Ecstasy can alleviate PTSD symptoms

Iran PressTV. “Ecstasy can alleviate PTSD symptoms”

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A combination of ecstasy and talk therapy is more effective than psychotherapy alone in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), a new study says.

PTSD, commonly reported after traumatic experiences such as sexual abuse, or witnessing extreme acts of violence, is characterized by disturbing flashbacks and nightmares.

Cognitive behavioral therapy and the use of drugs including paroxetine (Paxil) and sertraline (Zoloft) are commonly used in treating these patients; neither of them, however, is completely effective.

According to the study presented at the Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century meeting, adding ecstasy to traditional talk therapy can help PTSD patients cope with moderate to severe symptoms.

“We think MDMA [ecstasy or 3,4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine] gives people four to six hours…where they can process their trauma,” said lead researcher Michael Mithoefer.

The drug helps reduce the patient’s fear of being engaged in painful memories by releasing a neurotransmitter known as serotonin in the brain, the study found.

The effect of the party drug is believed to continue for years after the initial treatment, helping the patients take fewer medications after the therapeutic course.