VETS provides grants, coaching, and resources for veterans to receive psychedelic-assisted treatments in countries where they are legal, but still unregulated.
VETS helps veterans and their spouses access treatment with psychedelic therapies including iboga/ibogaine, ketamine, psilocybin, MDMA, 5-MeO-DMT, and ayahuasca.
Your gift helps VETS provide funding for Special Operations veterans to receive coaching and access to psychedelic therapies for PTSD and TBI, and helps VETS provide educational resources for the military community about the risks and benefits of psychedelic therapy.
Psychedelic therapy, or psychedelic-assisted therapy, uses psychedelic compounds to enhance the effectiveness of therapy for a variety of mental health and neurological conditions. With research accelerating into their legal uses, psychedelic therapy is on track to be the next major breakthrough in mental health care.
With growing acceptance of psychedelic-assisted therapies for a variety of uses, including the FDA’s 2019 approval of ketamine for depression (Johnson & Johnson) and likely 2021 approvals of MDMA for PTSD (MAPS) and psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression (Compass), gathering reliable scientific data about the risks and effects of psychedelics on the brain is more vital than ever.
Ibogaine is a potent psychoactive drug that is extracted from the Tabernanthe iboga shrub, native to West Africa. In its whole plant form, iboga has been used for centuries for initiatory rituals by indigenous groups. Ibogaine, the extracted chemical, was used in France for over 30 years as an antidepressant, and as a stimulant until the mid-1960s. Since the 1960s, ibogaine has been used by Western doctors primarily as a treatment for addiction, especially opioid addiction.
In 2020, the results of a retrospective study of psychedelic treatment for trauma-related psychological and cognitive impairment in SOF veterans was published in the peer-reviewed journal Chronic Stress. Conducted by Dr. Alan Kooi Davis (Ohio State University and Johns Hopkins University), the study was part of the grass roots effort that launched VETS in 2019.
Now, to gather more evidence about ibogaine as a potential PTSD and TBI treatment option, VETS is supporting Stanford University researcher Dr. Nolan Williams’ upcoming observational and brain imaging study of the safety of ibogaine-assisted therapy in veterans with head trauma, combat, or blast exposure. In addition to psychological and cognitive testing of 30 veterans receiving ibogaine treatment in countries where the treatment is available, study participants will also receive functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and electroencephalography (EEG) to explore possible brain changes associated with its use.
VETS works to reduce the stigmas associated with trauma and psychedelic therapies, and to ensure that veterans have access to the most effective healthcare options.
Our current advocacy efforts include: