The first published results for MDMA-assisted therapy in the treatment of Post-Traumatic Stress disorder are now in, and they’re eye-opening.
It’s only a 20-patient pilot study, and MDMA functions as an adjunct to therapy, not as a pure phamacological agent such as an SSRI or an anti-psychotic, raising the question about whether the results would generalize to other therapists.
Still, in a patient group with a median of 19 years of treatment-refractory post-traumatic stress disorder, getting 10 out of 12 of them to the point where they no longer meet diagnostic criteria constitutes an unprecedented success rate. Given the PTSD burden from Iraq and Afghanistan, this research – long blocked due to prejudice against MDMA (the active agent in street “ecstasy”) – now deserves a move to the front burner. It shouldn’t need to rely on private contributions, and it should be free of petty bureaucratic harassment and foot-dragging.
It should also be free of the hypervigilance of Institutional Review Boards. The notion that someone needs to be in a hospital for 24 hours after a single controlled dose of MDMA is flat-out absurd. And there’s simply no evidence of neurotoxic effects at the dosages and frequencies involved.