A new report shows that MDMA, the pure form of the party drug ecstasy, can help effectively treat post-traumatic stress disorder if coupled with psychotherapy.
The study by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, published recently in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, showed that 83 percent of participants receiving MDMA-assisted psychotherapy no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis two months after treatment.
Now, the group is now using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on 24 first-responders and military veterans with treatment-resistant PTSD.
‘With such encouraging data, including evidence of long-term effectiveness after only two or three MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions, there is now no doubt that this research should be expanded to larger clinical trials,’ the study’s principal investigator, Dr. Michael Mithoefer, said in a statement.
The 24 police officers, firefighters and military veterans participating in the newest study will be treated by the middle of 2013, MAPS spokesman Brad Burge to the military newspaper Stars and Stripes.
Eleven have already received the treatment; results have been promising so far.
Since the research helped with the progress of some of the most treatment-resistant cases of PTSD, researchers believe the treatment will be especially helpful for service members, who are typically the toughest cases due to their warrior ethos and the stigma associated with seeking treatment, Burge said.
Almost one in seven service members returning from Iraq and Afghanistan suffers from PTSD, according to the association’s website.
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs spent about $5.5 billion on PTSD disability payments to some 275,000 veterans in 2011. The cost and number of veterans suffering from PTSD is expected to rise.
MAPS is currently working on a 10 year, $15 million plan to make MDMA into an FDA-approved prescription medicine.
Stephen Willard | Elite.