Ashland Psilocybin Center Seeks Sponsors For Treating PTSD in Veterans Using “Magic Mushrooms”

ASHLAND, Ore. — Psychedelic psilocybin mushrooms, sometimes called “magic mushrooms,” advocated for use in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in war veterans by organizations such as the NPO Heroic Hearts Project (HHP), are central to a PTSD healing program offered by the Omnia Group in Ashland.

The group is looking to collaborate with the NPO to help heal local veterans suffering from PTSD by bringing free or reduced-cost “psilocybin experiences.”

A fundraiser for HHP was held by Omnia on Saturday to raise money that will go towards scholarships for veterans seeking treatment for PTSD. The amount raised has not yet been made available but co-owner of Omnia, Michelle Lindley, confirmed that it was attended by 55 people.


What Are Psilocybin Mushrooms

Psilocybin is a hallucinogenic chemical that occurs in over 100 species of mushrooms worldwide, including different types of mushrooms that grow wild in Oregon. Also known as “magic mushrooms” or “shrooms,” ongoing research is delving into the potential of psilocybin to treat various mental health issues including obsessive-compulsive disorders, anxiety, and depression.

Advocates for psilocybin say it is particularly effective in treating PTSD sufferers and traumatic brain injuries. These are both prevalent in combat veterans of the over-20-year U.S. global war on terrorism.

Following the approval of Ballot Measure 109 in 2020 by Oregon Voters, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) established a regulatory framework to regulate service centers that administer psychedelic mushrooms, helping ensure they operate in a supervised and controlled way. The ballot measure has since become Oregon law.

Measure 109  allows the use of psilocybin for therapeutic purposes but state law doesn’t allow the retail purchase of psychedelic mushrooms. Those using psilocybin for medical purposes must be age 21 or older to receive treatments and it is listed by the U.S. government as a Schedule 1 narcotic. Schedule 1 drugs are defined as possessing a high potential for abuse or drugs that have no recognized medical uses under federal law.

Read: Hundreds Flock To Oregon’s Legal Psilocybin Mushroom, Most Of Them Out Of State


Magic Mushroom Programs For Veterans Suffering From PTSD

Resident clinical psychologist at HHP, Zach Skiles, a former U.S. Marine and Iraq War veteran, was a guest speaker at the Omnia fundraiser. He said that he benefited immensely from the supervised use of psilocybin in treating his own PTSD and has also seen impressive results in other veterans.

Skiles said that psilocybin is the safest psychedelic they know about. He noticed people’s cognitive abilities were improving with psilocybin and saw their trust factor go up as their PTSD symptoms went down. He hopes to establish a long-term affiliation between Omnia and HHP which would benefit veterans through a “community of shared language and shared understanding about what psilocybin and other psychedelics are, and what they can do.”

HHP indicated that less than 10% of veterans who start traditional PTSD treatment programs complete their treatment. Research of their psychedelic programs by King’s College, London, found that over 80% of veterans experienced significant improvement.

Related: Oregon’s Emerging “Magic Mushroom” Industry And Legalization Covered In New CNN Documentary


Psilocybin Program Sponsorship

Brian Lindley, co-owner of Omnia indicated that the fundraising efforts are to raise enough money for the Omnia programs to be part of the HHP’s network of psychedelics-based programs, ensuring former military members could get dedicated financial assistance at the service center.

The “psilocybin experiences” on the Omnia website include an initial consultation and screening process, finding a preferred facilitator, and customizing the experience in the way that best supports the participant. The fee to work with a facilitator can be as much as $2,500, not including the cost of the psilocybin.  One-on-one and group psilocybin sessions are offered.

Oregon health insurance plans don’t cover the costs but means testing results in a sliding scale of fees according to Lindley, who also said that there is a limited amount of scholarship money available currently. The program is intended to benefit veterans, many of whom have become desperate.

The donors are being sought for HHP programs, a nonprofit that helps veterans access psychedelic programs.

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