Since recently, an increasing number of military veterans have turned to psychedelic therapy as an unconventional treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). While this unconventional approach has caused both hope and controversy in the medical community, John Lewandowski of local military veteran fame describes his personal journey using psychedelics to regain his life after struggling with both PTSD and addiction. This article delves deeper into potential benefits and risks associated with this alternative form of therapy as well as potential VA consideration of such alternative solutions for veterans like Lewandowski.
John Lewandowski’s experience is all too common among veterans returning from war. After serving in Afghanistan and surviving an IED explosion, he returned home with a traumatic brain injury and an overwhelming sense of trauma that refused to go away even with treatment from Veterans Administration psychiatrists involving benzodiazepines and opioids – no matter what lengths were taken by medical providers to find relief through medications that failed him; ultimately no pharmaceutical could alter their brain chemistry to provide any lasting change for Lewandowski.
Finding Hope Through Psychedelics
Lewandowski found comfort through psychedelics such as psilocybin found in magic mushrooms. These substances, currently classified by the Drug Enforcement Administration as Schedule I drugs due to their perceived high potential for abuse and lack of known medical use; however, Lewandowski’s experience tells a different tale.
He describes an unforgettable journey facilitated by psilocybin that allowed him to confront his trauma head-on and find peace on the other side. “I was able to overcome night terrors and isolation; healing from past trauma became easier; finally being free.”
Congressman Chris Deluzio, a naval veteran himself, strongly advocates for legislation to explore the potential use of psychedelics in treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). He believes science and medicine should guide decisions regarding treatment. Consequently, Deluzio serves on both House Veterans Affairs and Armed Services committees and is calling for bipartisan legislation that facilitates research while eliminating legal hurdles to this form of therapy.
Deluzio’s efforts do not stand alone. He is inviting VA officials to a hearing to explore the benefits and risks of using psychedelics for treating PTSD, with MDMA and psilocybin being investigated as possible options. In response to Deluzio’s efforts he also launched research studies examining their efficacy against other mental health conditions like PTSD such as depression or schizophrenia.
However, both the VA and Deluzio emphasize the importance of conducting this research safely to avoid self-medication among veterans. Approval for psychedelic therapy could take years; however, its potential benefits to veterans like Lewandowski make the journey worthwhile.
An Odyssey To Personal Transformation
Lewandowski remains unwavering in his belief in psychedelics as an effective form of treatment for his posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), even with legal hurdles and uncertainties surrounding their use for this purpose. When asked about his current state he answered with overwhelming positivity by declaring himself optimistic, proud, functional and ecstatic: a state which no one could describe as happy.
At present, veterans such as John Lewandowski are forced to seek relief outside the legal framework; however, research and legislative efforts hold promise of opening up access to alternative treatments safely and legally for veterans like John. Exploring the use of psychedelics in treating PTSD presents many obstacles; yet also offers hope of healing and hope to those enduring trauma.