Summary: Congress has passed the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which includes funding for research into psychedelic treatments for U.S. military members with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) or traumatic brain injuries (TBI). The bill allocates $10 million for this research and requires the Department of Defense to establish a psychedelics research program within 180 days of the bill’s enactment.
Defense Spending Bill Includes Funding for Psychedelic Treatments in Military
The NDAA, recently passed by Congress, marks a significant step in exploring the potential of psychedelic treatments for mental health conditions among military personnel. The bill, which received approval from both the Senate and the House of Representatives, is now awaiting President Joe Biden’s consideration.
Under the NDAA, the Department of Defense is mandated to create a system allowing active duty service members with PTSD or TBI to participate in clinical trials studying psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, MDMA, ibogaine, and 5-MeO-DMT. The legislation earmarks $10 million for this purpose and sets a 180-day deadline for the establishment of the research program.
The inclusion of this provision in the NDAA was spearheaded by Texas Republican Representative Morgan Luttrell, a member of the House Armed Services Committee and the NDAA Conference Committee. Luttrell emphasized the importance of exploring alternative therapies like psychedelic therapy to treat PTSD and support TBI research.
The psychedelic research amendment is based on the Douglas Mike Day Psychedelic Therapy to Save Lives Act, named after a Navy SEAL who suffered from PTSD and later died by suicide. The bill, introduced by Texas Republican Representative Dan Crenshaw, aims to provide new treatment options for service members affected by the traumas of war.
The initiative has garnered bipartisan support, including from progressive Democrats like Representatives Ro Khanna of California and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York. Ocasio-Cortez acknowledged the powerful potential of psychedelics, while Luttrell viewed the legislation as an additional tool to enhance the quality of life for service members.
The NDAA’s final approval and anticipated signing by President Biden reflect a growing interest in the therapeutic potential of psychedelics for mental health conditions.
Source: High Times
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