Magic Mushroom - ATMA

End-of-life distress has been an ongoing focus for psilocybin clinical trials, as psilocybin has the potential to offer relief for existential distress when other forms of treatment fail.

Health Canada has granted access to psilocybin through the Section 56 Exemption program, which is a patient led application requesting access to psilocybin. These exemptions are reviewed on a case-by-case basis for urgent mental health conditions and end-of-life distress. ATMA has received 19 approvals for palliative care patients, with most of them experiencing profound breakthroughs. 

In addition to the anxiolytic effects of psilocybin treatments, palliative care patients have also experienced intense pain relief following these treatments. For instance, one of ATMA’s clients was able ween off his pain medications, including morphine, only remaining on a minimal dose of fentanyl (to mitigate withdrawal symptoms) for the last few weeks of his life. 

“There is only LOVE.” Another client made the personal discovery that love was everything; there was only love, and for her, this message was deeply profound and brought her great peace. 

How do you put this into a government form? How do you show the governing bodies just how profound these experiences are? While clinical trials use questionnaires to operationalize these experiences, this eliminates the personal component, which is arguably the most meaningful aspect of this type of treatment.

Most psilocybin experiences are described as ineffable, meaning that words cannot fully capture the essence of someone’s experience.

If you are interested in ATMA’s Introduction to Psychedelic-assisted Therapy, Book a consultation

Health Canada has been tightening access to the Section 56 Exemption program since amendments to the Special Access Program (SAP) were made in January 2022, which allows for psilocybin to be accessed in medical emergencies. Since these recent amendments, in order to now be considered for the Section 56 Exemption program, patients must first be rejected by the SAP. This adds additional stress, time, and effort to what a client must endure to gain access to psilocybin that would likely ease their suffering.

Can you imagine receiving a terminal diagnosis and having to endure the anxiety associated with such a discovery? On top of that, you are now denied possibly the only available treatment that could actually help ease your existential distress caused by this diagnosis.

Where do these patients go from there? What options do they have left?

Psilocybin is one of the safest psychoactive substances that we can consume.

The risk of overdose is extremely minimal, especially in patients who have been screened by a physician prior to use. Physiologically speaking, our bodies rapidly develop a tolerance to psilocybin; for instance, if an individual consumes 5g of psilocybin today, the same dose the following day would have a lesser effect.  Dependence is also not a concern; in fact, there is evidence suggesting psilocybin can help treat drug addictions.

Let us utilize the numerous studies and research on psilocybin to fast-track its legalization for end-of-life anxiety. This could drastically change the journey people experience as their life comes to an end; it could allow for these patients to die peacefully.

This is an important conversation to have with your family, friends, and colleagues. Do you feel that people experiencing end-of-life anxiety should be allowed access to psilocybin?

To move this process forward, we all need to speak out and share with our MLAs, MPs, and anyone else that can influence access to psilocybin for palliative care patients.

If you are interested in ATMA’s Introduction to Psychedelic-assisted Therapy, Book a consultation

Thank you for supporting this movement!

The ATMA Academy Team

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