The Guardian: A ‘raft of unanswered questions’ remain as Australia’s first psychedelic therapy clinic opens

Costing $24,000 for nine months, some experts say more evidence is needed on effectiveness of MDMA and psilocybin treatments

Australia’s first psychedelic therapy clinic opened its doors this week, charging patients $24,000 for nine months of treatment.

But even the Melbourne clinic admits there are still many unknowns about the approach.

Since July, psychiatrists have been authorised to prescribe MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy, for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder, and psilocybin, found in magic mushrooms, for treatment-resistant depression.

Australia became the world’s first country to legalise the medical use of psychedelics when the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced in February 2023 that the substances would be down scheduled, contrary to its previously stated position. In commentary published in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, some neuropsychologists and neuroscientists said they feared the decision was driven by the influence of lobby groups instead of health experts and evidence.

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