Matthew Butler spent 27 years in the Army, but it took a day in jail to convince him his post-traumatic stress disorder was out of control.
The recently retired Green Beret had already tried antidepressants, therapy and a support dog. But his arrest for punching a hole in his father’s wall after his family tried to stage an intervention in Utah made it clear none of it was working.
“I had a nice house, I had a great job, whatever, but I was unable to sleep, had frequent nightmares, crippling anxiety, avoiding crowds,” he said. “My life was a wreck.”
He eventually found psychedelic drugs, and he says they changed his life. “I was able to finally step way back and go, `Oh, I see what’s going on here. I get it now,”’ said Butler, now 52. Today his run-ins with police have ended, he’s happily married and reconciled with his parents.
Butler, who lives in the Salt Lake City suburbs, is among military veterans in several U.S. states helping to persuade lawmakers to study psychedelic mushrooms for therapeutic use.
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