Calgary-based ATMA Journey Centers has launched one of the first psychedelic training programs for physicians and health professionals in Alberta.
On Tuesday, the psychedelic therapy company said the training course being offered this year is inspired by Alberta’s new legal framework and an inherent need to educate more healthcare professionals on proper protocols for the use of the substances.
The course will cover topics such as ethics, consent, dosage, integration and an overview of the various types of medicine. According to the company, only a handful of physicians and psychiatrists in the country have proper clinical experience working with substances like MDMA or psilocybin.
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ATMA’s chief medical officer says that having an in-depth understanding of psychedelics and their therapeutic effects is of the utmost importance for the role doctors are being requested to play in Alberta’s psychedelic therapy framework.
“There are just a handful of physicians and psychiatrists across Canada that have had clinical experience working with psilocybin or MDMA, medicines which can be night and day from, for instance, ketamine,” said Ravi Bains, ATMA’s Chief Medical Officer.
As of January 16, Alberta adopted a series of regulations, guidelines and rules for providing psychedelic-assisted therapy in the province. Offering therapy involving the use of substances like psilocybin or MDMA will require a license under the province’s Mental Health Services Protection Act.
Administration of psychedelic therapies is now only permitted in medical facilities or clinics in Alberta, with the exception of end-of-life care.
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“Alberta regulations clearly state the need for education and training of all practitioners involved in the psychedelic-assisted therapy framework, including physicians and psychiatrists, and ATMA is excited to be a top training provider to support this regulatory framework,” said David Harder, Founder of ATMA.
“We believe physicians and prescribers need a thorough understanding of these medicines as more patients will come to them asking questions and wanting to be referred for these treatments.”
Registration for the Physicians and Prescribers Psychedelic Therapy Training Program is now open with the first course beginning this April. ATMA also says the program is eligible for Continuing Medical Education credits.
Other psychedelic-assisted therapy training programs in Canada are currently being offered by organizations such as TheraPsil and Vancouver Island University.