Guardian Psychedelics


MDMA is a drug. Its official name is methylenedioxymethamphetamine.

MDMA is a powder but is typically ingested in capsule form.

MDMA was first synthesized in 1912 by Merck. It began being used in psychotherapy in the 1970’s.

MDMA is classified as an enactogen as it increases self-awareness.

MDMA increases the activity of neurotransmitters in the brain such as serotonin, dopamine and norepinephrine.

MDMA can induce feelings of closeness, empathy and connection.

MDMA is being legally produced by high quality pharmacy companies here in Canada.

Any legal MDMA being produced or sold in Canada must meet Health Canada’s high standards for safety and consistency.

MDMA therapy begins will several preparatory counselling sessions. These sessions are for us to get to know each other, and to establish a therapeutic bond and connection. We will go over your history, your past traumas, prior treatments, any medical issues, and your goals for an MDMA session.

We will discuss your specific intentions for the session, including what you would like to work on and how you would like your session to progress.

Most MDMA sessions will involve some talk / therapy, silence, and music. Music can be a very powerful part of the process, and something that will be discussed in prep meetings.

An MDMA session is a full day event. You should fully fast before the session. Once you ingest the medicine it takes 30 – 60 minutes to take effect. Peak experience is about 2 hours. Hours 2 – 4 are typically gentler but you are still fully in your experience with the medicine work. Rest of the day you should have no plans, and purpose to be gentle and quiet. Some healthy food helps bring you back from the space. It is important to drink lots of water during the session as MDMA can dehydrate. You will be able to walk and may need to use the bathroom, which you should be able to do independently.

Following your MDMA therapy session you will have follow up counselling sessions to integrate and process your MDMA session.

Psychedelics are psychoactive medicines that have been used for thousands of years. Psychedelics have been used in traditional cultures for ceremony, rites of passage, physical and psychological healing, and as a part of traditional cultural spiritual practices.

There are many different psychedelics. Some are plants – mushrooms, ibogaine, ayahuasca. Some come from animals, like 5 MEO DMT (toad venom). Some are more chemical based like LSD and MDMA, though both also are made from plants (wheat and sassafras). New psychedelics are being developed all the time.

Different psychedelics offer different experiences. They affect the brain and psyche differently. They can provide unique and different insights and healing experiences. They also have different risks and side-effects.

Psychedelics are most often not necessary to treat PTSD. There are many evidence-based PTSD treatments that are often effective. Some people do not recover sufficiently with traditional evidence-based therapies.

Some people can get stuck in their healing process. Some people may wish to include psychedelic therapy as one tool in their overall recovery and healing.

Psychedelics are not necessary. They are a tool and a medicine that can assist certain people in their healing journey. Often they help provide a unique perspective and healing experience that simply cannot be accessed without these medicines.

Psychedelics are potent medicines. They each have healing potential, and they each have side-effects and risks. You need to fully educate yourself and understand the potential risks and side-effects for any psychedelic medicine you are considering.

Most psychedelics initiate altered states of consciousness. At times, this can be scary and frightening. People may feel out of control, like they have lost touch with reality, or they may have long lost traumatic memories come back in full force. These experiences or memories can cause strong emotions such as fear, sadness, shock, anger or grief. People may have insight in to their lives or relationships that can be hurtful or concerning.

Some psychedelics can have strong physiological side-effects such as increase or decrease in blood pressure, heart rate or body temperature. Some psychedelics can cause vomiting, or diarrhea. Psychedelics often cause changes in perception – visual distortions, auditory changes, sense of taste and smell may be altered.

Psychedelics can cause auditory or visual hallucinations, and a changed sense of reality.

Psychedelics can also induce deep spiritual experiences – some positive, and some can be overwhelming or frightening.

Psychedelics can offer great healing and insight, but there are real risks and side-effects. Do lots of research on any psychedelic you are considering working with. Ask lots of questions. Being very well informed and prepared is very important to understand potential risks.

Psychedelics can offer a unique healing path that simply cannot be accessed by any other means. They can provide deep insight in to our lives, our traumas, our families, relationships, sexuality, work and career, plants and animals, and the world around us. Many people have profound and healing spiritual experiences. Psychedelics can help process traumatic events, and the difficult emotions that often accompany trauma.

Very high quality and current research is showing psychedelic medicines like MDMA help people successfully recover from PTSD. Psychedelics can help with end of life anxiety, and many other issues we may face in our lives. Psychedelics offer a unique form of healing that can result in lasting change, insight, and wisdom.

Different psychedelics work differently.  Most cause chemical changes in the brain and body.  These changes open new paths of insight and understanding.  Different parts of our brain light up.  Unique neural pathways get activated in the brain.  Our perceptions may change.  With medicines like MDMA, for instance, people may be able to process very difficult traumatic events with a big dose of serotonin in their brain, which results in deep insight and often healthy compassion.  Psychedelics often result in people finding new perspectives on their lives, their traumas, and may come to see themselves and situations more fully and deeply.

Can they not result in drug addiction?

Psychedelics should be treated as sacred medicines, and treated with deep respect.

Psychedelics very rarely result in addiction.  

Curiously, psychedelics are often used to treat and cure addictions.  Ibogaine and ayahuasca are very potent psychedelics that are often used to treat addictions.

I have seen the results of drug use on the streets.  How can these drugs be helpful?

Drugs do have the power to great harm, and destroy lives.

Not all drugs are therapeutic.

Psychedelics are a unique class of drugs that can be deeply healing and therapeutic, with very minimal risk of addiction or abuse.


Psychedelics are not for everyone. They should not be the first treatment option. Or perhaps the second, third or fourth.

People with certain medical conditions should not use psychedelics (heart issues, blood pressure issues, kidney or other issues).

People with certain psychological conditions should be extremely cautious, such as people with Bipolar Disorder, Schizophrenia, or certain other conditions.

People should also not use psychedelics while still on certain medications such as most anti-depressants or anti-anxiety meds.

Are the currently available evidence-based trauma therapies not sufficient to treat PTSD?

The currently available evidence-based treatments are helpful and sufficient for most people working through PTSD.

Most of the recent MDMA research was on people suffering from treatment-resistant PTSD.

MDMA has the potential to be effective where other treatment approaches have been insufficient. MDMA can also provide an added piece of deeper healing for many people. Healing, recovery, treatment, sufficient, cure are all loaded words with vague and different meanings for everyone.

There is no magic bullet for PTSD. No one treatment “cures” PTSD. This includes psychedelic medicines. If you are looking for quick fix cure MDMA or any psychedelic is not the answer. Psychedelics provide a potentially healing experience as part of larger therapeutic process.

Different psychedelics induce different states of consciousness, and provide different paths to healing.

MDMA is the main current PTSD psychedelic medicine. It is a fairly gentle medicine, that is helpful in processing trauma.

Medicines like ayahuasca are far more potent and intense, but can provide more comprehensive and involved healing experiences.

Different countries have different laws around psychedelic medicines.

In Canada, MDMA and psilocybin have recently been approved by Health Canada for legal use in certain circumstances.

The process requires individual patients obtain a special access permit through Health Canada. The process is complicated and involved, and requires a medical doctor to complete a package of forms.

It is expected that, as the body of research grows, Health Canada will evolve its processes.
Hopefully in the next year or so the process will be streamlined and more accessible.

Psychedelic therapy requires a therapist. And not just any therapist. You need a Registered Psychologist, or perhaps a psychiatrist. Someone with extensive training and experience with treating PTSD, and someone accountable to a College for their treatment and conduct. Your psychologist or psychiatrist should have training and experience with psychedelic medicines, to ensure they are competent and equipped to handle the intensity of a psychedelic healing journey.

Friends are great, and may even have experience with psychedelics, but most are not psychologists with needed skills and experience to help facilitate a psychedelic assisted trauma therapy session. Friends also may not have the skills to address any distress that can arise when people are working through their trauma.

Drug use has long been taboo in policing (except for alcohol use, of course!).

And for good reason. Drugs have caused great damage and have only been accessible through illegal means.

There has never been stigma around a first responder taking penicillin if they have an infection, or even a pain-killer if they have just broken their arm. Many first responders take medications for their PTSD.

Psychedelics are well researched. MDMA has been shown to be effective in treating treatment-resistant PTSD. They are available through prescription. They are legal.

As the research grows, and more first responders have healing experiences with psychedelics, I believe the stigma will quickly reduce, and psychedelics will be seen like any of the current PTSD medications. If anything, they will be a more effective medication that you may only need once or twice, and not something you need to take very day.

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