MDMA therapy for post-traumatic stress?

If there’s evidence that it works, and that evidence seems to be accumulating, the VA medical system ought to pay attention.

Given how many servicemembers are coming back from Iraq with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (tens of thousands at least), how bad PTSD can be, and how poor the prognosis often is, whoever takes over the VA medical system in January ought to look very closely at the evidence that, in skilled hands, MDMA can be an effective treatment for PTSD. Right now, the research base is thin. Doing more research ought to be the first step.

Yes, the drug warriors would have a fit. Tough. President Obama just needs to make sure his drug czar is a stand-up guy who believes in science.

Footnote Facing the concerns about the possibly neurotoxic effects of MDMA (concerns that appear to be largely spurious when considering about one or a few carefully measured doses given in clinical settings) it might make sense to start that research with veterans already experienced with the drug in non-medical settings.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com