Australia legalises psychedelics for mental health

Tiffany Wertheimer reports for the BBC:

Australia has become the first country in the world to legalise the use of psychedelics to treat some mental health conditions.

Approved psychiatrists can now prescribe MDMA to those suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and magic mushrooms for some types of depression.

The controversial move has been hailed as a game-changer by many scientists and mental health experts.

However, others say the move has been too hasty and should not be over-hyped.

Experts say there is still the risk of a ‘bad trip’, which is when the user has an unpleasant experience while under the influence of drugs.

And the therapy comes at a cost, with Australian media reporting one course could cost tens of thousands of dollars.

MDMA – also known as the party drug ecstasy – is a synthetic drug that acts as a hallucinogen. It increases the user’s energy levels, sensory experiences and distorts their sense of time.

Magic mushrooms, which grow naturally, also have hallucinogenic effects due to the active compound psilocybin.

While Australia is the first country in the world to regulate the drugs as medications, clinical trials are also underway in the US, Canada and Israel …”

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