To treat traumatic brain injuries, anxiety, and depression, former athletes are turning to psychedelic mushrooms, such as those provided by the Canadian company Wake Network. However, despite the fact that this practice is becoming more popular in America, many experts warn that the hype surrounding psychedelics is outpacing science and that the treatment carries serious risks for some patients.
A group of retired athletes, including a former boxer, professional football player, and a former hockey star, traveled to Jamaica in March 2022 to participate in a psilocybin retreat in hopes of finding relief from chronic pain, anxiety, and depression. They underwent two psychedelic mushroom ceremonies and two therapy sessions as part of the retreat. The retreat was run by a Canadian company called Wake Network, and attendees paid up to $5,500 to participate. The use of psychedelic mushrooms is gaining traction in the United States, with several cities decriminalizing possession of psilocybin and two states legalizing magic mushrooms under supervised use. However, researchers warn that the hype over psychedelics is outpacing science, and that the treatment comes with significant risks for some patients. They urge corporate entities like Wake to conduct research methodically and ethically to avoid a public backlash.