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Legalized psychedelic therapy will require safe, culturally sensitive spaces

Interest in psychedelics — things like magic mushrooms, ketamine, ayahuasca — is growing fast as new research is being done to show just how effective it can be at treating mental health challenges. 

Here in Arizona, the state recently announced it will award $5 million in grants for researchers to conduct clinical studies on hallucinogenic psilocybin mushrooms. Ketamine clinics that aim to treat depression and chronic pain are already available here. 

But, how do you know if this is a treatment that’s right for you? And how do you make sure you’re using these drugs in a safe way? There is a center in California that’s aiming to answer some of those questions and train people to help facilitate the use of psychedelics safely. 

Moana Meadow runs the Psychedelic Facilitation Certificate Program at the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics.

The Show spoke with her about her work with psychedelic drugs, including why she doesn’t call them drugs. Instead, she thinks the growth of psychedelics will only go up as more research is done. So, she wants to make sure we’re ready for it. 

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Lauren Gilger, host of KJZZ's The Show, is an award-winning journalist whose work has impacted communities large and small, exposing injustices and giving a voice to the voiceless and marginalized.