Lately, it has become difficult to detect exactly where the cure ends and where the poison begins. The rationale behind many decisions in Big Pharma and regulatory agencies around the world is getting increasingly difficult to support.
Ecstasy and Magic Mushrooms for psychologically unstable people? Sure, why not? What could possibly go wrong? Sounds like a joke, but now it’s a reality – in Australia.
“Australia’s controversial move to become the world’s first country to allow the clinical prescription of MDMA, better known as part of the drug ecstasy, and psilocybin – the main ingredient in ‘magic’ mushrooms – for a raft of psychiatric conditions has left many clinicians and researchers concerned.”
The therapy would provide an options for people with mental illnesses not responding to other treatments. Some hail it as a ‘game changer’, but others fear that the was decision rushed.
“3,4-Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, commonly known as ecstasy, and psilocybin are both Schedule 9 (prohibited substances) in Australia. The drugs in question are still being tested in clinical trials.
The decision to approve their being prescribed for the treatments in question is very ‘early’ as compared with the ‘usual process of developing and rolling out new treatments’, clinical psychiatrist Dr. Colleen Loo, a professor of psychiatry at the University of New South Wales […] in Sydney told the media.”
There is also no data on the long-term results of the treatments, or about how permanent are the ‘promising positive effects’.
Professor Richard Bryant, School of Psychology, University of NSW: “The science is at a point where we can say it is too early to be prescribing MDMA for PTSD patients. Instead, we should be investing in research to understand how MDMA can be used in relation to proven treatments.”
The cost of psychedelic-assisted therapy is estimated to be around $25,000.
The new regulations allows ‘approved psychiatrists’ to prescribe MDMA for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and psilocybin for severe depression.
“Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) shocked many in the medical and science world in February when it reclassified MDMA and psilocybin so they could be used for therapeutic purposes.
It declared the drugs ‘relatively safe’ when used in a ‘medically-controlled environment’ for patients ‘with serious mental health conditions’. Otherwise, both MDMA and psilocybin are illegal in Australia.”
Professor Susan Rossell, cognitive neuropsychologist at Melbourne’s Swinburne University: “When you look at interventions… for any other kind of disease, whether it’s cardiovascular disease or cancer, you cannot get a drug to market as quickly as this has been done.”
Australia is the first country to regulate the use of these drugs as medications, but clinical trials are ongoing in the US, Canada and Israel.