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Alberta to Regulate Psychedelic-Assisted Therapy

By Leo Bear-McGuinness

Published: Oct 07, 2022   
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Alberta will become the first province in Canada to regulate psychedelic-assisted therapy.

In a notice published on Wednesday, October 5, the region’s government announced it had amended its Mental Health Services Protection regulations to include new policies on psychedelic-assisted therapy. These requirements will come into effect on January 16, 2023.

Under the new amendments, “only a psychiatrist or a physician in consultation with a psychiatrist can prescribe a psychedelic drug for the purposes of treating a psychiatric disorder, unless the drug is ketamine provided outside of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy.”

Other than for such ketamine-related reasons, psychiatrists will only be allowed to conduct psychedelic therapy in Alberta if they apply for a license under the Mental Health Services Protection Act.

Among other requirements, staff at a psycho-therapy clinic must supervise the patients while they are in an altered mental state and report any severe injuries or deaths immediately to the government.

Although psychedelics drugs like psilocybin, LSD, and ketamine are illegal in Canada, doctors and researchers can apply to Health Canada to use them in clinical trials or for therapeutic purposes. This request process was streamlined earlier this year following an amendment to Health Canada’s Special Access Program.


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