West Virginia, home of the Appalachian Mountain range, is seeing a trending interest in psychedelic-assisted therapy. With more and more research surfacing everyday on the treatment efficacy of psychedelics for a large number of health conditions, it’s no wonder why West Virginians are turning their sights to these novel therapy options.
For Americans across the nation, traditional pharmaceutical options are no longer cutting it. The side effects of popular antidepressant medications like SSRIS are for many, far too invasive and emotionally incapacitating in comparison to the benefits they might offer.
That’s why the possibility of federal and state-wide psychedelic legalization feels like the only option for gaining access to adequate mental health support. Today we’ll be reviewing the current legislative climate of psychedelics in the state of West Virginia. We’ll also be exploring the available options that state residents have for embarking on a safe and therapeutic psychedelic experience.
The Current Legislation of Psychedelics in West Virginia
West Virginia has been known for its fairly strict drug laws. The state has lacked support for recreational cannabis use, though medical use has been legalized. How does this reflect psychedelic reform measures in the state?
Though penalties for possession of psychedelics remain stringent, we have fortunately seen a reduction in their severity, in recent years. Currently, possession of psilocybin mushrooms in West Virginia results in a misdemeanor, with potential consequences of up to $1,000 in fines and six months of incarceration.
Since psychedelics like LSD, DMT, and magic mushrooms fall under the category of Schedule I substances, consequences for distribution or possession with the intent to distribute, would be much harsher. A Schedule I classification assumes that a drug has no recognized medical use and has a high potential for abuse. Of course, many scientific studies have since indicated otherwise.
In fact, their efficacy for substance use disorders could be of high value in West Virginia, since recent data has ranked the state as number one in the nation for drug use and overdose.
Though this information may be discouraging, it’s useful to consider the announcement that was made in July of this year, by President Joe Biden. He announced his anticipation for the approval of MDMA and psilocybin therapy, within the next two years.
Thus, these psychedelics may be given the green light for therapeutic use federally, which would place pressure on state government officials to reconsider their psychedelic reform.
As we’ve found to be the case in most U.S. states, psilocybin spores are actually completely legal to possess in West Virginia. Though careful attention should be given to their germination. As psilocybin starts to become present in the fruiting body, charges for cultivation could ensue.
Psilocybin mushrooms are known to grow plentiful in the West Virginia wilderness. The most common species found in Canaan Valley and Monongahela National Forest are Psilocybe caerulipes, Psilocybe cubensis, Psilocybe ovoideocystidiata, and Panaeolus cinctulus.
The Therapeutic Benefits of a Psychedelic Experience
The therapeutic benefits of psychedelic experiences permeate almost the entire spectrum of mental health disorders. Recent studies have emerged supporting their ability to treat disorders like depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Serotonergic psychedelics are psychedelic drugs that act on 5-HT (serotonin) receptors. This class of drugs includes psilocybin and LSD. The way these compounds target such conditions is incredibly compelling. One of their most notable effects include the stimulation of neurogenesis in the brain.
Neurogenesis refers to the birth and development of new brain cells (neurons). Many mental health disorders are caused by neuronal atrophy, or degeneration. Thus, such stimulation would be an effective way for the brain to begin effectively replacing dead or damaged cells.
In another article, we explore how psychedelics may help treat neurodegenerative diseases like Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s disease. Some of the main mechanisms would be through the strengthening of synaptic signaling that results from neuroplasticity. Neuroplasticity is the process by which our brains reorganize connections in response to an inner or outer event.
This reorganization also relates to how psychedelics increase the size and density of our neurons’ dendritic spines. Picture these spines as the very limbs of our brain cells. Increasing their size would also increase points of contact between our neurons, which strengthens communication throughout different brain regions.
The default mode network (DMN) is another site at which psychedelics cause a potent effect. The DMN is responsible for curating our sense of self, our self perception or personality. It does so by maintaining our most referenced internal narratives, in circulation.
This maintenance of narratives is very strongly associated with the ruminating thoughts that we have in our day to day lives. Such as when we’re gloomily daydreaming of the past or anxiously fixating on the future. In fact, this rumination is a large contributor to the hyperfixations of people with ADHD and OCD.
It’s also why people with depression and anxiety experience significant DMN overactivity. Luckily, several studies have already confirmed that psychedelics effectively reduce DMN activity. On a more cognitive level, a psychedelic experience exposes us to very objective and insightful knowledge about our relationship to ourselves and the way in which we relate to others.
After a psychedelic experience, journeys often report feeling a renewed sense of self. It’s almost as if we’re given the opportunity to see life from the fresh and curious eyes of our inner child. It not only widens our perspective, but every single experience is fine tuned to that which is most pressing to you.
From this, emerges a more whole sense of personal and societal purpose, which in this day and age is a very useful gift for helping us promote community and human unity. These ancient medicines give us the opportunity to face our repressed traumas or unprocessed experiences, so that we can acknowledge them, sit with them, and untangle them from our subconscious narratives.
In traditional talk therapy, many find it difficult to really open up about their feelings and their past. In part, because we can’t always use words to accurately formulate our emotional states.
In a therapeutic psychedelic experience we are placed in a state of enhanced psychological openness. Here we’re able to not only better communicate ourselves, but we’re also more willing to sit with ourselves honestly. We’re given the time, space, and momentum to process, digest, and release.
A guided psychedelic experience gives us the proper support to feel comfortable in allowing the thinking mind to take a backseat, while our subconscious brings forward what is needed for transcending our limiting beliefs.
These medicines are potent tools for those seeking to self actualize. They help us connect more deeply with ourselves, with the earth, with animals and humans, alike. In fact, a large majority of journeyers report having several experiences of all-encompassing love and acceptance of self.
Where To Find Legal Psychedelic Experiences in West Virginia 2022
Currently, there exists two options for having a therapeutic psychedelic journey in West Virginia: ketamine clinics and guided psychedelic journeys.
If you’re interested in embarking on a therapeutic psychedelic journey with Psychedelic Passage, please be advised that we do not provide you with psychedelic substances. Thus, our page on sourcing psychedelics safely, may be of assistance to you.
1. Ketamine Clinics
Ketamine clinics have been popping up around the US.S since the FDA approved it for off-label use. Before that, ketamine had been strictly used as an anesthetic in hospital operating rooms. More recently, research has been conducted to investigate its therapeutic potential.
Though ketamine is not a true psychedelic, its dissociative properties can produce powerful therapeutic experiences. Its effects allow journeyers to observe themselves from a second person point of view. This can help us to gain a more objective and empathic perspective on our lives.
Though exploring ketamine therapy may serve as a very effective tool on your healing journey, it’s important to recognize that there are both benefits and pitfalls to ketamine. By this, we mean that not all ketamine clinics are made with the necessary attention to supportive and therapeutic protocols.
Therefore it’s of utmost importance that you conduct research on the ketamine clinics near you. Ensure that the staff is composed of qualified psychedelic facilitators, and that you’ll receive adequate preparation and integration coaching.
2. Guided Psychedelic Journeys With Psychedelic Passage
Here, at Psychedelic Passage, we’ve carefully curated a pre-vetted network of experienced psychedelics facilitators who are located throughout the United States. We place a strong emphasis on ensuring equal access to these potentially life changing medicines.
When you connect with Psychedelic Passage, you’ll also connect with our entire network of psychedelic specialists, who are dedicated to tailoring your program to your specific needs, goals, and intentions.
Our 5-week program includes everything from preparation to integration, and of course, in-person ceremonial facilitation. As we always say, if we can make it to you, we will sit with you, ensuring your safety while leaving enough space for the experience to unfold organically.
We acknowledge how personal and vulnerable psychedelic experiences can be. That’s why we offer the option to facilitate your therapeutic experience right from the comfort of your own couch. Your healing journey is uniquely you, and we’re here to help you honor that.
Find Your Next Psychedelic Journey In Any Major West Virginia City
- Teays Valley
- South Charleston
- St. Albans
- Cheat Lake
Explore How it Feels to be Connected
If you’ve read through to the end of this article, it’s likely that you’re interested in embarking on your very own psychedelic journey, or are seeking this experience for a loved one. If that’s the case, we empower you to book a consultation with us.
Psychedelics have the potential to catalyze potent personal transformation, that’s why we believe everyone should have the tools to assess if this would be a valuable option for them. So, to learn more about all things psychedelics, we invite you to head on over to our resources page. Well, friends, that’s all we have for today. Safe and mindful journeying!