MDMA-assisted therapy in San Francisco has been given the green light.
Due to take place over the next year, psychiatrist Dr Philip Wolfson will use the drug to test its success at reducing anxiety disorders on people with cancer or other serious diseases.
Since receiving permission from the US Drug Enforcement Administration to carry out the study, Wolfson's been on the hunt for 18 patients to get involved, and he reckons ecstasy is an ideal way of combatting the effects of a life-changing diagnosis.
Saying it can be "transformationally potent" when used in a medical setting, he also said the drug works well with "deep, meaningful and rapidly effective psychotherapy".
The preliminary section of the therapy will see 13 taking part in eight-hour sessions after taking the drug, with the remaining five having a placebo capsule. It's reported that the whole project could take up to 15 months in total, with follow-up counseling and psychological testing being used to monitor the mental status of the patients.
It's also got the backing of the Food and Drug Administration, which has found MDMA to have been used safely in a scientific environment in the past.
A spokeswoman said: "If a drug works for a disabling condition and can be labeled to be used in a safe way in that population, then we think we have an obligation to evaluate the data and do what the data support, such as allow a trial to proceed."
[ Via: San Francisco Chronicle]