Home Office chiefs urged to relax ban on magic mushrooms to tackle Covid-19 mental health crisis

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CAMPAIGNERS want the ban on magic mushrooms relaxed to help tackle Britain’s Covid-19 mental health time bomb.

Drugs experts and academics say using them as antidepressants will fight a “looming ­crisis” caused by lockdown.

Campaigners have been fighting for greater research into their benefits for years to help treat servicemen with conditions like PTSD.

They say psilocybin – the active compound in magic mushrooms – could help the third of sufferers who don’t respond well to conventional treatments.

Large-scale trials are blocked by its classification as a high-risk drug — but researchers at King’s College London and Manchester University say the evidence shows it is safe.

Tory MP Crispin Blunt says the potential benefits are “huge” but old-fashioned attitudes are holding back progress.

“All we’ve done is handicap ourselves and there’s no sensible reason,” he said.

“This could be a Christmas present to all those veterans. They’ve served their country and we’re not serving them.”

Depression affects about 1.2 million UK adults and is said to cost the economy £94billion a year.

The report was commissioned by the Adam Smith Institute think tank and the Conservative Drug Policy Reform Group.

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