Medical treatment can come in all different forms. Canadian psychedelic research has led to some people dealing with terminal cancer being able to access otherwise illicit substances. Four people were recently given exemptions for this type of treatment.

In an August 4 news release, TheraPsil, a non-profit made up of healthcare professionals, patients, and others who advocate for the use of psilocybin-assisted therapy in Canada, announced that four people dealing with terminal cancer were being allowed by the government to use the drug during their treatment.

Psilocybin is the active hallucinogenic component in magic mushrooms. 

Health Canada's website says that the substance has been used to "treat various conditions such as anxiety, depression, obsessive compulsive disorder and problematic drug use."

They also note that there are no approved products containing psilocybin available for medical use in the country.

TheraPsil says that the four patients in question are the first publicly-known group to be given an exemption to use the substance for medical purposes and the first to legally use it since it became illegal in 1974.

The group notes that they had waited for 100 days to get a response from Health Canada and the Office of Controlled Substances.

"This is the positive result that is possible when good people show genuine compassion" Thomas Hartle, one of the exempted patients, said in a statement.

"I’m so grateful that I can move forward with the next step of healing."

Laurie Brooks is another patient that was granted access to psilocybin-based therapy. She expressed her gratitude to Health Canada and Minister of Health Patty Hajdu.

"I hope this is just the beginning and that soon all Canadians will be able to access psilocybin, for therapeutic use, to help with the pain they are experiencing, without having to petition the government for months to gain permission," she said.

TheraPsil urges any Canadians who are interested in an exemption for psilocybin therapy to contact them confidentially through their website.

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