Last week, Kenton and I had an opportunity to meet with one of our city officials to discuss our advocacy for the expansion of the use of telemedicine across state lines for individuals currently seeking Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy.
We discussed the scope of practice for Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy and the recent repeal of telemedicine practices in the state of Alabama.
On July 11th 2022, the state of Alabama repealed the practice of telemedicine across state lines requiring all medical prescribers of controlled substances in Alabama to complete at least one in person encounter within a 12 month period via Act 2022-302.
Prior to Act 2022-302, prescribers were allowed to practice medicine and prescribe controlled substances across state lines as long as it was considered to be in the public interest (Act 97-166).
This decision created a major barrier to our ability to provide Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy to the clients that we serve.
Although we understand and agree with the intention and desire of the state to minimize abuse or misuse of prescribers via telemedicine services, there were some "Public Interest" areas that may not have been taken into consideration.
Recent Clinical Trials on Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy have found that:
✔️ 65% of individuals who participated in psychedelic-assisted therapy reported a reduction in anxiety.
✔️ 67% of individuals who participated in a MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy clinical study through MAPS – Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, no longer met the criteria for PTSD after 2 months of treatment.
✔️ In the first Phase 3 study completed by MAPS, 88% of participants with severe PTSD experience a clinically significant reduction in PTSD symptoms two months after their third session of MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy.
✔️ Through the participation of psilocybin assisted psychotherapy individuals have been able to reduce addictions, quit smoking and minimize eating disorders.
✔️ Currently Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy has shown to be a helpful treatment for eating disorders, treatment resistant depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and PTSD with individuals often noticing a positive effect within 24 to 72 hours.
Why is this important?
Recent research has shown that 30% to 50% of individuals who experience depression and anxiety, as a result of prolonged and/or chronic traumatic life experiences, do not respond to antidepressants, mood stabilizers and/or traditional talk therapy.
Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy provides additional options and HOPE for individuals who have been unsuccessful with traditional medication management and/or talk therapies. https//maps.orgs/
In order to provide this therapeutic treatment safely and effectively it is best that clients connect with medical professionals who have been trained or are in training with psychedelic treatment for mental health.
Unfortunately, Alabama has a limited number of in state providers trained in this area of practice.
By connecting clients with trained professionals via telemedicine this helps us to provide a comprehensive service that is more affordable to the clients that we serve.
As a trauma informed mental health practice, we understand the importance of options, choice and accessibility when it comes to therapeutic treatment.
We would like to see Act 2022-302 expand telemedicine services for the prescription of controlled substances across state lines to individuals currently undergoing FDA approved Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapies with licensed and trained mental health therapists.
We believe this expansion could help address the ongoing mental health crisis in our state by assisting individuals experiencing severe PTSD, Treatment Resistant Depression, Suicidality and Complicated/Traumatic Grief.
With that being said, check out this video of Kenton and I discussing the in's and out's of Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy & Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy.
We hope this will provide information and encourage open conversations and discussions regarding Psychedelic Science and Psychedelic Assisted Psychotherapy.
This is an opportunity for Alabama to engage in thoughtful conversations and provide leadership around mental health and the impact of alternative therapeutic methods for lifelong change.
For more information regarding the services that Kenton provides, check out his website at https://www.kentonbartlettcounseling.com/
Fanicy Sears, LPC, LMFT, NCC, BC-TMH
eMotion Therapy, LLC