This psychedelic drug could be approved to treat PTSD

Just as cannabis is gaining traction as a legitimate treatment option for military veterans, the US Food and Drug Administration has given the “breakthrough therapy” designation to MDMA, the main chemical in the club drug Ecstasy, for treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder.

The move appears to pave the way for a Santa Cruz, California-based advocacy group to conduct two trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for patients with severe PTSD.

The nonprofit group Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies plans to test out the strategy on 200 to 300 participants in clinical trials this spring.

Image from MAPS.org

Image from MAPS.org

“For the first time ever, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy will be evaluated in [advanced] trials for possible prescription use, with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD leading the way,” said Rick Doblin, the group’s founder and executive director.

The FDA says it doesn’t disclose the names of drugs that receive “breakthrough therapy” designation. But if a researcher or drug company chooses to release that information, they are allowed to. In this case, the Psychedelic Studies group is the researcher.

Veterans have pushed for new treatments for PTSD, which some consider the “signature” injury of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Symptoms include depression, isolation, inability to concentrate and, in the extreme, suicidal thoughts.

MDMA in pressed pill form. Image from DEA.

MDMA in pressed pill form. Image from DEA.

At present, the US Drug Enforcement Administration lists the drug as a Schedule I drug, which means there are no currently accepted medical uses and there’s a high potential for abuse.

The drug affects serotonin use in the brain.

It can cause euphoria, increased sensitivity to touch, sensual and sexual arousal, the need to be touched, and the need for stimulation.

Some unwanted psychological effects can include confusion, anxiety, depression, paranoia, sleep problems, and drug craving, according to the DEA.

Clinical studies suggest that MDMA may increase the risk of long-term problems with memory and learning.

TOP ARTICLES
This is how you fight when the waters are rising

Underwater, all the fitness in the world won't save you if you can't keep your head. But dying is dumb. Time to summon a little amphibian ambition.

One session with this trainer will make you assume the fetal position

Water Survival is so badass it's gonna take Max two episodes to get you ready to face it. This is Part 1, where he makes you feel bad about yourself.

This is what happens when a troll runs the obstacle course

Its job is to put one problem after another directly in your way. It's the o-course and your job is to run it before time runs out. Enter Max.

This is how you train for brotherhood

Our trainer will make you a leopard

There’s your enemy, right over there. And he doesn’t see you. Gotta get in him in range though. And that puts you in range. Time to get creepy.

This is what happens when you swap your workout for PT

Once upon a time you were physically fit. It was a grind, but you did it, because there was a test at the end. Good news. It's test time again.

This is how to see if you would have been drafted for Vietnam

Numbers were randomly assigned to birthdays across a given year. The lowest numbers were picked first. Would you have been drafted to go to Vietnam?

4 fictional countries America should invade

It's amazing how many movies and TV shows see countries messing with America without any repercussions. It's time for that trend to stop.

This is the laser that will take out enemy drones

This little 30 kilowatt laser packs such a mighty punch that Lockheed Martin has named her after the goddess of war: ATHENA.

The Punisher begins his Devil Dog revenge spree in new trailer

After a show-stealing turn in “Marvel’s Daredevil,” Marine veteran and human wrecking-ball Frank Castle is back with a show of his own.

THE MIGHTY SURVEY GIVE-AWAY

We want to hear your thoughts. Complete our survey for a chance to win 1 of 5 gaming consoles

COMPLETE SURVEY TO WIN