Could MDMA Help Treat PTSD?

12.27.12 Andy Cush

A study sponsored by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies found that MDMA can be an effective short- and long-term treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder when used in combination with psychotherapy, and does not lead patients to drug abuse or loss of memory or concentration. The study was a  follow-up to research published last year, which found MDMA to be effective in the short-term, but wasn’t able to assess long-term effectiveness and side-effects.

Three years after the initial treatment, which included no more than three doses of MDMA, patients tended to have reduced PTSD symptoms, with no signs of drug abuse related to the research. The study’s authors are hopeful, but recognize the need for more research before MDMA could be considered as a mainstream medication option.

“The majority of these subjects with previously severe PTSD who were unresponsive to existing treatments had symptomatic relief provided by MDMA-assisted psychotherapy that persisted over time, with no subjects reporting harm from participation in the study,” wrote the authors. “Should further research validate our initial findings, we predict that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy will become an important treatment option for this very challenging clinical and public health problem.”

(Photo: boodoo/Flickr)