Health Canada Is Now Allowing Doctors To Give Some Patients Access to Psychedelics

This includes MDMA and mushrooms!

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Health Canada Is Now Allowing Doctors To Give Some Patients Access to Psychedelics

Who knew doctors could be so chill? A recent amendment to Canada's Food and Drug Regulations means that doctors can now provide access to psychedelics like MDMA or psilocybin (magic mushrooms) to their patients.

In an email to Narcity, a spokesperson for Health Canada explained the recent rule change as being due to an "increasing interest in the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelics such as psilocybin and MDMA to treat various conditions, such as anxiety, depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder and problematic substance use."

Under the new regulations, medical practitioners can request special access to these restricted drugs through Health Canada's Special Access Program (SAP). However, access to these drugs is only available when all other options have been tried for these conditions.

The spokesperson said, "The SAP is meant to provide potential emergency access to drugs that are not available for sale in Canada for patients with serious or life-threatening conditions when conventional therapies have failed, are unsuitable or are unavailable."

So, in other words, don't go expecting your family doctor to prescribe you a wild trip for the flu.

It's also worth noting that patients cannot apply directly to get access to these types of restricted drugs.

"Only health care practitioners licensed within a province or territory who are authorized to treat patients with a prescription drug may file requests on behalf of their patients," Health Canada explained.

According to the Canada Gazette, many scientists, doctors and health care professionals see this as a step in the right direction for how Canada understands and treats mental health.

Plus, it opens up new clinical tests for these drugs that could help Canadians who are struggling with mental health issues.

Numinus Wellness, a "leader" in psychedelics-focused mental health care, said the amendment "has the potential to positively affect the lives of people experiencing serious mental health conditions when other therapies have failed, are unsuitable or are unavailable in Canada."

There is some nuance to this newly updated program, and each case will be looked at individually to figure out if these drugs would be helpful.

Health Canada noted that the psychedelics mentioned are regulated under the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act (CDSA), which means that activities such as sale, possession and production remain illegal unless they've been authorized by the agency.

This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.

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