Summary: KBOO Community Radio interviews MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., to discuss the history of MAPS, and clinical research into the use of MDMA as an adjunct to psychotherapy to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Originally appearing here.
3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine is also known by its initials: MDMA, though it’s better known to the public as Ecstasy. MDMA was first synthesized in the early 1900s in Germany, and began to be used in psychotherapy in the 1970s. In 1985 the Drug Enforcement Administration banned it, placing MDMA into Schedule One. A number of therapists and researchers feel that the DEA is wrong, and that the current schedule of drugs is based largely on misinformation, misunderstanding, and prejudice. One researcher who has been working for the past few decades to prove that MDMA is in fact a useful therapeutic drug is Rick Doblin. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people.
Rick Doblin, Ph.D., is the founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He received his doctorate in Public Policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, where he wrote his dissertation on the regulation of the medical uses of psychedelics and marijuana and his Master’s thesis on a survey of oncologists about smoked marijuana vs. the oral THC pill in nausea control for cancer patients. His undergraduate thesis at New College of Florida was a 25-year follow-up to the classic Good Friday Experiment, which evaluated the potential of psychedelic drugs to catalyze religious experiences. He also conducted a thirty-four year follow-up study to Timothy Leary’s Concord Prison Experiment. Rick studied with Dr. Stanislav Grof and was among the first to be certified as a Holotropic Breathwork practitioner. His professional goal is to help develop legal contexts for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana, primarily as prescription medicines but also for personal growth for otherwise healthy people, and eventually to become a legally licensed psychedelic therapist.