Summary: The Outspoken Post reports on the progress of MAPS’ clinical research into treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. “MDMA treatment has allowed patients to come to terms with the painful memories which they hold inside, while releasing a new positive form of energy to combat the illness,” states Jason Walsh of The Outspoken Post.
Originally appearing here.
In recent years, medical use of marijuana has resulted in huge steps forward in the treatment of illnesses such as Alzheimer’s, depression and anxiety. So much so that many parts of the United States now have decriminalised or legalised the use of marijuana as both a medical and recreational drug. Researchers are now looking into how the benefits of marijuana were misconstrued for decades and whether any other recreational drugs can be used in the field of medicine. The latest findings suggest that MDMA, the chemical found in ‘Ecstasy’ can be used to good effect in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
MDMA wasn’t made illegal in the United States and elsewhere until 1985. Before that point, in the 1960’s and 70’s MDMA was being experimented with in labs around the world. In 1976, Alexander Shulgin, a chemist at Dow Chemical described MDMA as “an extraordinary research tool”. MDMA began to be used in therapy sessions. Patients experienced feelings of general well being, empathy and decreased anxiety. MDMA began to become popular and was recreationally used in clubs when mixed with fillers to become ‘Ecstasy’. MDMA was then reclassified as a schedule 1 drug by the DEA, despite the protests of doctors and therapists.
MDMA remains a popular drug among club goers to this day. However, the potential therapeutic use of MDMA seems promising. Recent studies have shown that MDMA can be highly successful in the treatment of PTSD. In a 20 person study in 2010, researchers found that 83% of patients who underwent MDMA assisted therapy were cured of all PTSD symptoms, compared to just 25% cured using psychotherapy alone. MDMA treatment has allowed patients to come to terms with the painful memories which they hold inside, while releasing a new positive form of energy to combat the illness.
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies are currently engaged in a $18.5 million plan to make MDMA FDA approved for medical use. If approved for medical use, MDMA will not be readily available in the same way marijuana is in some states now. It will be used solely by professionals for the well being of patients who are in desperate need of recover, scarred from the traumas of war and abuse. Recent history has shown us that the outlawing of some drugs has been politically or financially motivated. Drugs which have been proven to be safe, are considered dangerous by many. We should not be afraid to experiment with these drugs, particularly as they have the potential to heal those in pain.