HARLINGEN, Texas (ValleyCentral) – The Texas legislature has approved two bills to help veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). A bill, drafted by State Representative Alex Dominguez of Brownsville, creates a study on non-traditional treatment for veterans.
The study will test the effectiveness of psilocybin or magic mushrooms, MDMA and ketamine as alternatives to traditional drugs given for PTSD.
The study hopes to prove that these drugs are safe and effective to use and that they are more successful than traditional antidepressants and anti-anxiety medications, which tend to have side effects.
“Over the past 20 years, we have lost over 115,000 veterans to PTSD-related suicide in the United States,” said Dominguez. “We lose about 20 veterans every day to suicide. “
Currently, doctors are prescribing psychotropic drugs such as antidepressants and anxiolytics for veterans with PTSD.
These drugs affect the mood of the people who take them, but they can have negative side effects and the drugs do not always make people feel normal. “The levels they need to be prescribed, for some of these veterans, almost leaves them in a zombie state,” Dominguez said.
There are already veterans groups and nonprofit organizations working to treat people with PTSD with alternative medicine.
Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions, or VETS, was founded by 13-year Navy Seal veteran Marcus Capone and his wife, Amber, executive director of VETS, after Marcus retired from the military and suffered from symptoms of PTSD.
Capone said PTSD is common among the military, especially in special forces troops like him.
He said being in a chaotic, combat-filled environment, away from his family for months, contributes to the mental strain that military personnel face.
“It’s a long time to be out of the world – if you want to call it the real world – then when you come back to that place you’re just not the same. You are not the same, ”Capone said.
The VET began after Marcus and Amber said they felt “run out of options”. The couple said the treatments worked very quickly and they needed to tell others about it.
They officially launched their nonprofit in 2019, but have “raised funds for more than 400 veterans, mostly special operators,” to get psychedelic-assisted therapy abroad since 2017.
The difference between the veterans who receive the treatment is night and day compared to what they were before.
“They have a new purpose, they are connected with their family again, they feel good about life. It’s a remarkable turnaround in such a short period of time, ”he said.
Amber said psychedelic-assisted therapy was a miracle for their family, and she hopes the study advocated by Rep. Dominguez and former Governor Rick Perry will allow other veterans with PTSD to access treatment. in their own country.
“Well done to Texas, and I hope a bunch of other states follow because it’s absolutely, desperately needed,” she said.
Representative Dominguez told ValleyCentral that the medical trial was being conducted by the Houston Veterans Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine.
Dominguez has said he expects the trial to be successful and wants to extend it during the next legislative session in January 2023.