MDMA has just scored a humongous goal in the fight toward legalization. Last week, the Drug Enforcement Administration gave the OK for a limited clinical study involving MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.
Before MDMA was banned in the ’80s, it was actually quite commonly used as an aid in therapy sessions. It helped couples to rekindle love and traumatized soldiers to regain their selves. But after the classification of MDMA as a Schedule I Narcotic in 1985, pure MDMA became less available and chemicals posing at MDMA became more common, such as ecstasy and molly – substances which may or may not have had any MDMA in them, but certainly had other non-descript and often dangerous substances.
This decision comes after a long trial period conducted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS, reached its conclusion of Phase II of its clinical trials.
In 2010, a small U.S. study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of PTSD found that 83 percent of those who had been treated while on the drug no longer showed symptoms of PTSD. The study was sponsored by MAPS. A follow-up study, published in 2012, found that most of those subjects remained symptom free and that none of them reported harm from the initial use of MDMA. The researchers said those results backed up their claim that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can have lasting effects after just a handful of treatments.
The common defense against MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is the notion that the drug will be used like a common anti-psychotic or anti-depressant would be today – taken on a strict schedule, multiple times a week. That could not be further from the truth. With assisted therapy, MDMA is used to enhance the therapeutic interactions between therapist and subject and nothing more. The patient does not go home with any MDMA, nor does the patient have access to it outside of therapy.
Another defense is that anyone can join the trials. Again, this is false. The restrictions are severe, and the trials are only open to those who have absolutely no other alternative – those who have been suffering for multiple years, those who have tried anti-psychotics or anti-depressants, those who have literally nowhere else to go. These same type of individuals were in the trials mentioned above, and still, 83% were found to no longer meet the symptomatic conditions for PTSD.
The federal government considers Schedule I drugs to be among the “most dangerous,” with no known medical benefits and the potential for “severe psychological or physical dependence.” As can be seen in the results of these studies, that is obviously false in the case of MDMA (and marijuana, as well, which also carries Schedule I classification). It’s been a long time coming that safe psychoactive and therapeutic substances were to become legal, or at least begin on the path to legalization. With these results and the ever-growing support of the medical and recreational communities, hopefully we can see the day when these drugs are lowered from the Schedule I status.
To read the whole story, visit Huffington Post.