MDMA approved for anxiety therapy trials in US

By , May 26 2015

Researchers will explore if the drug can be “transformationally potent”.

A team of Californian therapists have been given permission to use ecstasy in a study looking into whether the drug can reduce anxiety among people with life-threatening illnesses. Dr. Philip Wolfson, a psychiatrist and longtime advocate of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, has begun recruiting for 18 people for the project, which will be conducted over the next year.

He believes that MDMA could be a radically different kind of medication for anxiety. Rather than sedating the patient, he says the drug “supports deep, meaningful and rapidly effective psychotherapy” as part of a four- or five-hour trip in a safe and comfortable setting with a pair of trained therapists.

Wolfson has received permission from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to conduct the study and has obtained a licence from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to administer the illegal drug. For Wolfson’s study, 13 patients will sit through three eight-hour therapy sessions after taking the drug, while the remaining five patients will get a placebo capsule. Follow-up counselling and psychological testing will then compare the mental health and wellbeing of each group in a process that could take up to 15 months. [via Mixmag/San Francisco Chronicle]

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