Oregon is set to become the first state in the country to license psychedelic facilitators, as a program that has trained professionals to lead psilocybin-assisted therapies has graduated its inaugural class.
The Oregon Psilocybin Services Program (OPSP), founded by a group of mental health and drug policy reform advocates, has concluded its first training program for facilitators. The aim of the program is to provide Oregonians with access to psilocybin-assisted therapies that could help with issues such as depression, anxiety, addiction, and other mental health problems.
The program was designed to create a framework for facilitators to provide these services to clients in a safe, professional, and legal manner. It is not meant to provide the psilocybin itself, but rather to prepare facilitators to provide appropriate guidance and support during sessions.
The curriculum includes topics such as psychedelics and mental health, the legal framework of psychedelic-assisted therapy, and ethical considerations. Program participants also receive training in how to provide a safe and supportive environment for clients, as well as how to recognize and respond to potential risks.
The first class of facilitators, who graduated in May 2021, must now complete the Oregon Health Authority’s licensing process before they can start providing services to clients. This includes undergoing a criminal background check, taking a licensing exam, and providing proof of professional liability insurance.
Once the facilitators are licensed, they will be able to provide psilocybin-assisted therapies to Oregonians who have been diagnosed with a qualifying mental health condition by a licensed health care professional. The services will be provided in a supervised setting, and clients will be required to sign waivers stating that they understand the potential risks of the treatment and that it is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The success of the Oregon Psilocybin Services Program is expected to pave the way for similar programs in other states. Already, several states, including California, Colorado, and Washington, have begun to explore the potential of allowing psychedelic-assisted therapies, and it is likely that more will join in the near future.
The inauguration of the Oregon Psilocybin Services Program marks a watershed moment in the nation’s journey towards more equitable access to mental health care that includes psychedelics. The program’s graduates are set to become the first ever licensed psychedelic facilitators in the United States, signaling the beginning of a new era of legal access to these potentially life-altering treatments.