As more studies demonstrate the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics, these substances should become more prevalent in society.. The question, as Dr. Farrah Jarral wrote in The Guardian, is how we want them to arrive: “Riding a bubble of hype, sold at a premium price by unqualified wellness gurus? Or, as Australia has decided, initially in a clinical setting with well-established ethical frameworks and long-term follow-up, supervised by professionals with the knowledge and experience to deal with unexpected or adverse outcomes?
In an article for the British newspaper, Jarral highlighted that there are already several clinical trials demonstrating that two doses of psilocybin in an appropriate setting, accompanied by psychotherapy, may be sufficient to produce positive results in the improvement of depression. “The studies may be small and imperfect so far – there are larger trials underway – but the initial results are encouraging,” she points out.
Starting in July, patients suffering from treatment-resistant depression in Australia will be able to legally access psilocybin treatment. This is the first federal authorization for the use of the substance in the world. According to Jarral, we should pay attention to how the process will develop. “Introducing the more widespread use of psychedelics in a sober, scientifically informed, and ethically rigorous way minimizes the risk of a suffocating backlash that could close their potential use in combating the mental health crisis,” she wrote. “Some may want to see relaxed substance restrictions beyond strictly medical environments, but as a society, we have to start somewhere.”
As the doctor reminds us, perhaps in the near future, substances like psilocybin may be purchased at the pharmacy without the need for a prescription, since not every illness requires a doctor. “For now, it would be good to follow Australia’s lead: open the clinic door to magic mushrooms and invite them politely to come in,” she concludes.