CCHR Warns Against Psychedelic Trips Potentially Planned for 55m Americans

Mental health industry watchdog expands its investigation into failed psychedelic “solutions” being marketed to treat mental issues, citing latest questionable survey

The Citizen Commission on Human Rights, a mental health industry watchdog, warns of a dangerous direction the industry is taking for consumers embracing psychedelics as a treatment for those allegedly “resistant” to antidepressants, and more. The latest marketing of this thrust is a survey that asserts that 65% of Americans with anxiety, depression, or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) believe that psychedelic drugs should be made available for them as treatment.[1] Were this the case, based on psychiatric statistics that an estimated 84.5 million adolescents and adults in the U.S. have these disorders, there could be 55 million prospects for a “turn on, tune-out” mind-altering future.

The figures came from an online survey of a mere 2,037 adults ages 18 and older. Among them, were 953 people who suffer from the three disorders. In a semantic leap, this was translated to say nearly two-thirds of Americans with the disorders favor psychedelics.

It is unclear what questions were asked to ascertain—and potentially skew—these findings. CCHR says propaganda by redefinition of words redefines psychedelic, mind-altering drugs as “plant medicines.” The group calls this “Pied Piper” marketing, whereby people are lured in with delusive enticements of a “natural” solution to their woes. Those who have failed to improve from bio-psychiatric treatments get the idea they can receive safe “alternatives” at innocuous-sounding “retreat centers.”

The surveyed respondents said that if these “medicines” were “proven more effective than prescription medication with fewer side effects,” they would take them. CCHR questions whether they were informed of the risks in order to arrive at that decision?

Some 66% agreed they would “be open to pursing” taking ketamine and 62% psilocybin, a hallucinogen and active ingredient in magic mushrooms.

Psilocybin adverse effects include: Impaired judgment and feelings of detachment, psychosis, anxiety and panic attacks.[2] Psilocybin is a Schedule I substance that the Drug Enforcement Administration believes has a high potential for abuse and serves no legitimate medical purpose.[3]

Ketamine is known as a “date rape” drug, as it causes disassociation where rape victims can lose consciousness or be confused and compliant.[4] Ketamine can also cause irregular heartbeat; seizures; painful urination; unusual excitement, nervousness, or restlessness; and feeling things that are not there.[5]

The psychedelics industry is predicted to soon reach $7 billion a year.[6] Last year funding to psychedelic drug companies surpassed $730m up from 42 in 2020—a 1,638% increase in what is called “The Psychedelic Renaissance.”[7] There was an also an investment of $358m into psychedelic startups in 2020.[8]

Following Food and Drug Administration approval of the first SSRI antidepressant in 1987, for the next 15 years, psychiatrists advocated antidepressants as the most “effective” treatment for children and teens with depression. That proved false—and harmful. In 2004, the FDA determined the drugs could induce suicide in those 18 years of age and younger, later extended to age 24.

Today, in the throes of marketing psychedelics to treat teen angst, it is claimed that around 40% of adolescents on SSRI antidepressants fail to respond. Already, ketamine is being administered to those aged 12 to 18.[9]

The World Health Organization (WHO) reports that 30% of people do not respond to antidepressants, psychotherapy or electroshock treatment.[10] In reality, “do not respond,” means utter failure, CCHR says. In 2017, United Nations Special Rapporteur for Health, Dr. Dainius Pūras wrote: “There is now unequivocal evidence of the failures of a system that relies too heavily on the biomedical model of mental health services, including the front-line and excessive use of psychotropic medicines, and yet these models persist.”[11] He reiterated this in June 2021.[12]

Yet, CCHR says those profiting from psychedelic drug research are embedding some of the most dangerous drugs, psychedelics, into the mental health industry today. One such company has investors that include a former director of the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) for 13 years, who was quoted in a June 2021 WHO guideline against coercive psychiatric treatment, saying NIMH spent some $20 billion on mental health research during his tenure. He conceded: “I don’t think we moved the needle in reducing suicide, reducing hospitalizations, improving recovery for the tens of millions of people who have mental illness.”[13]

CCHR predicts any research emphasis on psychedelic drugs—yet another biomedical model—will not only not “move the needle” to improve mental health problems, but it will worsen it—escalating mental health harm and disaster. The “Psychedelic Renaissance” will simply resurrect an era of psychiatric madness, of bizarre LSD mind control experiments, which drove patients out of their minds and failed to benefit them.

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[1] “Study Finds 65% Of Americans With Mental Health Conditions Want Access To Psychedelics,” Forbes, 18 Jan 2022,



[4] Jan Eastgate, “CCHR Warns About Antidepressant “Nasal Spray,” Esketamine (Spravato), Use On Veterans,” CCHR International, 26 June 2019, citing:;


[6] “CCHR Launches Report On Failed Mental Health Programs & Psychedelics Rebirth,” CCHR International, 16 Aug. 2021,, citing: Derek Beres, “How will psychiatrists administer psychedelic treatments?” Big Think, 1 Feb 2021,


[8] “Over $730M Was Invested in Psychedelics in 2021,” 2021: The Psychedelics Industry, 18 Jan 2022,


[10] David Cox, “A world without antidepressants: the new alternatives to prescription pills: Could the future of treating depression be ketamine infusions – or even a ‘pacemaker for the brain’?” The Telegraph, 18 Oct. 2022,

[11] Jan Eastgate, “Why Psychiatry Sees Itself As A Dying Industry: A Resource On Its Failures And Critics,” CCHR International, 8 Mar. 2021,, citing: “World needs ‘revolution’ in mental health care – UN rights expert,” 2017,

[12] “UN Special Rapporteur Dainius Pūras Addresses Psychiatry’s Global Coercion & Crisis,” CCHR International, 7 June 2021,, citing: Awais Aftab, MD, “Global Psychiatry’s Crisis of Values: Dainius Pūras, MD,” Psychiatric Times, 3 June 2021,

[13] “Guidance on Community Mental Health Services: Promoting Person-Centered and Rights-Based Approaches,” World Health Organization, 10 June 2021, p. 215, (to download report)

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