After On Podcast: Fighting PTSD with MDMA (Part One) – Episode #48

Summary: MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., joins host Rob Reid on the After On Podcast for a discussion about psychedelic research. Part one of the two-part conversation covers a variety of topics from Doblin’s 33-plus-year journey to legally establish MDMA into the medical system, including the process of developing protocols and negotiating with the FDA for studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, as well as a detailed overview of the MDMA Therapy Training Program.

Originally appearing here.

Although his Harvard PHD is in public policy and government, Rick Doblin has been studying and/or working in the medical field since shortly after his eighteenth birthday. That is, if we define “medicine” a bit loosely during those early years – when (to quote Rick) he self-identified as a “counter-cultural, drug-using, draft-dodging criminal.”

But it was then that Rick also made a lifelong commitment to a powerful, if unorthodox approach to psychological therapy. Over the subsequent years, this approach started gaining mainstream acceptance at a slow, but ever-compounding rate.

Today, the organization Rick founded before many of you were born employs just under sixty people. Many are research scientists. And their relationship with regulators – including the FDA in the US and the EMA in Europe – verges on being a partnership. If that sounds like a bit of an exaggeration, it probably is. But you’ll hear my rationale for it in the interview, and can then be the judge.

What’s objectively true is that the molecule Rick’s group has submitted for approval has the rare and coveted status of breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA –– which is as much of a big deal as it sounds. That compound is Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. It often goes by the snappier nickname of MDMA. But it’s known to its biggest fans as Molly, or ecstasy. And thanks to Rick, it may soon become legal (or rather, partially legal) throughout much of the world.