LOS ANGELES--(BUSINESS WIRE)--TREAT California today announced that it has begun collecting signatures for a 2024 California ballot measure aimed at funding clinical research on psychedelic-assisted therapies for veterans and first responders.
The measure will approve $5 billion in funding for clinical research on mental health treatments using psychedelic-assisted therapies, or PATs. Similar to California’s successful approach to stem cell research with 2004’s California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), the TREAT California Institute would become a state agency with the ultimate aim of obtaining the FDA approvals and training models needed to safely introduce PATs into mental healthcare paradigms.
“It’s clear we are in a mental healthcare crisis, as conventional therapies too often fail to offer relief for people suffering from PTSD, suicide, and depression, and the effects are simply catastrophic. We have a moral imperative to address the limitations inherent in our current system, and it’s time we got started,” said Jeannie Fontana, MD, PhD, TREAT California’s CEO. “The TREAT California Act will aid the development of FDA-approved PATs, which — when administered professionally — could offer meaningful pathways to the healing that people so desperately need and deserve.”
The TREAT California Act itself will neither legalize nor decriminalize any potential medicines. Rather, the Act provides funding for rigorous clinical trials to determine the safety, efficacy, and appropriate indications for mental health therapies. Once approved by the FDA, these medical treatments are intended to be administered by licensed professionals in supervised settings.
According to early research, psychedelic-assisted therapies have the potential to play an important role in treating individuals suffering from PTSD, depression, or anxiety. By pairing traditional talk therapy with physician-prescribed PATs, health professionals can treat the root causes of mental illnesses, not just mask their symptoms.
“MDMA-assisted therapy is highly efficacious in individuals with severe PTSD, and treatment is safe and well-tolerated, even in those with comorbidities,” according to the authors of a 2021 medical study published in the journal Nature about just one psychedelic-based treatment. “We conclude that MDMA-assisted therapy represents a potential breakthrough treatment that merits expedited clinical evaluation.”
TREAT California is supported by a diverse coalition of Californians that includes military veterans, first responders, medical doctors, nurses, therapists, and other healthcare professionals, as well as mental health advocates and concerned citizens across the state.
“Without psychedelic therapy I would not be here today,” said Guy McDermott, former US Navy SEAL and California firefighter. “The TREAT California Act will fund critical research that can help connect folks like me with life-saving care. We need this Act to bring psychedelic medicines into mainstream healthcare.”
ABOUT TREAT CALIFORNIA
TREAT California is a citizen-led ballot initiative that will provide $5 billion in funding for research and affordable access to mental health treatments using psychedelic medicines. The initiative is backed by a coalition of veterans, unions, healthcare professionals, mental health advocates, and concerned citizens. TREAT stands for Treatments, Research, Education, Access, and Therapies. To learn more about the organization, the ballot initiative, progress on collecting signatures, or volunteering, visit https://www.treatcalifornia.org/.
ABOUT DR. JEANNIE FONTANA
Leading TREAT California is Jeannie Fontana, MD, PhD, vice-chair of the board of trustees for the American College of Regenerative Medicine. Dr. Fontana previously served as a founding Board of Trustees member of the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM). Since its formation in 2004, CIRM’s success in stem cell research has led to the approval of two FDA therapeutics, nine FDA fast-track therapies, and multiple large-scale clinical trials aimed at alleviating and curing disease.