Home to Mount Rushmore and known as the land of infinite variety, South Dakota is certainly a site to be seen. In recent years, state residents have begun converging at the mind expanding axis of psychedelic-assisted therapy.
Ranking as 12th place in the nation for access to mental health treatment, it’s no surprise why South Dakotans are naturally flocking in support of emerging psychedelic research. Their proven efficacy for the treatment of disorders like depression, anxiety, and PTSD, frames a novel approach to mental health, and state residents are eager to jump on board.
Of course, state legislation on these therapies must first be considered. What do we know about the current laws of psychedelics in South Dakota? What can be expected in the coming years? And perhaps most pressingly, what can South Dakotans do to legally access psychedelic-assisted therapy in their state, right now?
Current Legislation of Psychedelics in South Dakota
With medical cannabis being legalized in July of 2021, and recreational cannabis on the upcoming November 8th ballot, South Dakota seems to be one of the more progressive states when it comes to drug reform. The real question though is if the state’s support for cannabis translates into psychedelic substances.
As of right now, psychedelics are still illegal in the state of South Dakota. Being that they fall under the classification of Schedule I substances, they’re considered to have a high potential for abuse and no known medical use. Of course, we know that the world’s top universities and research institutions have proven otherwise.
Unfortunately, consequences for possession of psychedelic remain unrelenting. If found possessing psychedelic substances like LSD, psilocybin, and DMT, fines of up to $10,000 or up to 5 years of incarceration could ensue.
If charged for possession with the intent to distribute or with illegal cultivation, penalties would increase in severity. Fortunately, President Joe Biden made an announcement in July of this year that offers some light at the end of the tunnel.
He spoke on the anticipated approval of MDMA and psilocybin therapy within the next 2 years. If this were the case, South Dakota wouldn’t need state approval for the therapies, since they’ll be legal on a federal level.
Curiously, psilocybin spores are fully legal to possess in the state since they don’t contain any hallucinogenic properties. In fact, many states have local mushroom shops that sell psilocybin spores. One crucial caveat though, is that these spores cannot be grown into full maturation.
Once psilocin (the active metabolite of psilocybin mushrooms) starts to become present in the fruiting body, state laws for possession of a Schedule I substance would be violated.
Though the weather conditions of South Dakota don’t allow for many mushroom species to grow in abundance, there’s a couple of species that have been known to grow in its parklands and forests. The most common species found in the state are Gymnopilus sp. and Panaeolus cinctulus.
The Therapeutic Benefits of a Psychedelic Experience
Neurologically, psychedelics have proven to be extremely beneficial for enhancing synaptic functioning. In people with mental health disorders, synaptic relay is often disrupted by cellular atrophy (shrinkage). This leads to dampened communication between neurons and affects our body’s ability to regulate emotion-related chemicals and hormones.
Psychedelics enhance synaptic functioning by increasing the size and density of our neuron’s dendritic spines. Dendritic spines can be pictures as the limbs of our neurons. They protrude from a brain cell to receive information from other brain cells.
However, because of cellular atrophy, many of these spines are shrunken and cannot effectively receive input. This causes a chain reaction throughout our brain, where ineffective input causes inappropriate output, or inappropriate information relays onto neighboring neurons.
By increasing the size and density of these spines, psychedelics create more points of contact between neurons. This of course, enhances overall neural connectivity, and leads to a higher, more fine-tuned capacity for emotional regulation.
Psychedelics also stimulate neurogenesis, referring to the birth of new neurons. This process helps to repair damaged cells and replace dead ones. By promoting neuroplasticity in the Default Mode Network (DMN), psychedelics help to reduce the hyper-rumination associated with many disorders.
The DMN is found to experience significant overactivity in people with OCD, ADHD, substance use disorder, depression, anxiety, and the list goes on. In people with OCD and ADHD, this overactivity can be experienced as hyperfixations on a place, person, or interest.
Those with anxiety may perceive this overactivity as constant panic or hyper self-awareness. In people with depression, the DMN keeps unproductive narrations of the self and of our life circumstances, in circulation. Psychedelics effectively reduce overactivity in the DMN, which can be very beneficial for many.
But what does this reduction of DMN activity feel like during a psychedelic experience? For many, constant hyper-rumination has been the norm for so long, that we cannot imagine life without it. During a psychedelic journey, this is sensed on varying scales.
Reduced activity can be sensed as a feeling of being without doing, being without the mental chatter that typically pervades most of our waking moments. This reduction of activity can go so far as to produce a sensation of ego dissolution.
Ego dissolution occurs as the narratives of who we are, begin to diminish into utter and complete internal stillness and quietness. This is the state that monks work their whole lives to achieve through meditation. Psychedelics can offer a brief glimpse into these states of consciousness.
By sitting our minds in a state of pure, loving awareness, the boundaries that make us separate from one another, can begin to diminish. Many describe this experience as an all-encompassing feeling of oneness, a return to source.
It’s as if we’re given the opportunity to, for a moment, feel just as embedded into the fabric of our reality, as we truly are. It’s an experience of truth, of reality in its rawest form. This state of non-being is full of potential and possibility.
Upon our return, we reunite with ourselves. It’s at this point where many begin to cherish our human nature, acknowledging ourselves as the physical embodiment of a possibility that once wasn’t, and now, is. We get in touch with the large sleep-wake order of life. An experience so visceral is incredibly powerful as it deepens our appreciation for every facet of human existence.
We come to recognize our emotions, both positive and negative, as one of the truest purposes for human existence. How beautiful it is that the human body validates the human mind by converting hormones and chemicals into somatic experiences that can then be recognized, accepted, and transmuted.
This is how psychedelics have helped hundreds of thousands of people overcome their mental illnesses. Perhaps not by directly removing all symptoms of the disorder, but by changing our relationship to them.
When we can recognize the divinity in our emotions, we stop resisting them. When we stop resisting them, there are no longer two opposing forces in battle with each other, but rather one vessel of life allowing sensory dimension to flow through it freely.
Where To Find Legal Psychedelic Experiences in South Dakota 2022
Currently, there are two options for embarking on a psychedelic journey in the state of South Dakota: Ketamine clinics and guided psychedelic journeys with Psychedelic Passage.
1. Ketamine Clinics
Since the FDA approved ketamine for off-label use, South Dakota residents have jumped at the opportunity to offer ketamine infusion services. Interestingly, ketamine is not a psychedelic. In fact, it’s a dissociative anesthetic that has been used in hospital operating rooms since the 1960s.
While psychedelics were busy being criminalized, research into ketamine continued to progress. That’s why psychedelics are experiencing a delay in reform, because research into its therapeutic applications was stunted early on. Ketamine can be an extremely therapeutic option for those seeking to address their treatment-resistant depression or PTSD.
A ketamine experience allows journeyers to observe themselves and their thoughts from a second person perspective. This helps us analyze our present circumstances without the fog of our usual, pervasive mental routines. Instead, we’re able to experience love and empathy for ourselves.
These feelings translate into an inner knowing that there is a deeper purpose and order in place, which enacts motivation for personal change. We should mention that there are benefits and pitfalls to ketamine. Meaning that not all ketamine clinics are made with the same attention to supportive protocols.
If you’re seeking to find a ketamine clinic near you, conduct thorough research beforehand. Ensure that the clinic offers the type of support that you need. This means both preparation for the experience and integrative support, after.
2. Guided Psychedelic Journeys With Psychedelic Passage
Many are looking to have a therapeutic psychedelic experience with medicines other than ketamine, such as psilocybin mushrooms, LSD, or MDMA. Here, at Psychedelic Passage, our pre-vetted network of experienced psychedelic facilitators are fully equipped to assist you on your journey.
We do not support the notion that mental health can be framed into a one-size-fits-all protocol. Everyone’s mental states are unique to them and their life circumstances, and your healing journey is no different. This is why we prioritize personal autonomy every step of the way.
Our 5-week program is complete with preparation and integration support, and every facet of your experience is tailored to your needs and intentions. Not only does this regard your therapeutic program, but it also applies to our program costs.
Our income-based pricing tiers allow us to customize our program costs to your specific financial circumstances. Equal access to these treatments is one of our missions here. One of the steps we’ve taken has been in creating a BIPOC and low-income fund which helps to subsidize the cost of our services for those that may require financial assistance.
We cannot do the healing for you, but we can give you our word that all efforts will be exhausted to ensure that you receive the support you need. We’ll help you, help yourself, embody your most authentic truth.
Find Your Next Psychedelic Journey in Any Major South Carolina City
- Sioux Falls
- Rapid City
- Box Elder
- Rapid Valley
Explore How It Feels To Be Connected
Do you feel ready to take the next step in your healing journey? If you’d like to be connected with our network of psychedelic facilitators, we empower you to book a consultation with us. Our concierges can answer all of your lingering questions regarding our psychedelic services.
Of course, you may likely want to explore your curiosities right now. In that case, head on over to our resources page for more informative articles like this one. Well friends, that’s all for now. Remember to give yourself the same love that you share with others. You are learning, you are rediscovering, you are healing, and that takes time.