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Psychedelic Titans with Allison Feduccia of Psychedelic Support

The article Psychedelic Titans with Allison Feduccia of Psychedelic Support was originally published on Microdose.

This week’s Psychedelic Titan is Allison…

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The article Psychedelic Titans with Allison Feduccia of Psychedelic Support was originally published on Microdose.

This week’s Psychedelic Titan is Allison Feduccia, CEO of Psychedelic Support. Psychedelic Support is the leading online education and therapeutic platform in the psychedelic space advocating for mental health and wellbeing worldwide.

What’s this article series about? Psychedelic Titans is a get-to-know-you-style blog series interviewing some of the psychedelic industry’s most influential and impactful individuals.

When did you first become involved in the psychedelic industry and why?

I started researching MDMA in 2004 at the University of Texas. We had a grant from the Department of Defense to study how the effects of MDMA were impacted by the environment. At the time, there was a lot of concern about neurotoxicity from Ecstasy use. We wanted to simulate the conditions where Ecstasy was most often taken, so we create a “rat rave” to measure the release of serotonin and dopamine in the brains of rodents that self-administered MDMA while listening to music in heated chambers. We learned that MDMA and music synergistically increase serotonin in the reward pathway of the brain, a finding that has been replicated in human studies of LSD and music (and comes as no surprise to many who have taken psychedelics). This work, and my own personal experiences, led to a great interest in studying psychedelics for mental health and spiritual wellbeing.

Do you, or have you taken, psychedelic substances?

The first time I took a psychedelic substance I was living in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in 1996. I was 15 years old and decided to take LSD with some girlfriends at a Catholic high school dance. We didn’t have any harm reduction education beyond the Just Say No campaign. It turned out to be a harrowing journey where I ended up in the hospital. My path in life was forever changed by that experience. The inspiration for [Psychedelic Support](https://psychedelic.support/), our web platform to connect with health providers and psychedelic education, came from this first trip. Delving into the expansive states of psychedelics requires a lot of safety, preparation, and support. The outcomes depend heavily on these factors.

What’s your favorite psychedelic compound?

Like the colors of the rainbow, they all have unique qualities where the experience depends on the intention and context. The perception of the color red, for example, relies on surrounding colors, texture, and feeling tone. On one side of the spectrum, it can bring feelings to the heart center while on the other it can be symbolic of violence. The same is true for psychedelic compounds. The experience of each journey is very personal, juxtaposed with the person’s internal world at that given time. For this reason, I don’t have a favorite compound but rather look for the right medicine for the moment.

Do your parents/family members know what you’re doing?

When I started working for MAPS in 2015 after completing a post-doctoral research fellowship at the NIH, my parents had a lot of questions about my choice to join this grassroots, fringe nonprofit. In 2016, I organized a dinner in New Orleans that was part of MAPS’ Global Psychedelic Dinners, a campaign to have more folks talk openly about their psychedelic experiences in small gatherings put on by supporters around the world.
I thought it would be no problem to fill the 50 seats at the French Quarter restaurant we reserved but back then there was seriously no interest. I invited all kinds of groups, everything from psychiatrists to Mardi Gras crews. Desperate to fill the seats, I asked my parents to buy tickets. Out of curiosity, they came to the dinner. I gave a presentation on the MAPS MDMA for PTSD study and showed a video of a veteran experiencing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Watching this war rattled soldier recover from PTSD really hit home for my father, a Vietnam veteran himself and the son of a WWII veteran. He came to understand that night how psychedelic therapy could heal, and his view of the work I was involved in completely shifted.

Have you had an experience with mental health/chronic pain?

I believe our psyches have many parts, and depending on our life circumstances or world factors we experience various emotions wrapped into our personal narratives. Yes, I’ve had my share of painful and difficult periods in life. Psychedelic medicines and the practices I’ve leaned into for deeper self-reflection have immensely helped in times of difficulty to guide me in asking what I can learn from this experience. This reframing starts to shift the loops of shame, blame, stuckness, etc., into greater inquiry and acceptance of what is happening. I find this extremely helpful for supporting my mind-body-spirit health.

What’s your vision for the industry in 20 years?

My 20-year vision for the psychedelic field is wide spread access in community models. We’re facing serious challenges as a human race, and we need to come together in collaboration to overcome climate change, economic divide, and racial disparities. Psychedelic states offer a shared experience of the unknown and a collective sense of a powerful universal force. We need to do this work together, not in silos, and not only for the wealthy. We started [Project New Day](https://projectnewday.foundation/), a nonprofit foundation for psychedelic healing, to make these ideals a reality. We’re excited for the first cohort to participate in an ayahuasca recovery program in summer of 2022. Our vision is for Project New Day to support access for those who can’t afford it through this program and others like it.

What are your biggest worries for the industry?

Psychedelics can bring so many insights but if we can’t integrate these into this reality then they become only experiences locked in memory. My worry is the ultimate value of psychedelics will be lost to ego and money-driven motives resulting in harm and greater disillusionment.

Who are your heroes?

My heroes are people you wouldn’t know by name. They are the ones working humbly every day to bring peace and transformation to this world.

If you could create a psychedelic to do anything you wanted, what would it do?

Psychedelics can already intrinsically do anything. Everything and anything is possible in non-ordinary states of consciousness. The question is how to reliably and consistently access specific aspects, and bring those values into our personal lives and collective experience.

 

We’d like to thank Allison for being a part of the Psychedelic Titans series. Stay tuned for more profiles on leaders in the psychedelic industry.

Would you like to participate in this series? Fill out this form and we’ll follow up with a review of your application.

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