University of Texas announced that its researchers at Austin’s Dell Medical School recently launched a psychedelic research and therapy center. The center was unveiled last week and it will be the first of its kind in Texas.
The center will be conducting research activities on the potential use of psychedelics to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety and severe depression.
The researchers say the center will be initially focusing on military veterans living with PTSD, adults living with prolonged grief disorder or depression and individuals who have experienced childhood trauma at one point in their lives.
A military veteran, Nate Reeve, who served the navy for 16 years and is currently battling PTSD, says he uses yoga to keep his mental health in check.
“I have dreams that I’m about to jump into a mission and I don’t have my helmet or I can’t find my gun and it just plays on loop,” said Reeve. He further adds that he attended his first clinical psychedelic retreat in June 2021. The retreats focus on specialized therapies for PTSD, anxiety and depression.
“When you go to a retreat, you start with a coach weeks before. You start with lifestyle changes weeks before,” added Reeve who believes that there’s still a relatively limited evidence base for psychedelic therapy.
The center’s co-lead, Greg Fonzo, said their goal is to better understand the potential of psychedelics compounds such as MDMA, ayahuasca, ibogaine and psilocybin when used as as therapies under supervision of a qualified personnel.
“More and more studies coming out that are showing really potentially promising effects for treating various mental health conditions. We have an interest in developing novel treatments for several of those conditions. And I also have been personally interested in psychedelics and how they might be utilized for promoting mental health benefits for several years now,” said Fonzo.