#006 How Psychedelics Will be Delivered?
Thoughts on Delivery at the International Forum on Consciousness
Hello and welcome to The Trip Report!
One of the first things I thought would be useful for The Trip Report is a list of ideas, concepts, theories, and issues that stakeholders in the current psychedelic renaissance will have to face, argue over and negotiate in the next few years, I am calling these The Big Ideas.
One of the Big Ideas I’ve dubbed Decriminalization vs. Legalization vs. Medicalization.
At this point in my understanding this seems to be the cornerstone issue, how will policy, business and practice shape up and how will access to psychedelics look in light of these developments, how will access to training for therapists and physicians look and how will the legal landscape effect the underground?
I have no idea.
But last week in Wisconsin a group of people discussed the issue at the International Forum on Consciousness, the theme of this years meeting just so happened to be: PSYCHEDELIC THERAPY IN SOCIETY: EXPLORING THE MECHANISMS OF ACTION AND DELIVERY OF CARE
Well shit, that’s our jam here at The Trip Report.
I was made aware of this conference from this tweet from Dennis Mcknenna announcing videos of the presentations was available:
Day 1 of the conference was a series of presentations on the science to date from notable researchers Robin Carhart-Harris, Adam Halberstadt, John McCorvy and Stevens Rehen followed by a panel discussion.
But the topic of Day 2 really caught our attention with the following presentations:
Delivering Psychedelic Therapy Within and For Community – Bennet Zelner
Is There a Way to Revolutionize Mental Health Without Increasing Disparities? – Heidi Allen
Light & Shadow: Opportunities and Perils in the Clinical Practice of Psychedelic Medicine – Will Siu
Psychedelics in Mainstream Medicine: How Do We Get There? – Jack Henningfield
Craig A. Vercruysse, who I have never heard of, gave the introductory talk titled “Delivering Psychedelics to Society: Context and Questions” that stood out as potentially meaningful in adding to my understanding of the questions of the business, policy and impact of psychedelics.
Early in his talk Vercruysse notes that he is new to the field of psychedelics (I’m in the same boat brother) and it is the promise of the field for overhauling a belabored mental and behavioral health system that has drawn him in.
After a short preamble he posits:
“Hypothesis: psychedelics, delivered properly, have the potential for the greatest transformational change in society during our life time.”
I imagine many might tense up upon learning that Vercruysse’s career has been in “Lean” Health Care Consulting and his citing at such a conference is further evidence the capitalists are circling the wagons on psychedelics.
But he addresses a question that is central to The Trip Report’s mission, which is, What does the future of Psychedelic Medicine look like? And how will treatment be delivered?
His first point was to compare the scientific foundation which provides ample mechanistic evidence and sure footing upon which further research can be built to what little data there is about successful delivery and access.
His presentation turns to this question about 22 minutes and below are the issues he addresses:
“How do we handle creating a model that frankly does not exist for healthcare today? We have a very inequitable health system. What is the model that we are going to create to make sure that we don’t perpetuate that? What is the thinking that we need to do to make sure that regardless of who you are it is your right to have access at the same cost…. how do we make sure that we can design that system? Maybe there are models in the world that can help us… How do we learn from nature to define how this might work?”
“How do you cover it or do you cover it? What’s the cost displacement?”
“I’ve talked to many of the providers here and you tell me, “If I have to deal with insurance, that is not my ideal state. I only do work without insurance companies”
“How tightly coupled will Psychedelic medicine be integrated with primary care?”
What needs to be tightly controlled and what can be loosely controlled? The science must be tightly controlled but perhaps experimentation with delivery options, the training of guides.
“Who are the competent people who are trained a certain why and reach a certain level of expertise to be able to qualify to be guides and facilitators? We are going to have to make sure there is a gold standard for that… these are standards that are not fully developed yet”
What is the administrative burden on caretakers in this paradigm?
“to make sure there is transparency in what is happening, there is no room for error or misinterpretation or assumption”
“what can we learn from other inventions that have gone against the grain?”
Drug companies may be the biggest hurdle in rolling out the model of care that the psychedelic community wants to see, how do we manage that challenge?
How do we manage perception management and stay ahead of the press which will report on the bad trips and bad outcomes of a new paradigm?
Verycrusse ended his presentation with the following lines that echo the dynamic tension that is palpable in the psychedelic community between the enthusiasm, hope and excitement on the one hand and the need for rigor, patience and time, or as I think of it The Ghost of Timothy Leary
“It feels like we’re on the precipice of explosion in demand and energy to make psychedelics happen in the world. My caution is, let’s be careful that we don’t get out ahead of our skis. Let’s be careful that we don’t let enthusiasm, which is outstanding and necessary for change, take us off the scientific method of testing change”