The Legal Status of Psychedelics
Most psychedelic medicines are still available legally only within the context of FDA-approved research into their uses for depression, anxiety, demoralization, addictions, PTSD and other diagnoses.
LSD, magic mushrooms containing psilocybin and psilocin, Ayahuasca containing DMT, mescaline, and MDMA are still Schedule I controlled substances. While we hope that their legal status may change in the future, for now their use occurs "underground" and not within medical practice.
At My Doctor Medical Group we are actively involved in the research necessary to bring forward into clinical these promising substances. And because of our knowledge and experience in the clinical and research applications of psychedelics, our doctors and therapists are able to help people safely prepare for psychedelic use, and integrate their experiences into their every-day life after coming back.
What is Psychedelic Integration Therapy?
Psychedelic integration therapy involves processing a psychedelic experience in a therapeutic context, after the fact. It is distinct from a guided psychedelic session in which the facilitator is present while the client is under the influence of the substance.
An experience of a non-ordinary state of consciousness catalyzed by the ingestion of a psychedelic or entheogenic substance can sometimes be a very dis-integrating process. It is often advisable to have professional help to most effectively re-integrate the mind, body and spirit. Integration involves psychological and somatic processing of the experience and a successful assimilation of insights into one’s life for the purpose of growth, healing and well-being.
Our physicians and psychotherapists at My Doctor Medical Group take a compassionate, non-directive and empowering approach to helping our patients make the most from psychedelic experiences.
NOTE: We do not provide Schedule I substances to patients outside of FDA-approved research protocols. Nor do we encourage engagement in illegal activities, including the purchase and consumption of illegal substances. In accordance with ethical and legal standards, we do not refer or assist our patients in seeking out purveyors of "underground" psychedelic therapy. We use a harm-reduction approach to provide education, improve safety, and help integrate experiences after the fact.
Safe Preparation for Psychedelic Use
In keeping with a compassionate harm-reduction approach, we are experts at helping to educate our patients about the safe use of these powerful medicines.
Research into the use psychedelics extends back to the 1950s, so there is an extensive body of knowledge about their use for personal growth and creativity, in addition to the treatment of mental health and addictive conditions.
We help our patients understand how these medicines might interact with:
- Other medications;
- Physical health conditions;
- Psychological issues and stressors;
Our physicians can also conduct a review of health status including:
- A comprehensive physical examination;
- A psychological evaluation, identification of intentions, goals and risk factors;
- Review of medications and dietary supplements to avoid unanticipated interactions;
- Cardiac testing and risk stratification as indicated;
- Laboratory testing as indicated.
Come in for a consultation and benefit from Dr. Paul Abramson's long experience helping his patients safely navigate adventures in physical, emotional and spiritual realms.
Our Team of Specialists
Our founder and medical director, Paul Abramson MD, leads our team of behavioral medicine experts. We utilize a highly integrative approach that combines the right combination of advanced medical diagnostics and therapeutics, psychotherapy and applied neuroscience, psychopharmacology, and can also include nutritional support, dietary supplements, acupuncture, personal training and other modalities.
Ketamine for Depression and Anxiety Disorders
Ketamine is the one psychedelic compound which is currently legal to administer to patients in a medical setting in the United States. A dissociative anesthetic used in pediatric and adult anesthesia, procedural sedation and pain management, ketamine has also been found in clinical studies to quickly reverse certain cases of severe treatment-resistant depression. Other research has suggested potential utility in obsessive compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and other mental health conditions.
At My Doctor Medical Group we have been providing ketamine-assisted psychotherapy since 2016, amassing a substantial amount of experience in how best to decide whether ketamine will be a useful addition to a treatment plan, t dose and route of administration will work best, and how to integrate the experience to achieve the best outcomes.
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
MDMA, technically an empathogen and not a true psychedelic, is a phenethylamine molecule resynthesized by Dr. Alexander Shulgin in the late 1970s and initially used to augment psychotherapy for individuals and couples until the DEA placed it on Schedule 1 in 1983, making therapeutic use illegal in the US. While there were various societal and cultural reasons for this action, a potentially groundbreaking treatment was lost to those who could benefit from it, for more than 30 years.
Thanks to the hard work of many researchers and advocates over decades, MDMA is moving this year into phase 3 clinical trials in the US for the treatment of severe PTSD. Phase 2 trial results of a specific therapeutic protocol in were highly encouraging, showing benefits substantially greater than currently available conventional treatments, without adverse effects.While not yet available outside of authorized clinical trials, it is possible that limited use in clinical practice will be possible by 2019.
Psilocybin for Depression
Psilocybin, the predominant psychoactive ingredient in Psilocybe species mushrooms that were traditionally used in indigenous spiritual practices in southern Mexico, has become a prime candidate for a new treatment model for severe depression.
Other conditions are also being investigated, including alcohol use disorders, demoralization in long-term AIDS survivors, tobacco use disorders, and anxiety related to life-threatening illness or end of life.
Also poised to enter phase 3 clinical studies for depression in 2018, psilocybin is combined with a course of psychotherapy aimed at making best use of the psychedelic experience through careful preparation, curation and integration. DEA rescheduling out of Schedule I is not likely before 2021 or 2022.
“I started with a small solo medical practice, in the style of practicing medicine that my grandfather and great-grandfather did before me. I always focus on the patient and applying great attention to detail, something I still do proudly. As we continue to grow, I will fiercely maintain this commitment to quality, ethics and the patient-doctor relationship while simultaneously using the best tools and technology from every discipline. This is how I achieve optimal results for my patients.”
–Dr. Paul Abramson, M.D. | Medical Director, My Doctor Medical Group
“I started with a small solo medical practice, a style of practicing medicine like my grandfather and great-grandfather did, focusing on the patient and applying great attention to detail. As we grow in size, we’re maintaining this commitment to quality, ethics and the doctor-patient relationship while using the best tools and technology from every discipline to achieve optimal results.”
–Dr. Paul Abramson, M.D. | Medical Director, My Doctor Medical Group