Tucked between the Piedmont region’s rolling hills, Charlotte, North Carolina is a bustling metropolis and is anything but a sleepy Southern town. This city, nestled between two worlds, has a knack for balancing an East Coast pace with strong Southern roots.
Though the city is known for the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the NASCAR Hall of Fame, this is far from everything Charlotte offers. The city is bustling with thriving businesses, burgeoning sports franchises, and an evolving culinary and brewery scene.
The city keeps pace with the likes of New York, but locals are dedicated to preserving its classic Southern charm. From the University of North Carolina Charlotte to the city’s South End, Charlotte steeps in southern tradition and cutting-edge technology.
At a glance, you’d be forgiven for thinking that psychedelics and Charlotte have nothing in common, but this is far from true. UNC Charlotte has a highly active School of Medicine that is making substantial progress in bringing psychedelic therapy to mainstream culture.
In this article, we’ll give you some of the basic information you need to get started on your psychedelic journey, clue you into some of the fantastic research being conducted at UNC, and help you find a qualified facilitator in the Charlotte, North Carolina area.
Are Psychedelics Right For You?
In the United States, we are facing a massive mental health crisis. Year over year, there’s been a steady increase in the number of people over 18 who seek treatment for mental health. The CDC recorded an additional 2.3 million people suffering from mental health issues during the pandemic.
Psychedelics are very potent medicines and must be approached with reverence and respect. Like all powerful medications, there needs to be some oversight, as psychedelics are not for everyone and come with their own set of potential risks.
That’s why it is crucial to be aware of criteria that may exclude you from psychedelic therapy. We hope that by the end of this article, you’ll better understand how to approach your therapy and can see some of the many benefits of working closely with a facilitator.
Let’s take a look at some medical issues that can increase risk factors and touch on medications that may interfere with psychedelics and psychedelic therapy. Knowing these will help ensure your safety and allow you to get the most from your journey.
A few medical conditions that can cause complications when psychedelics are used are cardiovascular conditions, a family history of or a diagnosis of schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and suicidal ideation.
When dealing with issues like hypertension and tachycardia, psychedelics can exacerbate them and call for close monitoring by a trained medical professional.
Of more significant concern are people dealing with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and suicidal ideation. While under the influence of psychedelics, the lines between reality and normal sober states can become especially blurred for people with these conditions.
This can place undue strain on someone dealing with schizophrenia and possibly precipitate loss of touch with reality. Along the same lines, there’s a chance that a psychedelic experience could trigger a manic episode in someone who has bipolar disorder or cause a worsening of symptoms– creating greater highs and lower lows.
Lastly, someone with suicidal ideations should never use psychedelics alone, as it can be easy to get caught up in negative thought loops, potential leading to unhealthy and impulsive choices.
Here’s a brief overview of a few medications and their potential adverse interactions with psychedelics. The main class of drugs that can cause issues are antidepressants. Both SSRIs and SNRIs are known to blunt psychedelic effects.
One class that carries the most danger are MAOIs. Although these are prescribed for depression, when combined with psychedelics, they can cause an increase in the effects of your chosen psychedelic or even produce a life-threatening condition known as serotonin syndrome.
Bottom line, it’s best to talk to your doctor before consuming any psychedelics, as they can best guide you through a potential process of tapering off, and provide better insight into any possible interactions.
The Sociocultural Climate of Psychedelics in Charlotte
Although North Carolina, and the south in general, are recognized by the psychedelic community as having harsh punishments towards possession and use, there is more to the story than what can be seen from the headlines.
Sure, in North Carolina, psilocybin and other psychedelics are classified as Schedule I controlled substances. Possessing any of these is considered a Class I felony, which means you’re in for penalties that may range from 6 months to 5 years in prison.
Considering these consequences, it’s motivating to see the University of North Carolina Charlotte playing a significant role in the study and advancement of psychedelic medicine. Findings coming from this institution can help tackle the most critical issues that keep legislative forces in opposition to psychedelic medicine.
First and most notably, research at the UNC School of Medicine, led by Dr. Bryan Roth and Michael Hooker, recently dove into genetic variants’ role in psychedelics’ therapeutic effects.
Their work investigated if any specific genetic variants would make a person less or more responsive to psychedelic therapy. They sought to answer the question, “why do some get more benefits from psychedelic medicine than others?”
According to research published in the ACS Chemical Neuroscience Journal, seven genetic variants impact the serotonin receptor’s response to four psychedelic drugs. They tested psilocin, LSD, 5-methoxy-N, N-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT), and mescaline.
This information could serve as a tool for screening patients who are seeking this type of therapy. It would allow for even more of a targeted approach, enabling doctors to more accurately weigh the potential effects of psychedelics on any given person.
Another piece of work that’s being done at UNC by Dr. Bryan Roth is in an effort to remove the hallucinations from psychedelic experiences. On the surface, this may seem very counterintuitive.
If you look at psychedelic therapy through the lens of a psychonaut or facilitator, this may seem like you are losing a good part of the magic. Much personal growth comes from this change in perspective, so why suppress it?
In our current medical system, it can be difficult to accept psychedelics for mainstream and widespread use. The most significant barrier to adopting psychedelics is that they come with hours-long hallucinatory trips.
This fact alone can deter a whole demographic of patients. If a substance were found to mimic psychedelic benefits without the hallucinatory effects, it might pave the road for easier adoption of traditional psychedelics in medicine.
However, we’re still a long way away from such discoveries. And for many, the idea of psychedelic-like drugs without the hallucinations, feels synthetic and out-of-touch with the entire essence and function of psychedelic healing.
Where To Find Legal Psychedelic Experiences in Charlotte 2023
Though psychedelics are currently illegal in this city, a few options still exist for engaging with psychedelic medicine in Charlotte. The main two are Ketamine clinics or guided psychedelic journeys with Psychedelic Passage.
1. Ketamine Clinics
While ketamine may not be considered a classical psychedelic, such as psilocybin, LSD, or DMT, it’s the only currently FDA-approved psychedelic-like drug that’s available for use in our current medicalized system.
Over the years and after many clinical trials, ketamine has proven to be effective in treating PTSD, depression, and chronic pain, and is now widely used in ketamine clinics throughout North Carolina.
This provides an excellent option for many to begin their psychedelic journey. Not only is it overseen by a doctor and done in the familiar medical setting, but several clinics also offer these services, making it easy for anyone to get involved.
Because of this, many find that the beneficial effects fade quickly. In fact, at Psychedelic Passage, around 50% of clients approach us after having undergone failed ketamine therapy. Thus, if you’re looking to find ketamine clinics near you, ensure that the clinic offers full-service therapeutic support, from start to finish.
2. Guided Psychedelic Experiences with Psychedelic Passage
At Psychedelic Passage, we’re dedicated to spreading the message of psychedelic healing and giving everyone an equal opportunity to benefit from these medicines. Realizing that a psychedelic journey is a highly personal experience, our facilitators customize every experience with you, the client, in mind.
Our 5-week program will be completely tailored to each client, as it was designed specifically for personal transformation. Not only does our robust network of facilitators work with a wide range of psychedelics, but they’ll also take their work, meaning you can have this experience from the comfort of your own home.
With this in mind, we’re here to give you access to our network of pre-vetted and experienced psychedelic facilitators, to ensure you have the most authentic and personalized therapeutic psychedelic experience possible.
Find Your Next Psychedelic Journey in Any Major Charlotte Area
- Mount Holly
- Mint Hill
- Indian Trail
- Rock Hill
Explore How it Feels to be Connected
As the psychedelic revolution progresses, Charlotte and many other cities around the country are slowly inching toward a system that allows everyone to access these treasured medicines. Whether through scientific discovery at UNC or on the front lines from Denver, each city plays an important role.
If you feel inspired and ready to connect with our network of facilitators, we empower you to book a consultation with our knowledgeable team of psychedelic concierges.
This article was a quick introduction to psychedelic therapy in Charlotte, North Carolina. However, if you still have questions, check our resources page for more information. Have fun, enjoy the journey of self-discovery, and stay safe!