In a bizarre turn of events the Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of MDMA in a trial study in patients diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.  The trial study now in its third phase will examine the efficacy of the drug – more commonly known as Molly on the streets – in a controlled therapeutic setting.

The claims that MDMA can benefit individuals suffering from PTSD, especially veterans have been well known for quite some time.  MDMA was originally synthesized in Germany in the early 20th century as a parent compound to be used in formulations of other pharmaceuticals.  It wasn’t until the 1970s that some psychotherapists began using it as a tool in their therapy sessions with patients.  The results were promising despite in 1985 the drug being deemed a Schedule-1 controlled substance by authorities.  

It wasn’t until late 2000 that the drug was finally given the green light by the FDA to be used in its first small clinical trial.  Its use in conjunction with carefully monitored talk therapy sessions delivered astonishing results.  Its proponents claim that it can enhance communication and allow patients better insight into their troubles.  

Penicillin for the Soul?

The drug has been praised and demonized by hardcore skeptics and critics alike causing great divide in weather it should be utilized as a form of therapy.  Traumatized war veterans apparently have benefited the most from its applications.  

This would be unlike the recreational marijuana trend currently in effect at the moment.  If approved for prescription the earliest it would be available is 2021.  Furthermore if prescribed it would only be available under a controlled therapy setting once a month for a period of three months.  During these sessions the patient would then undergo talk therapy in addition with other non-drug assisted meetings.  

The claim by therapists that have reported success with using the drug say that it helps the patients better process their emotions.  This seems to result in more substantive strides in treatment for their PTSD.  

Proceed with Caution

PTSD is a serious affliction with the National Center for PTSD estimating that nearly 7-8% of Americans will develop the condition over the course of their lives.  Veterans are the highest risk for developing PTSD over any other particular group.  Current treatments for PTSD have had lackluster success with between 30-40% of its victims reporting no positive change over the duration of their conventional therapy sans MDMA.  

Although MDMA may have some encouraging results in the short term the long term implications from this kind of treatment are still unknown.  Relying on outside drug influences to help cope with PTSD can be a recipe for disaster further down the line when the drug becomes less and less effective from tolerance levels building in the body.  The best form of therapy is to get down to the root of the problem using traditional recovery methods that are designed for success over the long haul.  Drugs are never the answer no matter how attractive they may appear on the surface.