November 27, 2022

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Alberta will become the first province in Canada to begin legalizing psychedelic-assisted treatment for psychiatric patients in 2023.

The province has announced a new amendment to the Mental Health Services Regulation to facilitate the use of psychedelics in the treatment of mental health conditions such as PTSD and depression.

The new Alberta government requirements will take effect on January 16, 2023.

Psychiatric treatments can only be performed by specially qualified persons, and the administration of these drugs is allowed only in medical facilities and clinics, except for end-of-life care.

In its latest press release, the Alberta government clarified that increasing research and data have shown the effectiveness of psychedelics such as psilocybin for treating a variety of conditions.

However, he believes that due to the extreme nature of such mind-altering treatments, they should be strictly regulated.

Psychotropic substances under the amendment include psilocybin, MDMA, ketamine, TMD, mescaline, and LSD.
“It is increasingly clear that psychedelic-assisted therapy has a lot of potential in the treatment of mental health problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. For this, we need to have high standards of care for patient safety and legality of treatment”, Minister of State for Mental Health and Addictions Mike Ellis said.
“These new quality standards create a solid foundation for the safe and effective use of psychedelic-assisted therapy.”

The province’s new requirements do not apply to clinical research trials and mental illnesses prescribed for conditions unrelated to mental health, such as cancer and chronic pain.

Patients undergoing psychedelic therapy should also be monitored by qualified healthcare professionals.

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According to the new amendment, clinics providing assisted mental health treatment must be licensed under the Mental Health Services Protection Act and must appoint a psychiatrist to act as the in-house medical director.

Only psychiatrists or doctors who have consulted a psychiatrist can prescribe psychiatric treatments to patients.

“It’s amazing that Alberta is a leader in psychedelic assisted treatment, working to ensure its citizens are protected and improve access to care,” said Dr. Robert Tanguay, a Calgary psychiatrist and co-director of the clinical program. Access dependencies.

Optimi Health Corp, the company that recently completed Canada’s first legal psilocybin mushroom harvest, praised the Alberta government.
“Yesterday, the Alberta government made an innovative and politically bold decision to regulate the use of psychedelic therapies for patients suffering from a variety of conditions that are resistant to traditional treatments,” said Phil Cipric, CEO of Optimi.
“They adopted substantial research, including the completion of a number of randomized clinical trials, showing that psilocybin (the active ingredient in ‘magic’ mushrooms), when combined with psychotherapy, is a new and emerging approach to the treatment of depression, substance use disorder and those associated with terminal diagnoses that are resistant to other treatments. A variety of mental health conditions, including severe anxiety,” Cipric added.

Other companies, such as PharmaAla Biotech, the only GMP maker of MDMA, have many questions, even if the news from Alberta is encouraging. The company also says it is pleased to assist the Alberta government in providing its products to patients.
“As a manufacturer of medical-grade MDMA in North America, we are fully committed to meeting the needs of governments looking to use this molecule to provide psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD,” said Nick Kadish, CEO of PharmAla Biotech. .
“However, there are significant questions about how the Alberta government intends to provide these molecules to patients. We are pleased to see the Alberta government taking a leadership role in regulating psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy and look forward to continuing to work to establish a safe and regulated supply.”

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Finally, Psychedelics Canada, a not-for-profit organization known as the world’s first nationwide trade association, has expressed some concern about the Alberta law.
The nonprofit says it’s troubling that regulations rely heavily on psychiatrists while avoiding others.
Well-trained healthcare professionals such as neurologists, anesthesiologists, and other qualified professionals specializing in mental health, pain, and substance abuse.
“We agree with Alberta that psychedelic medicine and therapy show incredible promise, and we stand ready to help Alberta and all other provinces and territories craft regulations that put patient safety first by ensuring legal and safe access. This will be an ongoing, science-based process in the best interest of Canadian patients,” Liam Bedard, Co-ordinator of PsyCan said.

(Rowan Dunne in Mugglehead Magazine 06/10/2022)

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