The Headlines: MDMA and Psilocybin Will Soon Be Mental Health Meds in Australia

Why MDMA and Psilocybin Will Be Reclassified

In a huge move for Australia, medicines containing MDMA and psilocybin will soon be legal. MDMA can be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, and psilocybin can be used to support those with treatment-resistant depression. 

This decision is thanks to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) changing its stance on these drugs. 

“The decision acknowledges the current lack of options for patients with specific treatment-resistant mental illnesses,” said the TGA in a statement.

“It means that psilocybin and MDMA can be used therapeutically in a controlled medical setting. However, patients may be vulnerable during psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, requiring controls to protect these patients.”

The TGA also expressed that this change will come into effect on July 1, 2023.

This decision has been welcomed by some folks in the medical community. This includes the likes of Vinay Lakra, the President of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists. 

“We need to take some baby steps rather than one giant leap,” said Lakra.

“So this is a baby step in the right direction, and what it does is allow us to do things in an appropriately safe way for everyone… And if necessary, take a step back as well.”

China and America: Spy Balloon vs Weather Balloon

Over the weekend, America used an F-22 jet fighter to shoot down a Chinese balloon. This balloon was flying over the South Carolina coast.

“This was a PRC (People’s Republic of China) surveillance balloon. This surveillance balloon purposely traversed the United States and Canada, and we are confident it was seeking to monitor sensitive military sites,” said one senior US administrator.

Moreover, this administrator said that a second spy balloon was recently floating above both Central and South America.

“Both balloons also carry surveillance equipment not usually associated with standard meteorological activities or civilian research,” said the official. “Collection pod equipment and solar panels located on the metal truss suspended below the balloon are a prominent feature of both balloons.”

Meanwhile, China has claimed that this piece of equipment was a weather balloon. 

China’s Defense Ministry’s Spokesperson, Tan Kefei, said, “The US used force to attack our civilian unmanned airship, which is an obvious overreaction. We express solemn protest against this move by the US side.”

Additionally, a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement said, “The Chinese side has repeatedly informed the US side after verification that the airship is for civilian use and entered the US due to force majeure: It was completely an accident.”

“China clearly asked the US to handle it properly in a calm, professional, and restrained manner. A spokesman for the US Department of Defense also stated that the balloon will not pose a military or personal threat to ground personnel.”

Related: Unpacking Penny Wong’s Historic Trip to China

Related: Why Albanese and Jinping’s G20 Meeting Could Alter Australia

The 10/10 Bush-to-Beach Program Helping Kids

For the first time since COVID and some awful floods, a NSW bush-to-beach programme is back on. This program brings First Nations kids from Brewarrina to South Narrabeen in Northern Sydney. Once there, the kids learn how to surf, snorkel, perform CPR, and safely swim at the beach.

“My town is small, but here it’s big,” said a nine-year-old named Hazel. “We don’t have a beach.” 

“I went snorkelling, and I saw a turtle, a hermit crab, and a couple of fish.”

Read more stories from The Latch and subscribe to our email newsletter.