Can MDMA ( Ecstasy) treat Post Traumatic stress disorder?


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Doctors have been experimenting the effects of Ecstasy (MDMA) on individuals suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in a South Carolina study. Rachel Hope who has suffered from PTSD since childhood, volunteered for the experiment in hopes of beating the condition. At first she underwent a therapy session after being given a Tobacco placebo that included discussion about her traumatic childhood. A few weeks later, Hope was given an actual Ecstasy pill and partook in the same therapy process. She later told researchers that she estimated about 80% of her PTSD symptoms had subsided after the Ecstasy-assisted therapy session. 
The Journal of Psychopharmacology published reports from the study that showed a similar positive result for most of the subjects. More than two-thirds of the research volunteers showed significant long-term improvement in their PSTD, and the improvements were still noticeable years after the therapy sessions were conducted. A professor from Purdue University who reviewed the experiment results believes that the MDMA's release of serotonin, dopamine, norepinephrine, and other hormones is responsible for the improvement in the subjects. What do you think about using a negatively seen drug being used to produce positive outcomes? 

2 Comments

Definitely a wild solution to a serious problem, my question was does the use of ecstasy permanently make the symptoms of PTSD go away? Or is it just while they are using the drug? I'm not sure if this is the article that you read, but I read this article: http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/03/health/ecstasy-ptsd-3/index.html
about the same Rachel Hope and in the article it answers that question. She says that while under the effects of the drug, she was able to think deeply and understand what was really causing the PTSD, and was able "rewire" her brain to move on. It goes on to say that an additional 10 percent of the symptoms dissipated on top the 80 you mentioned. While all this is great, the bottom line is that the study Rachel was in involved only 19 patients, not nearly enough to have a definitive answer.

How are they able to give their patients MDMA or ecstasy when it illegal? Despite that issue, how did they even stumble across using this drug to help with PTSD. From all of the articles I have glanced at it seems like MDMA or ecstasy puts its user into a sense of "euphoria" and an over abundance of happiness and bliss. If so, this could be why it helps relieve the unbearable symptoms of PTSD. However, there are links all over the web showing that when given ecstasy, people with combat trauma related PTSD seem to do better. This article seems to be like a prime example: http://www.cnn.com/2012/12/03/health/ecstasy-ptsd-3/index.html

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