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A Letter To Our Sponsors And Supporters

Dear Pearl Psychedelic Institute Donors, Sponsors and Supporters:


Thank you so much for your support last year of the Pearl Psychedelic Institute! Our mission is to bring psychedelic-assisted therapy into mainstream acceptance for the treatment of mental health and substance use issues and it is more important than ever that you please consider supporting our organization again in 2024. Your donations helped make it possible for us to treat four patients with moderate to severe PTSD with MDMA-assisted therapy as well as bring ketamine-assisted psychotherapy to people in our region suffering from treatment-resistant depression, anxiety, PTSD, and grief. Psychedelics have a long history of being demonized with a concerted effort to misinform and instill fear in those who may be curious about them as potential catalysts for healing and growth. Your donations helped the Pearl fund community education events and trainings for health professionals and lay people alike in western North Carolina as we helped our friends and neighbors understand the healing potential of these compounds. I can promise you that every dollar donated was used as it was intended: to help bring knowledge and understanding about these treatments to those that could benefit

from them.


Over the last year, we have been busy. As one of only two sites in the United States

permitted to treat PTSD with MDMA-assisted therapy in the FDA’s Expanded Access program, the Pearl was able to treat four NC patients aged 53yo to 72yo who had been suffering with PTSD for 34 to 62 years and had multiple attempts at conventional therapies and medications. One of our patients, a veteran living in Asheville, had been told by his VA doctors that he was “broken” and “would never heal.” Our patients received three sessions of MDMA-assisted therapy embedded in a protocol of talk therapy sessions. At the end of treatment some 4-5 months later, all four no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis. These are astounding results and their stories are profound and deeply moving and their gratitude for being free of their PTSD is something I wanted all of you to be aware of because your generosity helped make their healing possible.


There was an FDA Advisory Committee hearing that was held on June 4 th that was entrusted with reviewing the information from the MDMA research and New Drug Application that was filed by Lykos Therapeutics (research sponsor) in December 2023. This hearing resulted in a recommendation by the Committee that the FDA reject MDMA-assisted therapy in August and this was a disappointing (but not all that surprising) outcome. Many of the criticisms of the MDMA research were tired arguments used decades ago about the difficulties with researching psychedelic medicines and I personally was left with the impression that this was mainstream psychiatry and Big Pharma pushing back against medicines that they recognize will very likely revolutionize psychiatry and upend the pharmaceutical industry by returning much of the power to heal back to the patients themselves.


But all is not lost. MAPS/Lykos has been working closely with the FDA for many years so the FDA is aware of the challenges of the research and has reportedly been a diligent partner in addressing these concerns. The FDA has not approved a medicine for PTSD in over 20 years and they know that 6,000 veterans are suiciding annually because there have not been effective treatments for their PTSD symptoms. There is still hope that the FDA will do the right thing on or before August 11 and approve MDMA for the treatment of PTSD. In the meantime, the Pearl will continue our mission but we cannot do it without your help. If you want to see MDMA-assisted therapy approved and made available for people suffering from PTSD in Western NC, please consider donating.


In addition to our work with MDMA-assisted therapy, the Pearl has treated a number of people from this region with ketamine-assisted psychotherapy who were suffering with longstanding depression, anxiety problems, PTSD and issues with grief/bereavement. The Pearl offers a sliding scale for ketamine treatments and your donations allowed us to maintain his sliding scale as well as further subsidize treatments for people who could not afford it such as a local veteran who is a single mother who was struggling with severe PTSD. As a result of your generosity, she was able to get her life back in order, clean and maintain her home and go back to school for nursing (where she made straight As in her coursework). The Pearl also provided 3- and 4-day trainings to over 70 health care professionals in Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy in 2023 and 2024 at our clinic location in a beautiful and comforting arts-and-crafts style house in Waynesville built in 1930. This ketamine training has helped professionals across North Carolina and beyond learn about and legally experience the healing power of psychedelic-assisted therapy.


Your donations also helped fund numerous community education events. We hosted free Information Nights at the Pearl discussing ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and MDMA-

assisted therapy, as well as Psychedelic Movie Nights with audience Q& As, joint presentations with the Asheville Psychedelic Society, professional presentations on psychedelic-assisted therapy, and podcast and conference appearances. With your help, we have been able to educate people in this region and beyond about the promise of psychedelic-assisted therapy as

well as important harm-reduction strategies.


Please consider donating what you can this year so that we can continue this mission of bringing these medicines to western North Carolina. The Pearl is on the cutting edge of this revolution in mental health and this is a critical time as we try and get the first psychedelic medicine (MDMA) potentially approved by the FDA. This has been decades in the making and many have given a great deal of time and effort to try and get this over the finish line and we need your continued faith and support. There are other psychedelics working their way through the FDA research process such as psilocybin and it is imperative that we not falter in our support of these medicines and the people that need them.


With gratitude,

_______________________________________________

Raymond C. Turpin, Psy.D.

Executive Director/Clinical Director


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