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Using MDMA to Treat PTSD

Though MDMA is currently illegal, PTSD-suffering war vets are stepping forth to tell legislators about the effectiveness of using MDMA to treat PTSD. Could we be seeing the next drug to be legalized?

If you hear people who have gone to a rave, you might expect them to say that MDMA saved their lives. After all, it's the ultimate party drug, and it's one that regularly gets associated with ravers, EDM, and burners. 

MDMA, on a mainstream level, doesn't have many people who would advocate for its legalization. It's been linked to overdose deaths. It's been linked to brain damage, nerve damage, and depression over long term use. 

But, despite this, there are many people out there who have come out to say, "MDMA saved my life." These people are beginning to advocate for the re-legalization of the love drug due to studies on using MDMA to treat PTSD...and maybe it's time we listen.

MDMA: The Pill's History

MDMA was first invented in 1912, and was used by doctors to improve psychotherapy outcomes in patients. By the 1950s and 1960s, it was a pill that was regularly prescribed to couples who were having marital problems, as well as people who suffered from depression and trauma. 

Once people realized that the drug could be used to just temporarily boost mood, it became very popular in nightclubs. By the 1970s and 1980s, MDMA had become de rigeur - and people were taking it in record numbers. 

Unfortunately, as things tend to go, people found out that there are consequences to too much of a good thing. People began to get addicted to it. Overdose deaths began to happen, and it was illegalized soon after. 

Like many drugs that have met this fate, this lead to underground manufacturing which would often include adulterants that should be ingested by people. Drug dealers in search of better profits often would go out of their way to make it more addictive - and this led to it being cut with things like cocaine, meth, and experimental chemicals. 

With the introduction of dangerous chemicals, MDMA became known as a deadly, hard drug in mainstream media. Its therapeutic uses, as it were, seem to be forgotten by most.

MDMA's Benefits: Forgotten By Most, But Not All

The fact is that MDMA does have therapeutic uses. Particularly, studies have been done on using MDMA to treat PTSD and trauma. Studies performed on the drug show that 83% of people who have undergone MDMA therapy show significant reduction reduction in the amount of PTSD symptoms they endure. 

One such person, a Redditor by the name of NeedzBeers, had come out to talk about his experiences with doctor-led MDMA therapy for his PTSD in an incredibly powerful piece entitled "How MDMA Saved My Life." 

The user, a white collar individual dealing serious trauma, underwent therapy with a man only known as "Dr.Z." (The doctor's name isn't used to protect him.) The reason he reached out to him was because a traumatic breakup was slowly pushing him to consider suicide. His roommate had caught him mid-attempt and begged him to go to Dr.Z. He complied. 

The user said the following of his therapy session: 

"I haven’t considered suicide since the day of the MDMA session. I haven’t cried over her in months. The anger is gone. I haven’t the slightest doubt that years of talk therapy, of mood-enhancing drugs (had tried them, they didn’t work), of trying to “move on” would not have been able to approach the beneficial and amazing effect that this one afternoon and small pill have had on my life." 

The user is not the only one who says that MDMA saved him from a life of pain and suffering from PTSD. Canadian firefighter Ed Thompson had undergone a state-backed clinical trial of MDMA therapy with similar results. 

In an interview cited by CBC, Thompson claimed that MDMA has helped him unpack and process his trauma. He claims that, for the first time in a while, he's "happy for the first time in years" and that he has "no doubt it saved [his] life." 

Additionally, according to medical sites that focus on using MDMA to treat PTSD, people who use the drug maintain their PTSD alleviation for years after therapy - or just are cured of it completely. 

Lastly, it's also worth noting that MDMA is a known empathogen. Empathogens are chemicals that help people develop empathy for one another, and also allow people to connect better with their fellow man. This alone suggests that the cure for psychopathy might be found in MDMA, depending on how long-lasting the effects may be. 

Considering how many people have suffered from PTSD or have been diagnosed with psychopathy, keeping MDMA illegal is foolish, callous, and cruel. There's clear potential in MDMA therapy, and it's time that authorities look into it. 

MDMA: The Dangerous Drug?

Though there's definitely a therapeutic side to MDMA, it'd be a lie to say that MDMA is as safe as weed. If you overdose on MDMA, you can die, suffer permanent brain damage, or have lifelong injuries. However, it's very difficult to do this on pure MDMA. That's one of the reasons why it was still being legally prescribed until 1985. 

It's important to understand that the MDMA that is often sold on the street often isn't MDMA at all. It's E - and the joke among drug dealers is that E stands for "EVERYTHING." Groups like Dancesafe actually volunteer time to test drugs for impurities and try to reduce the risk, but the fact is that even test kits can only do so much. 

Simply put, moderation and purity are crucial to enjoying MDMA safely and gaining therapeutic benefits from it. If people aren't capable of using it responsibly, they shouldn't be prescribed it. 

MDMA: To Be Legal?

In a shocking turn of events, the FDA recently greenlit a massive study on the benefits of MDMA therapy for people who have PTSD. With hope, these promising studies may help sway the FDA into legalizing one of the happiest pills in the world for the people who need it the most. 

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