By Roland Sebestyén
Heroic Hearts Project UK and the USA have invited Imperial College to attend upcoming psychedelic therapy retreats to conduct an observational study about the effects of psilocybin on veterans with a history of traumatic brain injury (TBI).
Beginning in Autumn 2021, HHP will be hosting simultaneous retreats (in the Netherlands for UK participants and Jamaica for USA participants) with a focus on working with veterans who not only may be suffering from psychological issues but may also have sustained head trauma during their service.
At these retreats, veterans will be treated with psilocybin, the naturally occurring compound in “magic mushrooms” that is known for its psychoactive effects.
Research has increasingly demonstrated that psilocybin can be effective in the psychiatric treatment of issues including depression, anxiety, and substance abuse. Head traumas, such as those commonly sustained by veterans during their service, have been linked to the development of such issues.
In addition, the majority of research involving psychedelic compounds to date has been focused on the beneficial psychological impacts with little mention of the physiological effects.
This study will look at both the psychological and physiological effects of psilocybin for TBI using measurable outcomes.
Heroic Hearts Research Director, Dr Grace Blest-Hopley, said: “The potential of psychedelics as healing agents for veterans is becoming ever more apparent.
“With these retreats, we hope to not only achieve the goal of helping our participants but also provide further evidence of psilocybin’s medicinal properties; particularly in the context of head traumas.
“We hope this will then act as groundwork for further research that ultimately could improve the lives of many in the Veteran and non-Veteran population, who are currently suffering.”