Psilocybin, the psychotropic agent in hallucinogenic mushrooms, was banned in Canada in 1974. While phased exemptions were introduced, they only affected people in palliative care or terminally ill.
Surrey resident Nathan Kruljac applied for the exemption in March with the help of Victoria-based non-profit TheraPsil. He is one of the patients who got an exemption.
year. The Minister’s decision to acknowledge my trauma and pain and allow me access to psilocybin out of compassion might be a turning point in my life, but maybe not. The choice is mine and should not be a decision taken by an administrative department of our government “,” text “:” I have been in agony for 15 years. The Minister’s decision to acknowledge my trauma and pain and allow me access to psilocybin out of compassion might be a turning point in my life, but maybe not. The choice is mine and should not be a decision taken by an administrative department of our government “}}”>I have been in pain for 15 years. The Minister’s decision to acknowledge my trauma and pain and allow me access to psilocybin out of compassion might be a turning point in my life, but maybe not. The choice is mine and should not be a decision made by an administrative department of our government., he says.
The Canadian Department of Health granted the first four exemptions to palliative care patients in August 2020, but according to Spencer Hawkswell, CEO of TheraPsil, many more are still waiting, including 15 other patients from his association.
This is a major step forward. I hope the government will continue to approve the countless remaining exemption requests from patients with cluster headaches, post-traumatic stress disorder and substance use disorders, who also deserve access. , he said.
Strengthen security of supply
According to Mr. Hawkswell, more than 81 people residing in Canada have obtained a legal exemption to obtain psilocybin, including 50 people who are sick.
Not a single one of them has been able to access a secure supply, although there are many producers in the world and in Canada., he laments.
In addition to maintaining exemptions for patients, the organization TheraPsil insists on the need to also approve exemptions for healthcare professionals and practitioners.
Exemptions for healthcare professionals are essential for therapists to complete their training […] and meet the growing demand for patients approved for this treatment option, explains Hawkswell.
In December 2020, Patty Hajdu, then Minister of Health, approved 19 exemptions for medical professionals for the purpose of experimental training. Those exemptions have since expired, and more than 120 other healthcare professionals enrolled in TheraPsil’s psilocybin therapy training program have applied for exemptions.
To think of it as a medicine in itself or a substance in itself is an incorrect way of looking at it.Mr. Hawkswell said.
It is a combination of drug therapy. So therapists must be able to administer it. Unless they have access to the substance for training purposes, it will be difficult for them to learn how to deliver therapy properly.
As the opioid crisis continues to wreak havoc in British Columbia, Hawkswell points out that further scientific research could contribute to clinical breakthroughs in the fight against all forms of addiction.
He explains that, among the patients who have access to psilocybin for end-of-life distress, many had an addiction problem. Some were taking pain relievers or drugs, others alcohol or tobacco, sometimes drugs.
In the vast majority of cases, psilocybin is incredibly effective. Almost all people quit using these substances, concludes Mr. Hawkswell.