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Thousands on Waitlists for Oregon’s Psychedelic Therapy Clinics

Destiny O.

by Destiny O.

January 8, 2024 08:00 am ET Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho
Thousands on Waitlists for Oregon’s Psychedelic Therapy Clinics

Oregon’s pioneering psychedelic therapy service centers are grappling with an overwhelming surge in demand. The legalization of psilocybin therapy for therapeutic use under Measure 109 in 2020 marked a turn in alternative wellness. The state has witnessed a rush of individuals seeking profound healing experiences through professionally guided psilocybin sessions ever since. 

EPIC Healing: The First of Its Kind

EPIC Healing Eugene, Oregon’s first legal and operating psilocybin service center, opened its doors in June. Despite being relatively new, EPIC has already amassed a staggering waitlist of about 3,000 individuals eager to get a turn. EPIC Healing Eugene’s mission is to offer transformative experiences through psilocybin facilitation and integration. These experiences focus on healing work, mindfulness, spirituality, and empowerment.

While the services do not require a prescription or referral, it’s important to note that insurance does not cover these experiences, and prices sometimes exceed $2,000, according to AP News. However, with group pricing, participants could get psilocybin services for less.

Oregon’s History with Psychedelic Therapy

Oregon’s journey into legal psilocybin therapy began with Measure 110 in November 2020, which decriminalized hard drugs (heroin or methamphetamine) and legalized the therapeutic use of psilocybin mushrooms. Two years after, in December 2022, the state began to train facilitators to guide individuals on their psilocybin sessions. In May 2023, EPIC Healing Eugene became Oregon’s first licensed service center. Between May and September, Oregon has issued ten licenses, with some operators yet to commence activities. 

Oregon’s regulations allow up to 50 mg macrodosing, but EPIC Healing Eugene generally keeps it between 10 mg to 35 mg, with plans to incorporate microdosing in the future. The process involves two one-hour preparation sessions, followed by a six-hour psilocybin administration session, and at the end of the sessions, all forms and documentation must be preserved for five years, as mandated by the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

Oregon’s approach to psilocybin therapy emphasizes safety and professionalism. Facilitators conduct extensive preparation sessions, supervise the entire psilocybin administration session, and follow up with clients within 72 hours for integration sessions. This comprehensive approach aims to ensure the well-being of participants and maximize the therapeutic benefits of their experiences.

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The EPIC Experience

In an interview with AP News, Cathy Jonas, owner of EPIC Healing Eugene, emphasized that her endeavor is not driven by profit but by a calling to help others.

Describing an experience of a 35 mg dose, a client says “ … kind of infinite-dimension fractal that just kept turning and twisting…It was kind of mesmerizing to watch, but it got so intense… I started to have this experience of dying and being reborn. And then I would kind of see large portions of my life going by in a very rapid way.”

Among the recent psilocybin service centers, Omnia Group Ashland opened in September in Southern Oregon with around 150 individuals already on its waitlist. Similarly, Lucid Cradle in Bend, Oregon, is booked for the year and plans to offer more personalized attention by serving one client per week.

The Future of Psychedelic Therapy

When it comes to psychedelic therapy in the US, Oregon leads with active psilocybin centers. But the change is sweeping across states. Colorado is gearing up, too, and may start accepting license applications by September next year. However, actual operations may not kick off until 2025, as ample time is required to set the regulatory framework and qualification benchmarks. California is also contemplating decriminalization and setting up therapeutic guidelines for legal psychedelics, taking clues from Oregon’s blueprint.

The future of psilocybin therapy in Oregon (and the nation at large) looks promising. The state plans to issue more licenses in the coming months. While the current cost of these services remains high, the industry is poised to expand. These changes could potentially lead to more accessible pricing in the future. As research continues to demonstrate the therapeutic potential of psilocybin, the demand for these services is likely to persist, offering hope to individuals seeking innovative solutions to mental health challenges. Clients who have experienced psilocybin therapy have reported positive outcomes, indicating a promising future for this revolutionary form of treatment.

Oregon Psilocybin Services (OPS) Section Manager Angela Allbee summed up the sentiment. In her words, “This can be a life-changing opportunity for many people’s health and well-being.” 

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