How Psychedelics Are Being Used to Treat PTSD

MDMA and other psychedelic drugs are being tested as possible solutions for PTSD. MDMA, also known as ecstasy or Molly,has been illegal in the United States since 1985. MDMA is placed into Schedule 1 of the Controlled Substances Act, which is the most restrictive category under law-- Schedule 1 drugs are defined as drugs with no accepted medical use with a high potential for abuse. These categories were created by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency.

However, America’s outlook on illegal drugs is changing. Several states have legalized marijuana, for medical and recreational use. Now, MDMA is being tested for medical use. In 2017, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD was labeled as a Breakthrough Therapy by the Food and Drug Administration. 

Patients are given a dose of the drug and then complete extensive therapy sessions under the influence. Sessions can last up to eight hours. This therapy is used mainly by American veterans with intense PTSD post-war. 

In 2016, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) conducted a trial on this new form of therapy, and 61 percent of participants were relieved of their PTSD symptoms after three sessions. Many patients have found that psychedelic assisted psychotherapy was the only solution that actually worked to help them with their PTSD.

Since psychedelic drugs are illegal in the United States, many doctors travel to different countries where the drugs are legal, or they go underground to avoid arrest.

MAPS is seeking donations in order to help make psychedelic medicine legal in America. Currently, it’s unclear if we will ever live in a country where psychedelics are legal for medical use. There is still a stigma surrounding drug use and mental health. However, the results speak for themselves. MDMA is the closest breakthrough we currently have for curing PTSD.