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MDMA for PTSD: How Ecstasy Is Helping People with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

"If this is in fact something that can help a lot of people and we're at this stage of the research, which is at least 20 years behind where it would be if it had been guided only by science and not by politics and fears and other forces, that's really, actually, a travesty," says Michael Mithoefer, a psychiatrist and MDMA researcher.

Commonly known as ecstasy, MDMA is an empathogenic drug that was first synthesized in 1912 by Merck. The drug was mostly ignored until 1970, when people started using it recreationally. Alexander Shulgin, then at the University of California, Berkeley, became curious about the drug and synthesized his own MDMA in 1976. Over the next decade, psychotherapists in the U.S. and Europe used MDMA as a therapeutic aid. During that same period, MDMA became a popular recreational drug.

Despite its widespread reputation as an effective therapeutic tool, the DEA classified MDMA as a Schedule I drug in 1985. The following year, Rick Doblin founded the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) with the goal of developing psychedelics into legal prescription drugs. Today, MDMA is in Phase 2 FDA trials for use as a therapeutic aid for people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Reason TV spoke with MAPS founder Rick Doblin and psychiatrist Michael Mithoefer about the results so far.

Approximately 6:30 minutes.

Produced by Paul Feine and Alex Manning.

Scroll down for downloadable versions and subscribe to ReasonTV's YouTube Channel to receive notification when new material goes live

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  • The Late P Brooks||

    Better to suffer the tortures of the damned than be addicted to a chemical sense of well being.

  • timbo||

    I guess I had PTSD in college.

  • VicRattlehead||

    I second that, I still drift back into it from time to time but at least I know I am alive

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    How so? Relationships?

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    I can't remember who it was here, but a few years ago, they credited MDMA with saving their marriage.

    Awesome rave video.

  • Surly Chef||

    I can attest, anecdotally to the same positive change EDG. I'm more open. Whereas I was simply robotic before I'm now merely cold and distant. /no sarc

  • Plàya Manhattan.||

    Maybe even a little bit Surly?

  • Sudden||

    I'd suggest DMT (if you can ever find it). I'm thinking I may travel down to South America at some point in the next few years and do a genuine ayahuasca ceremony with a tribal shaman.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    MDMA is incredible. I mostly took it in the 80's before it was banned as a "designer drug".

  • methylamine||

    Absolutely agreed. My friends and I gained a great deal from our experiences with it.
    It made a vast difference for my sister, who'd been quite socially withdrawn.
    As with so many other prohibited substances, the dangers are vastly overblown. We're all highly functional adults with professional careers, children, and businesses.
    The PTB are especially desperate to squash hallucinogens and empathogens; it just wouldn't do to have the cattle's consciousness elevated!

  • Surly Chef||

    Next they'll be on the dark web using Bitcoins!?!?!

  • waffles||

    Funny you should mention that. Apparently MDMA is the most common illicit item purchased on the darknet.

  • Surly Chef||

    I believe it.

  • Surly Chef||

    It's basically not available in the states on a wide basis and is often fake. It's harder to make than Meth and to make on a production as opposed to laboratory scale is cost prohibitive. You can still find it regularly in some circles but, it's expensive. The stuff on the darknet is potent, pure and since the Postal service does the distribution very CHEAP.

  • Archie Bunker||

    35+ years to regulatory approval? Wow, the FDA is getting more efficient.

  • ||

    Look, doesn't matter if you have a drug that is a 100% guaranteed cure for PSTD - if it has a recreational use we can't allow it. Giving doctors the authority to prescribe this drug will just encourage diversion and flood our schools with illicit narcotics.

  • Surly Chef||

    Also if everyone is all touchy feely how are you gonna get them to agree to go to Crimea and start WWIII?

  • ||

    Yeah, I heard them foaming at the mouth and screeching the same shit about Zohydro on FOX news.

    That is just inhuman. May they rot in hell.

  • juliajuliee309||

    my buddy's step-sister makes $74 /hr on the internet . She has been without work for 8 months but last month her payment was $14180 just working on the internet for a few hours. site here....
    http://www.Works23.us

  • ||

    Girl, there's like 3 women on this site - and you don't want *any* of the men doing webcam shows.

  • Riven||

    I might watch that. Probably wouldn't pay for it.

  • VicRattlehead||

    So she works 44 hours a week?
    that doesnt qualify for a few hours
    that is a full time job.... do you offer obamacare?

  • bassjoe||

    MDMA and LSD were shown to have legitimate psychiatric uses (not to mention marijuana) before they were placed into Schedule I by the drug warriors. Yes, they can be abused just like how legal drugs like Valium can be abused.

  • VicRattlehead||

    I find it hard to believe LSD has a potential for abuse, most people i know to have taken it around hour 5 of their trip they are trying to fall asleep or otherwise stop the ride because they have had enough usually around 1 to 4 hours later they are out then wake up in a fog and have no desire to do much of anything other than shower and chill out, not once have i ever seen anyone want to go multiple nights on it (i'm sure they exist but must be a rare mind that can handle it)

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