Rep. Dan Crenshaw is leading a bipartisan legislative effort to urge the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to include active-duty servicemembers in their research on psychedelics.
“As the largest public funder of biomedical research in the world, this directive for the NIH would expand government wide efforts to understand the potential risks and benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy to this critical population,” the letter states.
A recent FDA Phase 3 Trial of MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD found that 67% of participants who received three MDMA-assisted therapy sessions no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis and 88% experienced a clinically meaningful reduction in symptoms, underscoring the significant impact psychedelic treatment can have on those suffering from trauma-related disorders.
Mental health and veterans groups from across the country voiced their support for this call to action.
“We understand firsthand the struggles many United States veterans and service members face,” said Veterans Exploring Treatment Solutions. “Psychedelic therapies have been instrumental in overcoming many challenges following service for the over 800 veterans we provide resources to. With a lingering veteran suicide rate of roughly 20 per day – and estimates that it could be double that amount – we need to address this epidemic swiftly and strategically. All active-duty service personnel will eventually become veterans, and they should not have to wait until that time to address issues such as PTSD, TBI, depression, and moral injury. Including them in psychedelic research is a critical first step in winning the new fight at hand - the battle to end veteran suicide.”
“I support Representative Crenshaw’s initiative,” said former Congresswoman Mimi Walters, chair of Apollo Pact. “Our active-duty service men and women deserve to be included in NIH-funded psychedelic research. If the trials are successful as suggested from the clinical data, millions of Americans stand to benefit directly from this research. Apollo Pact and our scientific and research advisors fully back this initiative.”
“We owe it to those who suffer to pursue new and better treatments,” said Daniel Elkins, founder of the Special Operations Association of America. “SOF Servicemembers are dying by suicide at rates 30% higher than the rest of the military. NIH and DoD need to work together so that SOF members in need can access these promising and life-saving treatments.”
Reps. Luis Correa, Jack Bergman, Donald Davis, Chris Deluzio, Max Miller, Nancy Mace, Morgan Luttrell, Mikie Sherrill, Jimmy Panetta, and Ro Khanna all signed on to this important effort.
Read the full letter here.