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Wondering whether to book a flight to Oregon or Jamaica to experience psychedelic-assisted therapy? You are not alone.

By MycoMeditations

 

Experiencing psychedelic therapy for healing and exploration is a balancing act between feeling safe, challenging ourselves and, of course, the costs involved.

Jamaica and Oregon are two of the very few places where you can receive legal psilocybin therapy across the whole world right now. For many, Oregon comes with the comfort and familiarity of home, while a tropical destination like Jamaica offers adventure and the time to shift away from the regular patterns of life.

You may be like many Americans, Canadians, Europeans, and others from countries beyond wondering which of these legal avenues for psilocybin therapy is best for you. Both have benefits, but which one is worth the trip?

How to Choose Between Psilocybin Therapy in Oregon vs. Jamaica

Psilocybin is a powerful medicine. The time, energy, money, courage, and commitment required to work with it is no joke. Investing in your well-being deserves serious contemplation.

The world of psychedelics is new and exciting. Some will brave the Amazon to drink ayahuasca with a shaman or take truffles in the streets of Amsterdam. Others will risk mushrooms in countries like Mexico and Costa Rica where psilocybin retreats exist in a legal gray zone. Navigating the hype requires making smart decisions about your safety and comfort to experience a meaningful and healing experience.

Oregon and Jamaica are the most popular legal options. However, what counts as “legal” differs between the two. If you hold a current medical license, security clearance, or professional certification that is regulated under U.S. federal law, consulting legal opinion before proceeding with treatment in Oregon is a good idea. The legal risk may be lower when you travel to a country where the treatment is fully legal, like Jamaica.

The U.S. Department of State occasionally releases travel advisories against countries like Jamaica due to concerns over crime, however, the country overall is a safe place with a positive regard towards tourism. Retreat locations are far from the crime in urban centers, which is the root cause of the advisories. There is minimal time spent in the larger cities beyond a quick airport pick up.

Before quickly assuming that either is better than the other, there are many variables to consider when choosing the right type of psilocybin experience.

Factors to Consider Between Oregon and Jamaica for Psilocybin Therapy

  • Legality - What level of legal risk are you able to take? Are you comfortable accessing psilocybin where it’s legal under state law but illegal under national law, or would you rather travel to Jamaica where it’s legal nationally?
  • Location - How far are you willing to travel? What makes you feel safe and comfortable? What makes for a fulfilling adventure?
  • Dose - How much psilocybin might you need based on your background and the mental health condition you are seeking to treat? Can you access an adequate dose?
  • Facilitation - Who is facilitating and what qualifies them to do so? Are the facilitators more from a clinical, mental health background, or a shamanic, Indigenous background?
  • Cost - How many sessions of psilocybin therapy and how much psilocybin are you receiving? What else is included in the experience?
  • Reputation - How long has this provider been offering psilocybin therapy? What are their outcomes and how do people review the experience with them?
  • Group size - How many people are participating and how much support is there? How much privacy or group work will there be?
  • Preparation and Integration - How does the provider assist with preparation before and after psilocybin therapy? How deep is the work they will offer?

Assessing the above factors in your options for psilocybin-assisted therapy, whether at a retreat, clinic, or privately will allow you to make the most informed decision about what feels like the best fit for you.

Many of these factors can be deceptive because qualities not immediately obvious can make all the difference in your experience.

For example, two retreat centers may have a similar number of therapeutic support staff, but one may have a particular therapist with a background in Internal Family Systems (IFS), Somatic Therapy, or Transpersonal Psychology. There may also be a facilitator who you truly connect with who has faced similar struggles as you, shares your cultural background, or comes from a similar profession.

These details can make all the difference in psilocybin therapy progressing towards personal transformation. That particular therapist working from a certain therapeutic framework that resonates with you might strike the right cord amid a deep journey, opening doors that were previously closed. A facilitator you see yourself in and connect deeply to may spark profound realization. These nuanced factors can make all the difference when seeking healing, meaning, and a new, positive approach to life through psychedelic medicine.

Learn as much as you can about the providers you are considering to make the best choice. Study a retreat’s itinerary or a practitioner’s credentials deeply and establish familiarity with available options. Reading reviews can be a way to see a bit of yourself in somebody who had an experience with a certain provider and how it went for them, so read as many as you can.

Choosing an experience is not only an intellectual decision—tapping into intuition and checking in with how you feel in your heart matters too.

Psilocybin Dose for Depression or Anxiety: How Much Will You Need?

Psilocybin isn't a quick fix. The vast majority of people will require multiple psilocybin sessions to get sustained benefits. One session can certainly be a catalyst for changing your life, but when done right, there is a compounding effect with each session of psychedelic therapy.

Maximizing your experience means finding your optimal therapeutic dose, which is unique for everyone across different moments and will vary depending on the context in which you are working with psilocybin.

psilocybin mushrooms in Jamaica

For many, an initial session involves getting comfortable with what psychedelics are like. As one becomes more comfortable with psilocybin, it’s possible to use higher doses to go deeper. Over multiple sessions, comfort within a group and the facilitators grows and the individual learns to work with the medicine. With the resulting flow of emotions, new insights emerge and healthy patterns begin to take place.

Finding the right mushroom dose requires some experimentation. Everyone has a different response to psilocybin. Many folks need two or three grams of mushrooms for a threshold psychedelic experience. Others may want or need a stronger journey with between four and seven grams, or sometimes more.

Individuals who have recently been on—or are still on—antidepressants may require doses upwards of ten grams to enter a substantial enough altered state for therapeutic gains. Antidepressants numb one's emotions, and also impact the receptor sites that psilocin (the active alkaloid in psilocybin) must bind with, causing disruptions to the usual process.

Psilocybin is most effective when it allows people to tap into important feelings, heighten neuroplasticity, and shift their belief systems. With the dosing range established, it can be dialed in to optimize the intensity and trajectory of the psychedelic experience. When treating long-term mental health conditions resistant to pharmaceutical interventions, multiple doses of mushrooms may be necessary, too.

What's a “Heroic Dose" of Mushrooms? Is It Enough?

Oregon psilocybin laws have imposed regulations on what an acceptable dose of psilocybin is, which caps out at five grams of dried mushrooms, often called a "heroic dose" in some circles. In Jamaica, there are no limits on dose.

For many people, a single five-gram session will be impactful. It may even be overwhelming without adequate preparation or support. But for others with treatment-resistant depression and/or anxiety, multiple larger doses are often needed. These strong and often long-established neural patterns require a larger disruption to trigger change. Certain personality types, like folks who are highly analytical or less in touch with their emotions, will also typically require higher doses than others.

Learning how to navigate and surrender to high doses is also a skill to cultivate. Throughout multiple sessions and increasing doses, one can learn how to engage with and learn from mushrooms. By navigating multiple high-dose sessions, confidence and trust are built between you and the medicine. Single psilocybin sessions can certainly be impactful, but there is a depth that develops with multiple experiences arranged closer together.

psilocybin mushrooms growing from mycelium

Psilocybin has a dose-response relationship. All substances work in this manner, with a minimum effective dose required for effects like opening a window of neuroplasticity—the growth of new neurons and changing of circuitry in the brain—which research links with improvements in mental health.

Another important factor with dose is tolerance. The body rapidly develops a tolerance to psilocybin, making the compound less effective when sessions are close together.  Low to moderate doses for sessions in close succession may not be enough for some people to overcome the tolerance factor.

Mushroom retreats in Jamaica such as MycoMeditations regularly surpass the five-gram dose limit set in the state of Oregon. Taking tolerance into consideration and steadily increasing doses over three sessions, experienced therapists and facilitators in Jamaica have the flexibility to optimize each guest’s dose and maximize therapeutic outcomes.

Psychedelic Therapy in Jamaica or Oregon? No Substitute for Experience

Choosing the right facilitation is the difference between a beautiful, healing psilocybin experience and an uncomfortable or even dangerous one.

Skilled facilitators will make you feel comfortable before, during and after psychedelic experiences. By having their own psychedelic experiences and spending a great deal of time with people in altered states, they can empathize with your process. Many facilitators are drawn to their work because of their own transformational experiences and a desire for others to have the same opportunity.

Seasoned facilitators carefully design Set and Setting for the most therapeutic experience possible. Set and Setting heavily influence psychedelics. ‘Set’ is your mindset and ‘Setting’ is the environment where the journey takes place. Facilitators you want at your side will earn your trust and curate a safe environment that supports the process of working with psilocybin mushrooms, or any other psychedelic.

psychedelic facilitators in training

Skilled facilitators aren’t just folks who have taken a lot of mushrooms, though. Psychedelic use has a long history of mentorship, such as shamans teaching their apprentices.

Today, quality training programs keep the spirit alive with those who have years of experience guiding new facilitators—familiarizing them with navigating altered states, observing apprentices, giving feedback, and collaborating with colleagues for an ideal client experience. Many programs and books provide in-depth historical and technical knowledge of psychedelics and while this is of value, the most important piece of the puzzle is experience.

Translating personal psychedelic experience into skilled facilitation requires study, practice, and self-discipline. Modern facilitators are often psychiatrists, psychologists, therapists, counselors and social workers. Others are coaches or people who have completed psychedelic training programs. There is currently no standard for training globally and facilitators and psychedelic retreat centers are often recommended based on reputation and time spent in their field.

In Oregon, facilitators are granted psilocybin licenses through the Oregon Health Authority. Newly minted state regulations require 120 of training and forty hours of practical experience guiding psilocybin experiences and integration. Facilitators do not have to be therapists to be approved to work with psilocybin legally and are not allowed to call their work psychedelic therapy. The program is new, with about 600 people receiving psilocybin in Oregon in 2023.

In Jamaica, there are no set regulations for facilitators, although the Jamaican Psilocybin Industry Working Group, which includes leadership from local retreats, is working to standardize best practices. Instead, retreat centers are left to establish their standards, psychedelic retreat models and training programs.

Cost Benefit Analysis of Oregon Psilocybin Treatment Centers

The most obvious factor to examine is cost—but what might not be obvious is how to get one's money's worth. Do you travel abroad for an all-inclusive and evaluate the best options? See a therapist in Oregon? Or work with somebody underground in other States? Most will cost thousands of dollars, so it's not an investment to take lightly.

psilocybin mushrooms growing from substrate

One-on-One Psilocybin Therapy Clinics in Oregon

In Oregon, a single psilocybin session at a new clinic with a trained and licensed facilitator can cost up to $3400. Costs depend on the practitioner’s experience, training, location, overhead, licensing fees, and the price of grown or synthetic psilocybin.

At a minimum, a package should include a preparation session, six or more hours for the psilocybin experience and an integration session. This price may seem expensive, but holding space for a psilocybin trip is no casual affair for a single person and requires expertise, especially when dealing with mental illnesses related to trauma. These psychedelic treatments can be akin to surgery. Psilocybin therapy is a delicate process to be handled carefully by experts along with adequate time across preparation, the session(s), and integration.

One session can have a big impact, but it’s worth noting studies with psilocybin and depression involve multiple sessions and many hours of therapy. A single session with preparation and integration is a great start, but to explore deeper, compounding healing effects of psilocybin, multiple sessions along with additional therapy, or access to countries such as Jamaica may be required, which comes at extra cost.

One thousand dollars for a single session is often an entry-level price point for underground work. Underground guides or tripsitters might be found at lower costs, but a realistic budget for a trained, licensed psychedelic therapist is around $1500-$3000+. Hotels, transportation, food and time off work all need to be budgeted for as well, along with potential self-care practices often included in retreats. Even when traveling from neighboring states like Washington or California, let alone from states such as New York or Florida, the costs can add up.

Accessibility is also currently an issue, with waiting lists upwards of thousands of people at some psilocybin clinics in Oregon.

Psilocybin Retreats in Oregon

Licensed psilocybin retreat centers in Oregon are few and far between at the time of writing. The psychedelic industry stateside is still finding its legs, but retreats are a great escape from everyday life. At a retreat, healing has space and time to emerge, as opposed to being forced back into the bustle of daily life when a clinical session ends. Not to mention skipping awkward hassles like taking an Uber to a hotel after being in psilocybin therapy all day.

Oregon psilocybin retreat costs may broken down into three separate categories:

  • Venue - The location of the psilocybin session starts at $500.
  • Facilitation - Whoever guides the experience can cost anywhere from $500 to over $2500.
  • Psilocybin - Depending on whether grown or bought synthetically, expect to pay $70 to $600+.

On the lower end, one can have a single psilocybin experience with a few others for $1000. These amount to a “day trip” with light preparation and integration with facilitators. These types of sessions should only be for wellness purposes, as this often is not an adequate amount of support for trauma work.

Multi-day, immersive Oregon mushroom retreats in 2024 range from $3500 to $5500 for three to five-day experiences with one or two psilocybin experiences at lodges in Oregon’s ancient forests and misty mountains. While costs for retreats are higher overall, the value of each dollar includes more than psychedelic therapy. Licensed guides and legal psilocybin are included, along with meals and additional activities like yoga, meditation, massage, and structured integration time. At the time of writing these centers are so new that public reviews of the retreats surveyed don’t exist.

Psilocybin Retreats in Jamaica

All-inclusive psilocybin retreats in Jamaica have been running for nearly a decade and fine-tuning their services and protocols. Due to the fact that many people are unaware of the legal status of psilocybin mushrooms in Jamaica, the retreats also often don’t typically have long waitlists.

Complemented by warm locals, crystal waters, vibrant flora, and integration in the sunshine, travel takes us outside of our usual routines, people and habits. Psilocybin mushrooms aside, travel has always helped put distance between us and our familiar lives to support our health and wellbeing in numerous ways.

lignum vitae tree in rural jamaica

Upon arrival, accommodation, food, activities, transportation, support staff, trained facilitators, specialized facilities and psilocybin mushrooms produced by master growers are all provided.

Take MycoMeditations, where pricing starts at $5950 for an 8-day retreat that includes:

  • Three guided psilocybin therapy sessions
  • World-class facilitation from trained and highly experienced therapists
  • Zero limits on dosing to optimize outcomes
  • 20+ hours of group therapy (preparation & integration)
  • Experience, having guided over 2000 guests on successful journeys
  • Utilization of the most effective therapeutic frameworks
  • Dedicated hospitality teams
  • Intimate group sizes
  • Tropical retreat settings
  • Massage, meditation, and yoga
  • Authentic Jamaican cuisine
  • In-depth post-retreat integration

MycoMeditations also works mostly with therapists who already have psychedelic certifications. Facilitators undergo on-site training, mentorship and observation. Only once completing six retreats, totalling 18 psilocybin experiences, upwards of 100 hours of facilitation, and over 100 hours of group integration, are staff qualified as facilitators. After training and working together for so long, the team works together seamlessly to provide the best care for each guest.

How to Choose Between Oregon vs Jamaica for Psilocybin Therapy

Both Oregon and Jamaica have their merits.

Oregon is familiar and close to home for North Americans, but still finding its legs. Expensive licensing for centers and facilitators have kept costs high, limiting the services that practitioners can feasibly offer. Limits on five-gram doses by the Oregon Psilocybin Services Act will prevent some people from breaking through long-held patterns and accessing the emotional content leading to the insight and growth they deserve.

Psilocybin facilitators in Oregon undergo state-approved training programs and hold official credentials, but are not necessarily therapists. Oregon is breaking important ground but is still in the early days of an experiment.

Traveling to Jamaica is a bigger journey that can be more expensive upfront. There is no licensing system in Jamaica, making a comprehensive review of retreat options essential.

The country has no limits on dosage and psilocybin is fully legal, meaning the protocols implemented are proven by real-world results—not committees and policy, but by what works.

The freedom of Jamaica has allowed MycoMeditations’ decade of experience to establish its own gold standard for psilocybin-assisted therapy, built from a continual refinement of methods, procedures, and delivering the outcomes their guests seek.

Podcasts with MycoMeditations CEO, Justin Townsend

Podcasts with MycoMeditations CEO, Justin Townsend
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