We recently reported about how ketamine could be a magic cure-all for depression, and if you’ve found one illicit substance that can provide tangible benefits for a mental illness, why not hunt for another?
MDMA, molly to all you reading, could be legal by 2021 to treat post traumatic stress disorder. Clinical testing has been underway for sometime, but the drug and the group researching the benefits are about to take a big step forward. From Inverse:
As Phase 2 of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies’ MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study comes to an end, the non-profit research and educational organization plans to meet this spring with the FDA to plan crucial Phase 3 clinical trials, which could lead to a new kind of prescription. And the application likely won’t end with PTSD. Because MDMA is known for increasing feelings of trust and compassion towards others, it’s an ideal adjunct to psychotherapy.
Inverse spoke with Brad Burge, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Director of Communications about their studies so far.
Our Phase 2 study has treated 236 people, and Phase 3 will involve 200-400 subjects from all sorts of causes across the U.S., Canada, and a lot of different countries. Phase 3 starts around 2017, and it will take four to five years to finish. So that will put it at early 2021 for FDA approval.
The group currently is treating people suffering from PTSD, using a broad range of different triggers.
So far we’ve looked at PTSD in everyone. We’ve had one trial in the long term, that’s now in the one year follow-up date with primarily veterans, as well as with police officers and fire fighters who were first responders at 9/11. So that study also involved the army, the marine, air force, all sorts of military groups who had served in Afghanistan, Iraq, Vietnam and Korea. The other major group of people were female survivors of sexual abuse or assault.
It sounds like, because of the chemical make up of the drug, MDMA is uniquely suited for PTSD treatment.
Also, MDMA has a direct effect on the amygdala that other psychedelics don’t seem to have. MDMA affects the part of the brain that’s mostly responsible for fear, the flight or fight response. With people who have PTSD, their amygdala is hyperactive. MDMA directly reduces that; we see it in MRI brain imaging. So when people are recalling their trauma in the context of a therapy session, they don’t freak out at that same level of chemical activation. I like to call it a “chemical security blanket,” because people remain self-aware even while they’re talking about their difficult state.
Sounds great! Give the whole awesome interview a read here. You’ve got five years to think up a trauma to get your prescription, so get brainstorming.
And remember, the War on Drugs is bullshit.