Australia Legalizes Psilocybin and MDMA Prescriptions for Mental Health

1.4 min readPublished On: February 8th, 2023By

SYDNEY, Australia–It has been an extraordinary week in the world of mental health treatment. The province of British Columbia has recently legalized drugs, and now, in a momentous development, the Australian Federal Government has decided to allow the use of MDMA and psilocybin for the treatment of specific mental health issues. As of July 1st, licensed psychiatrists will be authorized to prescribe these psychedelic compounds as medications.

This decision was made in response to public advocacy, the efforts of the Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling, and an independent expert group that conducted a comprehensive literature evaluation and produced a report on the efficacy of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and psilocybin in treating mental, behavioral, or developmental issues.

The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) of Australia has granted permission for doctors to prescribe the following:

  • Psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression
  • MDMA for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

It is possible that these drugs have other applications, but further clinical trials are required to determine their efficacy in treating other disorders.

Psilocybin and MDMA will now be classified as controlled drugs under Schedule 8 of the Poison Standard, subject to specific criteria. This makes it possible for mental health professionals, such as psychiatrists, to obtain authorization under the Authorized Prescriber Scheme following evaluation by a human research ethics commission. In all other cases, these substances will continue to be restricted by Schedule 9.

Unfortunately, the TGA has not yet conducted a quality, safety, or effectiveness assessment on any individual MDMA or psilocybin product. However, they have included an addendum that allows the use of unauthorized medicine.

In conclusion, the TGA has published a comprehensive Q&A document, which can be found here on their official website.

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