Magic mushrooms, or psilocybin, could soon be used to alleviate anxiety and stress for end of life patients.
Magic mushrooms, or psilocybin, could soon be used to alleviate anxiety and stress for end of life patients.

Magic mushrooms set to help end of life patients

MAGIC mushrooms could soon move from the party drug culture and into the palliative care wing of Australian hospitals with a new study set to monitor the effect of the drug's major ingredient during end of life care.

A group of 30 palliative care patients will be administered the psychoactive ingredient psilocybin in a trial to alleviate their anxiety during treatment at St Vincent's Hospital in Melbourne.

Psilocybin is a natural occurring hallucinogen that can affect "perception, mood and thought".

The trial is set to begin following a year-long battle with the ethics committee and state and federal authorities.

"I think it's fantastic this study has been able to obtain the requisite approval, there have been multiple attempts to use psychedelics which have all been knocked back," Vice President of Australia's Psychedelic Research In Science and Medicine Association Dr Stephen Bright told 9News.

"The fact that this has been able to secure approval is very encouraging."

In the trial, patients will receive a single dose of the drug and then be examined for their reaction to anxiety, fear and depression for six months.

Medical professional will monitor the patients on 'dose day' while therapists will also be made available.

Trial applicants will be screened and will require a state government permit to take the medication.

A similar trial in New York recorded most of the subjects found the experience a spiritual significant event and reported increased life satisfaction.


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