Veterans suffering from PTSD get a boost from the former Governor of Texas.
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry traveled to the state capital last week to voice his support for a bill that calls for using psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for military vets struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
“To me, this may be one of the most hopeful pieces of legislation that the members of the Legislature have the opportunity to consider this session,” Perry told the Texas Tribune.
Perry has historically shied away from state legislative matters since leaving office in 2015. But as a longtime advocate for veterans, he said he has seen how service members struggling with PTSD have found relief from troublesome symptoms through psychedelic therapy.
The Republican says he supports House Bill 1802, which was introduced by state Rep. Alex Dominguez, a Democrat from Brownsville. It was referred to the House Public Health Committee last month but a hearing has yet to be set.
The bill calls for the Health and Human Services Commission to partner with a health sciences university and a Veterans Affairs hospital and conduct clinical trials using psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms. It also calls for the Commission to review published studies using psilocybin as well as MDMA and ketamine for PTSD.
Health and Huan Services would be required to submit quarterly reports on its study and have a Dec. 1, 2024 deadline to deliver recommendations to the governor, lieutenant governor, and House speaker.
Dominguez said colleagues on both sides of the aisle are receptive to learning more about psychedelic therapy for PTSD. “I think in general we’re supportive of veterans issues and certainly there’s maybe a generational discussion to be had,” he said. “But I found most members want to hear the science.”