MDMA Assisted Psychotherapy

Topics: Psychotherapy, Pharmacology, Brain, Anxiety, Drug / Pages: 6 (2227 words) / Published: May 13th, 2014
MDMA assisted Psychotherapy In the past few decades there has been increasingly intensive research done on the effectiveness of the chemical compound MDMA when used in conjuncture with psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD and other anxiety related mental illnesses, and the results are astounding. In a study by MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), 83% of those tested using MDMA no longer met criteria for PTSD after treatment while only 25% of the placebo group showed such improvement. Furthermore, their condition actually continued to improve over time well after the therapy was over, while the placebo group quickly relapsed (Powerful Results, Promising Futures). Despite these impressive results, there has been great resistance in introducing MDMA officially into the world of psychotherapy. It has been met with skepticism at every turn, due to its stigmatized label as a psychedelic and classification as a Schedule 1 drug. (DEA / Drug Scheduling). Letting test results speak for themselves, MDMA assisted psychotherapy is a powerful tool in curing PTSD and should not be kept from those who would benefit from it because of misconceptions. MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, more commonly known as ecstasy) is a psychoactive drug that works through release of various neurotransmitters including serotonin, nor-epinephrine and dopamine. It decreases activity in the left amygdale (section of the brain which has been shown to be responsible for associating a perceived threat with fear (Result Filters)) and increases blood flow and activity in the prefrontal cortex (Section of the brain considered to be responsible for examination of thought and cause of action (What Does the Prefrontal Cortex Do?)) as well as increasing levels of oxytocin and arginine, which are considered to play a large role in development of intrapersonal trust (MAPS. Investigators Brochure). The combination of these effects has proven to be very useful in assisting

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