An Autonomous Recovery Story
On this episode, we have a special guest, Kevin Franciotti, LAC, a Denver-based ketamine psychotherapist and a licensed addiction and mental health counselor with over 15 years of experience in community health, harm reduction, and direct service work. He bravely tells his recovery story and explains the power behind integrating the intentional use of psychedelics within recovery alongside ongoing psychotherapy.
- Kevin’s story
- Taking a different approach for himself – harm reduction
- The power behind simply asking, “How are you doing?”
- Kevin’s reverence towards natural-based medicines
- The whole experience, opportunity, environment, and autonomy behind Ibogaine help.
- Natural medicines need to be congruent with psychotherapy
- Recovery with autonomy met with guidelines
”Ibogaine gave me a glimpse of what having had a spiritual awakening could look like if I continued to work the steps. And the spiritual awakening that I ultimately discovered was freedom from the obsession and compulsion to use. Perhaps that’s the weight. This weight being carried is this burden that no matter what I do, I am constantly stressed by using drugs. When I get through that, I can see the humility, what recovery looks like, and share that message of hope with somebody worse off. Ultimately that is why I became a practitioner. I committed myself to service to people like me, who have been wronged by mainstream treatment.”
everybody welcome back to finding Peaks your favorite host is back I know you’ve been waiting for me I know you got your popcorn next to you because that’s what I tell you to do because I’m always bringing you good stuff on the other side of the screen Brandon Burns chief executive officer for Peaks Recovery Center is joined today but with Lauren atencio the co-host uh licensed addiction counselor Clinical Director of our men’s campus at Peaks recovery centers going to help me out today to have a great conversation with our friend Kevin here and as you all know we put out several really this has been a kind of a prop 122 month here in the state of Colorado to talk about the Psychedelic measure or the measures within the bill wrapped around psychedelics and and namely psychedelic interventions within treatment episodes and so forth and so we brought you a lot of information and Kevin’s going to help us kind of walk through some more details of it including his personal Journey so excited to bring him on uh Kevin uh franchiati licensed addiction counselor hopefully I stated the Italian name correctly there you are also welcome to restate that but as a Denver based ketamine assisted psychotherapist in addiction and mental health counselor with over 15 years experience in Community Mental Health harm reduction and direct service work he was an invite on an Advisory Board member for project new days inaugural Community engaged public health project good on the Scrabble board psychedelics and Recovery Outreach and service which provided support for Mutual Aid groups whose members integrate psychedelic experiences in their addiction recovery with that Kevin welcome to the show sir awesome to be here yeah the bio is just as hard as pronouncing the last name so I was impressed by both yeah you did great thank you yeah yeah well welcome um you know I know we’ve talked uh of course you know prior to this and kind of where we want to take this as a as a journey and uh you know for the viewers out there as I just stated you know there’s a personal history model to this and I would just love to start by kind of just building up what that background was like you know that led to Addiction in the first place and will negotiate just kind of from there and along the way sure yeah no thanks so much for being here it’s a delight and in terms of the context of proposition 122 the natural medicine Health act uh you know I decided a few weeks ago when I wrote uh an op-ed in support with my endorsement for the Colorado Sun that I was going to tell my story and that’s not always a comfortable thing so I’m really honored to have the venue to further elaborate on some of that and qualify the reasons for my support that are largely formed by my lived experience so you know to kind of roll the tape back a couple decades as a teenager growing up in Suburban Long Island being pretty bored with Suburbia at an age where we’re looking for stuff to do my friends are experimenting I was a little slow to the game but eventually I got there and in a span of eight years from experimenting casually with things for a variety of reasons wound up finding myself with an opiate use disorder and dropped out from college having some experiences being bailed out of trouble thanks to some privileges and resources that my families and eyes disposal but addiction doesn’t really care about things like that and so it came back with a vengeance and I relapsed after a 30-day stint in an inpatient facility where I was introduced to 12-step recovery the abstinence-based model I really wanted nothing to do with it at the time and yet 10 months into another addictive spiral I figured that I should probably try AI to learn and grow and not be a mess anymore but I didn’t know how to stop and it took really a loving moment with my mother who came in and asked me what was wrong you know she didn’t say you need to do this she wasn’t yelling at me he’s just in a loving way what could we do to help and I told her that I’ve long known about this medicine called ibogaine ibogaine which is derived from the root bark of the iboga shrub which is indigenous to Western equatorial Africa and it’s been known to have remarkable affinity and efficacy for attenuating opiate withdrawal and serve as kind of an addiction interrupter so in that moment of a loving intervention in a far less charged way that that term is often used I decided that I need help I’m going to ask for it and I’m going to say this is the thing that I think might actually do it for me and in 2011 that’s exactly what I did I appreciate the vulnerability in these stories I think there is a sense of Courage within the politicism of you know things like prop 122 and so forth and you know just to kind of just take a moment to really just honor that with you that and taking this journey with us taking a couple steps back you know one of the things we for the viewers out there that I often talk about are the problems with our industry as a behavioral health industry in general and I would like to you know kind of go well I think before you know engaging in the the that negative potential you know we talked before the episode I think one thing for the viewers when we think about prop 122 is like or there’s just more drugs in the market it’s just a more drug issue what about the kids what about all the issues that follow from that and uh you know addiction at least for us at Peaks recovery centers isn’t it’s not about the drugs and we’ve talked a ton about this in the background that at the end of the day it’s almost like in gabber you know mate terms that the drugs almost work right and so instead of asking why the drugs we’re asking like why the pain right and I you know I hear within that kind of an adolescent exploratory period and that sort of thing but oftentimes you know as we know in uh at least at Peaks recovery centers in within the literature of opioids people described as a warm blanket I mean it’s a common warming comforting effect other folks have talked about it as a kind of a warm bath getting into the first time and I think that resonates is you know for me as somebody who’s never touched opioids as like wow wow that experience has to be really powerful right and stepping into that warm tub each time because who doesn’t love a warm tub especially on a cold snowy day here in Colorado and that way so you know kind of looking back you know and readdressing why the pain yeah and that’s something I kind of had to have my grappling with when I read Gabriel mates in the realm of hungry ghosts because I was reading about these you know kind of the worst of the worst cases people grew up with unbelievable tragedy unbelievable stories of of just trauma and and abuse and neglect and you know that really wasn’t present for me in my childhood so it was helping me understand the lens of addiction through a harm reduction light and through recognizing that any positive change ought to be celebrated because we don’t really know the the pain underneath the stories of our worst cases sadly but for me uh you know I was a product of the Dare generation and you know to your point of um being very curious like what would it take for someone’s life to spiral out of control not because of what happened to them but because of the misguided ways they were seeking relief and comfort from that and nobody taught me that you know I got to see the cool show Intel box from the cop who did the Dare presentation that was the only thing I really remembered aside from wondering if cocaine is so bad why do people do it but nobody taught me how to uh make sure that my drugs were unadulterated with anything more dangerous nobody told me that when I came around to asking somebody for cocaine I’ll ask him to buy cocaine they were gonna give me cocaine you know I didn’t know whether that was going to be a bag of powder containing anything but to answer your question um yeah as a as a sort of rebellious Coming of Age adolescence adolescent interested in experimenting having a coalesce at a time where I was out and about doing something dumb with my friends on a snowy day pissed somebody off pissed the wrong person off and he got out of his car and jumped me and he beat me up I was held down and I got my tooth knocked out as a result of that and so it acknowledging the trauma of that moment that assault and essentially what also came after it because something happened to me that ought to be addressed and I don’t know the person’s name I barely remember what he looks like but there’s got to be a way to investigate this not so much yeah so the police really did not take much of an interest they showed me a lineup of people that I could recognize in my high school yearbook who nobody looked like that so you know years later when I’m reading gabromate and I’m wondering like is this really my index trauma it also brought to mind other things other pains that I lost like my grandparents the death of my grandmother at an old age who spent the last year of her life like really miserable because of a botched procedure at an ICU so for me you know there wasn’t any explicit abuse but there was an inability to process significant pain and at a time where I was shifting into adulthood and failing to reach the Milestones that I had sought and that I thought I had been capable of drugs were a part of my story but they weren’t the thing really ruining everything yet until the pain became too great and opiates did serve as that warm blanket for me and I became addicted to them I appreciate you uh cataloging that with us and walking us through that journey and I fully appreciate the insights and the awareness too to read a text like that and be like okay how do I couch that into my own life and bring that forward I think that’s a powerful feature sometimes you know Lauren you know I’ve you know when it’s like uh Dr yollen is a gift of therapy people fire off the quotes and they just give me quotes and then I read the book and I’m like did they read the book or did they just give me the quotes and that feels like somebody who’s actually experiencing you know living the book and thinking thoughtfully about it so I appreciate that and and back to the disruptive feature of our you know industry uh a variety of different things we’ve talked about like medications uh where they work and where they don’t work why they work why they don’t work or why we don’t understand why they work you know restrictive features of inpatient facilities part of our curriculum modeling right now that we’re talking about as well too but you know so you get to a point you know resourced family and this direction becomes like inpatient programming I think there’s a little bit two more there’s some uh you know some uh history with the police and things that might be taking place at the time that gets there but in our prior discussion coercion is the experience right to have to go through all these things yes I did these things I recognized I did that but I don’t know if this is the path that’s necessary and it sounds like for you that creates not only ambivalence but maybe even just a rejection of like the experience that’s moving uh in that direction and you know before Kevin dives into that part of the journey you know just for the viewers out there you know sometimes individuals arrive at treatment settings you know Mom drops them off but you know uh Luggage in hand and so forth and they’re so resistant and we spend and can spend as an industry you know 15 30 45 days just unwinding that as an experience missing opportunities to really treat people in the way that our curriculum is intending to in that regard and so because I’m all for kind of blowing up the ship and then putting it all back together you know please walk us through some of those that experience for you happy to blow up that ship because I literally was bailed out of County Jail brought to the Long Island drug and alcohol abuse research Resource Center sat in front of a lovely woman who was doing her best to keep my parents calm but she Rec ended a couple of places and the next thing I know I’m whisked away off to that no autonomy no say I mean did I have a right at that time was I pissing people off in my life who am I to be entitled for that but is that really the pretext to an engagement in therapeutic care that we want the treatment center that I did go to out in Long Island was essentially a place where I could get drugs and I met the people that I could get drugs from because I was not interested in abstinence at the time yes I’m not saying that to brag I’m not saying that that’s what I deserve to be doing I’m just saying that was my mindset so why would I be at a place where I’m supposed to be in a controlled environment and yet my main interest is in hooking up with the other people who aren’t taking this seriously and can help me get some stuff so after a few days I left and and I came back home had a challenging moment you can imagine with my parents to try to advocate for myself in a healthy way but still as an healthy person yet again like what other medical condition would require that somebody who is being treated poorly through the treatment model offered him and yet is still struggling with his own pathology has to become his own Advocate I mean any any family member of a loved one with cancer or a complex diagnosis that argues with insurance companies about coverage knows what I’m talking about that’s essentially what happens in addiction and so you know when I did go to a place that I had more of a say in I chose a a rehab that was in a more secluded environment in Upstate New York it was a nicer campus a little more laid back but I didn’t really know what I was doing so during my intake process I got all the same kind of scare scare tactics oh this is how many drugs you’ve been doing and you’re only in your mid-20s you’re going to be dead by 30. like who sets you up for success by by giving you that Doom and Gloom mentality and the whole notion of sitting in a room with 40 people and the facilitator says you know look to your left look to your right one of them is going to be in jail the other one’s going to be dead are you going to be clean or back here again these Scare Tactics things do not work so a year later after leaving an environment like that relapsing within weeks knowing I’m bottoming out again why would I just want to go back to that knowing that my parents spent like tens of thousands of dollars on that experience and I’m going to ask them to buy more no I need a different approach and that’s kind of what this measure is allowing us to do that’s what my path and my story led to and so even as a practitioner today as a licensed addiction counselor I feel like I predominantly work as a systemic harm reduction provider like I need to educate parents educate clients educate people on the devastating void left by ineffective treatment interventions that people like me are trying to carry the weight for absolutely beautifully stated and I think the word that comes up for us at Peaks a lot and what we’re really trying to engage with out of proposition 122 is namely Innovation we are stuck in a variety of ways as an industry couched in some of those kind of horrible ways of approaching patient care look to the left look to the right type behavior and this is an opportunity to take something at least for us right something like a 90-day you know let’s just to you know do a quick couching in terms of like a major depressive disorder where cognitive behavioral therapy as an evidence-based approach can take 90 days to punch through that rumination right for the individual and these plant-based medicines might give us the I don’t say might I’m going to say strongly that they will give us the opportunity to kind of punch through the ego whatever it is that we want to couch the terms in in a much faster way you know we know somebody close to us who recently did a plant-based medicine kind of two three day Retreat and came back and said I just did 10 years of therapy in two days I mean that’s the type of power we’re talking about with something like this it has a ton of edges to put around it and we can negotiate that here in the next episode we’re about to be a part of but with that Innovation is the reality for this industry and the reality for psycho therapy and it gives a great deal of power back to the entire industry itself and not necessarily going to be at the level of just you know psychiatrists and doctors holding on to these as opportunities it informs equity and access to care in that way of things so before I continue with all the thoughts ideas I have how you feeling Lauren yeah so Brandon told me to bring my clinical brain today so that’s what I’ve been doing the whole time you’ve been talking um so I guess my curiosity comes around to like you mentioned um the love you felt from your mother when you asked about the different treatment modality I’m cute like I’m curious for our viewers like what did she give you in that moment that was so powerful for you to feel empowered to go get the help you felt you needed right yeah I mean it’s sort of one of those moments where you don’t really it’s like I was having an out-of-body experience like I I knew what I wanted to say that of course I’ve wanted to say this before right but in a moment of resistance in a moment of you know I have something in my pocket that I just need to get through this conversation and run to the bathroom to use you know I was also like I said bottomed out so I was broken desperate scared and alone yeah you know what is does an animal do when they’re broken desperate scared or alone sometimes they lash out at their caregivers sometimes they recoil sometimes they run off to a corner to lick their wounds we’re humans we’re animals so we have many of the same Tendencies and a lot of times in a moment like that people don’t understand that those complexities are Paramount so when my mom came into my room she just sat down at the foot of the bed I am to this day unaware of what her agenda was what she knew what she didn’t know what she was afraid of and all she just said was you know I don’t think you’ve left your bed in three days and I did I just waited until they were asleep to go out and score but me knowing that she’s doing her best to be calm centered loving and really unconditional she was just asking me not saying you know I’ve got somebody outside waiting are you going to go or are you going to continue to fight right it was what could we do and that was all it took for the words to actually make their way out of my mouth and say I need help I don’t don’t know what to do and I want to try ibogaine yeah I just think it’s so powerful and I I we talked a little bit right before of like individualized care and how everybody needs something different and I think due to the stigma due to the way treatment centers work all of these different things you know the idea of disrupting the industry is sometimes just asking someone how they are because nobody I can imagine in your two treatments since actually sat down and asked how you were and so I just I really wanted to kind of emphasize that because I can imagine it gave you a lot more empowerment to go do it and really be intentional about it yeah yeah I mean having my family on my side was crucial and not only for like a reinforcement of my internal willingness but also for some accountability right like I was still you know a mess even after detoxing I’m still two days off of heroin and having a powerfully transformative psychedelic experience trying to make sense of what had all just been happening to me so you know I had my moments of in decision and doubt and a desire to not follow through with some of the commitments that I made but again in a loving way you know my parents gave me some feedback that was a little critical and surprised believe it or not and and you know what it changed my mind um and so it didn’t fix everything for me but it allowed me to have a moment of peace and safety in an otherwise criminalized context like the the the elephant in the room with any conversation about how do we innovate how do we disrupt the addiction treatment industry we can’t effectively and as long as drug prohibition continues to persist it colors everything it pins families against each other it pins moms against the state in arguments to get and we have this whole context that if you’re gonna criminalize the symptoms of a disease why are we even bothering calling it a disease yeah absolutely yeah beautifully stated yeah we’ll love that I love the delivery of that uh you know and and as we talked about on the beginning of this show and you know to the viewers out there I’ve said it in the past in a way around prop position 122. uh we are trying to open the hearts and the minds of individuals out there who might be on the fence or just a wholehearted no to this and uh I’m curious Kevin how you know you know around the Iowa game experience how you would like the audience um how you want them to to see your experience in a way that can possibly open up their hearts and Minds to it you know in that regard and what what what do you want them to know about what that is the reverence for the medications all of these sort of things that um they’re they might not be aware of in this moment that you want them to hear sure I mean as is often the case with someone like me who has Family Resources had their support to travel outside of the country to a pretty expensive short-term intervention that required a tremendous leap of faith um it’s it’s going to be the folks that have not responded to traditional means and I really hate that that’s the current case why should we make somebody go through three four five six failed attempts at a treatment episode from a more mainstream way spending how many Untold dollars and time meanwhile all while risking death risking participation in an illicit Market with an adulterated drug Supply and a legal backdrop that in some states still won’t even Empower people to test the drugs that they’re using to see whether they know what’s in it so what I admire about Peaks and this idea about disrupting the industry is that you know we’re talking about multiple layers of destruct disruption here right so as a practitioner as somebody with lived experience I’m both interested in disrupting that mainstream addiction treatment mentality and the criminalized mentality and I think proposition 122 does an excellent job at both you know right now we have a scenario whereby there is credible albeit limited research largely because of the restrictions of the war on drugs and many of these compounds existing in schedule one which for your listeners that I’m not as familiar with all the legal complications schedule one is a designation is a political designation manufactured by The Drug Enforcement Administration it has no bearing on science it is not a credible credible construct but as a result they’ve essentially handicapped the FDA and various ways of going through legitimate channels to develop these drugs no no pharmaceutical company really wants to touch them because they’re a hot item a contentious issue in the discourse some of them have difficult patent strategies and all that business stuff that you know much more about than I do but ultimately the the current situation of mental health treatment is on the one hand operating business as usual failing to recognize poor outcomes failing to have achieved any amount of innovation in the past couple of decades we have a promising tool that we’ve actually known about for a long time ibogaine’s anti-addictive potential was discovered in 1962. medicines like psilocybin and magic mushrooms or LSD were being investigated in the 50s and 60s for alcohol use disorder among other indications so the research has struggled to gain momentum because of the regulatory restrictions not because the science wasn’t promising and God only knows what we could have accomplished in the three quarters of a century of these medicines not having been demonized so we’re long overdue for a new approach this is not a a outside the box revolutionary idea that has had no bearing in reality that a couple of hippies brewed up in some kind of concoction this is a real thing that will benefit real people and like myself I have become an advocate for service to people who don’t necessarily have the resources to fly to Mexico and do and and talk openly like this without fear of consequences which is a real thing too so I implore people to really um be open-minded about prop 122 be open-minded about the fact that we have passionate people knowledgeable people trained people interested in making sure this is a successful initiative that’s going to require a tremendous amount of Education and Training and supportive resources from the community so whether or not you vote in favor of prop 122 if it does pass we still want that person to have a seat at the table we want to engage with those concerns and we want to see how we can work to mitigate that stuff and implementation yeah absolutely beautifully stated that’s why we have these guests because you know me I’ll have a tangent at work and then people like I think he said something I’m not clear as to what his Direction was and you’re just so thoughtful and uh and it’s just so intact as a discussion so I appreciate uh just having words of wisdom around the proposition and the personal experiences you know from A open heart open mind mentality so that the viewers can reel through that uh of course you know I got more tangents Lauren you wanna you wanna bring something up some on top of mind right now yeah I before you went into that you talked about the idea of a fix and I think it would be important to kind of reiterate that it’s not necessarily a fix but instead kind of a Gateway or how would you kind of describe that right I mean in my personal experience which is the only thing I’ll comment on in regards to that you know I like this idea about 10 years of therapy in one night what’s what I find very interesting about that description is man I would hate to learn what that therapy was like yeah if 10 years didn’t do anything and you’re comparing what you received from a medicine on on that I have that experience as well that you know nothing that I could get out of therapy was going to provide a direct experience that I had on ibogaine so I essentially sought ibogaine as a detox intervention you know at this traditional 12-step abstinence-based model rehab nobody really talked up drug replacement therapy right nobody talked up methadone buprenorphine weird it’s the only thing that cuts mortality rates in half for opiate users but nobody really shared that information with me instead they made me feel like I was going to replace one drug for another right I had I had people who I could identify with as speakers come and tell me don’t go to Narcotics Anonymous go to alcoholics and all like what why would I need to be figuring any of this stuff out but ultimately when I saw it ibogaine understandably with the context of needing to detox ibogaine has an incredible somewhat miraculous ability to relieve the symptoms of detox so as an addiction interrupter you know I was removed from my environment I was placed in a situation where if I ran away where would I score so I was committed I had surrendered I had this backdrop of accountability as a result of some of the legal implications of really getting with the program so for my story it’s not just one thing necessarily that made everything work yeah but I was nonetheless remaining completely resistant to any of it without having the direct experience that I began provided me because I was broken miserable and isolated ibogaine came in in what might have been a faint spark that still existed in the spirit of my life and just threw gasoline on it and erupted this life force of energy where I spent all night engaging with all of the sorts of thoughts and ideas and Fantasies and imaginations and memories and connecting with relationships that I had been losing by engaging in self-destructive Behavior what kind of detox treatment who comes is that a detox talking like that yeah that is the greatest biopsychology document ever right there right it’s like you’re lucky if you get out of detox with the when and the nurse didn’t curse you out and and make you feel like you were Unworthy of even taking up that bed yeah and and to experience the polar opposite of that um it provided a opportunity for me to engage in a new way of life that nothing really was enabling me to do previously because it was self-driven and self-motivated and as a result of a self-awakening I then became engaged with the hard work the program being offered to me still was a 12-step model of recovery I decided to embrace it you know I’m a College Dropout I’m unemployable uh what’s the worst that’s seven months in South Florida hanging out in an AAA Clubhouse is going to really do for my circumstances for some people quite a lot of bad things happen for me with the mindset that I had I knew that if I surrendered dedicated and committed to the program that good things would come my way and that eventually I would be able to help people at a certain point I found that I couldn’t share about my experience with psychedelics in in the rooms you know you’re making small talk in South Florida I have social anxiety like I don’t know anybody what do people ask down there what’s your drug of choice what rehab did you go to what detox did you just come from I would say Mexico Mexico that’s different what was there I began I began what’s that and it was just the series of disappointing follow-up questions until I was essentially treated like I thought of myself you know would you ask what a cancer patient what formulation of chemotherapy that they did I want to try that I was basically getting feedback like I’d love to try ibogaine I was like yeah that was a really devastating moment in my life so I started to censor that part of my story and um it was a very impactful thing for me that eventually years later led me to a wonderful Fellowship of people that we’ve been helping assemble over the past few years that like me have found and embraced integrating intentional use of psychedelics and their ongoing 12-step informed recovery program that recognizes the inherent controversies with engaging with a mood or mind-altering medicine but also acknowledges that the intentions that people come into these experiences are a lot different than the self-destructive intentions that they had engaging in addictive drug use yeah it’s beautiful for me it reminds me of the book I recently read too along this journey how to change the mind and within it describes Bill Wilson’s Journey uh our and his insights into psychedelics and what he thought the power was on behalf of the 12-step model now of course to be clear and true to the you know 12 steppers out there and the fellowship and all of it that exists I recognize his spontaneous moment in the hotel and Ohio and all of that sort of stuff I’m taking that for what it is that’s his real genuine experience in that moment but 15 years later he’s writing letters back and forth between psychiatrists and stuff and the reason he’s engaging in psychedelic conversations at all is because those first three steps powerlessness find higher power you know and and and through that he recognized or at least it in the experience of reading some of the letters right that hey if individuals could just get this we’d be off to the races with the rest of the steps because this is the hang up for individuals within that and for me you know like what you just described from a coercive event right the animal nature of us wants to run hide or shut down or lash out those types of things from a course event it has no weight why would you show up to the treatment center with any sort of like I’m ready to go right and in this other regard you get to go experience something it was largely out of a detox episode I think that’s really neat to think about because it wasn’t like I’m gonna have this experience where I’m just gonna be like Blown Away have all the this weight and then move into all these things in my life but it gave you that and I think it’s one of the very powerful experiences from these plant-based medicines in general where individuals at least in the research that I’ve read or you know even in how to change the mind and the research that’s brought forward in that there’s something about the shift in weight the seriousness that comes on the other side of it and then the exploratory features namely out of autonomy for how to get well after that and that sounds I mean largely kind of just what you went through am I off a little bit there or no I mean my story Bears a lot of parallels to what Bill Wilson was attempting to advocate for and you have to remember the context that Alcoholics Anonymous was established in right this is we’re talking the early 20th century uh doc the best doctors of the world of America didn’t really know what to do with alcoholics anymore the the real so-called real alcoholic that that the big book outlines in the chapter more about alcoholism those are the types of folks that they were trying to reach not not not people that maybe had a few Benders every now and then maybe they lost the job or two maybe their marriage was on the Rocks these were people with devastatingly low bottoms that Alcoholics Anonymous sprung up to attempt to respond to based on Bill Wilson’s own personal experience so you know what happened at towns Hospital there’s often a lot of debate around whether he was given the Belladonna treatment Belladonna being this Delirious that has psychedelic-like effects and I don’t I don’t really a I’m not really interested in interrogating that what I’m interested in is how years later when he was suffering from depression and he received illegal LSD treatment because LSD hadn’t been banned at the time essentially experienced both relief from his depression and the realization that what he had been experiencing was very similar to whatever happened at towns hospital that initially led to his white light encounter that he describes in the big book so the enthusiasm of coming in to working with those bottomed out alcoholics that A.A was attempting to reach knowing all of those complicated factors about what the hell do I care about helping somebody that’s step 12 I’m I’m miserable I can’t stop using my liver is like on there I’m about to die what do I care about making amends to all the people that I’ve harmed before what do I care about taking a daily moral inventory but you know when you do surrender when you do engage in those first few steps and work the rest with a sponsor you start to see the light right but if you can’t see that from the outset exactly what I was struggling with ibogaine provided me with a glimpse of having had a spiritual awakening could look like if I continued to work the steps and the spiritual awakening that I ultimately discovered was a freedom from the obsession and compulsion to use perhaps that’s the weight that we’re talking about yeah weight being carried is this burden that no matter what I do I’m constantly stressed with obsessing and compulsively using medicines drugs behaviors gambling whatever it is when I can get through that I can see the humility I can see what recovery looks like and sharing that message of Hope to somebody who’s worse off because ultimately why I became a practitioner was to commit myself to service to people that like me have kind of been wronged by the mainstream treatment models so it’s um what psychedelics represent and what part of my work with ketamine-assisted Psychotherapy in my practice acknowledges that individuals have an inner healing capacity just like the body can heal itself from wounds and you go to a hospital to have your bones set or abandoned wrapped around an abrasion the body does the rest of the work if it’s cleaned and properly addressed just like that the mind in a certain container can allow for healing potential to happen even in some of our most complicated conditions psychedelics things like ketamine things like ibogaine puts people in touch with that inner healing capacity which is exactly what I experienced yeah love it clinical insights what are you feeling yeah I I don’t know this is just really cool like I’m so glad that you’re here to kind of walk us through this because I think you know just abstinence as a whole in substance use treatment is so pushed on everybody but I think this opens up that light but I I want to go back again to like to this idea that I you are saying like as much as you’re doing this psychedelic treatment that there also needs to be additional therapy with that and I think the reason I go back to that is because the mutual person that Brandon and I know who recently kind of walked through her own psychedelic experience um shared a little bit of like I thought it was going to be fixed and all my old patterns and behaviors are coming back and I feel discouraged and all of these different things you know and so I think the importance of therapy is emphasized in that critically I mean the not a Panacea right not at all and I’m like that’s why I like drawing the analogy to my ibogaine treatment essentially functioning as a detox yeah it was so much more than that as the understanding of what detox is the spin Drive mentality right um so knowing all the mindset that I came into it with that I did also have an expectation of being fixed right I was like I was still detoxing I was still in withdrawal so I had this wonderful experience I felt Euphoria during a time where I should have been in agony and yet you know when the effects of the medicine wear off I was I was still feeling some stuff I was also flushed with guilt and remorse and shame for all of the things that I had been putting the loved ones around me including myself through and the toll how do you contain that you know you can’t expect a weekend medicine Retreat to do this this is why prop 122 is so important because we’re talking about a service delivery model we’re talking about doing this in a controlled setting with trained providers that can connect people who might have uh this regulating experiences as a result of what they’re coming in with for a lot of people they have they have lofty glowing euphoric reinforcing ego softening experiences and that’s great for for for many others there will be more work that gets revealed a lot of as we know intractable neuroses and other types of debilitating mood disorders are essentially imperfect strategies for people to block access to their pain block access to what it really is underriding their symptomatology so you know we work with ssris to try to mitigate symptoms to make sure people still have an appetite and still can catch a few hours of sleep so that they can go to work and take their kids to sport practice that’s just maintaining a equilibrium enough for them to function these medicines really try to provide someone the ability to access what’s going on underneath their issues and that needs to be held with therapy that needs to be engaged in a process and if I hope somebody allows their psychedelic journey to serve as the backdrop for 10 years of therapy that’s going to be 10 years of quality therapy and not the other side of that comparison yeah yeah absolutely I you know one of the things I’m like boiling in my thought but I’ll hear about it I am we talked about it in the curriculum you know meeting a little bit this past week Lauren or I brought it up hopefully the room got what I was putting down but you know you you break your arm right and you go into the emergency room the costs are fixed there’s generally a timeline for it this MD is going to treat it the same way this MD do MD and so forth right you know with slight variations maybe on the movement of the scalpel right but at the end of the day there’s a Common Thread for how to do that our industry has hey we can fix that broken arm we can fix the behavioral issues that are going on but we have a pretty particular philosophy about how to do that right it would be like as insane as walking in the emergency room and the guy you know the doctor’s saying look I’m going to fix this we’re going to go under the knife but when you wake up it’s not going to be in a cast because I don’t believe in casts no you’re just gonna have to sit really still but I promise this will actually heal better than without the cash trust me you know like you’re going all that sort of thing and so absurdities aside you know it it’s these individualized philosophies within care that become so restrictive right and so um and and create that coercion mechanism that I think is off-putting for a lot of individuals who participate in treatment episodes right what is it like for somebody to come into Peaks and instead of us just being like hey this is our philosophy and this is what you have to do like these are the things we’re doing how can we make this the most beneficial experience for that it’s still has restrictive features in it but it’s less restrictive than a full-blown philosophy at the same time if we had something like the advantages that will come out of proposition 122 to give that intervention on the front end you know post detox it’s got to be appropriate of course like all of these things are going to be set up to engage with this thoughtfully on the other side of that what about these aspects of our care do you really want to engage in or you know what is the next step if not these levels of care you know out there in the world that we can connect you with that’s going to make this meaningful and reinforce reinforce that autonomy approach to care so it’s more of a tangent more of a little brand I don’t know if that no I mean I think that’s a lot of people are concerned with the fact that prop 122 is emphasizing the creation of a non-medicalized model what people need to understand is that does not mean there won’t be trained medical professionals involved in that Service delivery but when you say non-medicalized model it means that hey maybe I’m not going to have to sit across a doctor at a rehab who tells me I have nine years left to live because of the way I’m using drugs right because that that’s his biased outlook on you know the dozens of people that he’s done intakes for hundreds of people over the years and probably for him pretty burnt out seeing people die and not knowing what to do anymore so when we think of the system having a non-medical system that doesn’t require people to come in with a specific diagnosis we’re not coming in with an agenda about how to steer people towards the direction of their own healing we’re allowing the individual autonomy the support that they have access to in their Community Resources their spiritual groups their peer support groups their family their employers suddenly people don’t have to be operating in darkness by saying yeah I had an Ayahuasca Retreat on my last summer vacation like what do you do for vacation Steve uh you know I packed up the kids and we went like this is we’re normalizing a conversation and we’re in in we’re baking it into our existing structures so you know when when Peaks talks about disruption in a way of innovation so much of addiction treatment so much of mental health treatment is a disruption to somebody’s life you know what do we do when somebody expresses serious suicidality well as as we do as providers we do an assessment of risk well if they say this in a school if they say this in a setting where they don’t really have the time and attention to provide that suddenly that person is getting hauled off to the hospital for a 72-hour hold how disruptive is that how much access to supportive resources is that is that just covering your ass to make sure this person doesn’t walk out of your office and hurt themselves and then you’re the one putting the bill for it so when we need to understand the complexity it’s a little bit of like insiders baseball here to know as providers the limitations of the system but take it from people who are working in mainstream systems that some aspects of the system are broken so if we’re advocating for a different strategy that doesn’t exist in there but can be added on to traditional forms of treatment in addition to Community Resources there’s reasons for that because we understand some of the limitations what would I think a Doctor Who’s really committed to the coercive strategy that they’ve been invested in throughout their career suddenly having access to a psychedelic medicine are they going to suddenly change their minds and have their own opened up approach to working with people in an individualized framework or are they going to seize upon psychedelics as further tools to help coerce people into a model that maybe they’re not interested in very complicated yeah absolutely and with that we are arriving at the end of this episode we’re going to be hanging out with some doctors next uh who are going to give us more feedback on uh the proper uh prop 122 movement uh as well as we’ll get more into some of the common psychedelic medications that exist today already ketamine infusion um and so forth are ketamine intervention models in that way of things uh so we’ll get right back to it but um for the sake of this episode as I stated from the beginning throw the viewers and the camera in front of you kind of how how do they reach out to you if they want to receive you know your private practice Services ketamine infusion Based Services uh all of that stuff hit them yeah absolutely I have a private practice based in Littleton um I do ketamine assisted therapy I accept Medicaid reimbursement I work with young adults adults Elder adults with substance use behavioral conditions mood disorders trauma I work with family these that have loved ones that are struggling as a consultant or a coach for clinicians out there I do supervision I assist with training with skylight psychedelics as well as group therapy and I do Telehealth as well so you can find me at Kevin franciotti counseling Kevin f-r-a-n-c-i-o-t-t-i counseling.com or on my psychology today profile and yeah I look forward to hearing from you beautiful well as I always say hanging out with the clinical people this is literally all things clinical Lauren thank you so much for being here Kevin an absolute pleasure to have you uh here with us as well too and uh to all the viewers out there again uh thanks for joining us I know you’re done with your popcorn ready to get back to the kitchen get some yummy in your tummy after listening to this episode and with that um while you’re going back to the kitchen check us out on the tick tocks the the twitters the Facebooks all of the social media things out there uh like us follow us all those things means the world to us to continue these messages forward uh for anybody has questions thoughts ideas feedback for this episode finding Peaks at peaksrecovery.com that’s how we’re engaging in these episodes following your direction at the end of the day again I’m Brandon Burns chief executive officer for Peaks recovery centers and until next time it’s good being with yo