MDMA For Relationship Therapy?
New research suggests MDMA could be the key to helping turbulent couples work through their differences.
Go to any large club at the weekend and you are sure to see pilled-up revellers gurning away on the dance floor, sharing a laugh with strangers (new found friends), and just generally having a great time. Hell, you may even be one yourself, it is a common weekend ritual for many - MDMA is the party love drug after all, and it can make the weekend seem much more enjoyable. But this empathic drug has more uses than simply making you feel closer to your dancefloor chums as you flail around. Scientists now believe that this love and empathy could be used to bring struggling and emotionally distant couples closer together.
TAKING COUPLES TO A WHOLE NEW LEVEL WITH MDMA
It probably doesn’t sound that much of a surprise to the experienced pill-popper, but science has set out to create some hard evidence, hopefully dispelling some of the stigma that surrounds the drug, and brining it closer to mainstream therapeutic use. The research in question was recently published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, and it has come up with some pretty positive results.
"With MDMA, you get these really increased feelings of sociability and closeness with others," Matthew Kirkpatrick, one of the study's authors, had to say. "When you're on MDMA, you tend to focus on positive social-emotional stimuli, and you're less reactive to negative emotional stimuli, such as fearful or angry faces. I suspect you would see that couples would rate each other as being more emotionally responsive, they would feel closer to one another and they would engage in longer conversations about deeper topics," Kirkpatrick went on to say. "I think it could be quite useful for couples counselling."
For those of you who are interested in actually reading the research, you can view it here. For those of you who are not, but want to know what they got up to, they basically gathered 35 MDMA savvy volunteers, with whom they sat down with for 2 sessions to talk about their close relationships. In one session participants were given MDMA, in the other, a placebo.
It was found that MDMA use prompted increased instances of social and sexual word use, as well as words relating to both negative and positive emotion. Participants also spoke more freely about their future, likely a result of increased introspective thinking (the scientists hypothesised).
IT GOES BEYOND SIMPLY FEELING TALKATIVE AND FEELING GOOD
When talking about the results, lead author and scientist Dr. Matthew Baggott had the following to say: “On a psychological level, our volunteers felt more insightful and confident about their feelings while on MDMA. This seemed like a different, more unusual type of drug effect than simply being talkative and feeling good."
This is key. It shows the drug goes beyond simply relaxing volunteers, and changes the way that they think. This insight can help see things that were previously missed, and help mend bridges in a relationship that were otherwise thought burnt.
MDMA ON THE STREET
Disclaimer: We do not advocate the purchase and use of illegal street drugs; however, we are all adults here, and we all make our own decisions. As such, it is important to have the full picture, to make sure those decisions are informed.
MDMA bought on the street is actually very rarely MDMA, and when it is, it is often cut with brick dust, speed, heroin and other fillers to drive down cost. A report from the DEA stated that of all the MDMA, XTC and molly they seized, only 13% of it actually had any MDMA in. So be very careful. If you are worried about the integrity of your stash, you can get cheap and easy testing kits that will test their purity.
Either way, things are looking promising once again for the future of MDMA assisted therapy. Don’t expect to be able to go see your local therapist and ask for MDMA treatment yet, but with research like this, it could be a possibility one day in the near future.