Sun. Feb 25th, 2024

Australia gives green light to the use of psychedelic drugs in the treatment of mental illness. The country has regulated the use of compounds present in hallucinogenic mushrooms and ecstasy pills to board psychiatric disorders. This innovative measure seeks to harness the therapeutic effects of hallucination-inducing substances with the aim of promoting healing. The psilocybinpresent in hallucinogenic mushrooms, has shown efficacy in the treatment of depression. Although its effects are temporary, its use has been beneficial in seriously ill patients with suicidal tendencies who have not responded to therapies or other conventional drugs. However, psilocybin also presents side effectssuch as hallucinations and other long-lasting symptoms that require medical attention. On the other hand, Australia has authorized the use of MDMA, known as ecstasy, in the psychiatric field. This stimulant amphetamine can help in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder by facilitating the social interaction of the patient. MDMA would be administered under medical supervision prior to a session with a psychiatrist or therapist, taking advantage of its ability to reduce emotional barriers. However, the addiction risk is a concern associated with the use of this substance.

The patient would not be induced to consume the drug directly

It is important to highlight that these treatments do not imply the direct consumption of the mentioned drugs, but drugs formulated with their active components will be used. Access to these medications will not be at the discretion of the patient, but will require the application and approval by a psychiatrist and the Australian Medicines Agency. In addition, a bioethical committee would be in charge of evaluating whether the treatment is appropriate in each case. Although Australia has become the first country to allow these psychedelic drug-based treatments, it is expected that America is next to follow this path. Subsequently, it is possible that other European countries join once the clinical trials are completed and the drugs are authorized, as long as significant benefits are evidenced and side effects are controlled. This treatment approach costs approximately €18,000 and includes the hours of attention of the psychiatrist during therapy and follow-up to monitor possible adverse effects. In addition to ecstasy and psilocybin, possible drugs are also being investigated. medical uses of ayahuasca, once its ban was lifted a few years ago. As research progresses, it is likely that knowledge of the therapeutic potential of these psychedelics will expand.

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