Psychedelics just may be what the mental health field needed to finally develop safe, effective and long-lasting treatments for patients with mental disorders. After decades of criminalization, territories around the world are loosening their psychedelic policies and making it possible for scientists to study the potential medical applications of these substances.
Most of this early research has delivered extremely promising results with researchers from around the world finding that several psychedelics can treat disorders such as post-traumatic stress disorder, treatment-resistant depression, anxiety and eating disorders. Lawmakers are now working to expand psychedelic policies and give researchers more room to study psychedelics with minimal financial and regulatory barriers.
Last week, the EU parliament announced the launch of a new entity that would be focused on advancing the nascent field of medical psychedelics in the EU. The announcement was made by the Psychedelic Access and Research European Alliance (PAREA) after members of the European Parliament met in France during the Mental Health Week in Europe. Tadeusz Hawrot, the founder of PAREA, attended the launch of the group. He said that its “ultimate goal” is to revolutionize mental health care on the continent.
According to the psychedelic organization, the World Economic Forum’s Global Risk Report has pointed out deteriorating mental health as an extreme risk to modern societies and economies. Data from the World Health Organization (WHO) shows that more than 150 million people in the EU are afflicted with at least one mental health condition. Furthermore, only one in three people in the region who have depression are currently receiving the treatment they need to manage the condition.
On a global scale, a whopping 970 million people are grappling with either mental illness or drug abuse and around 8 million lose their lives each year to mental disorders. The world is desperately in need of alternative mental health treatments that are safe to use and can offer relief over the long term.
Portugal MEP Sata Cerdas said at last week’s meeting in France that bringing MEPs from across the political spectrum together would help the EU develop “sound policies and regulations” that would significantly increase access to “affordable and safe novel psychedelic-assisted treatments” in the European Union.
The Action Group will be in charge of advancing research into psychedelic-based treatments and medicines as well as promoting drug policies that rely on scientific evidence and human rights.
It would also be responsible for systematically removing the barriers that make psychedelic research too costly or inaccessible to interested researchers and providing guidance to the European Parliament.
The EU is looking to play catch up to jurisdictions that have allowed the likes of Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) to conduct research and commercialize psychedelics treatments. Only time will tell to what extent they succeed.
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