Study Uses Ecstasy to Treat PTSD

Originally appeared at A study published on Monday in the Journal of Psychopharmacology may change the way we look at the party drug ecstasy, according to a feature on The research, which was funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic studies, showed that ecstasy can potentially become a safe method of treating patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). In the military community, PTSD is an issue that merits research and discussion, especially since most of the cases of PTSD that are diagnosed come from the Armed Forces. It is one of the battle scars that cannot be seen physically, but can last a lifetime for the service member concerned, as well as the families involved. The trial involved only a small group of 20 patients, although the researchers have shared that they have been able to secure an approval that will allow them to perform the study on a larger group of military veterans. For this particular study, the patients were given eight-hour therapy sessions, which was spaced a few weeks apart. Eight of the patients were given placebo, while twelve were given a dose of ecstasy. It was observed that more patients who received ecstasy – 10 out of 12 – responded positively to the treatment, compared to only two of the eight patients who received placebo. What this seemed to indicate is that ecstasy had an effect on patients that reduced fear, which then enabled them to get more out of their therapy sessions. This finding is in keeping with the initial use of ecstasy, before it became more popular as a party drug. Psychiatrist Dr. Michael Mithoefer shared that psychiatrists and psychotherapists used ecstasy as a therapy aid. This article discusses the preliminary outcomes of the MAPS pilot study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD.