The Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board released a study on July 30 showing that psilocybin, the chemical compound found in psychedelic mushrooms, is effective at reducing depression and anxiety, even in life-threatening circumstances. The Board and Oregon Health Authority (OHA) says they have reached a critical milestone in the building of the first state psilocybin therapy program started by Ballot Measure 109.
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In 2019, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave psilocybin “breakthrough therapy” designation for treating depression and anxiety. This designation expedites the clinical testing process of drugs with significant preliminary evidence.
Ballot Measure 109, passed in November 2020 in response to the growing evidence, started a two-year development period and created the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board to regulate the use of psilocybin products. The early evidence of psilocybin’s effect on depression and anxiety led to further research conducted by the Board.
The Board consists of five subcommittees on topics including equity, training, research, products, and licensing. The subcommittees meet regularly to brainstorm rules and regulations and also share research findings.
According to the report, 67% of participants with major depressive disorder achieved remission at one week and 42% maintained remission at three months. Research in the report suggests that psilocybin can also help reduce alcohol and tobacco abuse. Psilocybin reportedly creates meaningful experiences which aid those with mental and behavioral health struggles.
“Across studies, psilocybin increases spiritual well-being which may mediate other observed benefits. Study participants also commonly rate their psilocybin experiences as highly meaningful.”
Tom Eckert, chair of the Oregon Psilocybin Advisory Board, says the board is “laser-focused” on the development of recommendations for usage of psilocybin in therapy and wellness programs statewide.
“Science is fundamental, so organizing the scientific literature relating to psilocybin was a first priority. This comprehensive review will put us on solid ground moving forward.”
Angie Allbee, manager of the Psilocybin Services Station at the OHA Public Health Division, thanked the board for its research.
“Making this information available for the public is a significant step forward as the findings and recommendations will help OHA implement a comprehensive regulatory framework that will provide safe and effective psilocybin services.”
The Board and OHA will continue to have discussions on rules and regulation until the end of the development period on December 31, 2022. The Board will meet next on August 25th.