Psychedelic Study Task Force bill approved in Utah Senate
Utah is the latest state that’s coming around to the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. The self-described “morally conservative” state is making moves on the issue when it comes to possible treatment options for those challenged with mental health issues.
In late February, a Utah Senate committee approved a House-passed bill, which is set to create a task force to examine and make recommendations on the therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs. It would also be tasked to make possible regulations for their legal use.
According to the Marijuana Moment, the Senate Health and Human Services Standing Committee cleared the legislation in a voice vote, which was nearly unanimous, with just one opposition.
Republican Rep. Brady Brammer said at the committee hearing that there needs to be effective tools to treat mental illness and if “psychedelics can be helpful and safely administered, we need them in our toolbox.”
The bill would lead to the creation of the "Mental Illness Psychotherapy Drug Task Force," which intends to “study and make recommendations on drugs that may assist in treating mental illness.” The drugs the panel will study are classified as controlled substances that are not available for legal use, but “may be able to treat, manage, or alleviate symptoms from mental illness.”
Acknowledging his conservative beliefs, Brammer admitted that he’s an unusual candidate to carry such a bill forward. However, after closely examining the existing research, he concluded that there are “indications of treatment benefits for treatment resistant depression, PTSD, addiction and existential distress” through the use of certain substances.
He said the task force would help the state stay ahead of things, as the proliferation of mental issues are not going away.
“We’re looking for evidence-based recommendations. If the evidence just isn’t there, if it’s too dangerous, if it’s not something that can be recommended and done so responsibly, that’s something that we’re going to have to discern,” he said. “But if we run away from the issue, I can tell you that we’re going to regret it later on.”
This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. If you are in a life-threatening situation, call the National Suicide Prevention Line at +1 (800) 273-8255, call 911, or go to the nearest emergency room.
Ketamine is not FDA-approved for the treatment of depression or anxiety. Learn more about off-label uses here.
Side effects of ketamine treatment may include: altered sense of time, anxiety, blurred vision, diminished ability to see/hear/feel, dry mouth, elevated blood pressure or heart rate, elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure, excitability, loss of appetite, mental confusion, nausea/vomiting, nystagmus (rapid eye movements), restlessness, slurred speech, synesthesia (a mingling of the senses).
Do not proceed with ketamine treatment if any of the following apply to you:
- Allergic to ketamine
- Symptoms of psychosis or mania
- Uncontrolled high blood pressure
- CHF or other serious heart problem
- Severe breathing problem
- History of elevated intraocular or intracranial pressure
- History of hyperthyroidism
- Other serious medical illness
- Pregnant, nursing, or trying to become pregnant
Ketamine has been reported to produce issues including, but not limited to, those listed below. However, lasting adverse side-effects are rare when medical protocols are carefully followed.
While ketamine has not been shown to be physically addictive, it has been shown to cause moderate psychological dependency in some recreational users.
- In rare cases, frequent, heavy users have reported increased frequency of urination, urinary incontinence, pain urinating, passing blood in the urine, or reduced bladder size
- Ketamine may worsen problems in people with schizophrenia, severe personality disorders, or other serious mental disorders.
- Users with a personal or family history of psychosis should be cautious using any psychoactive substance, including ketamine, and discuss potential risks with your MindBloom® clinician before proceeding with treatment.
- The dissociative effects of ketamine may increase patient vulnerability and the risk of accidents.
To promote positive outcomes and ensure safety, follow these ketamine treatment guidelines:
- Do not operate a vehicle (e.g., car, motorcycle, bicycle) or heavy machinery following treatment until you’ve had a full night of sleep
- Refrain from taking benzodiazepines or stimulants for 24 hours prior to treatment
- Continue to take antihypertensive medication as prescribed
- Avoid hangovers or alcohol intake
- Refrain from consuming solid foods within 3 hours prior to treatment and liquids within 1 hour prior to treatment
- Ketamine treatment should never be conducted without a monitor present to ensure your safety