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Trial finds that ecstasy could effectively treat PTSD

The drug could be approved medicinally by 2023

  • Gemma Ross
  • 14 May 2021
Trial finds that ecstasy could effectively treat PTSD

A new study has found that patients with post-traumatic stress disorder could see a relief of symptoms within weeks if treated with MDMA.

New York-based organisation Mind Medicine has conducted a trial to test the likelihood of ecstasy being used medicinally, giving patients the party drug before counselling and therapy sessions.

90 participants took part in the trial, half of which were given the drug while the other half received a placebo, neither group knowing which they had taken. The study found that two-thirds of patients who took MDMA no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis two months after the trial.

Read this next: We went undercover in a Chinese MDMA factory

32% of the people given the placebo went into remission after the trial, researchers found. While only two medical studies have been completed, both gave positive results toward MDMA being used medicinally in the future.

A third trial is currently underway, and could potentially be approved by 2023 if given the green light.

Jennifer Mitchell, neurologist from the University of California who led the trial, stated: “People with the most difficult-to-treat diagnoses, often considered intractable, respond just as well to this novel treatment as other study participants. In fact, participants diagnosed with the dissociative subtype of PTSD experienced a greater reduction in symptoms than those without the dissociative subtype.”

Read this next: Ecstasy island: How MDMA reached the UK in 1988

Mind Medicine Australia has also conducted a recent study on the drug treating mental health issues such as depression, stress and anxiety. The charity has called on the Australian government to begin using both MDMA and psychoactive drug psilocybin on patients.

Another study has shown that MDMA could potentially be comedown-free despite its mood-dropping reputation. Dr. Ben Sessa, researcher and psychiatrist stated that it didn’t give users a lack of serotonin, but was more “an artefact of sleep loss, excessive exercise and concomitant drug use.”

Gemma Ross is Mixmag's Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

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