Psychedelics have been approved for medical use in Canada.
Psilocybin, known on the street as magic mushrooms, and MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy that gets you high, were previously only allowed in palliative circumstances or if someone was granted a federal exemption from the health minister.
However, Canada's legislation has been amended to permit the use of these substances 'beyond palliative care' with people with 'life-threatening mental illnesses'.
When the idea was first floated in December 2020, it sparked a two month consultation period with the public to gauge their thoughts and it was overwhelmingly supportive.
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The Canada Gazette noted: "Many submissions described the mental health status of Canadians as being poor, and commented that the existing treatment options for many mental health disorders are limited, relatively ineffective and/or accompanied by negative side effects."
Under the newly introduced system, a physician will only be able to prescribe the drugs 'in a controlled, individualized fashion', according to the Calgary Herald, and taken alongside 'conventional supervised therapy'
Nevertheless, it's being haled a a massive step forward.
Numerous studies have shown how psychedelics can help people with mental health issues and Canada Health will see how the system will work on a national scale.
One research project from Harvard previously found between 60 to 80 percent of people with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder had evidence of remission after taking one of these two drugs.
Dr. Robert Tanguay, who operates Calgary's Newly Institute, explained to the Herald that he's excited to see how patients respond to the new treatment.
"[Health Canada] sees the data and how it clearly shows it's improving and enhancing people's mental health," he said.
"It's a movement to legalization, which is fantastic.... If there's ever been a more exciting time in psychotherapy, it was decades ago.
"[The amendment] takes it out of the hands of regulators and into the hands of physicians who have the best interests of patients."
Dr Tanguay says psilocybin and MDMA have 'pretty powerful properties similar to an anti-depressant medication', which can 'break down the ego' and allow the patient to address their feelings in a new way.
People who want to sign up to the new system will be treated on a case-by-case basis.
A group recently tried to get psilocybin and MDMA rescheduled in Australia to be administered for mental health treatment, however regulators knocked back the bid because they concluded the evidence wasn't clear enough that it worked.
Featured Image Credit: Alamy
Topics: News, Mental Health, Drugs, Canada