The Opiate Epidemic and the Need for Psychedelic Medicine

The Opiate Epidemic and the Need for Psychedelic Medicine

In the wake of the most serious drug epidemic America has ever seen, the need for addiction treatment that works has never been greater. Opioid addiction (mainly prescription pills and heroin) has skyrocketed over the past decade. Heroin-related deaths have more than quadrupled since 2010. And while effective treatment for this deadly epidemic is now needed more than ever, traditional drug rehab programs only work a small percentage of the time. And it’s not just drug rehab that isn’t working. People seeking treatment for alcohol addiction in traditional rehab facilities are finding themselves returning time and time again. It’s estimated that 40-60 percent of people who attend rehab will relapse. And with most drug and alcohol rehabilitation based around the 12-step programs, many people are being left behind. There’s got to be another way. Alcoholics Anonymous (AA), and the 12-step principles around which this program is based, was founded way back in 1935. It has since become tightly woven into the foundation of traditional addiction treatment in the US. Of the countless treatment centers and rehabs available to treat drug and alcohol addiction, most are loosely based upon the ideals AA upholds. While statistics on the success rates of AA are hard to come by, there’s evidence that shows they are not very effective for long-term sobriety. And while most people think of AA as the one and only solution to addiction, they only believe this because it’s all they have really been exposed to. The problem is, we lack exposure to alternative methods. When people choose to get treatment for addiction, they’re obviously looking to end their addiction for good. No one wants to...
The New History of Psychedelic Medicine

The New History of Psychedelic Medicine

Psychedelic medicine has made huge advances in the past decade. Psilocybin treats anxiety and depression, and MDMA is making amazing progress treating PTSD. Ayahuasca is something almost everyone’s heard of, and ibogaine’s becoming one of the most sought after addiction treatments. As we move steadily into the new millennium we’re starting to see a lot more people take notice of this. The Early History of Psychedelic Medicine Research on psychedelics isn’t anything new. Before the 1960s, psychedelics weren’t just studied, they were respected. LSD showed great promise in treating addiction and was studied for its efficacy against many different psychological disorders. Long before this, however, psychedelic plants were being used in various ritual ceremonies and among various native tribes around the world. There’s also strong evidence that cultural use of psychotropic plants has been happening for centuries. Peyote has been used ceremonially since 1000BC and is an integral part of Native American culture. Psilocybin is central to Aztec tribes. How long psychedelic mushrooms were used by them is unknown because Roman Catholic missionaries destroyed most records in Mexico. Rock paintings of mushrooms and temples dedicated to mushroom gods go back to 7000BC, however. The history of psychedelics is long. And if those stand behind the medicinal benefits they offer can continue to research these beneficial effects, their history is far from over. The “Recent” History of Psychedelic Medicine During the mid-20th century, chemists and other scientists started taking more interest in natural psychedelic substances and began to make new synthetic compounds that imitated what was found in nature. They then gave them to their friends. The very early days of...
Addiction After Injury: How Painkillers are Causing Heroin Addiction  Copy

Addiction After Injury: How Painkillers are Causing Heroin Addiction Copy

It’s no secret that there’s a heroin epidemic raging across the US. Addiction statistics are off the charts when it comes to heroin use, and it’s affecting practically every demographic there is. Those most at risk? Quite often it’s those who have suffered an injury who run the greatest possibility of becoming someone who’s hooked on heroin. How Can Painkillers Prescribed for an Injury Lead to Heroin Use? It all stem from the prescription pain medication prescribed after someone’s suffered an injury. This means that many who get hurt (from teen athletes injured in sports to someone who slipped and broke their ankle) are given painkillers to take until their symptoms improve. The thing is, most of these prescription pain pills hold high potential for addiction–and this addiction is what often leads to heroin use. Heroin offers similar effects to prescription meds. It feeds addiction almost exactly the same way as painkillers do, and does so at a fraction of the cost. Painkillers can be expensive (and difficult to attain) on the black market, and heroin’s something that’s cheap. Not only that, but it’s readily available pretty much everywhere. So, once the addiction sets in, many search for more pain medications. After being addicted to pain medication addicts seek a cheaper solution, which often leads to heroin use. Prescription Medication Causes Dependency Prescription painkillers are also known as opioids. They work by reducing the amount of pain signals that reach the brain while influencing certain areas in the brain that control emotion. And while they certainly do provide pain relief (and sometimes feeling of euphoria), they are also causing the biggest opioid epidemic...
The Crossroads Treatment Center is now the Crossroads Research Initiative, a single source compiling psychedelic research data, offering expert consultations, clinical guidance, case studies and best practices for integrative psychedelic medicine.
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