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Ecstasy? for PSD?

In a 3 part series, Caleb Hellerman of CNN, wrote a piece inspired by Rachel Hope, who sought out South Carolina psychiatrist, Dr. Michael Mithoefer, in 2005 for an experimental treatment for her posttraumatic stress disorder (PSD). Dr.Mithoefer was offering a treatment that prescribed 3,4-methylenedioxy-methylamphetamine (MDMA), what we commonly call ecstasy, as an adjunct to psychotherapy. Hope, has suffered from PSD for years due to sexual abuse as a child and a nearly fatal car accident. Like other PSD victims, she tried all the conventional methods to no avail. After another incident  and a coworker confronting her, Hope sought an alternative which led her to Dr. Mithoefer. Fortunately, Mithoefer had recently received the go ahead to test out the effect of using the controversial agent. The results have shown promise with a sample size of19; interestingly, the subjects report a sustained affect for 3 years.

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) seeks to develop “medical, legal and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana”  – Ecstasy appears to be on their short list. This past election we witnessed two states legalize the sale of marijuana. It was initially allowed to be prescribed to treat medical conditions such as glaucoma, now, we are seeing a trend on the question of legalization on ballots across the country. Scientists like, Mithoefer, want to turn mind-altering drugs like Ecstasy into prescription medicine as well. With the support of organizations like MAPS, we could ultimately see the legalization and medical distribution of other illegal drugs.

Mithoefer says though his patients are women who have usually experienced sexual trauma, he feels it can be used for veterans returning home as well as for police and fireman who experience/d atrocities on a regular basis.

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What do you think? Is this dangerous? How will our health messages shift?