Depression will be treated with ecstasy

Victor LitvinenkoLife
Depression will be treated with ecstasy

Starting July 1, 2023, Australian psychiatrists will treat acute mental disorders with banned psychedelics, Bloomberg reports. The country has legalized the use of MDMA and psilocybin, better known as ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms, to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and depression for the first time in the world.

The lack of effective treatment options, as well as evidence about the unique potential of hallucinogens in treating mental health disorders, were the main reasons for legalizing psychotropics for medical purposes, the Therapeutic Goods Administration of Australia argues.

The cost of the question and possible barriers

Despite data on the effectiveness of MDMA and psilocybin, treatment with these substances will not be available to everyone.

The cost of therapy for patients with clinical depression and PTSD can cost anywhere from AUD$15,000 to AUD$25,000. And the strict rules imposed will make it much more difficult for patients to access psychedelic therapy.

Only registered psychiatrists who have received special regulatory approval will be able to obtain MDMA and psilocybin to treat depression and PTSD. In addition, medical professionals have insufficient clinical research on the use of psychedelics for the treatment of mental disorders. This could also be a barrier to treatment.

New rules of the game: more options

Legalizing psychedelics for the treatment of depression and PTSD is one of the biggest advances in psychiatry in the last 70 years, according to Mike Masker, a mental health and suicide prevention researcher at the University of South Australia.

"Treatment can change a person's level of consciousness as well as increase sensitivity and responsiveness to the people around them," the scientist summarizes.

It is worth noting that both ecstasy and hallucinogenic mushrooms have a stimulating effect on the body. After taking them, a healthy person feels euphoric, becomes more emotional and energetic. In 1984, MDMA was included to the "List of narcotic substances". Official medicine believes: drugs cause psychological addiction, not physical.

Despite the TGA's decision to legalize psychedelics for the treatment of mental disorders, both MDMA and psilocybin remain illegal in Australia beyond narrow medical use. Australian psychiatrists will be the first in the world to be able to clinically test psychotropics for the treatment of depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

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