Drugs

MDMA and psilocybin get the green light for medical use in Canada

Thanks to regulation changes, patients in Canada are allowed to use MDMA and psilocybin to treat certain mental health conditions.

According to new federal regulations in Canada, patients dealing with life-threatening mental illnesses can gain access to psychedelic drugs, like MDMA and psilocybin, through a Special Access Program that offers alternatives to traditional therapy.

The long-awaited approval of this radical treatment option has sparked a largely positive response from the Canadian public, who have been debating the restricted drugs’ potential benefits on mental health since the initial proposal for legalisation in 2020.

Credit: Flickr/Frerk Meyer

As published in the Canada Gazette, the proposal was made due to a number of researchers, scientists, and individuals with medical conditions describing “the mental health status of Canadians as being poor,” and arguing that existing treatment choices were limited, or carried negative side effects.

According to a declaration by the Canadian Government, “There has been emerging scientific evidence supporting potential therapeutic uses for some restricted drugs, most notably psychedelic restricted drugs such as MDMA and psilocybin.”

Psilocybin is an active psychedelic chemical that exists in some mushrooms, and it’s been undergoing clinical trials for years. Finally, the nation’s health minister has approved both MDMA and psilocybin for use “beyond palliative care,” if the legal exemption is granted.

This medical milestone is predicted to revolutionise the pharmaceutical industry, not just in Canada, but possibly around the world over the following years.

Unfortunately Australia’s own Therapeutic Goods Administration recently denied the reclassification of MDMA and psilocybin, going against what is a growing level of support amongst psychologists around the world.

Outside of our own shores, of course, we can’t wait to see which countries follow suit.