# Australia Becomes First Country to Allow Psychiatrists to Prescribe Psychedelic Substances for Mental Health Treatment
Australia has made history by becoming the first country to allow psychiatrists to prescribe certain psychedelic substances to patients suffering from depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Therapeutic Goods Administration has approved the use of MDMA (ecstasy) for PTSD and psilocybin (psychoactive ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms) for hard-to-treat depression. This move, which came into effect on July 1, has put Australia at the forefront of research in this field.
## The Breakthrough
– Australian psychiatrists can now prescribe MDMA for patients with PTSD.
– Psilocybin can be given to individuals with hard-to-treat depression.
– The Therapeutic Goods Administration approved the use of these substances as medicines.
## Surprising Move
– Scientists in Australia were taken aback by the decision, which was announced in February.
– The move has put Australia at the forefront of research in this field.
## Cricket News
– Nathan Lyon, an injured Australian spinner, surprised the cricket world by batting against England in the second Ashes test at Lord’s.
– However, Lyon will miss the rest of the test due to a strained right calf.
## Women’s World Cup
– Sam Kerr and the Matildas will kick off their Women’s World Cup campaign against Ireland with over 80,000 fans in the stadium and a large TV audience in Australia.
## England’s Fightback
– England has reduced Australia’s first-innings lead from 416 to 138 runs after two days of the second Ashes test at Lord’s.
## Lack of Advancements in Mental Health Treatment
– Chris Langmead, deputy director of the Neuromedicines Discovery Centre at the Monash Institute of Pharmaceutical Sciences, highlighted the lack of progress in treating persistent mental health issues over the past 50 years.
## Global Acceptance and Legalization
– Oregon became the first U.S. state to legalize the adult use of psilocybin, and Colorado decriminalized psilocybin in 2022.
– President Joe Biden’s youngest brother recently stated in a radio interview that the president is open-minded about the benefits of psychedelics as medical treatment.
## FDA’s Breakthrough Therapy Designation
– The U.S. Food and Drug Administration designated psilocybin as a “breakthrough therapy” in 2018, expediting its development and review for treating serious conditions.
– Federal grants have been awarded to psychedelic researchers, including Johns Hopkins.
– The FDA released draft guidance for clinical trials testing psychedelic drugs as potential treatments for various medical conditions.
## Caution and Concerns
– The American Psychiatric Association has not endorsed the use of psychedelics in treatment, awaiting the FDA’s final determination.
– Medical experts worldwide, including Australia, have cautioned that more research is needed to determine the drugs’ efficacy and risks, such as hallucinations.
– Dr. Paul Liknaitzky, head of Monash University’s Clinical Psychedelic Lab, expressed concerns about inadequate evidence, incompetent clinicians, affordability, and minimal oversight.
## Unique Opportunity for Australians
– Despite the concerns, the opportunity for Australians to access these drugs for specific conditions is seen as unique.
– The excitement lies in the prospect of offering patients more suitable and tailored treatment without the constraints of clinical trials and rigid protocols.
In conclusion, Australia’s groundbreaking decision to allow psychiatrists to prescribe psychedelic substances for mental health treatment has put the country at the forefront of research in this field. While there are concerns and the need for further research, this move offers a unique opportunity for Australians to receive more personalized and effective treatment for depression and PTSD.