Austin– capital of Texas, is growing in support for the therapeutic use of psychedelic medicine. For many on the outside, it may feel unfamiliar for a typically red state to advocate in favor of such new ideas.
However, this isn’t so surprising (at least to us), because as we’re learning, the psychedelic plant medicine movement is rooted in both preservation and innovation. At its core, psychedelic medicine is an axis where all countries, states, and human beings can meet and relate.
Texan conservatives can appreciate the preservation of ancient medicinal practices, and Texan liberals can honor that rich history by establishing regulations that emphasize the long-standing human right to explore our own consciousness.
Psychedelics are proving to be a stable and liberating bridge for the social convergence of not only our country, but of the human collective. Oddly enough, psychedelics and Austin have always been somewhat intertwined.
From the start of the city’s 60s music scene, psychedelics have occupied a space in the city’s cultural zeitgeist. If you’re an Austinite in search of psychedelic experiences in Texas, read on to learn about the groundbreaking, history-making discoveries soon to emerge from the city of Austin.
Not only will it play a significant role in the future of the psychedelic renaissance, but it’ll also help inform you on the legal options you have for embarking on a therapeutic psychedelic journey, right now.
The History of Psychedelics in Austin
As we touched on earlier, psychedelics and Austin, Texas have had a long and intertwined history. As psychedelics swept through the U.S. during the 60s, Austin was an early adopter of the scene. The music scene drew in free-spirited journeyers who created a new genre of music known now as Psychedelic Rock. Doses of LSD and magic mushrooms primarily powered this movement.
Although psychedelics fell out of mainstream culture after the war on drugs, they seem to be making a fascinating resurgence in Austin. With the passage of House Bill 1802, Austin is perfectly positioned to become a center for psychedelic research.
In 2022, President Bident announced that he expects regulator approval for MDMA and psilocybin therapy within the next two years. Giving these psychedelics the federal green light for therapeutic use would undoubtedly change the legal landscape, further pushing psychedelic reform.
Hot on the heels of the announcement, HB 1802 was passed, which permits the study of alternative therapies for veterans in Texas. This change in the law has allowed researchers at The University of Texas to launch the Center for Psychedelic Research and Therapy.
According to the university, this center is the first of its kind in Texas. The center’s research will begin by focusing on veterans with PTSD, adults with prolonged grief disorder or depression, and those who have experienced childhood trauma.
Since the bill’s passing, Austin has become home to about 12 psychedelic companies– all of whom will undoubtedly play a role in the ability to access psychedelic healing.
Psychedelics, more specifically– psilocybin mushrooms, have been growing in the wild throughout Texas for hundreds of years. Often present in wooded areas, near the base of trees with ample moisture, psilocybin mushrooms have seen their way through Texan cattle fields, growing in cow dung, most abundant after heavy rain.
The most common psychedelic mushroom species in Texas include Gymnopilus aeruginosus, Gymnopilus junonius, Gymnopilus luteofolius (found in wooded areas), and Panaeolus cyanescens, and Psilocybe cubensis (found in cow dung).
We should note, this is not a guide on where to forage for illegal psychedelics, nor is it a call to do so. The information we provide is purely for educational purposes. Never pick and eat wild mushrooms. Even if you are an experienced mycologist, incorrectly identifying a mushroom could severely harm your health.
Current Legal Status of Psychedelic Mushrooms in Austin
Although Austin is quickly becoming a major center for psychedelic research, harsh state penalties are still in effect for all controlled substances. However, it’s worth noting that mushrooms and various other hallucinogens are marked under penalty group 2-A, meaning psychedelic offenses are considered of less priority than Schedule 1 drugs.
Let’s take a moment to explore the state’s psychedelic laws and possible consequences if charged with possession– because to say that it can be confusing would be putting it very mildly.
There’s an essential distinction between these two schedules, as laid out by the Federal Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) and as defined by the Texas State Board of Pharmacy: Unlike Schedule 1 drugs, which have no accepted medical use, Schedule 2 drugs “have safe and accepted medical uses in the United States.”
This change in the laws came right after the passage of HB 1802, which allowed for the study of psychedelics. Psychedelic drugs listed under Texan Schedule 2 classification include dimethyltryptamine (DMT), ibogaine, psilocybin, methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), and mescaline.
If convicted, you may have to pay a fine of up to $50,000 for possession with potential for jail term. If found with less than one gram of psilocybin (less than a dose of mushrooms), you could be looking at up to two years of imprisonment.
Although this looks pretty stringent, there is hope on the horizon. On June 18th, Gov. Greg Abbott (R-Texas) allowed HB 1802, which, as we have discussed, authorizes the study of psilocybin and MDMA to become law. This tells us that even the most typically-stringent states are starting to see the benefits of psychedelic therapy.
Where To Find Legal Psychedelic Experiences in Austin 2023
Although there are strict laws surrounding psychedelics in Austin, there are still two options available for those wishing to engage with psychedelic medicine: Ketamine clinics and guided psychedelic journeys with Psychedelic Passage.
1. Ketamine Clinics
Currently, ketamine clinics are one of Texas’ only options for working with psychedelics. Ketamine has proven to be effective in treating PTSD, depression, and chronic pain.
Since ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic widely used throughout our medical system, it’s much easier to approve the drug for off-label use. Therapeutic use of ketamine is done under the direct supervision of medical professionals.
The main benefit of ketamine is that it temporarily allows clients to create distance from their issues. This separation allows for a more empathetic and objective view of our lives and current issues.
Although this is a great option, a few significant components are often missing for ketamine therapy to be truly effective: preparation, proper in-ceremony support, and integration.
Due to the typical lack of integration practices in ketamine clinics, our clients report that benefits have been short-lived. Many who undergo ketamine treatment will end up seeking other forms of psychedelic therapy.
In fact, about 50% of Psychedelic Passages clients approach us to do unsatisfying ketamine therapy experiences. To learn more, check out our article on the benefits and pitfalls of ketamine therapy and explore where you can find ketamine clinics in your local area.
2. Guided Psychedelic Experiences with Psychedelic Passage
At Psychedelic Passage, we put the power into your hands. Our mission has been to reduce harm and hassle by carefully curating a pre-vetted network of experienced psychedelic facilitators.
We offer facilitation services with a wide range of psychedelics, including psilocybin mushrooms– allowing you to have the personalized experience a psychedelic journey truly demands.
Our program uses a sliding payment scale, so your income determines costs. We do this to allow every person equal access to our services. Our 5-week program can be completely customized to fit your needs.
In fact, our facilitators will travel to wherever you are, so you can have your journey from the comfort of your own home. If that’s not your preference, you’ll have the choice to connect with facilitators that are able to host you and your psychedelic experience.
By choosing Psychedelic Passage, you can ensure that your preparation, integration, and ceremony is supervised and guided by knowledgeable psychedelic facilitators who have your best interest in mind. You’re in the driver’s seat, and you set the pace at every stage of the process.
Find Your Next Psychedelic Journey in Any Major Austin Area
- Round Rock
- Cedar Park
- San Marcos
- Brushy Creek
Explore How it Feels to be Connected
With careful and thoughtful intention, psychedelics have proven to promote healing through the process of self-actualization, growth, and self-improvement. Navigating the world of psychedelics and psychedelic therapy can seem daunting. Luckily, you don’t have to do it alone.
Let us help you explore how it feels to connect with yourself and with the universe. Whether you decide you’d like to work with MDMA, LSD, or psilocybin, our facilitators are experienced with each and every psychedelic medicine.
As research continues right here in Austin and more information comes to light about the benefits of psychedelics, psychedelic therapy is poised to integrate itself into Texan culture.
To get connected with our network of psychedelic facilitators, we empower you to book a consultation. If you have a question that still needs to be answered, take a moment to visit our resources page. Have fun, enjoy the journey of self-discovery, and stay safe!