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Jake Mitchell with Cannabis Plants

Psychedelic Shamanism for Paramedics and First Responders with Jake Mitchell TPP274

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In this episode I’m joined by Jake Mitchell for an interview and discussion all about the intersections of psychedelics, paramedics, first responders, mental health, addiction, harm reduction, and the future of legalized psychedelic shamanism

About Jake:

Jake is currently working at supervised injection sites in Toronto performing overdose response, counselling, and harm reduction work; while teaching Basic Life Support skills, Mental Health First Aid, and various addiction/mental health workshops. He combines his experience in emergency medicine with his addictions and mental health training to work on the frontlines of the opioid crisis.

He has built his clinical experience as a Primary Care Paramedic in Emergency Medical Services, with research appraisal and mental health crisis expertise. Medical cannabis helped him overcome depression and greatly limit accumulated post-traumatic stress from his wide range of intense experiences through his career. He now helps other first responders and healthcare workers learn how to benefit from cannabis and psychedelic therapies when appropriate. This promoted him to establish the Psychedelic Society of First Responders and Emergency Workers as a peer support network and information hub. His podcast, Flight Of Thoughts, allows him to share what he has learned and talk with diverse guests about a range of surreal topics.

Jake has several years of clinical experience assisting critically ill or injured persons with Basic Life Support, exercising the Primary Care Paramedic scope of practice. This and his growing experience in social service work has allowed him to form an open-minded and empathetic, trauma-informed approach to caring for patients or clients.

Please visit his website at: https://flightofthoughts.blog/

Instagram: @jake_flightofthoughts

FaceBook: https://www.facebook.com/PsychedelicFirstRespondersAndEmergencyWorkers/

My Non Verbatim Show Notes:

Jake Mitchell, flight of thoughts podcast,

paramedic, additions and mental health as harm reduction worker

4 years, burn out from depression

physical symptoms, not always emotional

prescribed cannabis, 2 years in career, front lines first responders

prevent ptsd

difficulty emotional processing, no issues so far, worried about later in career

colleagues, accumulating ptsd

most don’t feel it right away, yes stress reaction

some people feel recovered, brain has defense mechanisms, months, years later, triggers

try out cannabis, learn to use it properly

folllowed doctors advice, did research, found strains

not to use at work, didn’t understand cbd, not being impaired

used to sleep and relax in days off

good for working out, fight depression

push through, wasn’t just a crutch, other self care rituals first

way to lift up when need

as opposed to revert

going through field, very lucky

went through a lot of intense calls experiences

got curious, not afraid, able to find collective of paramedics and nurses, use them to heal

went to music festival, first response, harm reduction, too much acid, or negative experience, be there to help them, render medical care

psilocybin, psychedelic of choice, highly therapeutic

research on that, on website

evidence based research appraiser, cutting into somebody’s throat who’s chocking, go through articles, feedback, try different measures

look into psychedelics, make sure I didn’t miss anything, others reports, mentors

with great respect, sat down with friends go through powerful experience

what happened was, as a student, bothered me, things would get stressful, would get feeling in chest of anxiety, sex problems people have that quite often, struggle with performance, correlation with professional performance, almost libido there, sometimes feel you can take on any situation,

felt incapable, didn’t see confidence, a lot was depression, realized through therapy

certain mentors, fear and inadequacy come out in people who represent them

catastrophe thinking, comes up with people with depression and anxiety

if you do suffer, not to throw diagnoses, many mental health problems cross over

brain survival mechanism,

studied more training lab, asked more questions

anxiety, helped me become better paramedic

rushes of cortisol, sleep problems worsening depression in long run

psychedelics brought up feelings allowed me to work through them

sounds of alerts

paramedics at a base, lie down on couch have a little rest, nap if no calls coming in

kundalini energy rise, validated experience in selves and others

felt many times in stressful times, flow state, kundalini, can happen organically as well, in body and mind

tones brought right into memory, call of very severe overdose, very late into student time about to finish

tendency to look at things as the negative, I’m inadequate people don’t trust me, peer support that would help

psychedelics can be used to train first responders, mild doses sub thresholds, more of a flow state, not as vivid

induce flow state, help learn new skills a lot quicker, memorization, memory recall, patterns hold back from learning

addictions and mental health diploma, how use to train

introduce mild dose of psychedelic, bring kundalini activation, flow state, recall ability

high doses can train first responders in how to let go, feel sense of chaos, lots of control

extremely intense emergency situations, didn’t feel hopeless, impending doom, text book symptom for heart attacks

panic attack, I’m gonna die, first responder, my patient might die, psilocybin, lsd, iboga, work through this feeling submit, have radical acceptance, without psychedelic feeling comes on, anchor that in the body

breath on the way to calls, loss of control feeling, horrible, tighting in chest, deep deep breaths diffuse into toher parts of body, 5 second breathes, working up to 7 seconds, repeating to self, got this, gonna do best, no matter what happens, work through with partner, all gonna go as good as it can

instructors, all bleeding stops eventually

little comedy things

dark humor

safe consumption sites, people can show up to sites, bring own substances, can be illegal, they show up, we provide with safe harm reduction gear, new needles, ties, cookers, education and services

listeners open minded, some people against these sites think it stops there, how they gonna get better

part of what we do, offer counseling, crisis intervention, community resources, social services, legal aid, shelter services, case workers, rehabs, multidiscipinary staff, nurses, primary care,

nurse can go hey this is inconvenient, canada, its not expensive, it’s covered,

we do a lot of things there

we monitor their use, different booths, stay safe with veins, avoid overdose, monitor with oxygen near by, first aid equipment nearby

not allowed to test the drugs, people coming in with dope theyr’e not sure what’s in it

tester dose, hoping for safe supply

covid 19, drug users difficult to social distance

dealers don’t do house calls, cut down on crime

safer version of same drug

safe supplies, covid 19 outbreak, positive side effect on drug war

great to have sites like this for psychedelics, safe mdm, mescaline, shamans first responders

offer experiences

recreation, relieve stress, maybe someone what’s to work with tantra, whole spectrum of dd

canada huge laxing of scrutiny of psychedelics, whole countries goes I guess they’re not that bad

covid cannabis completely essential

psychedelics starting to get accepted

most universities and colleges have a psychedelic society

trip sitting workshop

whole gamut of people there

stay safe, hold space, understand psychedelics

allows thought psychedelics, people would throw away caution, concerned they don’t want to make mistakes

sets and settings

having areas that are safely run, not so structured that people feel like cattle, feel like hospitals or clinics

you feel stigmatized, hospitals, staff, people in uniforms, triggering,

grass roots, not in a health center

one nurse 4 harm reduction workers on duty at all times

power point, teach for free every summer,

click through see tips

make you feel more comfortable

training in first response

get ideas first aid program for trip sitters

be in psychedelic space

blue sky budget

thought experiments, ego, psychedelic do a great job, showing ego, strengths and weaknesses in survival, how it relates to others, seeing it as putting aside ideologies, looking objectively more

not having it be one person who has all the ideas, everyone be open to education

rely on quick studies, flashed in news, eating chocolate will extend life,

read it, no research background, wording will be oh yeah I guess that’s true

people don’t have enough education, research, basic naturalistic education, would help people

people do a good job making decisions when have information

protests against covid restrictions, education them on why restrictions are there

heart and kidneys, understand it make decisions well informed

we should have multiple people appointed to make decisions from different disciplines

bio-psycho-social approach

huge open minded perspective

first nations elders on staff

take on very respected roles there, in treatments

not just about having certain people, professionals of certain kind

take on as many people as possible

with sites,

eco villages,

festivals,

harm reduction, first aid, 3 to 5 thousand people 5 massive stages, field, go into forest, weeks setting up, acts, musical guests, workshops

everybody who helped out, bunch of different skills

different things we can take up and work together, sharing

why risk burn out, leads to error, share load

big part of that ecological village, really early wide menu of education available to people early in life

different intelligence, not just iq, natural intelligence, grade one planting a seed, watching seed, tail come out the bottom so exciting, that’s what we don’t nurture in children, not everyone is the mathematician

give resources to feel meaningful

having balance of things people agree on

trauma informed approach, perspective, methodology

means every human being experiences life differently experiences trauma differently

respondeand adapt differently, don’t just assume you’ve been through all the same experiences I have, treat you like somebody has had own life own experiences

something activates or affects you, western med, behavioral problems

different things we have to look at

level I don’t understand, ecological village, avoid causing pain and suffering like you see in big citys, respecting each other

a lot of access to mindfulness meditation

understanding of own self, we all experience struggles with physical and mental health, bio-psycho-social approach to things

everybody sees those areas of life as a balance, diet sleep nutrition

mind functioning optimally, face challenges that come day to day

experience good community

spiritual, transcendence

maslow hierarchy of human needs

before you can help somebody achieve the feeling that they have worth

strenghts weaknesses, ability to grow

don’t allow people to build up hierarchy of needs

biological needs, most people don’t sleep enough, proper diet for their body

some people need 8 9 hours of sleep

at our sites, we don’t have access to enough of is food

don’t have access to good sleep and shelter, dope sick, not eating properly, medical problems from lifestyle, stress

control of environment, of own bodily autonomy

lifes not under threat shelter, stability, homeless, need to get shelter first, access to food resources, health care,

a lot of people healthy, making enough money can buy decent food, not feeling connected with people

problem of isolation

so many people angry, stir crazy, not supposed to live like this

natural to feel like shit

feel like life’s falling apart

feeling like going crazy

sitting in isolation

needs met, nice self esteem, not about situation you’re in, outbreak, having ideas of your strengths of weaknesses, grow

psychedelics

want to do more in the field build up hierachy of needs

not just one therapists idea of it

see hierarchy of needs daily

some clients are homeless, some have jobs

liability, waivers, first responders, doctors, paramedics

is it a paramedics job to save your life

is every single illness and injury treat able

no on arrive, experience, we know that patient will not survive, doesn’t mean we did not do our job properly

harm reduction manual

there could be a framework,

check list in place

wasn’t because of negligence

stress on the heart is what we’re talking about

paramedics job not to save your life, follow guidelines

trip sitter someone holding space in altered state, guidelines rituals from peoples experiences, elders, shamans doctors, first responders,

basic life support manual

process of assessing

do they have pulse, people survive being shot in the face

decompensating shock, nothing to do to save their life

follow guidelines and policies, same training, skills assessments,

documentation

got there didn’t check pulse

not doing job up to par

some type of regulations leave room for fact variables

dont’ know of childhood trauma their not aware of

suicidal ideations, don’t know what else is going on with them

safe set and setting

set up intention create control environment, comfort connection

safety plan,

something goes wrong, that’s not your fault

good samaratin act, small amount of drugs, people don’t get arrested

not getting charged, new thing in canada,

just for when in emergency

psychedelic salon

please take with grain of salt, not be all end all, lots of awesome authorities in the field

instagram flight of thoughts

community needs

flight of thoughts.blog

research on there, for diploma program literature reviews,

podcast hear a lot of updates from field, intense experiences, share a lot of stories

what its like in these sites