Mental health has been shoved into the spotlight in Australia as the country has become the first in the world to legalise the use of psychedelics if it’s used to treat some mental health conditions.
Psychiatrists who have been approved beforehand can now prescribe magic mushrooms for certain types of depression while MDMA can be prescribed to those suffering post-traumatic stress disorder.
The BBC reports that MDMA – also known as the party drug ecstasy – is a synthetic drug that acts as a hallucinogen. It increases the user’s energy levels, and sensory experiences and distorts their sense of time. Magic mushrooms, which grow naturally, also have hallucinogenic effects due to the active compound psilocybin.
Many scientists and mental health experts all over the world have said this move is a game-changer for those that suffer from mental health issues. Others feel the decision was made too hasty.
Although the controversial form of medication has been approved, it won’t be available to everyone as it’s incredibly expensive. Local media reports that one course could cost tens of thousands of dollars.
Clinical trials regarding the specific drugs as medications are underway in the United States, Canada and Israel.
Image credit: VOA