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Australia has passed a law that allows psychiatrists to prescribe certain psychedelic substances for patients with depression or post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). MDMA (also known as ecstasy) can be prescribed for PTSD, and psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in psychedelic mushrooms, is now legal for patients with depression that is difficult to treat. Leading Australian scientist Chris Langmead noted that, “There have been very few advancements in the treatment of persistent mental health issues over the last 50 years. This puts Australia at the forefront of research in this field. There’s excitement about the prospect of being able to offer patients more suitable and tailored treatment.”

There is also a growing cultural acceptance of psychedelic therapy in the US. Two US states, Oregon and Colorado, have already made the use of psilocybin legal. The US Food and Drug Administration designated psilocybin as a “breakthrough therapy” in 2018. This is the first step in speeding the development and review of drugs that can treat a serious condition. Some medical experts have cautioned that continued research is needed to assess any risks, but the trend is clearly toward more acceptance. 

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