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Clinical study using MDMA to treat alcoholism yields promising results

Four out of four people stopped their "harmful daily drinking" after eight weeks

  • Cameron Holbrook
  • 18 July 2019
Clinical study using MDMA to treat alcoholism yields promising results

Back in April of this year, Imperial College London began clinical trials for the treatment of alcoholism through the use of MDMA-assisted therapy.

The small study conducted on four willing participants who suffered from alcoholism took place over eight weeks. Each participated in weekly hour-long therapy sessions as well as two psychotherapy sessions where they were given a 125mg dose of 99.9 per cent pure MDMA, with an optional extra 62.5mg after two hours.

The results of what is the world's first ever clinical study of MDMA to treat substance use disorderfound that all four participants had stopped their "harmful daily drinking" completely. Two of the four individuals admitted that they slipped up and had a single drink during the eight-week-long process, but the other two - a 34-year-old former heroin user and a 54-year-old mother-of-three - managed to stay completely sober.

"A weight has been lifted off my shoulders," stated one of the participants. "I haven’t felt like that for a long time. There are no nagging doubts. I’m getting my life back on track. Everything is so much clearer. It’s like a smog has been removed. I can see myself moving forward."

The study's lead author, Addictions Psychiatrist Dr. Ben Sessa, has called current treatments for alcoholism "really poor" and says MDMA's medical potential is currently being undermined pharmaceutical companies.

“The idea of taking MDMA just twice and then not having to be on SSRIs for the rest of your life is not in the interest of the pharmaceutical industry," says Sessa. "They’re not going to put money into a drug like MDMA, which then cures the patient and gets them off all their drugs.”

The researchers said they would use the study as a jumping-off point for further trials, and to devise additional studies using a placebo drug to see if the MDMA actually has an effect.

In many cases, alcoholism is often linked to depression and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Many medical professionals have found that MDMA is an impressive tool that can help cure or alleviate these mental health ailments.

It has also been suggested MDMA-assisted psychotherapy could come into play by 2021 in the United States.

Read the full report here.

Cameron is Mixmag's Jr. Editor. Follow him on Twitter

[via: Daily Mail]

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