MDMA On The Way To Becoming A Prescription Drug
MDMA takes one step closer to becoming a prescription drug in the US, as a group of scientists meet with the FDA to seek its approval for therapeutic use. MDMA has recently made a resurgence in the medical research field, with multiple studies being carried out to test effects on people with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), as well as other ailments. If approved, MDMA becoming a prescription drug has the potential to change the lives and wellbeing of millions.
Research is currently being undertaken by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) to see if the drug can successfully treat patients with PTSD, a condition that affects people who have been through traumatic and difficult life situations. It is a crippling condition with symptoms such as anxiety and stress, often affecting their overall quality of life, making it problematic to function within society at times. It is an area that has not seen much research in recent years, with many doctors and therapists quickly resorting to prescribing antidepressants as a treatment for PTSD, instead of looking at other avenues of treatment.
CHANGE ON THE HORIZON
However, there are organisations out there looking for a better way, even in the face of controversy. Successful trials undertaken by MAPS have shown MDMA can help people with their symptoms. MDMA gives the user a boosted sense of compassion and trust, which allows them to be much more open with other people, and gives them a feeling of being more in tune with themselves. It is a combination that can only be beneficial when receiving therapy and treatment. Brad Burge, director of communications for MAPS explains, “When people are recalling their trauma in the context of a therapy session, they don’t freak out. I like to call it a ‘chemical security blanket,’ because people remain self-aware even while they’re talking about their difficult state.”
With the trials continuing, MAPS hopes to get approval for the mainstream medical use of MDMA by 2021, and are actively working with the FDA to achieve it. But why pick MDMA over hallucinogens like magic mushrooms – which are also showing to be promising in the treatment of PTSD? The answer is simple. When people take the drug, they tend to stay a lot more grounded - as it does not produce any strong hallucinogenic or visual effects, but allows the user to become more empathetic and aware of their feelings. MDMA directly affects the part of the brain mostly responsible for fear, known as the amygdala. For people suffering from PTSD, their amygdala is hyperactive and using MDMA can directly reduce this.
The use of MDMA doesn’t just end with PTSD patients; MAPS is also researching the effects of using the drug on patients with life-threatening illnesses, as well as people with autism to see if it can benefit them in their daily lives.
Written by: Josh
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