Treatment & Research In Psychedelics

TRIP Treatment and Research In Psychedelics Logo

The Treatment & Research In Psychedelics (TRIP) program at Pacific Neuroscience Institute (PNI) has two paths that are available to patients. 

  1. Treatment with Ketamine | 310-582-7612
  2. Clinical Trials | 310-582-7611

Mission

Pacific Treatment & Research In Psychedelics (TRIP) is dedicated to the development of psychedelic-assisted therapies and the scientific exploration of how altered states of consciousness can be harnessed to change behavior and improve brain health and quality of life.

We serve all California communities.

Introduction

Mental health issues are a leading cause of disability, and they remain inadequately treated worldwide.

The modest effectiveness of existing treatments such as antidepressants and traditional psychotherapy approaches show us that there is an urgent need for more effective treatments for conditions such as depression, alcoholism, smoking cessation, and end of life suffering.

Early studies of psychedelic-assisted therapies for these conditions have demonstrated much larger and durable effects compared to existing therapies suggesting that there is great potential for psychedelic-assisted treatments to revolutionize the treatment of mental health and behavioral disorders.

Background

The potential for mystical experiences to produce rapid, profound, and sustained changes in insight, mood, behavior, and consciousness was recognized and first used by indigenous cultures in shamanic and other healing rituals. Psychedelic-assisted therapies for treating mental health disorders was studied extensively and safely in approximately 40,000 patients in North America in the 1950’s and 1960’s.

Its use faded due to the Controlled Substances Act in 1970, but there is a renaissance in psychedelic-assisted therapies that has been gaining momentum since the 1990’s.

Current Psychedelic Research

Today, multiple clinical trials are underway testing a variety of psychedelic drugs including psilocybin, the active ingredient of “magic mushrooms,” MDMA (“ecstasy”), and ketamine, for a diverse range of indications including major depressive disorder (MDD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), end-of-life and palliative care setting, as well as alcohol, nicotine and other substance use disorders.

Available treatments for depression, anxiety, and substance use disorders involve daily administration of a medication aimed at correction of neurochemical imbalances via action at specific receptors (e.g. serotonin, dopamine, mu opioid).

In contrast, psychedelic-assisted therapy uses the drug to produce a short-lived but intense subjective experience—the mystical or peak experience—which triggers or elicits an afterglow, accompanied by a subsequent positive change in affect, insight, motivation, cognition, and behavior.

Mystical Experience

Qualities of the mystical experience as described by patients include a sense of unity, a noetic quality, sacredness, positive mood, transcendence of time and space, and ineffability.

While the exact mechanism of psychedelic-assisted therapy remains a deep area of study, current thinking based on neuroimaging and clinical studies, suggests that a major mode of action may be a transient, but profound state of ego dissolution largely due to an impact on a cortical brain region referred to as the Default Mode Network (DMN).

One of the most interesting potentials of psychedelic-assisted therapies is that a given compound such as psilocybin may have trans-diagnostic potential, meaning achieving a psilocybin-induced mystical state may lead to profound and sustained improvement across multiple disorders including depression, anxiety and addiction.

Set & Setting Model

Clinic Location

Pacific Brain Health Center

1301 20th St #540, Santa Monica, CA 90404 (Map)

Ketamine Treatment: 310-582-7612
Clinical Trials: 310-582-7611

Useful Links


Videos about Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy


Articles about Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy


If you or someone you know is in crisis, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Lifeline) at 1-800-273-TALK (8255), or text the Crisis Text Line (text HELLO to 741741). Both services are free and available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The deaf and hard of hearing can contact the Lifeline via TTY at 1-800-799-4889. All calls are confidential. Contact social media outlets directly if you are concerned about a friend’s social media updates or dial 911 in an emergency. Learn more on the Lifeline’s website or the Crisis Text Line’s website.

Is TRIP right for you?

For more information about treatment and research studies at the TRIP program please contact Dr. Heinzerling.

Virtual Video Visits Are Available
Our specialists have consultation openings for new patients anywhere in California.

Treatment with Ketamine: 310-582-7612
Clinical Trials: 310-582-7611

Find Out More