Ecstacy used to treat troops with ptsd

Discussion in 'Current Affairs, News and Analysis' started by Thomothehun, Jul 19, 2010.

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  1. If it works then why not!

    RAVE drug ecstasy can be used to safely treat soldiers suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, new research has revealed.
    The drug, also known as MDMA, made patients less frightened in therapy sessions allowing them to open up more.

    The patients were given doses of the illegal party pill during eight hour psychotherapy sessions.

    Scientists found ten out of 12 people who took the drug no longer had symptoms that met the medical definition of PTSD.


    This was compared to just two out of eight test subjects who were given placebos in place of ecstasy.

    And the boffins have said there were NO ill effects from the use of the drug in the tests — although they will continue to look for long term effects.

    The study was carried out at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies in Santa Cruz, California.


    Psychiatrist Dr Michael Mithoefer, who led the study, said before ecstasy was used recreationally, psychiatrists and psychotherapists around the world often used it to boost therapy.

    He said the therapies for post-traumatic stress disorder involved revisiting trauma during therapy sessions and are not as effective "if the person is flooded with emotions they can't process or they have emotional 'numbing'."

    He added: "But MDMA seems to bring people into the optimal zone for therapy and seems to help them process the trauma and not be overwhelmed by feelings."

    Read more: Ecstasy pills can treat soldiers | The Sun |News
  2. Simply, the sample size is tiny and far less than that required to give a sensible answer, only 20. It's also worth taking a slightly critical look at the organisation promoting this, the Multi-disciplinary Association for Psychedelic research, who specialise in resarching banned substances. They've done quite a lot of work on LSD (somewhat unsurprisingly, given the name).

    It's certainly worth more consideration and research and I take their point about MDMA allowing people to open up, that is after all what made Ecstacy so popular in the first place. However I won't shout it as a wonder cure just yet.

    As a point of order the article DOES NOT say that troops have been treated with it, it just says people with PTSD. The troops bit is the Sun misunderstanding what this means. The vast majority of PTSD aren't troops and certainly in the UK anyone who took part who was serving in the forces would be liable under CDT to be discharged.

    It's worth pointing out as although PTSD is PTSD whatever the cause, if it had worked on veterans or serving troops the study would be shouting about it. As it isn't it's a safe bet that the volunteers weren't.

    Edited to add: I've just had a look at their website. They are planning to carry out research on veterans, and have applied to the US research authorities to allow this to happen. However there are two fairly major problems with the proposal. Firstly they're only planning to trial this with 16 veterans, meaning it'll have basically no statistical reliability, and more importantly from their point of view, and I quote, 'the study will cost $500,000. We still need to raise $475,000'. They've already been fundraising for 7mths so it isn't likely to happen soon.
  3. rampant

    rampant LE Reviewer Book Reviewer

    Jarrod, You should, if you haven't already, have a quick look at the Shulgin's works Pikhal and the followup Tikhal, though they could not be considered proper studies as such, but do make for interesting reading, as does Rick Strassman's work with DMT.
  4. udipur

    udipur LE Book Reviewer

    If I am way off the mark, then please forgive, but wasn't MDMA originally designed for shell shock anyway?

    Or need I get my coat and take myself off to the section in the Library called "Urban Myths - the truth"?
  5. Its a pschoactive chemical, why wouldn't it be considered as potentially useful in some way shape or form. Its just a pity the tags "Illegal" and "recreational" cause such a stir.

    Although you wonder why no larger/better funded organisations haven't looked at it and produced more comprehensive studies

    Do the mega-pharms like to avoid any sort of HOO HAA media or otherwise around drug development, or is it a case of...its already been invents and we don't have the licence/can't make the money off it

    Just speculating, I know feck all about therapeutic drug development. How did THC get its licencing
  6. Very suspicious of this sort of testing... been my experience that time, close family, and good friends can do wonders to ease and "cure" PTSD far better than anything else. Alchohol and narcotics just act as a form of temporary escapism rather than actually solving anything and in the long run lead to far worse problems.
  7. Has been 'trialled' in the Netherlands to create periods of 'Normality' in end phase cancer patients, don't know if it still going.
  8. Not sure about the US drug, but Nabilone which is the UK licensed drug the pro-cannabis lobby bang on about actually has nothing to do with cannabis in terms of manufacture. It's a synthetic analogue of a cannaboid, rather than THC, in the same way that methadone is a synthetic version of heroin. It's only available in a hospital setting as an anti-emetic drug of last resort when nothing else works. Normally used alongside chemotherapy for cancer.
  9. I'm going to put my anorak on for this.... no it wasn't. Merck originally developed it shortly after 1910 and it was designed as a drug to stop excessive bleeding, either post injury or post operatively, but they gave up on it shortly afterwards. The US military researched its use for this purpose (ie haemostatic properties) sometime during the mid 50's but it later re-appeared on the club scene in the 1980's as 'Adam' and then ecstacy.

    Takes anorak off again...
  10. Seem to vaguely recall that Methadone was originally called Dolophone by the German developers after Adolph directed them to design a substitute to replace low stockpiles and access to morphine during WW II

    edit to add; Dolophine name originated from Ely Lilly post war.
  11. That's correct, and heroin was so named after the 'heroic' quality of how the drug made one feel, also named by Germans.