Oregon has licensed the first regulated psilocybin service center in the United States. The center will charge $3,500 per session for a four grams guided trip, and $2,800 for a two-and-a-half gram experience.
While Oregon may have decriminalized small amounts of psilocybin and moves forward with regulating psilocybin therapy, prices have been released for the first licensed service center. The costs, however, may give some potential patients a bit of a shock. A two-and-a-half gram session of individual psilocybin therapy will set you back $2800, while a four-gram journey comes in at a cool $3,500.
The announcement of the first facility's prices had some people reaching for their wallets, others were reaching for their pitchforks. Critics on Twitter claim that the cost of psilocybin therapy will be totally inaccessible for those on lower incomes. It seems like accessibility may still be an issue for those looking for a chance to heal.
But let's take an objective look at the Oregon psilocybin therapy costs. Things may not be as black and white as they seem.
At EPIC Healing Eugene, clients have to pay for the cost of assisted therapy sessions, and psilocybin as medical insurance doesn't provide coverage for them. Depending on the amount of medicine taken and whether it's an individual or group experience.
Cathy Rosewell Jonas, the founder of Eugene Psychedelic Integrative Center, shared on Williamette Week that in addition to her personal training and certification fees of $12,000 she is also required to pay a $10,000 annual fee and $60,000 on insurance and security.
Jonas is charging $3,500 for a fully dosed trip to cover costs. Service centers face pricing challenges because they can't write off costs like rent and wages since psilocybin is illegal under federal law. Due to the US tax code 280E, businesses dealing with Schedule I and Schedule II controlled substances such as psilocybin are not eligible for tax benefits that are provided to other both small and large businesses. Consequently, service centers will set 30% higher prices to compensate. For instance, if a service center charges $3,000, a $1,000 will be reserved to pay the federal government.
Additionally, to receive psilocybin therapy treatment, a person must undergo screening and attend at least 3 preparatory sessions, plus the treatment day and integration sessions. This treatment generally requires 18 to 25 hours in total, with therapists typically charging $150 to $200 per hour, according to Therapsil.
The cost of a medium-dose psilocybin therapy session, which can be as high as $3,500, may seem daunting at first. However, it is important to compare these costs to current treatments for debilitating diseases, such as depression, for example. Traditional depression treatments can also be costly. The average monthly cost of generic antidepressants is $62.50, while the cost of brand-name antidepressants can be up to $487.75, or $750 and $5,853 per year. Even with insurance, there may still be additional costs such as deductibles and copays. Therapy sessions can also add up, accounting for up to 50% of the overall cost of treating depression, with each session costing around $100 per hour. And if inpatient care is needed, the cost can range from $6,000 to $8,000 per month.
Comparatively, a single dose of psilocybin has been shown in studies to potentially alleviate depression symptoms for up to a year. When considering the potential long-term benefits of psilocybin therapy and the costs associated with traditional treatments, the current prices for psilocybin therapy may actually be reasonable.
When considering the price of psilocybin therapy, it's also important to keep in mind that the experience is taking place in a clinical and safe setting. This means that patients can have peace of mind knowing that the source of the psilocybin is trustworthy and that the dosage will be carefully titrated. Additionally, the clinic will likely have a chain of title, ensuring that the psilocybin is of high quality.
For many people, the idea of getting psilocybin from an unknown source is unappealing or even unsafe. Having access to a service that provides a safe and reliable source of psilocybin, along with a controlled environment for the experience, may be invaluable for some. This is especially true for first-time users who may be hesitant about trying psilocybin.
Additionally, is crucial to compare the prices of psilocybin therapy with the costs of some of the most affordable legal psilocybin retreats currently available, at prices ranging from $675 to $2995 per person (excluding plane ticket expenses), in order have an objective look. If you're not comfortable buying psilocybin illegally and trying it without proper screening for potential contraindications and adverse effects, then legal psilocybin therapy treatments are the alternative.
Certainly, it is worth acknowledging that the high prices of psilocybin therapy treatment are not solely due to the costs of providing a safe and clinical setting, trained therapists, and high-quality psilocybin. The underlying issue here is the healthcare system, which should provide fair and affordable access to healthcare, including mental health treatment, for everyone. However, this is not currently the case. The costly nature of psilocybin therapy is only a small indication of a broader issue. We must push for a more equitable system that values people's health above financial gain. Ultimately, supporting the normalization and legal acceptance of psilocybin therapy is crucial for expanding access to this potentially life-changing treatment.