Daytryp Health

Psilocybin: entering a new age of addiction therapy

Psilocybin, the compound that makes magic mushrooms, is showing major promise as a treatment for several psychiatric illnesses.


The amygdala is the emotion centre of the brain. Psilocybin reduces amygdala reactivity to negative emotional stimuli, and has been found to induce an increase in positive mood. Neural patterns break down and the connectivity between different parts of th
The amygdala is the emotion centre of the brain. Psilocybin reduces amygdala reactivity to negative emotional stimuli, and has been found to induce an increase in positive mood. Neural patterns break down and the connectivity between different parts of the brain becomes more diverse and dynamic. Cognition is less constrained, and perception is profoundly altered while on the dose of psilocybin.

Gordon McGlothlin is 55 years old and, until lately, he smoked 19 cigarettes a day, a habit he formed when he was just 15 years old. He tried to stop, using nicotine replacement therapy, psychological therapy or going cold turkey. But each time he relapsed. Then, McGlothlin’s friend told him about an advertisement for participants in a clinical trial of a new treatment for tobacco addiction.

So, one December morning, McGlothlin walked into the research center at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where he took a small, blue capsule and sat in a room listening to classical music. The idea was that after he walked out of the research center in the evening, he would never smoke another cigarette again. That was almost three years ago today and McGlothlin says he is still smoke-free.

McGlothlin was part of a small, proof-of-concept trial using psilocybin to help heavy smokers. Psilocybin is what makes magic mushrooms psychedelic and, despite its reputation as a recreational drug for hippies, it is showing major promise as a therapeutic agent for a number of psychiatric illnesses including addiction, depression and anxiety. “I think psilocybin gave me the impetus to stay abstinent. It opens a whole new dimension to your personality. It is almost as though quitting smoking is peripheral during the experience,” says McGlothlin.

In the 1950s, 1960s and early 1970s, psychedelic drugs were extensively researched, with the effects of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) being studied in some 40,000 participants. But then LSD was made illegal, and research grounded to a halt. A retrospective analysis of six trials from the late 60s and early 70s involving 536 patients, published in 2012, found that LSD helped people overcome alcohol addiction and was “as successful as any treatment since,” says David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College Boston and a campaigner for rational drug laws that do not inhibit research. “We’re talking about one or two doses producing life-long effects.”

Psilocybin and LSD have similar, but not identical, patterns of activity in the brain. “Psilocybin hits the same primary brain receptor as LSD, called serotonin 2A,” says Matthew Johnson, associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins, who carried out the tobacco addiction trial. But, compared with LSD, psilocybin therapy is more appealing to researchers for two reasons: its duration of action is about 6 hours compared with LSD’s 10–12 hours, which makes it more manageable to work with in a clinical setting and, unlike LSD, it does not have the same strong association with the counterculture of the 1960s, explains Johnson. “All major drugs of abuse have accepted clinical applications, bar psychedelics. It is really exciting that these drugs could open up novel treatments,” he says, adding that “more and more” scientists are coming into the field.

Johnson recalls how the idea for his smoking cessation study came after looking at historical trials of psychedelics and noticing that their effects could be applicable to a range of addictions, since the reports of experiences were always similar. “Smoking seemed to be a good place to start.” Johnson continues: “People may say we are using a sledgehammer for smoking, but it is the leading cause of preventable death worldwide and 80% of smokers in the US want to quit.”

Testing time

Johnson and his team enrolled 14 patients in the trial. “We wanted to demonstrate feasibility of the intervention,” says Johnson. On average the patients had smoked 19 cigarettes a day for 21 years and had six failed attempts to quit behind them. They all received 13 weeks of structured smoking cessation treatment, which included regular sessions of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and administration of psilocybin once each at week 5 and week 7, and optionally also at week 13. It was at the first of these sessions that McGlothlin was given a blue capsule containing pure psilocybin, which takes about 20 minutes to have an effect, and told that this should be his last day smoking. After receiving the treatment, he and the other study participants would stay at the clinic for the whole day, listening to music and being encouraged by the ever-present healthcare professionals to have an introspective experience. At six months follow up, 80% of patients were not smoking.

“The results are not conclusive, but we strongly suspect that it is the psilocybin is playing the most pivotal role in the study, because the quit rates are so much higher than even the best current psychological or pharmacological treatments for tobacco addiction, which are typically around 35%,” says Johnson. Based on the success of the initial trial, he and fellow researchers at Johns Hopkins have now embarked on a phase II randomized controlled trial with 80 participants, which started in October 2019.

Robert West, a health psychologist at University College London who specializes in tobacco addiction, says that the study seems to have been well thought out and conducted, and there is a plausible rationale. “While probably only a minority of smokers would be interested in using a psychedelic drug to stop smoking, these early results are worth pursuing with a comparative trial,” he says. He adds that the proposed mode of action is interesting in that it involves promoting a new outlook on life that may lead to changes in other self-destructive behaviors.

“The results are not conclusive, but we strongly suspect that it is the psilocybin playing a role.”

Evidence is mounting that this approach could tackle addiction more generally. A recent study of the psychedelic drug ibogaine found it to be effective at treating addiction to alcohol, meth, cocaine and crack. However, Johnson says ibogaine can have cardiovascular side effects and, in comparison, psilocybin is “very safe at a physiological level”.

Psychedelics seem to work in a different way from other treatments for addiction, such as nicotine replacement therapy, which targets the same brain receptors as the drug patients are trying to wean themselves off. This difference may be central to why the treatment of addiction is just one of psilocybin’s potential uses. Recently, researchers have started to unpick its effects on brain function — with some striking results. Psilocybin decreases activity in the parts of the brain that are overactive in depression, addiction and ingrained behaviors.

Deactivating cravings

Serotonin 2A receptors, the primary target of psilocybin and other psychedelics, are in the outer layer of the brain called the cortex. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), Nutt’s team found that stimulation of these receptors by psychedelics decreased rather than increased activity in certain areas of the brain, particularly those in what is known as the default mode network (DMN). The DMN is believed to be involved in introspective thought, our sense of self and our ingrained thought patterns and behaviors. “During illnesses like depression or addiction, the default mode network in the brain becomes over-engaged with negative thoughts or cravings,” explains Nutt. When the DMN ceases to be so over-engaged it “allows people to break free” from these destructive neural patterns, he says.

Psychedelics make the brain more flexible, with this neuroplasticity potentially underlying their usefulness, says Franz Vollenweider, director at the Neuropsychopharmacology and Brain Imaging Research Unit at the University Hospital of Psychiatry in Zurich, Switzerland. But he emphasizes that such agents will probably only work in conjunction with psychological therapy.

His team has discovered that the brain becomes less sensitive to negative information when under the influence of psychedelics. “In healthy volunteers we found that psilocybin reduces the processing of negative emotional stimuli. This is why we think it can be used in depression and PTSD,” says Vollenweider. Part of this effect could be due to a decrease in reactivity of the amygdala after administration of psilocybin, he says. The amygdala is deep in the center of the brain and is responsible for emotions like fear, ill-feelings, and anxiety. “Psilocybin stimulates a specific serotonin receptor which in turn induces a cascade of downstream effects.”

McGlothlin says that because of his treatment with psilocybin, he feels freed from the hold that cigarettes had over him. “It became non-important, like who cares?” He adds that the experience affected much more than just his addiction to tobacco. “Psilocybin changed my life. It’s not that I was afraid of dying, but during the experience you come to grips with the fact that life is transient and death a continuation of that process, but that your thoughts persist,” he recalls. “I had a friend dying of cancer and I think it would have been good for them, it gives tremendous piece of mind, it puts life and death in the right place, it gives you hope.” Indeed, Johnson is one of several researchers who are examining using psilocybin for exactly this purpose.

Taking a trip: How the brain is affected by psilocybin

The amygdala is the emotion center of the brain. Psilocybin reduces amygdala reactivity to negative emotional stimuli, and has been found to induce an increase in positive mood. Neural patterns break down and the connectivity between different parts of the brain becomes more diverse and dynamic. Cognition is less constrained, and perception is profoundly altered.

The DMN is made of brain ‘hubs’, including the posterior cingulate cortex and the medial prefrontal cortex. The network is active during introspective thought, self-reflection and ingrained patterns of behavior. In the brains of patients who have taken a placebo, the hub areas of the DMN, the medial prefrontal cortex and posterior cingulate cortex, are connected. After taking psilocybin, the hub areas of the DMN become less connected: the posterior cingulate cortex is not as strongly coupled to the medial prefrontal cortex in the brain. A decrease in DMN activity allows a less constrained mode of brain activity.

Tackling anxiety

Johnson says that work at Johns Hopkins on the use of psilocybin in cancer patients suffering from anxiety and depression is even further along than that on addiction. His team is currently analyzing the results from a phase II trial of psilocybin in 44 patients with depression and anxiety about death, stemming from a diagnosis of advanced-stage cancer. Johnson says that ‘mystical’ experiences, such as McGlothlin’s, seem to lead to better clinical outcomes. The results have not yet been published, but he says that “the data are very favorable”.

In fact, in 2011, when the results of the first clinical trial to use psilocybin for over 35 years were published, it was a pilot study looking at the effect of psilocybin treatment in adults with advanced cancer and anxiety about death. The study was carried out by a separate research group at New York University (NYU). Led by Charles Grob, professor of psychiatry and pediatrics at the University of California, Los Angeles, the group found that six months after the 12 patients included in the pilot were treated with psilocybin, they reported a clinically significant improvement in mood on the Beck Depression Inventory. Although the research primarily examined anxiety, Grob says there is “a lot of co-morbidity with anxiety and depression”. The group are now conducting a full-scale trial, but their ambitions do not stop there.

“If the results from the trials at Johns Hopkins and NYU are positive, we will apply to the National Institutes for Health for a grant to conduct a larger, multi-site trial of psilocybin for anxiety and depression in patients with advanced cancer,” says Grob. And again, as Grob explains, the prompt for this direction of inquiry was research from several decades earlier, in this case identifying good treatment responses using hallucinogens for patients with terminal cancer and anxiety, depression and demoralization.

So far, no clinical trials have been conducted on patients with depression who do not have advanced cancer. But this may be about to change — both Vollenweider and Nutt have approval for phase II clinical trials in patients with depression, which could start imminently.

The uncertainty as to the start date, Nutt says, is because he and his team are still waiting for the final go-ahead from the UK medicines regulator, the London-based Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). And it has already taken almost two years to get to this stage.

The reason that the trial has taken so long to get off the ground is because magic mushrooms were made illegal in 2005, with psilocybin classified as a schedule 1 drug, which means it has a high potential for abuse and no accepted medical use. According to Nutt, this crackdown was triggered after people figured out how to freeze-dry the mushrooms while maintaining their psychedelic properties; previously they had to be eaten fresh to have an effect. “Shops in Camden started selling them and the Daily Mail ran a campaign to get them shut down. After this, the mushrooms were banned with no consultation, it was a politically motivated show of strength,” he says.

Running into regulation

Conducting clinical research using schedule 1 drugs is difficult in the UK and the United States. Both the Johns Hopkins and NYU teams struggled to get their psilocybin trials started because of regulatory hurdles. Grob says that it took a couple of years to get a license for the anxiety trial and that the psilocybin must be “in a safe, bolted to a wall, in a locked room within another locked room”. Johnson adds that it took nearly a year to get approval for his first psilocybin trial; even then, he says, maintaining approval is hard. “Because of its status as having no medical use it is very hard to get a license to use psilocybin in clinical trials, but without clinical trials we will never establish a medical use.”

“Because of its status as having no medical use it is very hard to get a license to use psilocybin in clinical trials, but without clinical trials we will never establish a medical use.”

The stringent regulatory requirements also make it costly to research schedule 1 drugs because “everyone needs a license: the manufacturer, the hospitals, the researchers”, says Nutt. “It is ten times more expensive to use these drugs compared to others that are not schedule 1.” In turn, this makes securing enough funding for clinical trials, never easy, harder than usual. To add to this, pharmaceutical companies are largely uninterested in schedule 1 drugs and government organizations are reluctant to support the research. To fill this void, the Heffter Research Institute was founded in Santa Fe, New Mexico in 1993 by several eminent scientists, including Grob. It specializes in funding research into hallucinogens. Similarly, the Beckley Foundation in Oxford funds “consciousness and drug policy research” and both organizations have contributed to several of the studies into psilocybin, including the tobacco addiction trial at Johns Hopkins.

However, Johnson says that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in Silver Spring, Maryland, has been supportive of the work at Johns Hopkins. In the US, the FDA approves medicines for use and the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), in Springfield, Virginia, among other bodies, decides on drug scheduling and oversees the policing of their use. “The FDA is very scientifically driven, it has done an extraordinary job in supporting our work — the data really do suggest this is worthy of investigation,” says Johnson.

According to a DEA spokesperson, if psilocybin can get medicinal approval from the FDA, then the DEA is obliged to down-schedule the drug (Johnson believes the data relevant to scheduling criteria suggest psilocybin should be schedule “3 or 4”). However, the spokesperson says that rescheduling is a multi-agency process that can take many years and, until a final decision has been reached, researchers will still have to abide by the schedule 1 rules — even if psilocybin did get the FDA license.

Nutt, who was previously chair of the ACMD but was fired in 2009 because of his stance on drugs, is damning of the UK’s drugs laws, saying that the schedule 1 classification of many potentially useful compounds “is the biggest censorship of life sciences research in human history”.

“Schedule 1 classification of many potentially useful compounds ‘is the biggest censorship of life sciences research in human history.’”

Heroin and cocaine are both schedule 2 drugs, owing to their use in medicine, which means hospitals and universities do not need a license to research them and the process is much easier and cheaper, despite scoring at the top end of the scale for harm to users and society. In comparison, Nutt says, psilocybin “scores the lowest on the physical and social harm scale of any drug that is misused”.

Safety and acceptability

But psilocybin is not completely free from side-effects. “Some people get modest short-lived increases in blood pressure, heart rate, headaches and a number of report subjective effects such as fear and anxiety, but these are readily managed in a clinical setting,” says Johnson. None of these adverse events were reported as “clinically significant” during the addiction trial. But Johnson admits that fears people could do dangerous things while taking psychedelics recreationally — such as panicking in risky situations or having accidents — are not unfounded. Nonetheless, he believes that at a population level the risks are very low and that they are easily managed in the clinic. And, he adds, long-term follow-up research has found no significant adverse outcomes over a year after psilocybin sessions.

Historically, there have been concerns over whether psychedelics could increase the risk of schizophrenia. Vollenweider explains that the pattern of brain activity with psychedelics does mimic that seen in the early stages of schizophrenia but not in the chronic stages of the disease. Despite this, he does not believe that psychedelics will cause the disease, although they could provoke it.

According to two large surveys from the 1960s and 1970s, only about 0.1–0.2% of subjects who have been given LSD in a controlled, clinical setting showed prolonged psychosis-like reactions, says Vollenweider. “There is evidence that some subjects who became schizophrenic were polydrug abusers or had schizophrenia in first degree relatives.” In the general population about 1% of people have schizophrenia. “We need to carefully select patients who do not have a history [of schizophrenia] in the family.”

Vollenweider emphasizes that there have been no cases of prolonged psychosis or precipitation of schizophrenia reported in recent studies of psilocybin, even after 16 months of follow up.

Moving forward, he hopes that research into psilocybin is just the beginning, and that it leads to the discovery of other, more effective analogues, which would have fewer stigmas attached to them. “In the end what counts is whether it really helps,” he says.

Johnson also agrees that “psychedelics are not for everyone” but says that many people could be helped. “It is not just applicable to smoking — it could also treat other drug addictions, and non-drug disorders like gambling addiction and eating disorders too.” He imagines that in the future specialist clinics could be set up with trained therapists administering the treatments. “They won’t be given to patients to take home.”

But a major question is whether society will be comfortable with the use of psychedelics in medicine after decades in which they have been socially unacceptable. “In the 1960s one-time Harvard researcher Tim Leary famously told every teenager to take LSD, which was very irresponsible and caused a lot of social trauma,” Johnson says. He believes that as research into psychedelics continues, they will become more accepted. “It is a lot more like traditional medicine than people think,” says Johnson. “Eventually these drugs will become boring.”

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*Daytryp is a Pro Microdosing Community*

We support the careful use of psychedelics to foster creativity, focus and compassion. We allow our employees to microdose in the workplace.

Yvé Dizes

Tryp Guide

Grounded in decades of extensive training with shamans, yogis, and spiritual teachers, Yvé
leverages her innate ability to channel the quantum field to provide profound insight and
transformation for her clientele. Her work is deeply influenced by her daily meditation practice, esoteric research, quantum mechanics, and J.R.R. Tolkien… only partially a joke!

Yvé’s advocacy for Divine Neutrality inspired her exploration into the transformative potential of Ketamine therapy. She delights in her role as a Tryp Guide, where she creates and holds sacred space, promoting transformation through this unique modality. Graced with an amazing partner and soul community, Yvé is humbled and honored to share her life’s purpose with you.

Will Burkhart

Tryp Guide

Will has spent his life seeking truth and exploring the limits of what is possible. This has led him to many extreme experiences—Marine Corps combat veteran, US Army Airborne and Ranger schools, wilderness adventure racing, high altitude mountaineering, ultra-endurance events, holistic healing modalities, psychedelics, and coaching. 

Will is a Co-Active Certified Professional Coach and a High Flow Performance Coach. He specializes in integrative psychedelic coaching and facilitating psychedelic experiences. He is relentless in his passion to explore life’s magnificence.  It’s an ongoing journey and one he would be honored to share with you as a Tryp Guide.

Steve Judson

Tryp Guide

While everyone has a different path to happiness, the majority of people encounter comparable experiences along the way. Examples include honesty, kindness, compassion, generosity, concern for oneself, others, and nature; respect for life; a desire to make a good difference; and many more.

Steve’s involvement, acceptance, and advocacy of the use of entheogenic substances as sacraments for direct spiritual experiences is what has inspired him to work hard to create peace and harmony in both his own life and the lives of those around him.

Steve has made a commitment to rejuvenating his own spiritual life using humanist resources and a humanist perspective. With an emphasis on the mysticism of the unitive experience and the practical use of entheogenic rituals for learning about and developing human consciousness to create a direct connection to the Divine within, Steve has been studying and using a variety of transformational tools. Each has acted as a catalyst in his own consciousness, resulting in profoundly life-altering experiences that have gradually revealed Steve’s true self and pointed him in the direction of his true purpose in life.

Steve’s desire to be of service to others by coaching, mentoring, and guiding them through a shamanic methodology and the practical use of entheogenic rituals is the driving force behind his life’s work, passions, and interests.

Steve loves sharing the knowledge he has gained using many entheogenic sacraments and transformational tools that can help spark a shift in consciousness and result in a profound realization of one’s true nature. Steve also firmly endorses both the idea of cognitive liberty (the right to direct one’s own consciousness) and the safe and appropriate use of entheogenic sacraments for a direct spiritual experience.

Steve has put a lot of effort into learning about and developing the best techniques as a practitioner and guide to provide the right guidance, proper preparation, safe navigation, and holistic integration into the sacred work he performs, and he remains dedicated to his work through practice, mentorship, and study.


There is a prayer in Sanskrit, one of the oldest recorded languages dating back 7000–8000 years, that says, “Lokah Samastah Sukhino Bhavantu.” This means: “May all beings everywhere be happy and free. May the thoughts, words, and actions of my own life contribute in some way to that happiness and that freedom for all.” This is a truth Steve lives by every day.

Megan Schneider

Tryp Guide

Megan is passionate about holding a sacred space for others to explore healing connections between the mind, body, breath, and spirit. As a plant energy practitioner, essential oils specialist, and yoga teacher, she wholeheartedly believes in an individualized approach to health and the power of curating personalized integrative self-healing practices of your own. Megan creates space for others to explore the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic medicines, both from a physiological and metaphysical standpoint, while inspiring others remembrance of their divine beauty, purpose, and gifts. Through the art of intention, peaceful presence, and loving awareness she hopes to welcome you more deeply into accessing your innate power to heal from within.

Joel Newton

Tryp Guide

From a young age, Joel sought happiness in competitive sports, business, and relationships. Each accomplishment came with a fleeting sense of fulfillment causing another repeat of the same cycle. That same mysterious desire for acceptance led Joel to seek information in new and unfamiliar territories. Joel has found comfort in his study of past and current visionaries, such as Carl Jung, Dr. Richard Schwartz, Deepak Chopra, and Gabor Matè. Learning that love of oneself is the true path to peace. Joel honors medicines and substance along with meditation and self-care for the aid of self-discovery. He has found that nothing is more enjoyable than supporting others in their constant journey of growth. Healing himself and others has become his greatest gift and passion.

Nick Ghiz

Tryp Guide

Nick’s upbringing instilled in him the significance of giving, helping, and inspiring others. He understands that these invaluable gifts have the power to shift paradigms within one’s life. For him, being involved in someone’s transformative journey is a privilege. Deep within each of us lies the ability to discover peace and lasting happiness. Sometimes we just need someone to guide us along the way. Nick carries this responsibility close to his heart, knowing firsthand the vulnerability we experience when seeking help. He hopes to be a bright light throughout this magnificent adventure you are about to embark upon.

Stephanie Bernau


Tryp Guide

Stephanie is a registered nurse helping to guide individuals in their journey towards wellness. Raised in Pima, Arizona and graduating from her hometown college, she has over 9 years of experience in pediatric emergency and trauma medicine. With her passion for health and involvement in the fitness community, Stephanie became a fitness coach in 2017. Dedicated to her own personal project of “unbecoming” and healing, Stephanie went on to receive her Bachelor of Science in Nursing at Arizona State University in 2022, focusing on the evidence-based approach to integrating the mind, body, and spirit for optimal health and wellbeing. Stephanie is an advocate for integrative health and wellness, while honoring your journey by providing a compassionate and supportive space for healing. In her spare time you can find her exploring the sky with husband Jamie and their dog Coco.

Hanna Caldwell


Tryp Guide

Hanna is from a small town here in Arizona. From the time she was a child, community has been a huge part of her life. She believe in total wellness and healing through mind, body and soul. This been a theme in her life, especially as an ER nurse and a nurse here at the clinic. Hanna loves helping others and blending western and holistic medicine to help others live to their greatest potential.

Ann Berardi


Tryp Guide

Ann is a registered nurse with a passion for helping others find balance in wellness and health. After graduating with her BSN from Cleveland State University in 2013, she worked briefly as a progressive care cardiac nurse. During that time, she was trained in Usui Reiki and completed her master/teacher level training in 2014. She then devoted herself as a hospice nurse, supporting and coaching many individuals and their loved ones through the dying process. After several years, Ann transitioned her skills and desires to focus on helping individuals achieve optimal wellness with holistic therapies. She opened a small mobile IV infusion business in 2019, offering in-home infusion therapy focusing on prevention and health maintenance. She also became certified in medical aesthetics.
Her constant ambition as a nurse is in service and helping others activate their own healing for optimal wellness while living from their highest self. Her goal is to provide a calm and peaceful environment where individuals can relax into healing.
She grew up in Latrobe, Pennsylvania and has lived in sunny Arizona since 2015. She finds relaxation in the outdoors, hiking, kayaking, star-gazing and flying airplanes.

Alisia Malta


Tryp Guide

Alisia graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2011. She has worked in both outpatient and inpatient settings during her 12 years as a RN. Her fascination with the human brain led her to become a specialist in Deep Brain Stimulation therapy. Alisia is also an artist and has been selling her work professionally for the last 10 years. Through several difficult life events, she experienced firsthand the healing power of creative expression. Her passions reside in health, psychology, art, and human connection. She is ecstatic to be part of the Daytryp team, and grateful for the opportunity to assist with the intentional use of psychedelic medicines for healing.

Nellie Bowers, RN


Tryp Guide

Nellietha (Nellie) has been in healthcare for 18 years. She graduated with a Bachelors in Science from Chamberlain College of Nursing in 2018. She grew up in a family that prioritized alternative medicine and witnessed firsthand the profound impact natural remedies have on physical and mental health. As someone who has personally experienced the transformative effects of psychedelics, she is passionate about helping others find relief and healing through these alternative therapies. In her free time, she enjoys her animals, gardening, and being out in nature.

Jeff Kaplan

Jeff was born and raised 25 miles north of Chicago, IL. He graduated from The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1999 with a B.S. in Business Communications. Jeff has worked for several successful start-ups in the consumer and daily deal space, excelling in business development and customer service. He is a certified life-coach specializing in working with adolescents. As Daytryp’s Intake Coordinator, he takes great pride in being the first voice our clients hear when they call into the facility. He enjoys working on his spiritual self, doing voiceover work, spending time with his girlfriend in San Diego and taking his bulldog Walter on road trips across the country.

Dave Romanelli

Chief Vibe Officer

David Romanelli fuses ancient wellness practices with modern passions that give people accessible tools to overcome stress, focus their mind, and improve their relationships at work and home. David’s third book, Life Lessons from the Oldest and Wisest, is a reminder that countless professionals, parents, and partners have walked the earth before us. The book was inspired by his series of national events called DRINKS WITH YOUR ELDERS, that created a space for isolated elders to reengage with their community and share their life experiences with younger generations. His previous book, Happy is the New Healthy, was inspired by David’s friendship with a 111 year-old New Yorker. The book reached #1 on multiple Amazon and Apple Bestseller Lists.

Dave partnered up with Daytryp Health to create TRIPT, which is a psychedelic integration APP which is offered to all Daytryp clients.

Most recently, David was a featured voice on a new app from Calm, which brings peace of mind and healing techniques to the 1 of every 3 Americans touched by cancer. His daughter Cooper (aka SuperCooper) put leukemia in the rear view mirror and is David’s inspiration everyday to live with strength, passion, and joie de vivre. Throughout Cooper’s treatment, David found the power of psychedelic therapy as a profound way to heal the trauma and constant worry and reset to a positive path forward as parent, partner, and professional.. His 365 day platform, MEDITATE ON, compels his listeners to gain perspective on their journey and take time each day for reflection, quiet, and meditation. David has been featured in The New York Times, Food & Wine, Wall Street Journal, and Newsweek. You can learn more at

Furthermore, Dave is in charge of Daytryp Retreats, which brings people from all over the world to Phoenix, AZ for 3-4 day retreats to experience life-changing psychedelic journeys.

Dr. Joe Tafur


Medical Advisor / Tryp Guide

Dr. Joe Tafur has dedicated his career to exploring complementary and alternative approaches to health management, particularly Amazonian plant medicines. He completed a Post-Doctoral Research Fellowship at UCSD Department of Psychiatry, and worked as a Family Physician in the US before exploring indigenous medicine in South America (SA). He helped found Nihue Rao Centro Espiritual, a traditional healing center in the Peruvian Upper Amazon, and underwent apprenticeship in Traditional Amazonian Plant Medicine and Shipibo curanderismo. In 2017, Dr. Joe founded Modern Spirit, a 501c3 nonprofit focused on demonstrating the value of spiritual healing in modern healthcare. In 2019, he and his colleagues opened the Ocotillo Center for Integrative Medicine. Dr. Tafur is also a leader in his spiritual community and leads plant medicine journeys across the continent. Joe is also a best selling author with his book, The Fellowship of the River.

Rebekah Bohucki


Tryp Guide

Rebekah graduated from Arizona State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry, then went on to obtain a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Grand Canyon University. After working as an RN in the hospital setting for 13 years, Rebekah stepped away to pursue a career more oriented towards holistic healing and treating the root cause of disease. Rebekah is passionate about the powerful healing abilities of psychedelics and plant medicine and believes that with the right tools and guidance, our mind and body have the innate wisdom and ability to heal from the inside out. Rebekah is also on her path to becoming a Priestess, which includes training in the sacred art of holding energetic space. On her free time, she loves being a mom to her two beautiful children, traveling the world, hiking, yoga, and reading.

Kathryn Kiser

Tryp Guide
Kathryn, also known as Kat, has a deep love for nature and animals and a passion for the great outdoors. She cherishes her children and her dog, and enjoys being silly and surrounded by loved ones. She loves laughing and feeling free. Kathryn prioritizes taking care of both her heart and loves the activities that she chooses daily. Her personal journey towards self-love has been a long and challenging one, with many ups and downs. She spent a lot of her life living in fear and suffering with a closed heart. Choosing to heal through her traumas and open her heart have been the best adventures yet. Kat chooses to be a student of life and will continue on this path. As a participant in your healing journey, she holds space for you to feel into your own love and to witness your growth and healing. From her heart to yours, she looks forward to supporting you on your journey.

Lauren Krison

Lead Tryp Guide & Operations Manager

Lauren is a Phoenix native. She graduated from Arizona State University Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 2007. After spending over a decade in corporate and start-up marketing, the burnout became unbearable, and she knew it was time to pivot to her true passion – wellness. From diet and lifestyle changes to subconscious reprogramming and psychedelic medicine, Lauren’s own wellness journey led her to discover healing modalities that transformed her life in every way imaginable. Her passion led her to the Institute for Integrative Nutrition where she graduated in 2021 as a Certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. As a Tryp Guide, Lauren is honored to hold space for others as they embark on a healing journey of their own.

Ajona Olsen

MSN, APRN, ANP-C, Medical Director

Tryp Guide

Ajona Olsen started her career in healthcare in 2001 as an RN in a hospital. She graduated from Arizona State University as a nurse practitioner in 2006, and worked in corporate medicine for fifteen years. In 2021, she began researching psychedelics as a powerful tool in healing and trained in Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy. Ajona opened her own practice at the beginning of 2022 to serve those on a journey toward healing and, in turn, has found happiness in the healing for herself and her loved ones. Ajona met Chris Cohn, founder of Daytryp Health, in June of 2022. She is very excited to act as Medical Director and partner with the incredible team at Daytryp. Outside of work, Ajona is an avid yoga enthusiast and enjoys spending time with her family.

Quinn Snyder


Chief Medical Officer

Quinn graduated from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in 2007. In 2010, after studying under Andrew Weil and traveling to India to study plant-based medicines, he completed his residency in Emergency Medicine at Drexel University. Quinn has continuously practiced EM at some of the top Departments in and around Phoenix. He possesses leadership experience in Data Analytics, Quality, Operations, and Business Development. During the pandemic, he was the manager of the largest Emergency Department in Arizona, and his experience was the subject of interviews on CNN, PBS Newshour, BBC World News, NPR, The Washington Post, and The Guardian. He has used Ketamine in his clinical practice and is committed to the emerging field of psychedelic medicines for healing.

Chris Cohn


Founder & CEO

Chris was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ. He attended Brophy College Preparatory, then graduated from the University of Arizona. Chris later attained his Masters Degree, Magna Cum Laude, in Addiction Counseling from Grand Canyon University. In 2008, Chris founded Scottsdale Recovery Center and Arizona Addiction Recovery Center, two of the most well-known drug and alcohol rehabs in the state. In 2019, after exiting the rehab space, Chris took a deep dive into the incredible world of psychedelic and plant medicines for his own healing journey. Daytryp Health was birthed from Chris’s ongoing desire and passion to help people heal, recover, and thrive with the intentional and careful use of psychedelic medicines.

Rudy Montijo

MS, LASAC, Consultant/Integration Therapist
Tryp Guide

Rudy Montijo lends his expertise in operations and business development consulting for Daytryp. He received his undergraduate from the University of Arizona, a master’s degree in Addiction Counseling from Grand Canyon University, and Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy training from Polaris Insight. Rudy worked under Daytryp’s founder and CEO, Chris Cohn, while operating and expanding Scottsdale Recovery Center from 2013-2014. He currently has an award-winning career in medical sales. He is a former D1 athlete, having played football at the University of Arizona. Rudy is a clinical therapist who is trained in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy, actively races on the Ironman triathlon circuit, and is a certified yoga instructor. After helping others, Rudy’s greatest love is his two children, River and Savanna.

Esther Mathers

VP Operations


Esther is a seasoned designer with over 25 years of experience in the creation, management and development of calming spaces. A passionate and driving force behind any project, she thrives when curating environments that foster relaxation and well-being for both the mind and body. In addition, Esther has a talent for providing holistic solutions with innovative ideas to persistent challenges. She was honored to be commissioned by the Founder and CEO of Daytryp Health, Chris Cohn, to design the interior of their flagship location. The opportunity has been life-changing, transformative, and inspiring on many different levels. Esther currently lives in Mesa, AZ with her two children and enjoys outdoor activities, particularly those involving water.