21.7 C
Byron Shire
January 26, 2022

Psychedelic medical trials to begin

Latest News

Man charged following pursuit – Far North Coast

A man has been charged with driving offences following a police pursuit in the state’s far north.

Other News


Mick woke up this morning to a great epiphany. So, we’ve decided to forget all our activism, we’re going...

$2m upgrade for Kyogle CBD

Kyogle's town centre is going to get a $2.048m facelift, local MP Kevin Hogan has announced.

Taxi stolen at knifepoint in Tweed Heads

An investigation is underway after a taxi driver had his cab stolen at knifepoint at Tweed Heads.

Entertainment in the Byron Shire for the week beginning 26 January, 2022

There's still loads of stuff on in the Byron Shire and beyond

Reform needed to deliver electric trucks in Australia

With the aim of getting more electric-powered trucks on Australian roads, the Electric Vehicle Council and the Australian Trucking Association have collaborated to develop the policies necessary to drive Australian trucking into an electric future.

Editorial: Dear Committee Secretariat

The federal Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts has commenced a new inquiry into Australia’s regional newspapers (print...

Wild magic mushrooms

A new clinical trial exploring the impact of psychedelic medicines on brain activity has come a step closer to fruition, after being partially funded and granted ethics approval.

The trial, expected to commence later this year, will see up to 200 participants receive a single medical dose of either MDMA or psilocybin.

The primary purpose of the project is to determine whether there are any changes in brain activity (as measured by electroencephalography) following exposure to either medical grade MDMA or medical grade psilocybin. 

MDMA Crystals/WikiMedia Commons

A secondary aim of the trial is to assess potential changes in mood, personality, beliefs and social engagement following exposure to these substances that might relate to neural changes.

Professor Paul Fitzgerald, one of the trial’s two principal investigators, said, ‘The results of this study will inform us as to whether these substances have an effect on brain activity related to cognitive and emotional processes, which continues after the medicine session, and may also provide information that can help explain how these substances have their clinical effects’.

Mind Medicine Australia (MMA) announced this week that it will partially fund the project, and that the trial has just received human research ethics approval.

‘There is a desperate need for innovation in the mental health sector, and these treatments have achieved outstanding results in overseas trials after just two to three sessions, in combination with a short course of psychotherapy,’ MMA Executive Director, Tania de Jong, said.

‘We now have the potential to help people suffering from major classes of mental illness such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder and potentially anorexia and other eating disorders, OCD, dementia and a range of addictions.’ 

Participants in the trial must have completed training in psychedelic assisted therapy to take part.

They will take the medicines in small groups supported by therapists and a medical practitioner. 

There is evidence to suggest that psilocybin assisted psychotherapy can help in the treatment of depression, and that MDMA assisted psychotherapy can be effective in treating post-traumatic stress disorder when used in medically controlled environments. 

Mental illness

According to the Productivity Commission, one in five Australians had a mental illness before the current COVID pandemic. 

One in eight Australians (including one in four older people) were on antidepressants (an increase of 95 per cent over 15 years). 

There is evidence that these numbers have risen significantly as a consequence of the pandemic.

Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.


  1. “One very small step for man”
    Somebody should tell these poor unfortunates that these trials were well and truly carried out Fifty Years ago.
    They were probably too young for the Aquarius Festival but they could ask their mums.
    I doubt if there are many on the Far North Coast without personal and long-lasting benefits from large doses of the revered and magical goldtop mushies.
    Next thing you know they will realise THC is better and far safer than tobacco and alcohol, and has been well and truly tested for at least seven thousand years, and proven to have a myriad of beneficial applications. Though smoking anything is not to be recommended which is why the ‘good Lord’ invented eating.
    Cheers, G”)


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

More government support needed for nurses

What would it take to keep our nurses and paramedics from resigning en masse as the current crisis in the NSW health care system worsens?

Aboriginal Tent Embassy 1972–2022 – the power of patience

The Aboriginal Tent Embassy was established on the lawns opposite Old Parliament House on 26 January 1972. Four First Nations men sat beneath a beach umbrella protesting the government’s attitude towards Indigenous land rights.

Mandy Nolan’s Soapbox: Listening to the truth tellers

A long time ago my husband had to attend a meeting in Redfern. He works in the health and academic sector and it was a consultation with some First Nations clinicians and community workers. He arrived a little earlier for the meeting to the centre – not your typical clinical setting but a regular house. On arrival he was greeted by an older woman who led him to a table and offered him a cup of tea. They chatted. Had a laugh. She offered him a biscuit.

Lennox Head forge ahead across four grades in local cricket

Local cricket is approaching the midway point of the 2021–22 season and sees Lennox Head playing strongly across all four senior grades.