Psilocybin treatment centers in Oregon have administered magic mushrooms to over 700 people in 2023, the inaugural year of the program.
Numbers reported by the Seattle Times who cited the Healing Advocacy Fund, a non-profit organization which supports the advancement of psychedelic therapies in Oregon and Washington, tally the total number of people who have accessed psilocybin therapy this year in Oregon at 715. Over 100 people have accessed the services in the last 20 days alone, as the Healing Advocacy Fund reported on Dec. 7 that the total number was just over 600. The Healing Advocacy Fund could not immediately be reached for confirmation on the latest numbers.
“Last week, the psychedelic community came together for a celebration around the progress we’ve made on safe and affordable psychedelic access,” a portion of a Healing Advocacy Fund press release said. “Now, this small but mighty program has been able to build a solid foundation of healing that has served over 600 clients to date. We know that in short order, this number will surpass the number of those who’ve undergone FDA clinical trials, and the nascent Oregon psilocybin community will be leading the way nationally for access to psilocybin therapy. What an honor and a privilege it is to be a part of this work, and to get to see so many people invested in psychedelic healing.”
Oregon Ballot Measure 109, better known as the Psilocybin Services Act, was voted into law in November, 2020 and allowed for the Oregon Health Authority to “license and regulate the manufacturing, transportation, delivery, sale, and purchase of psilocybin products and the provision of psilocybin services” to adults over the age of 21. The state took two years to develop regulations and framework for psilocybin services as allotted by the language of the bill, and the first psilocybin service centers were permitted to open in May of this year.
Since that time 20 psilocybin service centers have opened their doors offering a range of services for a range of symptoms and mental disorders that psilocybin treatments have shown promising results for, most prevalently depression and anxiety but psilocybin has also been studied as a potential treatment for PTSD, addiction and dozens if not hundreds more potential ailments.
Courtney Campbell and his wife, also named Courtney Campbell, opened a psilocybin treatment center in Northwest Portland called Chariot. According to an article in the Seattle Times, Chariot opened about two months ago and has been administering psilocybin ever since. The male half of the Courtney Campbells told the Seattle Times it was his own experience using psilocybin to get off his long-utilized medications for depression and anxiety that inspired him to throw his own hat in the ring of some of the first state-sanctioned psychedelic treatments in the continental United States.
“I don’t know what it does,” Campbell said. “But what I know is that it helped me with my depression and anxiety. It’s the only substance that makes me not want to do any other substance.”
As of now, psilocybin service centers in Oregon do not report patient data to the state but Senate Bill 303, which was signed by Governor Tina Kotek this last June, will allow for certain data to be collected and reported to the Oregon Health Authority. The requirements of the bill go into effect in 2025.
SB 303 would require service centers to report “the number of clients served, the average number of sessions per client, and the average dose of psilocybin per client,” according to the text of the bill. This information would be submitted quarterly to the Oregon Health Authority along with other basic identifying information found on most forms for any kind of healthcare like race, ethnicity, language, disability status, sexual orientation, gender identity, income, age, and county of residence.
Other information submitted would include the quantity of people denied care and the reasons for doing so as well as any adverse reactions that may take place during treatment. One of the main reasons the bill was passed was to prioritize social equity in the course of distributing licenses and determining proper regulations for such a novel and relatively untested program. Angie Allbee, who manages Oregon Psilocybin Services told the Seattle Times these matters are a top priority for her.
“As we continue working toward eliminating health inequities in Oregon,” Allbee said, “we look to the coming year as a time to deepen our commitment to equity and access, to community partnerships, and to safe, effective, and equitable psilocybin services.”