Episode 190: Psychedelics The New Mental Health Revolution with Matt Zemon

Are there alternatives to antidepressants and antianxiety medications? The short answer is YES. There are ancient natural compounds available to manage these conditions and potential get rid of them forever. Are you tired of the sexual dysfunction from antidepressants? Natural compounds can manage symptoms and leaving you feeling normal, loving, caring and passionate. Sufferings from PTSD? Compounds like Ketamine can provide the relief that one is looking for. My guest Matt Zemon shares his expertise on using Ketamine a legal psychedelic to provide relief.  

Do not miss these highlights:

07:48 Experience with guided Psilocybin.

08:55 How similar Hiawatha to Psilocybin experience is.

12:24 Just two sessions with MDMA, 67% no longer have a PTSD diagnosis.

13:38 Antidepressants don’t work for everyone, and they seems to have worsening side effects.

16:22 Ketamine for PTSD, pain, depression and anxiety.

19:23 What’s the standard of care for ketamine, and does it have side effects?

22:08 How safe are psychedelics in general?

25:18 Ketamine has proven to be effective in helping curb alcohol and smoking.

26:09 What Psychedelics do in general to your brain. 

30:58 Can someone overdose on a Psychedelic?

35:11 How do people learn more about Psychedelic Medicine?

Resources Mentioned

Whether you are recovering from an illness or just looking to maintain your current overall health, schedule a consult with us at Serenity Health Care  by calling  (262)522-8640 or visit https://www.serenityhealthcarecenter.com 

About our Guest:

Matt has seen firsthand how psychedelics have helped people from different walks of life, and his goal is to “normalize” the conversation and reduce stigma. With an MSc in Psychology & Neuroscience of Mental Health, Matt co-founded two companies dedicated to improving mental health and wellbeing using the power of legal psychedelics. Now, he’s launched HAPPŸŸ, where he and his team are reimagining mental health using guided ketamine therapy. Matt loves to share his journey with psychedelics and mental health, myths and rumors around psychedelic medicine, and how psychedelics can play a powerful role in healing and connection, both for the people that choose to use them and for those that do not.



Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/matt.zemon

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/matt.zemon/

Transcript of Episode 190

Debra Muth 0:02
Welcome to Let’s Talk Wellness Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb. This is where we talk about everything wellness, and learn to defy aging, and live our lives on our own terms. Welcome back to Let’s Talk Wellness Now, I’m your host, Dr. Deb. And today, we have a little different topic for you something that we haven’t talked about before, something that’s a little controversial in many aspects. But I’m really excited to talk because I think it’s good for us to explore different topics and different things. So we’re actually going to talk today about psychedelic medicine. Now, what the heck is psychedelic medicine, it sounds like it’s a crazy thing. But it’s actually where people micro dose psychedelic drugs to treat various conditions. You know, in ancient times, especially in shamanic, cultures and practices, people use something called Hiawatha, and they would use that to journey to the upper world or the lower world. And it allowed them to break through the problems they had in their mind where they may not be able to connect to their spiritual world. There are some Native American cultures that have used different drugs, things that we call drugs, they call plants and they truly are plants. But in in the culture that we live in today, we call them drugs. And they would use things like that for ceremony. We’re not necessarily talking about the exact same products or materials, but our guest, Matt Zemon. Today is going to talk to us about psychedelics and what are they? Why do people use them? And you know, what to expect when they’re using them. And I think it’s just a great exploration for us to see how do these things work. Now, Matt has finished or I should say, has firsthand information and knowledge about how psychedelics have helped people in different walks of life. And his goal is to normalize the conversation and reduce the stigma. He has a master’s in psychology and neuroscience and mental health. And he has co founded two companies dedicated to improving mental health and well being using the power of legal psychedelics. Now he is launched happy, where he and his team are reimagining mental health and using guided ketamine therapy, Matt loves to share his journey with psychedelics and mental health and the myths and the rumors around psychedelic medicine, and how psychedelics can play a powerful role in the healing connection for both the for both people that choose to use them, and for those who choose not to. And I think this is a conversation worth having, because so much of what we do in mental health today is not effective. You know, people are depressed, they’re anxious, rightfully so for a lot of people. But the medications that we’re using the SSRIs, and the anti anxiety meds don’t normally work for a lot of people, they will feel better, but they won’t feel great. And they will say I don’t feel like myself. And now we have this huge stigma around even anti anxiety meds, things like Lorazepam and clonazepam that had been on the market for years. I mean, we’re talking 25-30 years. valium is another good one. And we have people saying, wait a minute, sorry, you’ve been on this for 15 years. We have a different belief of this today than we had, you know, 10 years ago, 15 years ago, when someone put you on this, you can’t have this anymore. And we’re just stopping people cold turkey on these medications. That is so unfortunate and unfair to that person, because they don’t have an alternative. Nobody’s offering up an alternative for them. And so they’re left with being physically addicted to these medications to being psychologically dependent on them, because that’s what controls their anxiety. And that’s what helps them get through the day and function. And yet, we’re not recognizing,

Debra Muth 4:41
nor are we compassionate about what these people are going to go through when we take these medications away from them. And that’s truly the problem that I see in all of the medications that we’re using today. That down the road, the government and the DEA He is going to claim that you can’t use this anymore because of these different reasons. So, without further ado, I’m gonna bring my guest on Matt and we are going to chat all about how psychedelics are working today. Have you seen 20 Plus medical doctors only to be told your symptoms are in your head, or you need an antidepressant? We understand your frustrations. Are you tired of feeling sick and tired? Tired of not getting the answers you need to regain your health, tired of not feeling listened to by your doctor at Serenity Health Care Center, we understand and we will help you find the cause of your symptoms. Together we will create a path to health. We specialize in combining the best of conventional and natural medicine to get you back to doing what you love. We have worked with the most complex chronic diseases such as chronic Lyme COVID, long haulers, autoimmune disease, mold toxicity, and hormonal imbalances. But if you’re not sick, that’s fantastic. We will work with you to maintain your health so that you can prevent illness. give our office a call to see how we can help you regain your health and vitality at 262-522-8640. Or check us out at our website at Serenity health care. center.com. All right, welcome back to Let’s Talk wellness now. I’m Dr. Deb and I have with me Matt, am I going to say your name right. I know Zeeman that is it. All right. There we go. Well, welcome to the show. I’m so excited to have you here today we have an interesting conversation to talk about. And tell us a little bit about yourself and how you got involved in this.

Matt Zemon 6:58
I’m happy to do that. And it’s it’s I’ve been looking forward to this conversation and Dr. Deb, you have such a, you have a unique audience. And then the challenges that they work through, I think ties right into what we’re going to talk about today. So I appreciate you having me on. Yeah, I’m kind of an accidental psychonaut a few years ago, I’m almost four now, I had the chance to do a guided psilocybin experience that really just changed my worldview. And that led me to going back to school to get a master’s in psychology and neuroscience into really doing a deep dive into the world of psychedelic medicine, which then I realized, okay, there’s a lot of stuff out there, but it’s it’s either hard to read, it’s too opinionated, or it’s too woowoo. And I wanted to create a book that was kind of for everybody to read. And that’s where psychedelics where everyone came from.

Debra Muth 7:46
Oh, that’s awesome. Tell us about your guided What did you call it? Because I haven’t heard that term before.

Matt Zemon 7:53
It’s a psilocybin is it’s the it’s the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. So that’s, that’s probably how you know, it’s yeah, it was it was um, I wasn’t a big drinker. I really wasn’t. I tried cannabis a few times. It just wasn’t my thing. And some, some really trusted friends said hey, why don’t you come do this guided magic mushroom journey with us? I was like, I don’t know, I’m not sure like what you like to learn. And this is a learning opportunity, like to travel and you’re gonna go somewhere and, and see what comes up for you. So I went ahead and did it and, and then I reconnected in this in this magical six hour experience. I reconnected with my mom who died almost 30 years ago, in a way that just just completely I just couldn’t even imagine beyond my wildest imagination. I could kind of pull the connection from her to me to my children. And, and just had just this really incredible experience. And I wanted to understand more about what happened and how does this work.

Debra Muth 8:50
That’s amazing. I studied shamanism for about the last 25 years. And so, journeying and guided meditations and things like that are very common and in the shamanic practice, they use something called Hiawatha how how similar is Hiawatha to what you did

Matt Zemon 9:10
is similar in that it is both kind of releasing or opening the third eye so it’s allowing you to see things differently and see parts of the world that in a way that you just aren’t normally used to seeing it. Ayahuasca is a much more physical experience when when you do it, there’s typically a purging element to that which is which actually is quite beautiful. I would not have told you that until I tried it but it really is. And it’s a it’s just it’s a different it’s just it’s similar and yet different and it’s hard to Yeah, it’s but it’s um, it is a lovely plays for people. It does very similar in terms of what it can do for for trauma, for anxiety, for depression, for creativity, for connectivity, but it’s definitely more physical than a psilocybin experience.

Debra Muth 10:01
Awesome. So people who are listening to us are already thinking, why are they talking about all these psychedelic drugs from the 70s? That, you know, we did at Woodstock, and now we’re not supposed to do them anymore? And why would we be talking about something like this in the medicine world today?

Matt Zemon 10:20
I love that. I mean, there’s, I think people don’t realize it right now, there are 309 academic institutions, either studying psychedelics, or with psychedelic centers, the University of Wisconsin, Madison up there has a master’s program in this now. They do. And here we have university, North Carolina, which just got a $27 million grant from the Department of Defense, and Duke has a psychedelic center now. So I mean, it’s, this is Johns Hopkins, and Yale and Harvard and Berkeley and university, California just goes on and on. And this is not fringe science. We’ve had a prohibition on psychedelic medicines since 1970. Since the Controlled Substances Act with with the Nixon administration, it’s been pretty much proven that that was not about science that was kind of wanting to disrupt either the anti war left or the civil rights movement, but not about medicine. And once they started re, kind of reef studying, thanks, really, to the efforts of Johns Hopkins to pick it back up. They’re realizing that oh, my gosh, the results that these medicines can have on anxiety, depression, eating disorders, trauma, and post traumatic stress disorder. I mean, the list just smoking alcohol use, it just goes on and on. The results are just too strong. And that’s led to this kind of renaissance of psychedelic medicine, which is which which many are saying it’s going to be the biggest change in mental health care and 50 years in our country.

Debra Muth 11:47
Wow. Them started looking at it.

Matt Zemon 11:52
You know, I believe, I don’t, I don’t know for sure. I’m almost positive, it was looking for some options for terminal patients with depression. And I believe that’s kind of worth the hook came. But what’s really, I think, galvanized the country is the work on post traumatic stress disorder. So we have a lot of veterans who have treatment resistant PTSD. Also, victims of sexual assault and first responders and with when the existing existing programs just are not working for enough of them. There is a phase three part two trial that finished that the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies sponsored but this is the FDA gave it breakthrough therapy designation for these treatment response outside of treatment resistant people to sessions with MDMA. 67%, no longer have a PTSD diagnosis.

Debra Muth 12:48
So they don’t have to take this stuff forever, like they’re taking antidepressants and anti anxiety is that don’t work. We all know that. That’s amazing.

Matt Zemon 12:56
It’s incredible. And those are the kinds of numbers that’s like it makes me it makes my hair and my arms stand up. When you think about these people have had no other option. And now all of a sudden, so MDMA will be legal in this country in the next few years. Wow. And then psilocybin, three, four in the outside, there’s just the data is just too strong. But I think for your listeners, and this doesn’t just apply for PTSD, you brought up antidepressants a moment ago. And ketamine is really a incredible alternative legal alternative that people can do today. And people just don’t know about it. Because, right, there’s no interest in the pharmaceuticals to promote it. It’s a generic.

Debra Muth 13:36
Yeah. And that’s a problem that I see in my practice. I mean, I have patients that have been on antidepressants for years that don’t work, and then they’re on to then they’re on three, and then the side effects are so horrid, you know, they don’t feel like themselves. They’re putting on weight, they’re miserable. They’re thinking about suicide, which seems to be a worsening side effect with every new antidepressant drug that comes out on the market. And then we have this whole host of people over here who have been on anti anxiety meds for 30 years. And now these Doc’s are saying, Sorry, the DEA just came in and said, You can’t keep prescribing these. And so they’re cutting them off cold turkey, and giving them no alternative. And they can’t function. This to me this. This is it’s criminal, barbaric,

Matt Zemon 14:29
The life I mean, you talked about weight gain, but we also lack of energy, lack of the impact on sexual health, from antidepressants. It’s It’s tremendous, and this is SSRIs SNRIs. MAOIs, it doesn’t make a difference which antidepressant? We’re seeing, depending on the study somewhere between 51 and 70, like 72.7% of people having sexual dysfunction, yes and no, that’s a big number and no other option.

Debra Muth 14:58
No other options. It’s And they’re told, Well, you know what? You can use your antidepressant and not be depressed or you can have a sex drive it well, why should you have to choose, I’m a very strong sexual advocate for women and men, and you shouldn’t have to choose between the two. And the number of people that just get thrown on an antidepressant for every little thing drives me insane. I mean, if patient patients come to see me, and if they have more than two or three complaints, and we both know we’ve been trained this way, then it’s a somatic disease, and they’re depressed and they need an antidepressant. So instead of looking for the reason that they actually have these symptoms, they’re just thrown on these antidepressants and never taken off, right?

Matt Zemon 15:40
And then that’s the it’s the set and forget it. It’s because they’re getting prescribed everywhere. And then it’s just all of a sudden, it’s been a year, three years, five years, 10 years, and you’re still in the same antidepressant, it doesn’t matter what happens in your life does matter. Things have changed doesn’t matter if you’ve started exercising, or if your work has changed, or your family has changed, doesn’t matter. You’re still on the antidepressant. And that’s a so yeah, and then it doesn’t work for too big of a population, the side effects if it does work, the side effect price is high. And nobody is telling them about ketamine. And that seems just I just don’t understand it. But yeah, so there are 400 clinics now focused not just on ketamine, ketamine and mental health, wow. That’s up from like, 75 years ago.

Debra Muth 16:22
So I’m familiar with using ketamine for PTSD and pain. But I’m not as familiar of using ketamine in the depression anxiety world. Can you share a little bit about that? Oh, happily?

Matt Zemon 16:35
Yeah. I mean, so. So ketamine, certainly, where it started, people started with people who are highly suicidal, it’s one of the only medicines you can inject in somebody and within an hour, boom, they’re no longer suicidal. Wow. So then people started saying, Well, wait a minute, if it works for that extreme of the spectrum, what happens with depression, what happens with anxiety? And again, the results are tremendous. There’s there was a study just came out over 1200 patients using at home oral ketamine and it was, to me think you’re 89% showed an improvement in depression or anxiety, and a in 63 of those was 50% or more improvement. Big numbers. So let’s talk about how do you take ketamine you can take ketamine intravenously. So so number of clinics, you go and they put an IV in your arm, and you have a you have someone watching over you, and you have to have it that way. Another one and other clinics do it intramuscularly with a shot, and then you can do it nasally through a nasal spray. And then you can do it orally, which a lot of the virtual companies like mine, and there’s my company called Happy there’s company called New Life. There’s company called Mind bloom, but we’re all doing it orally to keep the cost down for the for the patients because this isn’t covered by insurance. Yeah, it is a cash it is a cash option

Debra Muth 17:58
for people. Now is ketamine considered a psychedelic?

Matt Zemon 18:01
It is I mean, it really it’s in the psychedelic family. It’s technically a dissociative anesthetic, but it is grouped into this, this hallucinogen category as well. So it’s not a classic psychedelic like mushrooms and LSD. But it is it is considered in the psychedelic family.

Debra Muth 18:19
Wow. So I had my first patient come in on oral ketamine. And she was getting it compounded from a compounding pharmacy and taking it as a trophy every single day. Every day, every day. She was taking ketamine. Yeah, so I heard of it. I spy that. And she is also somebody severe anxiety, severe depression, diagnosed with early stage dementia. And so she had an alternative doc in another state say, let’s try this because this could help with your dementia and your anxiety and depression that may be causing some of the dementia that you’re having.

Matt Zemon 19:01
That’s really interesting. I knew there was a company that was doing kind of super low, almost micro dose ketamine, but I haven’t I haven’t seen any research on this. I don’t know.

Debra Muth 19:13
And I don’t think this was micro dosing, because it’s 100 milligrams a day. Which seems like a lot for me. Yeah, I thought it was quite a lot, too.

Matt Zemon 19:22
Yeah, I don’t I don’t understand that most people. So I can tell you what the standard of the normal standard of care as it exists today, which is typically people do a regime where you do once a week for six weeks. And then after that six weeks, you then spread it out depending on on this on how you’re feeling and so on. And so actually I have a person I know who, at 23 He had his first suicide attempt was on 20 different medications over the last 20 years or so. Went on ketamine a year ago, and he’s he’ll say when I started ketamine a year ago, I was on a scale of one to 60 I was a 53 and depression Wow, he did the six week protocol. One year later, he has a 10 on that same scale. And he takes it once every four weeks. Wow. Yeah. And there’s doctors trying to stretch into six. But for four, we’ve got a dip. So four is what they went with. But um, yeah, I mean, you’re talking about a ketamine experience is about an hour. So maybe allocate to three hours to make sure you have time before and you have time after but this is a very doable thing that you can add into your life, that you then don’t have those side effects. You don’t have the the addiction, you don’t have the withdrawal symptoms, if if it doesn’t work, or you change your mind. It’s a Yeah, it’s it’s not a not as addictive as antidepressants.

Debra Muth 20:47
That’s so nice, because those antidepressants are so difficult to get off of. I mean, I have so many people that just no matter what you do with them, they can’t stop them. Or we’re, you know, we’re titrating off for two years. Because every time they come down, they get the brain zaps, as we call it, right, and they get all these negative side effects that they don’t like. So that’s awesome that they don’t have a they don’t take it every day and be they don’t have those side effects. And actually

Matt Zemon 21:17
super interesting that you’re saying that you just reminded me. So most antidepressants work on serotonin, ketamine, it works on glutamate, so it’s the only psychedelic that you can take while you’re still boy that you really should take while you’re on an SSRI or an answer or any of the antidepressants. So that also allows people to help with the withdrawal process. Because they are, they’re adding this other medication into the mix.

Debra Muth 21:47
That is so nice, because then that would ease them off of other medications and still give them that security of what they need and not having the problems.

Matt Zemon 21:56
Exactly. Yeah, it’s a big deal.

Debra Muth 21:59
Yeah that’s huge. That’s amazing. Is, or are well if ketamine is safe. And then my second question is, How safe are psychedelics in general?

Matt Zemon 22:10
Okay, so that’s let’s, let’s take those in that order is ketamine safe. So when we talk about safety, and I’m assuming we’re talking about all in a medical setting, because if you’re if we’re talking in a medical setting, there really is no data that shows that it has been addictive in a clinical environment. If you’re taking a sub anesthetic doses and you there’s there are some contraindication. So for example, if you have unmanaged high blood pressure, ketamine is not probably a good fit, if you have glaucoma, not a good fit. And there’s a few different medications that we just know, have not ideal interactions with with ketamine. Besides for those kinds of those things. Yeah, it’s incredibly safe. There’s 20,000 papers on the safety and the efficacy of ketamine on PubMed today, and it’s been around since 1970. It was the buddy drug in Vietnam, so safe enough for soldiers to carry to stab their buddy with it if something happens. So it’s, it’s a really safe, stable medicine. But then you’ve talked about psychedelics in general. And this is something that, at least for me, and me, we look like, We’re from the same generation that we grew up in this, this. Just say, No, this is your brain. This is your brain on drugs. And I know I had drilled into my head that drugs are really, really dangerous, they’re gonna fry my brain. Another study came out, and this time it is is and in England, and they compared what is the harm to yourself and others have a whole bunch of different drugs. And if you look at this chart on the left hand side, you have alcohol, you have heroin, you have tobacco, lots of harm to yourself bouts of harm to others, all the way at the right. Tiny, tiny, tiny, you have mushrooms, you have MDMA, there is no lethal dose of LSD as an example. There’s, there’s they are so much safer than these other drugs that we have legal and available for us. And there’s no I mean, most with ketamine and lab animals have shown some addiction properties. None of the other psychedelics have, they’re actually anti addictive. So it’s super, very unique medicine for for these purposes.

Debra Muth 24:24
Now, when you use ketamine for pain, are they starting to transition because we all know it’s a no no for any pain meds these days. And our poor patients who have been in chronic pain that have had pain meds for decades now can’t get it and they’re moving to the street to get it and get other things. And I know they’re using ketamine for pain control. Could you use ketamine like you? Could you use ketamine the same way you are to get someone off antidepressants to transition someone from say an oxycodone or something like that.

Matt Zemon 24:55
It’s truly not my area of expertise with this I know that I’m I mean, at least for your listeners, like one of the things that ketamine is showing do know about is it used on cluster headaches and migraines, incredible results for people with those specific pain symptoms, but I don’t know about it as a as a withdrawal piece. I do know what might be of interest to your audience when it comes to things like alcohol and smoking, that ketamine has proven to be pretty effective to help, again, to help curb that activity, or those activities

Debra Muth 25:34
doesn’t have any activity or response to dopamine or just glutamate,

Matt Zemon 25:41
just glutamate .

Debra Muth 25:42
Interesting because I would suspect if it’s helping with that withdrawal in that craving, it might have some effect on a dopamine receptor, but not interesting. What it does glutamate have a specific effect on those types of cravings.

Matt Zemon 26:00
I don’t I think it’s all speculative. At this point, I don’t think anyone really knows why it’s working. I mean, so let’s, let’s step back, let’s talk about psychedelics and kind of what they do in general, to your brain. So one of the analogies I’ll give before you go into the science version of this is like you’re used to skiing and you like skiing down your tracks, he keeps going down this track. And as we get older, those tracks get deeper, and those, that’s how we think we ski down the mountain. And when you take a psychedelic, it’s like someone just dumped a whole bunch of snow on the mountain. And now you can ski anywhere you want. It’s like wow, I didn’t know I could do that. I’m always getting these tracks.

Matt Zemon 26:34
So in behind the scenes, the default mode network is being quieted down. Your neurons are firing in ways that they don’t normally fire and a lot of them are activated in a in that normally doesn’t happen. So that’s and then the ketamine if we talk about ketamine, or any psychedelic, it’s actually creating new neurons and starting that process of neuroplasticity or neurogenesis. And so then when you finish a long after the medicines left your body that process is continuing. But for that psychedelic session, whether you call it a journey or a session, your mind is thinking in ways that it just doesn’t normally think and then you can take that information and you can move that into your everyday life and process the look at things differently. So I don’t I don’t say that psychedelics are a cure, but they’re a catalyst or catalyst for positive change.

Debra Muth 27:26
Now, you had mentioned something earlier about it and helped me with eating disorders, how does that work?

Matt Zemon 27:32
The against a lot of research is on this, I think it’s it comes back to it’s a way of thinking people having disorders thinking a certain way about food and about their body. And and, and they’re into that cycle of thinking, and the psychedelic breaks it up, allows them to think differently. And then they have a glimpse of oh, this is what it’s possible to think differently. And then they can take that into their everyday life. And I think a lot of it also has to do with with when you take a number of these psychedelics, you feel an overwhelming sense of love and safety. I know for me, until I felt it, I didn’t realize I didn’t have it. Like, I was like, Oh my gosh, I knew what my low end of my Register was, my mom died. That was a saddest I’ve ever been. But I just didn’t know that I could feel safer. I could feel more love. And so I did. I was like, wow, I didn’t know this existed back married a long time, beautiful children. I didn’t know I could feel this loved in the safe. And, and psychedelics open that up for me.

Debra Muth 28:35
So the patients that we have that or people that feel nothing, they’re flat, you know, there’s so many more people these days, whether they’re taking antidepressants or not. We treat a lot of chronic illness and the chronic illness tends to affect that and they’ll say I feel nothing. I just I don’t feel joy. I don’t feel sadness, nothing. It sounds like psychedelics and ketamine could help that.

Matt Zemon 29:00
Yeah. Without without a doubt. And I mean, if you were if you were saying everything’s legal today, well, in that particular exactly, what would you Absolutely? Can you try some MDMA? I mean, it’s such a hard opener, you can’t it’s very hard to take MDMA and not feel loved to yourself and loved others, but ketamine, psilocybin, these other medicines, do similar things or can have similar similar reactions. Just ketamine is the only one that’s legal here in the United States if they wanted to go do MDMA, it’s a clinical study or it’s going somewhere else.

Debra Muth 29:32
Yeah.This is so exciting. In the world of medicine, because we have not had anything to help people in this department for a very long time. Mental health is a very challenging condition to live with for both the person and the family. So to be able to have these things open up to them in the next three to five years. Hopefully, that sounds amazing.

Matt Zemon 29:57
Absolutely. And again, ketamine is legal today, but yeah, you’re I mean, when we think about mental health, we think about what are the bio psycho social spiritual components? It’s complicated. So you have the physical biology? And how is it? How’s the medicine going to interact to help somebody’s mental health? What is the psychological things that are happening and experiences? What are the social? What’s the environment that that person is living in? What’s the environment that they’re coming from? What’s environment they’re going to? And then spiritually, do they have any practice? What do they how do they connect to whatever it is that their higher power do? Do they not have one? And all of that goes into, into mental health? And then of course, there’s the physical sorry, left that out to deal with? Yeah. Do they have a? Are they walking? Are they running or drinking water? Are they sleeping? And all of those things come into this. And I truly believe that again, it’s not the psychedelics aren’t the cure, it’s the catalyst to start looking at all of those different elements and making change.

Debra Muth 30:58
Can someone overdose on a psychedelic?

Matt Zemon 31:03
Can you overdose on a psychedelic? You? I believe that most of these psychedelics, the answer be no, that there isn’t a lethal dose for them? I certainly know there’s also taken too much for a pleasant experience. And I would imagine that if you took too much ketamine, specifically as an anesthetic, that that could be an overdose situation. But most psychedelics, it probably not. That does remind me though, with things like MDMA, when you hear so two things, I’ll talk about MDMA for a second. When we hear about people having, quote, overdosing on MDMA, what’s typically happening is they are dehydrated, and they are, and that’s what’s that’s what’s occurring, or they have MDMA that’s laced with something else. There was a study in another study, where the scientists bought a ton of St. St. MDMA, more than 50%, had 0%, MDMA, where this zero 30% was laced with something and about 20% was pure. So it’s, it’s just again, because we don’t have, we can’t have a open discussion about drugs in this country, people are going underground to buy them, they don’t know what they’re buying. And a lot of times what they’re buying is not what’s being sold. So yeah, I always encourage people, if you can afford the drug, by the test strips, go go to dancesafe.org or one of these organizations, and test your and if you have teenagers out there, where we’ve been the old days, like leave condoms, or help your home get to birth control by some test strips for the block. Hope you’re like, let this the the the ease in which teenagers are finding drugs on things like Instagram and such. But they don’t know what they’re buying. Yeah, and that’s terrifying.

Debra Muth 32:59
Yeah, I’m so glad you brought this up. Because I think this is definitely the conversation that people need to know is that even if you think you know, the person you’re getting it from and you trust that person, you don’t know where they got it from, and so on and so on and so on. And you could be drink, you could be having bleaching baking soda in there for all you know, you don’t know what it is. And so working with someone like yourself, to either get into a study or obtain some ketamine is so important to make sure that you have the right experience. And it actually does what you need it to do.

Matt Zemon 33:38
Absolutely. And that actually reminds me when when people are looking to go back to ketamine for a moment, people are looking to figure out who they’re going to work with. I mean, you’re you’re using a very holistic practice. Yeah. And ketamine that’s there are there are people who have holistic practices, there are people who don’t so there are people or doctors who pursue say, this is purely a chemical reaction. So come in here, sit in our dental chair, I’m gonna put you in IV and you’re gonna walk away and good luck to you. I don’t personally believe in that the research shows that when you combine some type of therapy with the psychedelic doesn’t be licensed, there appears to be guides, but that you have a much higher outcome. So you’re you’re doing kind of the things that we talked about in classic psychedelics, what is your mindset going in? Did you set your intention? Do you know why you’re doing this? Have you thought about that? What is your setting that you’re Are you comfortable? Does it feel clinical? Or does it feel more like You’re like a living room? Or like your house and and are you safe? And are you with somebody who loves you? And he’s going to make sure you’re safe? versus more of the recreational? And then of course, your source. So you get the source set and setting all covered? Your the probability of having a good experiences is pretty high.

Debra Muth 34:50
Yeah, because the last thing you want to do is do something to help you feel better, and only find that you feel worse and it frightens you and now you’re turned off by this and you don’t ever want to do this again, you don’t want that experience. You want it to be a positive experience.

Matt Zemon 35:08
Exactly. Yes. So, Matt, how

Debra Muth 35:11
do people learn more about psychedelic medicine? And if this is something they want to try, or what they need to look for in a practitioner, how do we find that information for our listeners.

Matt Zemon 35:25
So let’s break that into a couple of different buckets. So certainly, I have a book psychedelics for everyone. And then when I say that, I don’t mean everyone should take psychedelics. But I mean, I do think everyone should kind of read this book or read a book like this, and understand what can psychedelics do for society. And let’s at least have the facts on the table so that people can make decisions about what should be legal, or decriminalized or medicalized that are available for religious use all of this ties into the psychedelic community. So I think this book, and I think psychedelics are for everyone to understand. In the book, I have medicine by medicine, kind of a beginner’s guide. What does it do? How do you take it? What does the research say? What do we not know? Those types of things are in here I have some personal stories as well. There’s just tons a for those who are more scientifically inclined, there’s so much research now out there, if you’ve picked the school that you liked the most and find out what they’re doing with with psychedelics. But there’s, there’s a lot of good research on how to change your mind by Michael Pollan. He’s a beautiful book, and then there’s a four part Netflix series, if you’re not a big reader, hop on Netflix four hours of your life, and you’ll know a ton more about psychedelics than you did, than you did before. So those are good ways to find it in terms of finding a retreat or a practitioner. Again, start with with ketamine, there are a number of different directories available online, psychedelic spotlight. Third, wave cyclable all have listings of of, of reputable maps.org has has a listing as well of reputable providers. When you’re looking at overseas providers, or or more of the retreats, that again, I have a chapter in my book just on how to find a good a good retreat, but one of the questions I would encourage people to ask is just how many people are going to be having this experience with me at the same time. And I’ll use Ayahuasca since you brought that up earlier, there retreats out there, well known, well advertised that have 80 to 100 people at a time doing a ceremony. And yeah, they have four liters of the ceremony. That’s a lot of people.

Debra Muth 37:40
That’s a lot of people for only four liters.

Matt Zemon 37:42
It’s a lot. They have some helpers, too, but it’s a lot. It’s a lot period, there’s, there’s a lot going on. Yes, that many people. So and that’s an heavily advertised one. So asking that question. And knowing what what’s comfortable for you. 10 to 20, that’s a good size group that that’s really nice for this communal experience. 20 to 40, depends on on how many assistance and things you get above 40. And it’s, I just I would question. Question How they’re pulling that off safely and comfortably and in a way that everybody can maximize that opportunity? Yeah, and

Debra Muth 38:23
I think when you start getting to those higher numbers, you start having to ask the question, are they in this for just the money? Or are they in this to actually help people have a good experience and to help them transition through whatever comes up for that, because that’s going to be the hardest part, right? When you’re doing things like this, and feelings come up, and memories come up. And sometimes they’re not the greatest and sometimes they’re really great, but you have to process that and you’d have to have somebody there that can help you process that and not just feel like you’re left hanging with these thoughts and feelings and experiences.

Matt Zemon 38:57
Absolutely. So let’s dive down that that rabbit hole for just a moment. So some of your listeners will have therapists are ready. What I have found if you just ask your therapist, have you worked with patients who’ve had who are using psychedelics, many of them say absolutely, we won’t provide psychedelics, but absolutely our patients have used this, this and the other thing, great. So if you have a therapist you’re comfortable with, you can ask them to help you prepare. And you can have ask them to help you integrate. And if you know you have that person in place that gives you some more options over who you work with to get the medicine. If you don’t have that person in place, then you may want to ask the retreat you’re looking at what do you do for preparation and integration? How are you gonna help me prepare before I come down there? And how are you going to hold my hand after I’m back in the States or back in my home afterwards? If they don’t have a strong answer to that, go go to that like maps.org is I use them as an example and look at their recommended integrators. There’s a bunch of them and see if there’s one near you. And maybe you can work with them as well. It’s lots of different lots different options there.

Debra Muth 40:01
That is awesome. I’m having this question come up in my mind, and I’m wondering if you’ve seen any research in them using psychedelics in the autistic population.

Matt Zemon 40:14
super interesting. I went to a dinner last year where there was, so there is an autistic sub culture in psychedelics, and there was one of their one of their members were there, and has talked about how it has really transformed his life. And I had no idea. Why did I have no idea? Well, if you’re a researcher, it’s hard enough to get approval to research psychedelics. Yeah, period. So then, who are you going to pick to research on as like safe of a person as possible. So almost all the research excludes anyone with bipolar, anyone have schizophrenia with anyone with a family member or a parent, sibling, all excluded from all the studies. So they have not studied, they definitely not studied autism, that I’ve seen. And in a scale, there might be some small studies out there. There’s a bunch of what, um, James Fadiman, who wrote the psychedelic handbooks, and really a pioneer in the psychedelic medicine, space, talks about a citizen scientists. So these are people who are autistic, who you can find in Reddit groups and talking about their experiences with psychedelics. So no, no research that I know of that’s of scale. But um, but certainly being used because what happens with autism, it’s again, it’s it’s a it’s a way of thinking, right? It’s a psychedelic and disrupt.

Debra Muth 41:35
Wow, that is such an awesome thing. I hope that comes to the forefront sooner than later. We do a lot of biomed for autistic population, and some of our kids are really traumatized and could really use something like this to break that thought process and decrease that anger and just repetitive behavior, it would seem like it’s such a common place to be used.

Matt Zemon 42:03
It would seem like it’s a natural place for to be used and could agree with you more. And I can also understand why researchers are not in today’s climate. Yeah, I will share something else has been kind of a surprise to me in the space. And maybe you saw this in the shamanic community that I’m, I’ve been surprised about how many families are doing psychedelics together. So parents and children. I’m really surprised. I just didn’t know that was a thing. But it is. And I wonder with, with many of the providers that are out there when they’re working anyhow, with one on one or very small groups, I wonder if parents with autistic children couldn’t use these experiences together with a practitioner to see where it goes, Oh, whether that’s both of them taking medicine, whether it’s one taking medicine? I don’t know. But it would be interesting,

Debra Muth 42:54
that would really be interesting. Yeah. And that would, that would make say sense because it would be a safer environment, both for the parent and the child. And give both of them that opportunity to explore and feel differences, but then be able to talk through them too.

Matt Zemon 43:12
Right. That’s the whole I mean, the the ability to to have conversations without the normal blame, shame or guilt is really powerful. In my book I talk about I had a when I was a young teenager, I had a inappropriate sexual contact with a family member 10 years older than me. And I was mortified and embarrassed, I kind of tucked it away as people do. And throughout the years I’ve cut around my life, but I would something would happen in a conversation, my ears would get red or my cheeks would get red. I knew it was there and we’re gonna I’m not gonna think about that. And on this, I’m on one of these psychedelic journeys. I was right back there. I didn’t want to be there. It was not not asked to be back there something dire to talk about. And for the first time, I was able to look at the situation so you know what, she was sad and lonely and just needing love and not forgiving or condoning what she writes but able to look at her as like wow, this is someone who was just hurting and struggling with with substance use and reject it. And it wasn’t predatory as much as it was selfish and again not forgiving or condoning but right understand could have an empathy that I never knew my wasn’t that’s in this search for this particular situation. That was not my thing. And then it he was gone. Like I can talk about it now. I don’t I don’t I’m not it’s just the pain is gone. And I’ve seen that happen with individuals with their specific trauma. I’ve seen it happen between couples and whatever it is that was blocking their the from the love that they used to have from coming through and I’ve seen it happen between parents and children and the children saying When you did this, that hurt, and the parents that have been defensive. So I understand that and when you’re doing this, that hurts in this conversation that just I don’t know if it is potentially easier to take place with these medicines helping, helping with the process.

Debra Muth 45:17
Wow, that’s so awesome. It’s really exciting for medicine that we’re having some of these things come up. I’m really hopeful that our conventional drug authority like the DEA, and some of these other agencies, don’t attempt to block it in a way that it doesn’t allow the average person to have access to it.

Matt Zemon 45:43
We’re that yeah, I’m certainly hopeful for that to happen when we talk about the FDA approving this. So the FDA has given breakthrough therapy designation both to MDMA and psilocybin. So that’s very positive. That’s good history studies looking good data looking good or positive. One of the questions that, and then this, I have just a separate for a moment. So we have kind of the legalization movement, let’s make this legal, let’s make it medical. Let’s get it approved from the FDA. That’s very different than the decriminalization movement, which is saying no, no, this is this is plant, these are plants, these should be legal period, they should be legal, whether you want it medically or recreationally, whether you want to religiously, it doesn’t matter. It should be legal period. What happens in the medical model, which I think makes a lot of sense, but it becomes there becomes pricing, and then becomes you have to have credentials to serve it, and how many credentials and that changes in what environment and all of that leads to expense on the site, and I think that whole camp is it’s one step at a time. Let’s get illegal. Let’s show this. Let’s work on the medical model. And then we can work another change. Yeah, yeah. The de gram movement is much more of No, we’re not compromising. Let’s make this legal now. And I can understand their perspective. And it is beautiful. They are winning city after city is, is decriminalizing it, which again, allows for personal consumption and in storage and use. not legal, but at the lowest priority for law enforcement. Yeah, it’s, again, it’s a step in the right direction.

Debra Muth 47:15
Yeah, we’re moving. We have to do something because what we have available today isn’t working. And we have more and more people that are hurting from all aspects of things. And they need they need help. And, and they need to do it in a safe way. With a good experience.

Matt Zemon 47:34
Yeah, they need help. And there are too many kids. I’m having 19,17 year old, or too many kids who are dying from fentanyl overdoses. When they didn’t think they were taking fentanyl. Yeah. And so this isn’t working. So how do we help both? How do we help the people who have depression, anxiety, trauma, eating disorders? Substance use? How do we help them? And then how do we stop our kids from from accidentally overdosing?

Debra Muth 48:00
Absolutely. Tell us about your clinic? How can people work with you? How do they find you and have or start this conversation if this is something they’re interested in,

Matt Zemon 48:12
so my primary goal with this conversation is to share information we are only available in Florida, the it’s happy with two eyes happy.me And it’s a virtual option. So with us, you come on you get assigned to a prescriber, or who will work with you if you’re eligible, we’ll take a medical intake will prescribe you the medicine and then we facilitate the rest we hope we help the the pharmacy send you the the compounding pharmacy, as you mentioned earlier, send you that we connect you with a guide who’s going to help you with your intentions, we give you a a workbook and then we The guide also helps you integrate and then we give you digital therapeutics every day for a year different ways to establish we trade happiness all sorts of different things so some people might be attracted to the breath work others to the exercises, other two meditations we’re gonna give you a lot of different ways to to to develop happy habits. But I certainly encourage people if if we’re if you’re not in Florida, go look at if and you liked the virtual option and you feel safe at home looking at new life, look at mind blown look at these other companies that are doing similar work. And if you want to go into a clinic field trip is opening up multiple locations across the country. There’s some really good providers out there who are combining mental health with with ketamine and it’s legal so you don’t have to worry about drug tests. You don’t have to worry about your employer. It’s legal. So I just regardless of where you go, goes, if if your interest in this go find someone near you.

Debra Muth 49:41
That’s awesome. Does the person have to be a Florida resident or could they be visiting in Florida at the time

Matt Zemon 49:48
for us it’s residency we’re gonna be we’re gonna be adding states as fast as possible. So who knows maybe by the time this is actually broadcast, we’ll be in more states but it’s awesome. We are we are as fast as we can add more states we will but thank you for Seeing that

Debra Muth 50:00
yeah, no problem. That’s fantastic. Any last thoughts or comments you’d like to share with our listeners?

Matt Zemon 50:07
It is. Yeah, I think, at least in my conversations, in my experience, a number of people who are not succeeding with antidepressants feel it’s their fault that they did something wrong, that they’re, it’s, oh, my chemistry doesn’t work and I’m failing at antidepressants. And it’s that’s just not the case that it’s the antidepressants are failing you that that are science that led to the way this was even marketed. The way it’s prescribed, this medicine and his processes failed to you. The fact that if you if you’re still listening to this conversation that you and I are having right now, why hadn’t what’s going on for you? What have you Why have you not heard about ketamine before? The system hasn’t Fair has failed you you haven’t failed? Not possible. So I would just encourage you to ask talk to your doctors talk to if you’re if your doctor doesn’t know about this, go find another doctor who does. And that this might be a way to find a, a new path forward. But certainly not because of anything that that you did wrong or because of the way your body’s made up. This is this is a there’s some challenging science that led to this situation.

Debra Muth 51:22
That’s fantastic. I love that. Thank you so much for for sharing this with us today. So appreciate it. I’d love to have you back and chat again, because there’s so many areas we could go down the rabbit holes on these, of course, but this is awesome. Thank you so much.

Matt Zemon 51:38
Dr. Deb. Thank you. I really appreciate you and I’m so glad that you you invited me on for today.

Debra Muth 51:44
Hey, it has been really great sharing this time with you guys on the let’s talk wellness now podcast. If this episode has helped you or you feel as though this episode would help someone else we’d love for you to leave us a review, share this podcast and if you don’t want to miss the most exciting episodes we have coming. We’d love for you to subscribe to our podcasts on iTunes or Google Play. Until next time, live every day to the fullest

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