Ecstasy Used in Therapy to Treat PTSD

Approximately 18 percent of U.S. soldiers returning from the Iraq and Afghan wars in the first decade of the 21st century have been diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), a condition characterized by debilitating anxiety.  New research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology investigated the safety and efficacy of MDMA, a controlled substance known on the street as “ecstasy,” for treatment of PTSD. The researchers found 58 percent of subjects experienced improved symptoms compared to placebo.

This double-blind pilot study involved 20 test subjects. To be eligible, they had to meet all the criteria for crime or war-related chronic PTSD. Their symptoms had to be moderate to severe, as well as resistant to at least three months of prior treatment with traditional PTSD drugs. The researchers split the test subjects into two groups. In the experimental group, 12 subjects underwent two 8-hour psychotherapy sessions while dosed with MDMA. In the control group, 8 subjects underwent two eight-hour psychotherapy sessions while dosed with a placebo.

To measure the outcomes, the researchers used the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS) test to assess the subjects’ symptoms before treatment, four days after treatment, and two months after treatment. At all three measured points in time, 10 of the 12 MDMA-treated patients (83 percent) showed a clinical response to the treatment, whereas only two of the eight placebo-treated patients (25 percent) did.

Furthermore, those in the placebo group were offered to be treated with MDMA after they completed the first trial and 100 percent no longer met the criteria for PTSD. An unexpected result of the study was the return of three participants to work, who were previously unable due to PTSD symptoms. Treatment with MDMA was safe, though subjects showed elevated blood pressure and body temperature while on the drug, these effects did not last.

PTSD poses a significant risk to those afflicted with it. Traditional drug therapy for PTSD effectively treats about 45 to 47 percent of the patients. Victims of the condition tend to experience much higher incidences of disability, emotional suffering, drug abuse, and suicide. The researchers suspected that MDMA might help PTSD patients because the drug is known to “decrease feelings of fear while maintaining a clear-headed, alert state of consciousness.”

This pilot study had a small sample size, so more research is required to confirm its findings. Do not, under any circumstances, self-medicate with MDMA. Effective treatment with the drug requires administration by professionals in a controlled therapeutic environment.

There are many accessible routes to treating PTSD, including medication, psychotherapy, and EMDR.

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  • Goodjob with the post, however, Ecstasy is the street version of the drug often filled with harmful additives. MDMA is the pure version which they are using in this trial. You should really clarify because someone might read this and not know the difference, inspired to go out and try something that isnt what they read about….

  • Anyone with a biochemistry background and an interest in psychopathology likely wouldn’t find those results surprising at all…

  • Not really true. Ecstasy is the street name for MDMA. The fact that Ecstasy pills are often adulterated with other chemicals is neither here nor there. In theory, ecstasy pills should be pure MDMA

  • Actually the ‘street name’ for MDMA is ‘Molly’… Ecstasy is not marketed as pure MDMA, that’s why there had to be another name: hence Molly.

  • MDMA increases seratonin levels when people take it. It isn’t rocket science that a happier person is less anxious & more confident. The problem comes in with administering this drug in a safe dose because the more anyone floods their brains with synthetic seratonin, the less we are able to produce it ourselves. They must still tread with caution & make sure to consider this .. we don’t need more of the half assed, plethora of pharmaceuticals we already see the majority of the population doped up on.

  • Well, anything in pill form is gonna be less than pure, since it has to have binders to hold it together. Molly is the street term for supposedly pure powder. has results of lab testing of street ecstasy pills, and sells testing kits to help weed out adulterated pills.

  • great experiment however, appreciated that controlled medicinal therapies are developed here, but what about long term effects and the coherency in these results and the longetivity of such “healing”

  • perhaps Dwhaatever is referring to the Amphetamines and other drugs given to soldiers in the combat zone to keep them aggressive, alert and ready to fight.

  • No dumbass, stop trying to be smart and tell people off, the street drug Molly is the pure MDMA it is powder form which you snort or parachute, but Ecstasy is always ALWAYS mixed with either opiates or methamphetamines….

  • MDMA was used effectively in the 1970”s and 80s,for therapy it was phapmaceutical grade.  Street ecstasy is cut with opiates, cocaine etc.. side effects such as jaw clenching etc.. are the results of the addditional substances.  Obviously there is a potential for misuse as is anything mind altering.  However many of these grow in nature for medicinal purposes.  marijuana, mushrooms etc.  The native americans use peyote to heal.  As long as these potentially harmful substances are used with wisdom and care, they can be very effective.. 

  • i know im going onand on…But there are so many elements we still have no clue about…and when i was 14 i took acid.  i was taking an algebra test.  I had not paid any attention to it all year and was getting horrible grades.  The acid hit me much more strongly and quickly than i thought.  anyway i suddenly understood algebra perfectly.  i know acid is a man made substance but some drugs can allow us to access parts of our brain of which most of us can only use in moderate percentages..

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