Australia allows the medical use of ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms

A measure to try to fight against certain mental pathologies. Australia will become, on Saturday July 1, one of the first countries in the world to authorize ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms for medical purposes. Licensed psychiatrists may prescribe these substances, also known as MDMA and psilocybin, for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder and certain types of depression.

Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration trials have assessed these substances as “relatively safe” when used in a “medically controlled environment”. Mike Musker, a mental health and suicide prevention researcher at the University of South Australia, for example, explained to AFP that MDMA would be useful for treating post-traumatic stress. She gives patients “a sense of connection” which allows them to facilitate contact with the therapist and to discuss their traumatic experiences.

Taking substances supervised by therapists

The specialist adds that psilocybin could help fight depression. Her “psycho-spiritual effect” can, he says, “change your perception of yourself and your life (…) and with a little luck, it can make you want to live”. The researcher adds that the process would not be to “take a pill and disappear into thin air”.

Ecstasy, for example, would probably require three treatments over a period of five to eight weeks, with each session lasting about eight hours. He said therapists would stay with patients while on the drug, in sessions that could cost around 1,000 Australian dollars (609 euros) each.

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