Despite its reputation as a rollercoaster ‘party’ drug, MDMA has developed a secret second life in recent years – namely as a highly effective tool for psychotherapy.
Research suggests that the drug can actually be a very useful form of treatment for people suffering certain mental illnesses; including social anxiety, couples therapy and, most particularly, post-traumatic stress disorder. In fact, MDMA has proven to be so efficient, that a leading psychotherapist has recently suggested that it will be legalised in just five years.
“We’re on track for MDMA to be approved by the FDA by 2021,” Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, revealed. “We are in a pretty good place for reaching this goal.”
Apparently, the drug is an empathogen – which means it stimulates all of the ‘love-centric’ and social areas of the brain – as anyone who's been stuck in a long toilet queue while on it will know. It is thought to help mental illness by exploring difficult thoughts in a more positive, open way. The first clinical trial for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy even showed a staggering 83 per cent of post traumatic stress sufferers were free from any symptoms after just two sessions.
“Really, it’s MDMA-assisted psychotherapy,” Doblin explained. “That’s the treatment – it’s not just the MDMA by itself. This provides a lot of extra support and safety through the whole process.”
He added: “Keeping things in control is often what’s keeping these disorders from getting healed. When someone is able to let go of their normal sense of controlling their emotions or not feeling things or pushing things down, an astonishing type of healing can take place.”
You can read the full interview with Rick Doblin on The Huffington Post.
Follow Dominique Sisley on Twitter here @dominiquesisley