Posting in Cancer
Ecstasy could be used to treat trauma victims.
While it's known for being a club drug, ecstasy could be used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.
Ecstasy floods the brain with serotonin and oxytocin, which are chemicals linked to emotion. In a British study, the researchers didn't give people the club drug, but isolated the active ingredient MDMA (short for 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine). The goal was to repeat a small study that was performed in the United States.
In this new study, 12 people were given MDMA pills and 8 were given placebo pills, along with therapy sessions. Ten of the participants who took the MDMA pills showed an improvement after two therapy sessions. The participants included one combat veteran. The rest were victims of rape, child abuse, or assault.
One participant told The Guardian:
"I have respect for my emotions now (rather than fear of them). What's most comforting is knowing now I can handle difficult feelings without being overwhelmed. I realize feeling the fear and anger is not nearly as big a deal as I thought it would be."
The issue at hand is that when a drug is banned, there's no going back. This isn't the first time an illegal drug has been used as medicine: Medical marijuana has been recommended for pain and other ailments. Magic mushroom ingredients have been shown to calm late-stage cancer patients.
The lead researcher was a former government drug adviser David Nutt, who told The Guardian, that while the drugs have been made illegal to stop kids from abusing them, their therapeutic value has been overlooked. This is the same David Nutt, who was asked to resign after he claimed ecstasy and LSD were less dangerous than alcohol.
Related on SmartPlanet:
- Magic mushroom ingredient can calm end-of-life anxiety
- Debate on legal highs: Mephedrone might soon be illegal
Sep 30, 2011
The difficulty in arranging trials with illegal recreational drugs, as well as their unavailability for genuine therapeutic use is really just collateral damage from the so-called "war on drugs". It's not a war on all the latest, often quite dangerous legal "designer" pharmaceuticals. Any health professional will tell you that drug abuse is a health problem and shouldn't be treated as a criminal matter, but allied against the voices of reason are - big pharma, companies that sell alcoholic beverages, the tobacco industry, for profit prisons, law enforcement agencies and every conservative politician that would press voters' buttons to get elected. They all depend on there being a drug problem. Geez! Not much chance of the drug problem going away soon!
I think I read about MDMA or similar used in couples therapy before it became a party drug. One of the effects is that people become more empathetic, they are more open to understanding how someone else feels. If MDMA can help reduce PTSD effects on the majority of patients then it should be allowed as a clinical drug.
You imply medical uses were discovered for marijuana after it was banned; this is not true. Marijuana has been used as a freely-available medicine for thousands of years. That is precisely *why* it was banned.
I think it's great that there is alternative research for PTSD treatment. Here's a thought, since your trying to increase Oxytocin the hormone that helps regulate stress and increases well being, why not just take Oxytocin. There's a great sublingual drop oxytocin supplement I've been using for more than 9 months. It really helps reduce my stress reactions and triggers and there is not a single negative side effect.
MDMA triggers the patient's brain to release its own serotinin and oxytocin, precisely in the places where it needs to be to create its inhibition-lowering effects.
If what you are saying is true than most pill form anti-depressents should be banned as useless. Very few of them act at the source as you say.
Anti-depressants do no better than placebos in controlled studies, and they have serious side effects. But they make lots of money for the drug companies, and the FDA is in their pocket, so they're allowed to be sold.