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Psychedelic therapy: Trends in 2024

New trends surrounding psychedelic therapy are the hippie flip, wizard flip, upcoming regulation, new laws surrounding psychedelics and training to become a psychedelic therapist.
Psychedelic therapy trends

Psychedelic trends

As one of the first providers of psychedelic therapy in the Netherlands, Triptherapie is always looking at areas in which we can innovate. We keep an eye out for new trends and we even try to make predictions such as which forms of psychedelic-assisted therapies will fall under regulated and health insurance-reimbursed care in the future, which psychedelics will become illegal and which form of therapy will produce the best results. deliver. To summarize the trends of 2024, we have written this article.

Contents page

Psychedelics and current legislation

In the Netherlands, drug use is discouraged by the government. Our government does this mainly by listing illegal substances on one of the lists of the Opium Act. For example, psilocybin, LSD, MDMA and magic mushrooms are listed on list 1 and therefore illegal. Truffles and LSD or MDMA analogues are not listed and therefore it is currently legal to use these substances during therapeutic sessions. Now there are two conflicting developments in the field of legislation surrounding psychedelic drugs. On the one hand, the government wants to curb the use of psychedelic drugs by amending the Opium Act and making more substances illegal, and on the other hand, there is a movement to recognize psychedelic therapy as a medical treatment.

NPS law

In the Netherlands, the House of Representatives has passed a law that makes it easy to make entire groups of substances illegal. This amendment to the Opium Act will make it more difficult to work with analogues of current illegal psychedelic substances. If the Senate approves the law, offering psychedelic sessions on non-medical grounds will become more difficult and may eventually be completely banned.

Regulation

Recognition of psychedelic therapy as a medical treatment can only come after various scientific studies have completed the various phases. On April 9, 2024, the European Parliament released 6.5 million euros for research into psilocybin in palliative care. This is a signal that recognition, regulation and reimbursed care are on the way. In the Netherlands, we expect a major change in 2025.

The meaning of psychedelic therapy

Because psychedelic therapy is not yet a recognized medical treatment, some people think that psychedelic therapy or Trip therapy are terms that should not be used. Those who make this false assumption think that the word therapy is reserved for psychotherapy or a medical approach. Some forms of non-medical therapies are occupational therapy and aromatherapy. Psychedelic therapy is a term that has so far been used to describe a legal non-medical form of therapy under the influence of legal psychedelics.

With Trip Therapy you can choose to have a talking session with trained psychologists under the influence of psychedelics. We cannot yet call this psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, but we can call it psychedelic (aroma) therapy or abbreviate it to psychedelic therapy.

Psychedelic therapist training

Providers of psychedelic sessions, ayahuasca ceremonies and truffle ceremonies are increasingly offering education and training as a revenue model. By encouraging enthusiastic customers in particular to work as a tripsitter after a beautiful psychedelic trip, these people often invest a few thousand euros in training courses designed to prepare them as a psychedelic guide or spaceholder. These practices are mainly intended to get extra money out of their pockets, because besides training and providing information about psychedelic sessions, there is no prospect of work. In fact... The Dutch market for facilitators of psychedelic sessions is now quite saturated.

There are currently no training courses that have any value with regard to future regulation. As soon as the regulation of psychedelic therapy comes into play, health insurers will interfere with the requirements for training as a psychedelic therapist. We expect that basic training as a psychologist will be required and that additional training of six months will ensure that someone is allowed to offer regulated psychedelic therapy. So it is now a matter of waiting to see how this will develop and which companies will be allowed to provide these training courses.

Polydrug sessions more popular

Combining psychedelic substances is used by recreational users. These psychonauts often have a preference for a certain combination with hallucinogens on the one hand and an upper on the other. For example, LSD or psilocybin is often combined with MDMA and you may think that combining these substances may entail unnecessary risks, but recent research tells us that it is not so bad.

In this investigation it is suggested that the combined use of a low dose of MDMA with psilocybin or LSD can help to minimize negative or challenging experiences (bad trips) and to enhance certain positive effects of the trip. These results may ultimately contribute to how psychedelic therapy may be carried out in the future with a trip drug such as LSD or psilocybin in combination with MDMA, which makes the trip easier to experience. The MDMA reduces anxiety, increases empathy and acceptance. This is of course a good effect for therapeutic psychedelic sessions. More research into safety and long-term effects still needs to be done.

trends psychedelic therapy

Combinations of psychedelics with potential

Some combinations of psychedelics that are increasingly being used and receiving attention are the hip flip (because of the research), the wizard flip (because of making the use of LSD more accessible) and psiloflora (because of the need for a legal variant of ayahuasca).

MDMA + psilocybin = Hippielip

The combination of MDMA and psilocybin is increasingly used to reduce the chance of a bad trip. Some people choose the hippie flip because they are interested in the potential therapeutic effects of psilocybin, but find real tripping too exciting. We think that the hippie flip will be used more often as a therapeutic treatment in the future.

Passionflower + psilocybin = psiloflora

Psilohuasca is popular, but a combination that is considered safer than both ayahuasca and psilohuasca with similar effects is psiloflora. The combination of passion flower and truffles provides a calmer and deeper psychedelic journey into the unconscious. Using a milder MAO inhibitor also results in fewer physical discomforts.

LSD + psilocybin = Wizardflip

Combining LSD and psilocybin often produces more visual effects than an average psychedelic trip. This combination will not be used much as a therapeutic support, but it is done by individuals who would like to experience the effects of LSD. The peak experience can be intense, but not overwhelmingly long. Spiritual experiences also occur.

The dangers of combining drugs

Combining psychedelic substances creates an increased risk of complications because each psychedelic has possible side effects and each psychedelic must be examined to see whether it is safe for the person in question. Various psychedelics also work synergistically, they reinforce each other's effect and this creates an additional risk of unwanted effects. When dosing the different drugs, the synergistic effect of these drugs must be taken into account and this involves different dosages than for solo use. Do you want a psychedelic session with one or more psychedelics? Then complete the intake without obligation for a first check.