A new international study has found MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly, can be used to help treat PTSD.
UBC researchers say the party drug ecstasy can be used to treat patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.A new international study involving researchers from UBC Okanagan has shown that MDMA, also known as ecstasy or molly, helped more than half of PTSD patients see substantial improvements over conventional treatment.The study, published in Psychopharmacology, found 54 per cent of participants no longer met PTSD criteria after two physician-monitored sessions with MDMA and that there was also improvement in their symptoms of depression.Zach Walsh, a UBC Okanagan associate professor of psychology and co-author of the report, says the study is the most comprehensive evaluation of the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD yet.“PTSD symptoms decreased after one session of MDMA together with psychotherapy,” said Walsh, in a UBC statement Thursday.
Zach Walsh is an associate professor of psychology at the University of British Columbia’s Okanagan campus.
For the study, participants who received MDMA-assisted psychotherapy were compared compared to those who received non-drug psychotherapy.Walsh said the findings are promising and indicate the needed for more studies.“Too many people with PTSD struggle to find effective treatment, and use of MDMA in a supportive environment with trained mental health professionals could be an important addition to our treatment options.”MDMA is a synthetic drug made from a combination of methylenedioxy-methamphetamine. It is a controlled, illegal drug in Canada classified as a stimulant with hallucinogenic properties.Walsh, as well as researchers from the United States, Switzerland and Israel, examined the results from six clinical trials, involving 103 people. Trial participants included men and women with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD from a wide variety of causes.Following the study, researchers now will conduct two more clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.They began enrolling participants in November 2018 and plan to have 100 to 150 volunteers across 15 sites in the US, Canada, and Israel, according to UBC.UBC says the second trial will take place after an analysis of data from the first trial. European trials are planned to start in the near future.The researchers say nearly four per cent of all people worldwide will suffer from PTSD during their lifetime.PTSD can be a debilitating disorder, with symptoms including intrusive thoughts and memories, negative effects on thinking and mood, depression, hyperarousal and reactivity, and avoidance. People with PTSD can experience much lower quality of life and relationships, related mental health conditions and suicidal firstname.lastname@example.org