September 25, 2017 3:50 pm
Updated: September 25, 2017 3:53 pm

Psychedelic drug therapies hold great promise, need more research funding: scientists

** FOR RELEASE FRIDAY, APRIL 23 **In this April 13, 2010 photo, A gram of psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, is seen on a scale at New York University in New York.

AP Photo/Seth Wenig

OTTAWA – Health Minister Ginette Petitpas Taylor is being urged to support broad research for the use of psychedelic drugs for medical treatments.

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Canadian researchers say psychedelic therapies have shown clear scientific promise for treating mental health conditions including post-traumatic stress, end-of-life anxiety and addiction.

Mark Haden, an adjunct professor at the University of British Columbia, says there is a “psychedelic renaissance” underway in the research community, adding it is pressing for Ottawa to look at funding science into alternative therapies for patients.

READ MORE: ‘Party drug’ MDMA touted as breakthrough therapy for PTSD patients

Haden and other researchers support a House of Commons petition, sponsored by Liberal MP Nathaniel Erskine-Smith, calling for the minister to explore multi-year funding on psychedelic research projects at hospitals and universities.

Erskine-Smith says it is important to explore treatments that could help Canadians suffering from mental health issues.

WATCH: Could LSD, magic mushrooms curb domestic violence? Research finds ‘calming’ effect

A spokesperson for Petitpas Taylor says the Canadian Institutes of Health Research previously authorized a clinical trial involving MDMA – a psychedelic substance commonly known as ecstasy.

© 2017 The Canadian Press

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