Prince Harry should be ‘sacked’ claims Nigel Farage
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Prince Harry has been criticised for “wishful thinking” about the use of drugs in overcoming grief after he said he took magic mushrooms to help deal with the loss of his mother. Experts have argued the Prince is attempting to “justify his drug-taking with flimsy notions of therapeutic value” in his latest interview with CBS.
The Duke of Sussex, 38, claimed the use of substances like ayahuasca and magic mushrooms had “a way of working as a medicine” as he struggled to deal with the grief of losing his mother, Princess Diana, in 1997.
He said they “cleared the windscreen, the windshield, the misery of loss”.
Research has suggested that psychedelics – including psilocybin, the active ingredient in “shrooms” – could help people manage depression, but scientists urge people to only do so during medical trials or when specifically prescribed.
Responding to Harry’s claims, experts have argued his claims are purely based on “flimsy notions of therapeutic value” due to the fact that most of his drug usage was recreational, not medicinal.
Professor Edzard Ernst, a world-renowned expert in alternative medicines, from the University of Exeter, told the Daily Mail: “There is precious little evidence for his assumption to be true.
“More likely he is merely trying to justify his drug-taking with flimsy notions of therapeutic value.”
He added to claim taking drugs work as medicine amounts to “wishful thinking”.
Professor Andrew McIntosh, a psychiatrist at the University of Edinburgh, added to the outlet it would be “very risky” to suggest that psychedelics should be used in the health service”.
He said that while there is “early evidence” for the use of the drugs in treating depression that has not responded to at least two antidepressants at high doses over a long period of time, it is still “very much at the early research stage.”
Possession or selling of magic mushrooms, or any fungus containing psilocybin is illegal in the UK – but it remains legal to take the substances.
As class A drugs, possession carries a potential prison sentence of up to seven years, an unlimited fine, or both.
Meanwhile, supplying them can result in a life sentence, an unlimited fine, or both.
The potential for psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, to help against depression, is due to it stimulating a brain receptor called 5-HT2A in a way that induces a dreamlike state that users can later remember, as well as providing a surge of dopamine, which improves mood.
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In his interview with CBS’ Anderson Cooper, Harry described his difficulties in grieving over his mother’s death.
He revealed the only time he cried over Diana’s death was when her coffin was lowered into the ground, a fact which haunted the Prince and left him feeling like he was not responding properly to the loss.
However, he said psychedelics helped him process his own mental state, saying in the interview: “I would never recommend people to do this recreationally, but doing it with the right people if you are suffering from a huge amount of loss, grief or trauma, then these things have a way of working as a medicine.
“For me, they cleared the windscreen, the windshield, the misery of loss. They cleared away this idea that I had in my head that… I needed to cry to prove to my mother that I missed her. When in fact, all she wanted was for me to be happy.”
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