that affect military personnel.

One salvo came from the UK, via an article in The Guardian.
Ease restrictions on medical psychedelics to aid research, experts say

In a report published on Monday, the Adam Smith Institute, a free market thinktank, and the Conservative drug policy reform group, urge ministers to order a review of psilocybin and remove the obstacles faced by researchers.

In turn, the authors of that report wasted little time in identifying where they saw the greatest need for the legalized use of psychedelic drugs. In the Foreword of the report came this statement.
Thousands of men and women from the armed forces, policing and front line medical staff are suffering today from psychological injuries incurred through service to their country. They are unable to find effective treatment in the UK. For these individuals to gain legal access to psilocybin, a substance deemed safe in humans with the potential to provide them with lifesaving psychotherapeutic relief, they are forced to break the law or travel abroad. This report makes the case for removing existing unnecessary blocks to research and drug development so we can unlock the evidence and deliver for them.

The UK report centered on the potential of psilocybin alone.

However, a US-centric article published on the same day touted two other psychedelics for these mental health applications: ibogaine and DMT. Its focus was even more explicitly oriented toward use on military personnel.
Psychedelic drugs can greatly reduce psychiatric symptoms among special forces veterans, study finds

A recent study published in Chronic Stress found support for a psychedelic treatment not yet approved in the United States. US Special Operations Forces (SOF) Veterans treated with ibogaine and 5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) showed large reductions in symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety.

Why is there suddenly so much buzz surrounding the medicinal use of psychedelic drugs? The study supplies a compelling answer.
Davis and his team conducted a study among 51 US SOF veterans who received psychedelic treatment at a clinical program in Mexico between 2017 and 2019…

The results overwhelmingly supported the treatment, uncovering strong decreases in reported symptoms of PTSD, depression, and anxiety following the program. There was also a substantial drop in reports of suicidal ideation and cognitive impairment, and an increase in reported psychological flexibility. In fact, participant reports of post-treatment symptoms no longer met the cut-offs for clinical diagnoses.

Moreover, when asked to evaluate the program, the vast majority (80%) of participants were “either very (28%) or completely (53%) satisfied with the program.” [emphasis mine]

“Participant reports of post-treatment symptoms no longer met the cut-offs for clinical diagnoses.” That’s pretty close to saying these veterans were cured.

Compare this to the dismal success rate of conventional medicine for these same mental health disorders.

Front-line drugs to treat depression (antidepressants) demonstrate a 50% failure rate, with their efficacy only slightly better than placebos.

But sugar pills aren’t addictive. Antidepressants are.

Sugar pills don’t have serious/dangerous side effects. Antidepressants do.

Then there is PTSD.

Roughly 1 in 8 U.S. veterans suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder. Yet the VA and DoD have had limited success in providing treatment for this mental health epidemic among the U.S. armed forces.
VA, DoD recommended PTSD therapies don’t help many military patients, review finds

The psychotherapy approaches considered by the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense to be front-line treatments for military-related PTSD don’t work for up to two-thirds of patients, a new report published in JAMA Insights finds.

A 66% failure rate. Appalling.

For a government that continually urges its citizens to “support our troops”, the U.S. government has great difficulty in providing its veterans with adequate support.

If the clinical results above can be replicated on larger populations, psychedelic drugs may be the answer to the medical woes of military personnel.

Even a few years ago, it’s unthinkable that any conservative think-tank would endorse not only the decriminalization of a psychedelic drug, but also its legal use for medicinal purposes. But most conservatives are military hawks.

If they have to choose between indulging their personal biases against psychedelics or keeping military personnel in tip-top fighting condition, it’s really no choice at all.

The War on Drugs has now taken a perverse and ironic turn.

There is now a battle emerging for the legalization of many of these drugs (for medicinal use).

And one of the primary drivers behind this movement is the desire of Western governments to maintain their capacity to wage other wars.
tank (cover) by Roberts Ratuts is licensed under Adobe Stock


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