MDMA for PTSD?
Is it true that MDMA can be used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder? Yes, and it’s strikingly successful. This finding comes to us from newly published results of a Phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The results showed that 76 percent of subjects no longer displayed symptoms for clinical PTSD just 12 months after treatment. What an exciting time to be alive!
Conducted in Boulder, Colorado, the trial consisted of 28 subjects all with clinically diagnosed PTSD. Their conditions persisted for almost 30 years, despite attempts with drug treatment and psychotherapy. Here is how the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy works: 8 hour days, 40 hours of integrative therapy, three MDMA sessions, all three to five weeks apart. The third session evaluated any long-term responses that needed improvement.
The Clinician Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-IV), the current best standard for PTSD assessment measured responses during the trial. On average, CAPS-IV scores reached 92 for each participant. At the 12 month follow-up after the final MDMA session, the average score came in just under 31.
Such remarkable results definitely bode well for this treatment being used in the long run. We couldn’t imagine any other way to go about it. It’s quite impressive how a few sessions can bring a drug back to clinical credibility when it has been recreational taboo. Following up is key to any trial as the results need to be solidified. As members of the festival scene, I think we can all agree to this kind of treatment being preferable. It’s about helping someone, not just having fun.
An expansive Phase 3 Trial tried to gain more FDA-approval. Those trials knocked off just this past September, with a slight delay in production and containing the drug. 200 to 300 subjects across 16 different sites in the US, Canada and Israel participated in the trial. We will know the final result in two years as longitudinal studies do take time.
The FDA scheduled an approval for 2021 if all goes well. Here’s to the future!