Canada’s Health Minister Patter Hajdu recently stated that the country would allow some health-care professionals to both consume and possess psilocybin mushrooms. The aim of this move is to provide a way that health-care professionals can better understand and recognize how to treat the increasing number of patients who have been allowed to use the psychedelic.
This is the health ministry’s first public response to the psilocybin-use pending applications by therapists. Over the summer, the health ministry allowed a limited number of patients to use psilocybin mushrooms as part of their psychotherapy in their end-of-life care. However, ministry of health officials had not, at the time, announced whether they would approve similar requests made by therapists.
The health minister stated that she was happy that Health Canada had awarded exemptions to a number of health-care professionals who wanted to consume and possess psychedelic mushrooms. She explained that while the move may be viewed as controversial by some, the doctors who prescribe this therapy wanted to better comprehend what the treatment felt like and the best ways to use the treatment to help patients who are struggling.
The ministry of health office in Canada has the ability to award exemptions that provide people with immunity from Canada’s controlled substances legislations. More than 12 other exemptions have been awarded since August when Health Canada approved the request of four terminally ill cancer patients to use psilocybin legally in their end-of-life care. Earlier in October, the body gave the green light to a nonterminal patient who wanted approval to be allowed to use psilocybin to remedy unresolved trauma.
TheraPsil is a not-for-profit group dedicated to acquiring legal access to psilocybin therapy for Canadians. The Victoria-based group has backed psilocybin applications of end-of-life care patients as well as helped the patient with trauma mentioned above secure approval for their applications. The therapist exemptions that were approved by Health Canada were applied for therapists by TheraPsil earlier this year.
In a press release released soon after the announcement, TheraPsil noted that 17 health-care professionals had been granted exemptions so far. Additionally, the statement announced that the group was also trying to raise $250,000, which would be used to fund a training program for the practitioners.
TheraPsil CEO Spencer Hawkswell stated that the group was grateful to the Minister of Health Patty Hajdu, adding that training would be required in order to explore the problems of patient access. Training would also be essential to help meet patient demand.
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