Ecstasy to treat PTSD

To which i say…derrrrr.

Depression and possibly alcoholism too IMHO.

I am not a…drug…science…researcher…treater…type guy. But back when I rolled a lot, there was nothing loved more the next day than like 20 beers. Man, it tasted soooo good.

So my point is that from my own “research” I totally can see it treating depression/ptsd…not so much alcoholism.

Interesting. Just my own idea from back in the day that maybe people who have drug problems should…try a new one? “Hooked on heroin?? Have you tried switching?”

That’s probably incredibly naive though.

I’m a physician who’s done a lot of addiction medicine. I’m also a recovering addict and alcoholic, sober over 27 years.

I am not automatically opposed to using these types of meds (ecstasy, LSD, psilocybin) in very controlled circumstances to treat PTSD and other such disorders.

Cross-addiction is a concern. But there is evidence of benefit in that treatment approach. And I’ve seen how horrible it can be for PTSD sufferers whose treatments are not helping them.

Qadgop, in the course of your drug use, did you try psychedelics (including psychedelic phenethylamines)? In the course of your addiction medicine practice, how many people did you meet who engaged in robbery or prostitution to get their LSD fix? How many took psychedelics everyday like is common with alcohol or meth?

Addiction to tryptamines like LSD or shrooms is quite unlikely. If you take them while sad/anxious, you’ll likely multiply your negative thoughts and feelings severalfold which is not conducive to repeated compulsive use. It usually has the opposite of a craving effect in that you feel like you’ve had your fill for a while. With MDMA, it’s unlikely too as taking MDMA everyday would leave you feeling horrible pretty fast.
Given that the non-prescription alternative is usually alcohol, restricting LSD, MDMA etc is harmful since it leads to increased alcohol use which is more harmful than psychedelics. Even recreationally, it would be a great boon to society if people took MDMA or 2CB to party rather than alcohol.

As for the OP, MDMA can put the mind in a meditative state; it quiets down what Buddhists call the monkey mind (notably the amygdala and hippocampus) while increasing activity in the prefrontal cortex*. This makes it easier to dispassionately observe and process painful or anxious thoughts and feelings without shutting them off or reacting defensively when they get intense.
*When people say “Use your head”, that’s the part of the head they mean.

I agree that psychedelics are not traditional drugs of abuse, and that they work very differently in the brain. Which is why I’m not opposed to considering their use for certain patients with addiction histories.

This government report would disagree with you about MDMA. Under strict medical supervision it might have beneficial effects; under normal street use it damages, perhaps permanently, young brains.

The (US) gov’t also put LSD and shrooms in Schedule I which is fucking stupid and puts into question the US gov’t’s opinions on this sort of matter. Drugs, especially those which are unfamiliar to lawmakers and scary to letter-writing housewives, are subject to any number of disproportionate fears.
Note “Numerous studies in animals have demonstrated that MDMA can damage serotonin-containing neurons”. Studies in animals =/= normal street use. Animal studies typically try to detect even subtle effects and to do that, they administer very heavy doses, something like 10 times the typical dose per kg of bodyweight. For example, some animal studies give 20 to 40mg/kg* whereas a more typical human dose is 1.5-2mg/kg. Imagine if the gov’t claimed that because 20 glasses of wine can damage your liver and put you in a coma, that means 2 glasses of wine can do the same. It’s just as ridiculous.

The source mentions “changes in brain activity”. Change=/=damage and these would have to be distinguished from the possible damage from other drugs since MDMA users often take other stuff.
Then the source mentions that users of ecstasy may unknowingly be taking other drugs sold as ecstasy. That’s not an indication that MDMA is dangerous, that’s an indication that those other drugs may be and is a problem chiefly caused by its legal status. Test your stuff.
It’s definitely possible that some heavy users of MDMA experience negative effects. I didn’t say it was without risk, I said it was better than alcohol. Pregnant women should avoid it, of course.

A more realistic assessment of the potential harms of MDMA is represented in this graph: MDMA - Wikipedia


MichaelEmouse, while I agree with your position, may I suggest you tone down your arguement.

You are making sense, but, in an “over-eager” way. You sound a bit like you’ve been indoctrinated. Your responses (to me at least) sound like the born-again fervour of a new recruit. That is as bad as the fervour of the cop who busts you for possession of one of the analogues of the phenethylamines even though it is not technically illegal.

The war for legalistation of drugs needs to be won by not only the hard science that we see, but also by public opinion. And public opinion is turned not by fervent shout-outs but by slow change of consensus.

Complaining about the “fucking stupid” system won’t help, no matter how stupid it is.

You’re right, I let my irritation at shoddy conclusions and presumptions come through too much.

Regarding the “fucking stupid” comment, I was specifically responding to the statement that the US gov’t disagrees with me. The fact that the gov’t disagrees with me regrettably doesn’t mean much when it comes to psychedelics, not because my opinion is outstanding but because the US gov’t is fanciful in its determination of their hazards. I should have found a less crass way of expressing that.

The government is going by the science. Where is their science going wrong?

I would totally be down for testing this. Could it be any worse than the two years of hell I spent on Geodon, Depakote and sertraline? I didn’t get any relief either. Just the opposite, I feel like something in that cocktail broke me forever.

If you think the DEA concluded that LSD, shrooms and pot (Schedule I) have greater potential for abuse than cocaine, meth and fentanyl (Schedule II) and that pot has no accepted medical use based on science, I’m at a loss for arguments and will have to bow out.

Rushgeekgirl, you may want to contact MAPS to see if there are trials you could participate in:

Psychedelic drugs were and are the highlight of my sad, torn life. There’s nothing like the two hour introspective last act of a psychedelic drug. Nothing comes close. You are talking to God in your mind. They aren’t addictive but do foster tolerance. You cannot take LSD every day, although I would if I could to escape the mundane.

FTR, keep in mind that my own experience has shown that Zoloft blocks 98% of the effect. This is as of a few years ago…i could swear i had taken zoloft in the late 90’s in combination with no blockage.

But my brain isn’t what it used to be. Or the drugs arn’t!