How the party drug 'ecstasy' (MDMA) has helped traumatized veterans with PTSD
Ecstasy has long been considered a "party drug". Go to a rave and it is there. But this drug may have a more important purpose than getting people off their gourd. It might help heal some who have open psychological wounds.
I recently had the pleasure of meeting a young man in Washington who works with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). He is a veteran and explained to me how MDMA helped him with his PTSD. He had suffered terribly and he had been helped by the drug in a clinical environment.
I asked what specifically had helped him? I remember him saying something about how the sessions with the therapist were like being "licked by a thousand puppies". I laughed at the image. He did too. He told me about how MDMA helped him open up to issues with which he had to deal if he wanted to be healthy. He then told me how the Trump White House was actually pretty open to what MAPS was trying to do.
I wasn't terribly surprised. I could see Trump going for this. But with the drug warrior Sessions still at the Justice Department I was pleased to see a rare ray of sanity on the drug front in Washington. He and I shook hands and parted.
If this therapy can help veterans and perhaps others suffering from PTSD we should put trials on a fast track. It would be a shame to not help people suffering deeply just because of red tape associated with an antiquated and failed Drug War.
(From The Guardian)
In May 2012 McCourry did his first session of five, lying in bed, flanked by two therapists. At the beginning of the session he was given a 75mg dose of MDMA. “During those eight hours you’re addressing the most challenging situations in your life that typically you don’t like to think about,” he says. “It feels very exhausting, like it was some of the most work you’ve ever done in one day.”
The MDMA reduces activity in the amygdala, where fear-based emotions – such as those attached to traumatic memories – are processed. As Doblin, the executive director of Maps, says: “People are able to put things in context and build new neural pathways to these memories, which are recreated without the fear attached. One MDMA session can fundamentally reorder and rewire people’s brains.”
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