Following the historic passage of Measure 109, the Oregon Health Authority was tasked with overseeing an advisory board to help determine rules for regulating therapeutic psilocybin programs starting in 2023. Over the course of two years, committees will be issuing reports and recommendations regarding research, equity, products, and licensing, similar to how the OHA initially developed regulations for the Oregon Medical Marijuana Program. The research subcommittee recently released initial research findings in a report authored by an impressive collection of experts and medical professionals. The Healing Advocacy Fund emailed about the initial findings:
“The Board’s eight-week review of over 600 research citations of psilocybin indicated that ‘high quality phase 1 and 2 clinical trials suggest that psilocybin is efficacious in reducing depression and anxiety, including in life-threatening conditions.’ The report also cited initial research showing that psilocybin services could be helpful in reducing alcohol and tobacco use, could increase well-being and that most study participants rated their psilocybin experiences as ‘highly meaningful’ to their lives.
“These are significant findings. This report represents the first time a state government has done such a thorough review of the available research. It’s another proof point in the growing evidence that psilocybin can be an effective treatment for healing and growth.”
From the report itself:
“High quality phase 1 and 2 clinical trials suggest that psilocybin is efficacious in reducing depression
and anxiety, including in life-threatening conditions. The effect sizes of psilocybin treatment trials are
large, though limited diversity of clinical trials participants limits generalizability. In all of these trials,
psilocybin is administered in the context of counseling support in the weeks before and after dosing.
The FDA has designated psilocybin a breakthrough therapy for treatment of depression, indicating that
preliminary clinical evidence suggests it may represent a significant improvement over existing
therapies. Initial research also suggests that psilocybin may be efficacious in reducing problematic
alcohol and tobacco use. Across studies, psilocybin increases spiritual well-being which may mediate
other observed benefits. Study participants also commonly rate their psilocybin experiences as highly
While there is ample research showing great potential mental health benefits of psilocybin available on various corners of the internet, it is remarkable for a state health agency to have a hub of experts compiling and analyzing available data, and making recommendations for therapeutic use. With more and more research being conducted and psychedelics moving into the mainstream, we can certainly expect more states to follow Oregon’s pioneering example. Over the next few years, Oregon advocates and policymakers should ensure that the Beaver State remains on the forefront of the psychedelic revolution by implementing a therapeutic program for others to follow and to consider efforts to legalize the medicinal use of other psychedelic medicines as well. It’s an exciting time for the drug reform community and Oregonians should be proud of putting the state at the leading edge of a medical movement to improve the wellbeing of so many people.