On November 20, 2012, the Journal of Psychopharmacology published online the outstanding results of our long-term follow-up of subjects who participated in our initial proof of principle study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. The long-term follow-up, conducted an average of 45 months (over 3.5 years) after MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, extends the promising results of the initial study (published in 2010) which found that 83% of those receiving MDMA-assisted psychotherapy no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis two months after treatment. The long-term follow-up showed that these remarkable benefits were, on average, sustained over time. However, several subjects did relapse and experienced a return of symptoms.
Subjects included survivors of sexual assault and abuse and a military veteran. None of these subjects had responded adequately to existing psychotherapies and drug treatments for PTSD. Subjects had suffered from PTSD for an average of over 19 years. “With such encouraging data, including evidence of long-term effectiveness after only two or three MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions, there is now no doubt that this research should be expanded to larger clinical trials,” said Dr. Michael Mithoefer, the study’s principal investigator.
The publication of these results received widespread media coverage in The New York Times, CNN, Reason, Nature, Military.com, Alternet, Stars & Stripes, Care2, and many more. “MDMA-assisted psychotherapy helped me move past that feeling of needing to be in control,” one subject reported. “I felt like me, probably for the first time. That was what I’d been looking for: the feeling that I was OK.” Download the long-term follow-up paper.