Originally appearing here.
MDMA is great for when you want to stay up for ages, double your sweat-rate and de-tag every single jaw-clenching, face-biting photo of yourself on Facebook the next morning. And, according to a new study, it's also apparently very effective in therapy. Research has shown positive results from treating PTSD or bi-polar sufferers with MDMA, and scientists and researchers are hoping to put the drug to a more practical use than making two complete strangers become the best of friends in the smoking area of a club before never seeing each other ever again.
I wanted to know whether anyone would actually take MDMA as a form of treatment, if " by some small miracle " it ever became decriminalised and authorised for medical use, so I went to ask some people in London a question: Would you take MDMA for therapy?
Violet: Possibly, if it was going to help.
You'd try it?
Actually, probably not, because I don't think of it as that kind of thing. It's more for a good time rather than helping your relationships. So I guess that's my opinion, but if it helps and it's suitable for others then that's fine.
Charles: For therapy? I don't think so. I've only taken MDMA once it was super fun and I did some great stuff, but that's all. For therapy, I think it's a little too much.
What about with relationship counselling?
It's a bit excessive. MDMA's great in the way of feeling everything " it's passionate and intense " but the thing is, two hours later you can go down very quickly. So for people who aren't very stable or in the right state of mind, it's not very good stuff.
Good point, Charles.
Kat: Yes. I take it for leisure anyway, so why not take it for therapy?
You wouldn't be worried about taking it to excess?
Kat: It depends on what state I'm in. If I was already in a bad state, then I'd need it to help me if I wasn't in therapy. Apparently MDMA can help wean you off other addictions, so it's good if you're an alcoholic.
Isabella: I'd probably still take it.
Paul: Would I take what?
Simon: We don't know what it is!
Paul: Are you selling it? Actually, no, I wouldn't take it.
Do you just have a general aversion to drugs?
Yeah, with drugs.
Right. How about you Simon?
I don't know what it would do. I've got no idea how it would affect me, so I'd steer clear of it.
I don't see how it's therapeutic.
Well, they've done trials with people on bi-polar and used it for relationship counselling.
But surely it's temporary. I can't imagine it would help much in the long term. It's for fun, isn't it?
So you're completely averse to drugs in therapy?
It depends which drugs. Acid is apparently quite good " it's meant to increase your spiritual awareness.
Oh, killer, man.
James: Yes, I would.
I trained as a neuro-scientist and a chemist. Yes is probably a bit of a brash answer straight away, but they're definitely relooking at how drug use is regulated " certainly in a lab and in therapy as well.
Are you concerned about the relationship between recreation and therapy?
It's complicated, but in terms of therapy for a lot of illegal drugs, we need to relook at how we use them and carry out research. I'm nowhere near an expert, but I'm definitely against how difficult it is for scientists to actually get their hands on drugs for academic research.
Vice conducts a series of spontaneous interviews with people on the streets of London with the aim of deducing whether or not the general public is open to the idea of using MDMA as an adjunct to therapy.