Calls For Australian Government To Allow MDMA And Psilocybin To Be Used To Treat Mental Health
After weeks of self-isolating in Australia, many people are feeling a little suffocated by their new lifestyle.
Most of us have been forced to work from home and our exercise routines have been disrupted to ensure we don't spread the coronavirus.
It's causing a massive spike in people looking for help with their mental health.
But experts are calling for the Australian government to relax rules on the use of MDMA and psilocybin (the active ingredient that gets you high in magic mushrooms) so that the compounds can be used to treat people with mental illnesses.
Mind Medicine Australia (MMA) reckons the two drugs could be revolutionary in helping people deal with issues that have popped up during isolation or that were there already.
MMA board member Andrew Robb told the ABC: "It is potentially the most significant innovation in mental health we've seen in decades.
"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.
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"When we come out of this [pandemic], there will literally be tens of thousands of people coming out the other end of this needing treatment and help."
The MMA don't want the two drugs opened up recreationally, as it could be abused if not tightly controlled, however they say recent studies show it can be hugely beneficial to those who are struggling.
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.
Mr Robb says MDMA and psilocybin could be far more effective that current treatments that are available.
"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," Robb said in a statement.
Beyond Blue has launched the Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service for people who might be struggling during self-isolation.
Since being launched, Beyond Blue says it has experienced all-time-high activity on its chatrooms. According to the ABC, the activity is seven times higher than during the bushfires.
Featured Image Credit: PA