Australia will recognize MDMA and psilocybin as medicines
The Future. Beginning July 1st, Australia will let authorized psychiatrists prescribe MDMA for PTSD and psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression. The world will be watching as the land down under becomes the first country to offer these drugs for therapeutic purposes. How the legalization unfolds in Oz (especially if it misfires) could impact whether or not other countries like the US jump on the bandwagon, too.
Australia may not have gathered enough information on how to roll out psychedelic treatments safely and effectively before it legalized them, according to Wired.
- Because Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has yet to approve any medicine that contains MDMA or psilocybin, patients will initially receive “unapproved” medicine containing the substances.
- Before psychiatrists are authorized by a human research ethics committee (and then the TGA), they need to prove that they can justify the treatment plan, that they will have control over the treatment plan, and that they will use suitable measures to protect patients. Providing therapy in conjunction with the drugs will likely be required.
- The treatments won’t be covered by health insurance (no surprise there), “so it’s probably initially going to be a therapy for relatively well-off people who have these conditions,” Daniel Perkins, adjunct associate professor at the Centre for Mental Health at Swinburne University, told Wired.
- The longest data researchers have is 12 months, so they don’t know what happens to patients after more than a year’s worth of treatment.
Still, the benefits of psychedelic substances, especially for treatment-resistant conditions, could be life-changing.
For patients who’ve exhausted all their options and can’t find relief with any other therapy, magic mushrooms could be the magic antidote.