Mind Medicine Australia is advocating for the use of MDMA and psilocybin, which is found in magic mushrooms, to treat people struggling with mental health issues after lockdown.

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The registered charity, which supports scientific research into psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, has called on the Australian government to offer this treatment as part of the mental health support its federal health minister has established during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Australia has recently seen a spike in people seeking help with mental health problems such as depression, stress and anxiety following the bushfire crisis, which the coronavirus pandemic is expected to exacerbate.

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MMA board member Andrew Robb said to ABC that psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is “potentially the most significant innovation in mental health we’ve seen in decades”, adding: “We would be derelict in our duty as a country if we didn’t take this opportunity to grab hold of this technology, and then see it’s introduced in a way which can potentially provide very significant benefit to many Australians.”

He noted: “When we come out of this (pandemic), there will literally be tens of thousands of people coming out the other end of this needing treatment and help,” and criticised the lack of “any major move forward in this mental health space for decades."

Trials for treating PTSD with MDMA have been successful, and researchers in London have also cited MDMA as a potential cure for alcoholism.


Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Features Editor, follow him on Twitter

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