Canada approves psychedelic mushroom treatment for people with depression
This month, Mona Strelaeff, a 67- year-old woman living in Victoria, B.C, was granted an exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act allowing her to consume shrooms to treat ongoing trauma.
November 18, 2020 / 03:41 PM IST
The Canadian government is approving the use of psychedelic mushrooms for patients who are not terminally ill, on the heels of Oregon’s decision to give people access to shrooms for therapeutic reasons.
This month, Mona Strelaeff, a 67-year-old woman living in Victoria, B.C, was granted an exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act allowing her to consume shrooms to treat ongoing trauma.
“I have struggled with anxiety, depression, and addiction for years. During my psilocybin therapy, I went deep, way back to when I was a little girl and all those things that happened to me. All the unresolved trauma, it came back and I was beyond terrified, shaking uncontrollably, and crying,” Strelaeff told VICE World News.
Strelaeff's example paves the path for more shrooms-based therapies in Canada.
Earlier in August, four terminally ill cancer patients were allowed to legally consume psychedelic mushrooms in Canada as part of their psilocybin therapy.
The move came after Health Minister Patty Hajdu provided legal consent under a Section 56 exemption to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act, which otherwise restricts the consumption of the active ingredients of mushrooms — psilocybin and psilcon.
A study published earlier this year by researchers at NYU Langone Health found that among 29 patients with cancer-related anxiety and depression who were given a single dose of psilocybin in combination with psychotherapy, about 60 to 80 percent showed clinically significant reductions in depression, anxiety and existential distress and improved attitudes toward death.
Psilocybin, the active ingredient in mushrooms, is illegal to produce, possess, and sell in Canada but is allowed to use for approved research purposes.