Study: MDMA-assisted therapy is an effective treatment for PTSD

We at The Optimist Daily have written before about how psychedelic-assisted therapy can offer mental health relief and even help save the environment. Now, the journal Nature has published data from the phase-III clinical trial results on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, and the outcome is overwhelmingly positive.

The Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) reports that 67 percent of patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) saw such a significant reduction in symptoms after only 18 weeks and three sessions of MDMA-assisted therapy that they no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis.

CEO of MAPS Amy Emerson says that patients treated with MDMA experienced great improvements in their relationships with friends and family and felt that their quality of life and ability to work was enhanced. They also saw improved sleep hygiene and a drop in substance abuse.

Unfortunately, a high percentage of people in trauma-focused therapy drop out of their programs, because working through trauma can be traumatic in itself. However, the promise of MDMA-assisted therapy may curb these numbers.

There are plenty of companies like MindMed and Novamind that are already investing in alternative medical therapies and want to see solutions like psychedelics and MDMA on the market.

The CEO of Novamind, Yaron Conforti, writes, “We are doubling the size of our clinic network six months ahead of schedule, with the added capacity enabling us to scale to 65,000 client visits in 2021.” She goes on to say that we should “expect continued and aggressive growth as we expand Novamind’s clinic network and clinical research infrastructure ahead of the FDA’s anticipated approvals of MDMA and psilocybin.”

Though the results of the study are encouraging, it will likely be at least a couple of years before MDMA-assisted therapy is rolled out to the public as therapists will need to be trained to correctly administer this type of therapy. For now, Emerson believes that MDMA-assisted therapy will be a specialized field, but looks forward to when clinics will be able to integrate this therapy into their patient’s lives.

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