In World First, MDMA Will Be Used To Treat Alcohol Addiction In Clinical Trial
Scientists in the UK are preparing to carry out the world’s first clinical trial on potential therapeutic effects such as MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, could have on those who take advantage of alcohol dependence.
Researchers at Imperial College London announced they had obtained ethical approval for a small trial of MDMA people with alcohol in the city of Bristol, The Guardian said last week. In the study, 20 patients – who are heavy drinkers whose prior treatment for non-alcoholism – will undergo psychotherapy sessions under the influence of 99.99% pure MDMA.
MDMA is an empathogenic or drug known to produce feelings of love, empathy and social connection. Researchers presume that this effect could help people with alcohol dependence to make greater use of psychotherapy sessions.
“It is the use of medications to enhance the relationship between the therapist and the patient, and this allows us to dig into the heart of the problems that lead to mental illness in the long run,” said Ben Sessa, clinical psychiatrist involved in the trial, Told The Guardian.
Previous clinical studies have shown that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy may be effective in treating trauma and anxiety. In a small study conducted in 2010, more than 80 percent of patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder have stopped having symptoms of the disease after two treatment sessions after the use of supervised MDMA.
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy may be effective in helping people with autism who suffer from social anxiety, preliminary results suggest in a recent study. Compared with placebo, participants who took MDMA before going to therapy saw a “marked decrease in anxiety” after two sessions, according to Discover magazine.
In a 2015 interview with HuffPost, Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, an organization dedicated to raising awareness and supporting research on psychedelic drugs for medical use, explained that MDMA can help traumatized patients .
There is a misconception that these drugs are dangerous because they are losing control of people, he said.
“But, in fact, we see that to keep things in control is often what prevents these disorders from healing,” said M. Doblin. “When someone is able to let go in their normal direction to control their emotions and not to feel things or take things, as an amazing healing can take place.”