MDMA, pure form of party drug ecstasy, when coupled with other therapies can help people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, says a new study.
Post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD is a type of anxiety that affects a person after experiencing a traumatic event that involved threat of injury or death.
Anti-depressants and sleep medications are often prescribed to people who suffer from this disorder. However, few researchers feel that the current treatment options aren't enough.
Researchers say that using MDMA along with other psychotherapy sessions may help people cope with PTSD.
MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine) produces feelings of increased energy, emotional warmth, distortion of time and euphoria. The drug was first patented in Germany in 1914 where it was developed to be used in controlling bleeding. In 1976, Alexander Shulgin, tested the psychoactive properties of the drug. The drug lost its value to be used as a therapeutic agent after its widespread abuse in nightclubs and "raves". The drug was banned in UK in 1977 and in the US in 1985.
A recent study conducted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies found that 83 percent of the people in the study, who were given MDMA along with psychotherapy didn't need any more therapy sessions after two months. The researchers will now be analyzing the effects of MDMA in treating 24 first-responders and military veterans with treatment-resistant PTSD.
"With such encouraging data, including evidence of long-term effectiveness after only two or three MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions, there is now no doubt that this research should be expanded to larger clinical trials," said Dr. Michael Mithoefer, the study's principal investigator in a statement.
Brad Burge spokesman for the association said that the 24 police officers, firefighters and military veterans participating in the study will be treated by the mid-2013.