Words: Eva O’Beirne
From July 2023, MDMA and psilocybin will be used in Australia to treat conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder and severe depression.
MDMA and psilocybin, also known as the psychoactive found in magic mushrooms, will only be allowed to be used in a very limited way for treatment purposes and will remain otherwise prohibited.
However, the move was described as a “very welcome step away from what has been decades of demonisation” by Dr David Caldicott, a clinical senior lecturer in emergency medicine at Australian National University.
The move comes as part of a wider global trend of governments decriminalising small amounts of drugs alongside reassessing the possible uses of hallucinogens in the treatment of severe mental health issues.
MDMA and psilocybin be used for mental health treatment in the US by 2024, while a Canadian province trialled the decriminalisation of possession of small amounts of some illicit drugs such as opioids, cocaine, methamphetamine and MDMA.
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