Psychedelic Therapy to Heal Black America
How do we uplift Black America and empower people?
According to a recent study 40% of girls who graduated from Chicago Public Schools had complex PTSD. This number isn’t surprising as trauma is endemic in many Black American communities.
In elementary school my mother’s hearing suddenly degenerated. This is something I hardly think about because in the grand scheme of things — it wasn’t that traumatic. I knew kids who saw their mom be murdered by their father. I knew of someone whose mother tried to murder her before killing herself. So even though I’d been in a pretty awful car accident, my sister has a life threatening debilitating illness, amongst many other things I certainly didn’t have it so bad compared to many other Black people I know.
Trauma is the rule, not the exception. We accept the unacceptable as normal occurrences because processing it seems too out of reach. So from early childhood, these things accumulate one after the other without much consideration for wellbeing. If you are not Black, I assure you that these examples I’ve given are not anecdotal nor are they only in communities with extreme poverty.
A revolutionary way to heal the Black American community is widespread accessible mental healthcare. I propose drugs.
The issue of Black American prosperity (and lack thereof) is nuanced. Proponents of cash reparations will tell you that giving people money will alleviate these problems. That they’re symptoms of poverty. Conservatives may attest that only hard work and cultural shift will save the Black communities.
While both sides of this argument contains kernels of truth — nothing of significance is going to get done unless we have a mass healing of Black Americans.
What good is cash if you can’t get out of bed because you have crippling feels of self doubt? How do you even begin to adopt discipline if you have debilitating flashbacks?
With books like Pollan’s How To Change Your Mind, the idea of using psychedelics in therapy is starting to gain some steam. It’s backed by decades of research. And the results have been amazing — after three periods of psychedelic assisted therapy (each drug induced session 6 weeks apart) has led to curing 86% of people with PTSD. This is less than three months. In comparison to talk therapy which takes ten years to have similar results.
The way the therapy works is that it allows you to break down mental or emotional barriers you may have in traditional therapy by generating neuroplasticity.
The issue with psychedelic therapy? Accessibility
I’ve recently had the privilege of undergoing these therapeutic sessions with one final session at the end of the year. For the sake of privacy I won’t divulge too much about it however there’s a few things I can say about it - due to the laws, this isn’t an accessible treatment at all. I was only referred to the specialist who runs the therapy because of a referral from someone in a tight knit Silicon Valley community. Even if you’re interested it’s really hard to get access to these services unless you know people.
Next is the price - again, because of it’s exclusivity these therapy sessions are incredibly expensive. They range from $1,500~4,500 per session. Although one session alone can really shift your mindset - three is recommended for most.
Unless you are lucky enough to be apart of a research study you essentially are priced and locked out of these groundbreaking therapy sessions.
I began this essay with a question: How Do We Uplift The Black American community and how do we empower people? Make psychedelic therapy accessible and widespread.