Mental Health News: The illegal drug MDMA or Ecstasy, when paired with psychotherapy dramatically improves Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) symptoms, according to the new study published in psychopharmacology.
Experts estimate that nearly 4% of all people across the globe will suffer from PTSD. It is a debilitating disorder, with a wide range of symptoms including intrusive thoughts and memories, negative thinking, hyperarousal and reactivity, lower quality of life and relationships, poor mental health and suicidal tendencies. Most people with PTSD are struggling to find effective treatment.
The drug MDMA had shown tremendous promise for PTSD treatment in earlier, smaller studies. However, researchers at University of British Columbia Okanagan campus, demonstrated that the drug is alone not a cure. They conducted clinical trials on chronic sufferers using MDMA paired with psychotherapy.
The research team compared the response of participants to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to those who received small doses or non-drug psychotherapy. Results showed a decrease in PTSD symptoms after one session. These individuals had not responded so well to prior treatments.
Patients of PTSD need MDMA treatment along with hours of psychotherapy—before, during and after the drug experience—with certified and extensively trained professionals. These findings seem promising and can be an important addition to existing treatment options. The Food and Drug Administration granted breakthrough therapy status to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and the researchers aiming for approval.
To Know More, You May Refer To:
Michael C. Mithoefer, Allison A. Feduccia, Lisa Jerome, Anne Mithoefer, Mark Wagner, Zach Walsh, Scott Hamilton, Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Amy Emerson, Rick Doblin. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of PTSD: study design and rationale for phase 3 trials based on pooled analysis of six phase 2 randomized controlled trials. Psychopharmacology, 2019; DOI: 10.1007/s00213-019-05249-5