First Official Steps Made To Reschedule Magic Mushrooms And MDMA In Australia
Researchers have been campaigning for Australian authorities to reschedule some illegal drugs so that they can be investigated for any medicinal benefits.
Their efforts have started to pay off as the first official steps have been made to get their legal status changed.
Mind Medicine Australia has submitted the first applications to Australia's Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in order to research psilocybin and MDMA.
Scientists are keen to see whether these two drugs could be used as treatments for mental health issues.
Mind Medicine Australia wrote on its website: "The rescheduling would move these medicines from Schedule 9 of the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (which deals with Prohibited Substances) to Schedule 8 (which deals with Controlled Medicines).
"The changes proposed by Mind Medicine Australia will not affect existing legal controls on illicit use or supply.
"The rescheduling will enable psychiatrists and specialist addiction physicians to more easily access these medicines to augment therapy for patients suffering from key mental illnesses such as depression, PTSD and for the depression and anxiety often associated with a terminal illness diagnosis (and hopefully in the future for substance abuse, OCD, anorexia and early stage dementia).
"It will also relieve a significant part of the regulatory burden associated with undertaking trials with these medicines in Australia."
The TGA has now opened itself up for submission on the issue and you're able to say how you feel about the proposal.
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If you feel like magic mushrooms or MDMA should be investigated for medicinal purposes then you have until September 25 to make your voice heard.
A study from Harvard found that between 60 to 80 percent of people with depression or post traumatic stress disorder had evidence of remission after taking one of the two drugs.
Closer to home, Melbourne's St Vincent's Hospital is currently conducting a trial to see how the use of psychedelic psychotherapy works for terminally ill patients with anxiety and depression.
MMA board member Andrew Robb told the ABC: "Remission rates for people experiencing depression, using the standard treatments of antidepressants and psychotherapy, are only about 35 per cent effective and the remission rates for PTSD even lower than this.
"We would be derelict in our duty as a country, as governments in this country, if we didn't take this opportunity to grab hold of this technology.
"And [then] see it's introduced in a way which can potentially provide very significant benefit to many, many Australians."
An interim decision will be handed down by the TGA on February 3 after all the submissions are tallied. People will be able to make comments and submissions based off that decision until March 4.
Then the TGA is expected to make a full decision by April 22.
Featured Image Credit: Pikist