Ross Zafonte, DO: Potential Use of Psychedelics in Treating Veterans and Service Members with PTSD


The use of psychedelics for PTSD is an example of a therapeutic intervention that the medical field has, until lately, put to the side. There was no funding, nor research on the topic; now, medical professionals and researchers are looking into its potential use for PTSD and believe that, with specific focus, it may have a great benefit.

Dr. Ross Zafonte is the Chief of Traumatic Brain Injury for Home Base, part of the Wounded Warrior Project's Warrior Care Network.

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My perspective as a nascent reviewer of the role of psychedelics for PTSD is that there’s a lot of potential. At the Mass General Hospital, we have a whole center led by Dr. Jerry Rosenbaum that is looking in detail, what is the potential for psychoactive medications such as psychocybin [phonetic] or others to be a therapeutic for those with PTSD, potentially resistant depression, or even other entities. It’s another example about therapy that we put to the side, didn’t fund and research over the years which may have a benefit in a very focused and defined use. BrainLine is powered in part by Wounded Warrior Project to honor and empower post-9/11 injured service members, veterans, and their families.

Posted on BrainLine October 6, 2021. Reviewed October 6, 2021.

About the author: Ross D. Zafonte, DO

Dr. Ross Zafonte is the Clinical and Research Leader for Traumatic Brain Injury at the Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Home Base Program. He is the Earle P. and Ida S. Charlton Chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, vice president of Medical Affairs at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and Chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at MGH.

Headshot of Dr. Ross D. Zafonte

Comments (1)

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Had a lot of trauma prior to taking psychedelics, LSD, in the early 1970’s. The outcome was disturbing and could not even take a drink or Mary Jane without going into a shell outwardly viewed while dealing with flashback horrors. Suicide attempts and bulimia followed, I was 15 years. This lasted until I was 20 and Valium helped but destroyed my perspective absolutely when mixed with alcohol. Hope this helps.