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A pioneer in using psychedelics for better mental health, Bliss Mushrooms is joining forces with the Ritual Church of Community Ceremony to provide accessible sacraments to the Ritual Chruch’s congregation, including psychedelics and cannabis, at a sliding scale to first responders and military veterans.
The initiative addresses several key issues facing these groups, including the prohibitively high cost of psychedelic treatments and the need for safe, inclusive spaces in which to take them. That’s why Bliss Mushrooms and the Ritual Church’s new offerings are breaking down financial barriers, ensuring that those who have served our communities and country have priority access to these potentially life-altering therapies. They think of it as a tribute to these heroes and heroines, offering them a helping hand in return for what they have given themselves.
Psychedelics in Treating Addiction and Mental Health
Why psychedelics? In recent years, with the barriers to psychedelic research finally crumbling, psychedelic therapy has shown great promise in treating addiction and mental health issues. Studies have shown that psychedelic-assisted therapy, incorporating substances like psilocybin and MDMA, can be effective in treating conditions like PTSD, a common condition amongst veterans and first responders.
Psychedelic therapy has also been linked to strong positive outcomes for recovering from addictions. For instance, a recent study showed that psilocybin therapy led to a decrease in heavy drinking days in individuals with alcohol use disorder. Similarly, research on the use of psilocybin for treating opioid addiction indicates early promising results. As researchers do more studies, it seems likely they’ll find even more addictions that can be treated with psychedelics.
The Rising Costs of Psychedelic Treatments
Even as psychedelic treatments show exceptional results in modern mental health care, their financial accessibility is a significant concern. For example, even in forward-thinking regions like Oregon, the cost of legally accessing psychedelic substances such as psilocybin has escalated rapidly in just the past couple of years, putting it out of reach for some people who need it, including many veterans and first responders.
Recent reports have a one-hour-long psilocybin trip costing the state as much as $2,500 out of pocket. At the very cheapest, packages range from $1200 to $1500 on average, with more comprehensive packages rising to about $5,000, and the most expensive package, a five-day inclusive experience, costing a staggering $15,000.
These prohibitive costs not only limit the accessibility of psychedelic treatments but also contribute to disparities in which groups of people are getting the benefits of such research and treatments. Speaking of which, this brings up to our next point.
Creating a Safe and Inclusive Space
Creating a safe and inclusive space is essential to moving forward with an effective distribution of psychedelic therapy. The new partnership aims to provide a trauma-informed and compassionate approach to therapy, recognizing the unique challenges that first responders and military veterans face when looking for help.
Safety in this context is synonymous with a trauma-informed approach, which acknowledges the impact of trauma on individuals’ feelings and behaviors. Individuals with certain kinds of trauma can be erratic, irrational, or even aggressive, but that doesn’t mean they are not deserving of help. The pursuit of equitable access to psychedelic therapy, especially for marginalized veterans and first responders, is paramount.
Historically, psychedelic therapy research has been criticized for its lack of diversity, often excluding significant portions of the population who could benefit from these treatments. This partnership between Bliss Mushrooms and the Ritual Church Of Community Ceremony aims to bridge this gap by providing sacraments to those from underrepresented groups as a first priority. The psychedelic healing movement has historically been predominantly white and male. This has led to the underrepresentation of people of color and women, both in psychedelic research and the broader movement toward decriminalization and legalization.
A study by Michaels et al., published in 2018, emphasizes the importance of diversity in psychedelic research, citing that minority groups often face unique challenges that can be addressed through culturally sensitive psychedelic therapy. Furthermore, the Harvard Law School’s Petrie-Flom Center highlights the need for inclusion in psychedelic studies, pointing out that diverse participant populations can actually lead to more comprehensive treatments faster.
By ignoring this lack of diversity, the movement risks missing out on opportunities for collective and intergenerational healing, not to mention continuing the injustice toward marginalized groups. By tipping the scales, compensation for the previous biases can begin.
Bliss Mushrooms’ Community Contributions
Now, let’s look at the company that initiated this partnership, Bliss Mushrooms.
Bliss Mushrooms is known for its commitment to quality and community service, which has significantly enhanced the lives of its local community. They were the first U.S.-based psychedelic company to consistently lab test their products, ensuring they were unadulterated and high-quality. This has garnered them an excellent reputation among tech workers in Silicon Valley. Their products are favored for microdosing in the Valley, a practice lauded for enhancing productivity, boosting creativity, and sharpening focus.
However, after that initial success, they have sought ways to give back. In this effort, Bliss Mushrooms launched a compassionate program that works closely with veterans living at Embark, a 63-unit Veterans Affairs subsidized apartment complex. This program has been instrumental in helping veterans alleviate their PTSD symptoms. Sergeant First Class Rodney B. Burton, commander of the Veterans’ Embark, has endorsed Bliss Mushrooms for their excellent products and positive impact on veterans, expressing how glad he and the rest of the Embark unit are to be at the forefront of this treatment.
Moreover, Bliss Mushrooms’ commitment to community welfare is evident in their active participation in various local initiatives. They have helped with multiple toy and food drives, as well as neighborhood cleanups, and regularly donated personal care supplies to homeless encampments throughout Oakland.
These initiatives and endorsements underscore Bliss Mushrooms’ commitment to the greater community with the platform they have garnered, with no signs of slowing down.
The partnership between Bliss Mushrooms and the Ritual Church Of Community Ceremony should be a solid boon for veterans and first responders. By providing a supportive and safe environment for individuals who would not only greatly benefit from psychedelic treatment but absolutely deserve access to it, the initiative aims to offer effective treatment options for the addiction and mental health issues that are rampant and need fixing.
In the end, these treatments not only help the individuals who need them but also help to move forward future psychedelic research and destigmatize the irrationally maligned medicines.
Published by: Martin De Juan