A B O U T P S Y C H E D E L I C S
WHAT ARE PSYCHEDELICS
Psychedelics are a group of medications that induce non-ordinary states of consciousness. The classical psychedelics include psilocybin, LSD, DMT and mescaline.
While the exact psychological and clinical effects of each psychedelic are unique they all increase activity at the Serotonin 5HT2A receptor that leads to intense, profound and powerful experiences. Psychedelics cause a non-ordinary state of consciousness that can allow people to reframe their understanding of both external and internal stimuli.
Classically, psychedelics can cause your brain to interpret visual stimuli in new ways leading to what are commonly referred to as hallucinations. Therapeutically, psychedelics allow your brain to interpret internal stimuli in a new way.
The best current scientific understanding of psychedelics points to their effect in downregulating the brains default mode network. This decreases self-awareness and dismantles deeply rooted psychological defenses allowing people to gain insights into and explore painful or traumatic memories in ways their brains would otherwise not allow.
When combined with appropriate preparation, psychotherapy, and integration practices psychedelics represent a powerful tool to help us heal from past traumas and make substantial improvements in our mental health.
HOW DO PSYCHEDELICS HELP?
Instead of taking daily medications to decrease our brain's response to negative emotions as with typical psychiatric medications, psychedelics look to transform people’s mental health through a small number of profound and transformative experiences.
Psychedelics create a transient non-ordinary state of consciousness that dismantle our brain’s innate defense mechanisms and allow us to explore past traumas that may otherwise be too painful to relive.
In this way psychedelics allow us to reframe the way we see the world and ourselves. Instead of numbing ourselves to dysphoric memories, psychedelics allow us to do the opposite, fully immerse ourselves in our past traumas and come to a state of acceptance that sets the foundation for long term healing.
IS IT LEGAL?
It is legal for physicians to prescribe ketamine to patients in Canada.
When it is indicated, The Newly Institute will apply for special exemptions (Exemption 56(1)) to treat patients with psilocybin, MDMA, or other psychedelics in a completely legal manner. As our nation’s regulatory framework evolves The Newly Institute will be on the leading edge of protocol development and implementation with additional molecules.
Read more on Section 56(1) Exemptions
WHAT ABOUT A "BAD TRIP"
During a treatment session people often experience feelings of fear or vulnerability while they are experiencing unpleasant memories or reliving traumatic events. Those who are not prepared for these experiences or do not feel safe in their environment may experience panic or deeply dysphoric emotions during a psychedelic treatment. This is what is often referred to as a “bad trip”.
We strive to prepare our patients for treatment and ensure everyone feels safe and comfortable prior to engaging in a psychedelic experience. This empowers our clients to take negative emotions or traumatic vivid memories and leverage these experiences for psychological exploration. In fact, many people describe unpleasant experiences during psychedelic treatment as being the most powerful for healing deep psychological injuries and improving their long term mental health.
WHAT IS MDMA?
MDMA acts by binding to and inhibiting the transporter responsible for the reuptake of serotonin, norepinephrine and to a lesser extent, dopamine.
The clinical effects include a sense of euphoria, well being, extraversion and a general sense of social closeness to others. MDMA has also been recently reported to increase the release of oxytocin, the hormone of love and nurturing.
The most compelling evidence for the therapeutic use of MDMA lies in treating people with PTSD. Basic functions of the human brain are different in people with PTSD and show increased activity in the amygdala, the center of the brain that processes fear and triggers fight and flight responses.
MDMA has successfully treated military veterans and members of the general public with a history of PTSD leading to 56% recovery rates as reported in a systematic review of phase 2 trials. Phase 3 trials are currently underway to further assess the efficacy of MDMA assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD.
WHAT IS KETAMINE?
Originally used as an anesthetic, ketamine is used to treat acute and chronic pain and is a powerful antidepressant. Specifically, ketamine induces nerve growth and leads to the formation of synapses or neuronal connections that have been damaged by chronic stress.
Through these mechanisms, ketamine causes unparalleled neuroplasticity and leads to measurable changes in both the function and structure of your brain. These changes have been shown to be remarkably effective in helping people with treatment resistant depression, treatment resistant anxiety and PTSD.
WHAT IS PSILOCYBIN?
Psilocybin is a classic psychedelic that acts as a non-selective serotonergic 5HT-2A agonist. Mounting evidence suggests that psilocybin downregulates activity in specific circuits in the brain involving the multiple anatomic regions that make up neuronal circuitry known as the default mode network.
Their complex system is understood to be responsible for functions such as thinking about oneself, creating one’s inner voice and imagining one’s future. These breakthroughs in understanding oneself often lead to substantial long term improvements in mental health. Psilocybin helps us explore our core issues and reframe our thinking to provide durable and meaningful change.
Psilocybin has been shown to be effective in treating a number of conditions including treatment resistant major depressive disorder, end of life anxiety, and depression.
HOW DO THEY FEEL?
Each molecule has different effects and every person may feel different with each treatment. In general, people may feel open and expressive. People describe sensations of feeling detached from their normal sense of reality and often describe experiencing a new reality that proves new perspectives.
IS IT SAFE?
The doses we use to treat mental health conditions is substantially lower than what is used for general anesthesia and the physiologic effects, as such the side effects are proportionately decreased. During your consultation with our psychiatrist you will be screened to ensure you are a good candidate for safe treatment.
ARE THERE ANY SIDE EFFECTS?
As with any powerful psychoactive medication some people do experience unpleasant side effects, including but not limited to, nausea and vomiting (34%), blurred vision (43%), headache (32%), dry mouth (26%), poor coordination (26%), poor concentration (26%), and restlessness (21%).
O U R T R E A T M E N T
DO I NEED A REFERRAL?
No. You can be referred by a doctor, therapist or other health practitioner or you can self refer here.
IS IT COVERED BY INSURANCE?
Your insurance may cover portions of your treatment such as psychotherapy from our registered psychologists. Book a consultation
here and one of our dedicated staff members will guide you through the process.
WHAT CONDITIONS DO YOU TREAT?
We are focussed on treating PTSD, major depression, anxiety, treatment resistant depression, and treatment resistant anxiety. We treat additional mental health disorders and comorbidities such as chronic pain and addiction in conjunction with the above diagnosis.
WHAT WOULD EXCLUDE ME FROM TREATMENT?
Certain health conditions may make treatment with our protocols unsafe. Examples include but are not limited to pregnant or breastfeeding women, uncontrolled hypertension, unstable cardiovascular disease or untreated psychosis.
here for a free consultation with one of our psychiatrists to see if you meet criteria for enrollment.
HOW SHOULD I PREPARE?
You must be both mentally and physically prepared for your treatment program. After you enroll we will provide detailed information. For example, fasting the morning of your treatment, abstaining from drugs and alcohol, setting intentions foryourself prior to starting therapy etc.
WHAT CAN I EXPECT?
You can expect to feel a non-ordinary state of consciousness during your medication treatments. You may feel dissociated from yourself or picture a version of yourself. Be ready to explore your inner mind and learn about your unconscious drivers during these sessions.
You should expect an overall pleasant experience with intermittent moments of psychologically challenging self exploration. Most people report feelings of calmness, relief, and contentment, often for the first time in months or years.
HOW LONG IS TREATMENT?
A typical session takes 2-3 hours out of your day. It will take 60-90 minutes to check in, receive your medication and give it time to reach therapeutic serum levels. After your therapeutic experience you are encouraged to spend time in our Zen Room reflecting on your experience. You will not be able to drive home after your treatment.
HOW MANY SESSIONS WILL I NEED?
Your unique needs will be considered by our psychiatrists and therapists and personalized treatment programs are available. Based on the best available medical evidence we generally recommend 8 treatment sessions to kickstart recovery for most patients. After your initial 4 week treatment program we offer ongoing support through peer groups and booster treatments on an as needed basis.