Government Approval of MDMA for Treating PTSD Likely

A silhouette of a man disappearing and turning into smoke. Standing on a hill. Lookng out on city lights just before sunrise. (A silhouette of a man disappearing and turning into smoke. Standing on a hill. Lookng out on city lights just before sunrise

For the millions of Americans suffering from Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), there may finally be a solution. A late-stage clinical trial of the psychedelic drug MDMA has shown great promise in treating the condition, making FDA approval likely in the next few years.

MDMA, an illegal drug commonly known as “ecstasy” or “molly” started out as a synthetic compound created in 1912. After a period of use in the treatment of mental health conditions, it escaped in the 1980s from the clinic to the dance floor and was criminalized by the FDA. But a few proponents continue to push for research, including Dr. Rick Doblin who founded the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS.

Decades later their efforts finally led to a green light from the FDA for clinical study. Since then, there have been three rigorous clinical trials, which have all shown enormous promise of the drug in combination with psychotherapy to treat PTSD.

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Ketamine Therapy Proves Powerful For Treatment-Resistant Depression

A powerful FDA-approved anesthetic drug once used mainly in operating rooms and on the battlefield is quickly gaining ground as one of the most promising therapies for treatment-resistant mental health conditions.

First discovered as an anesthetic in the 1950s, ketamine has been used in the treatment of a wide range of physical conditions, especially pain management. Starting in the early 1970s, doctors began to find that it can also be very effective in alleviating mental health issues such as depression, anxiety, PTSD, and addiction. Today it is ever more frequently being studied and legally used as an off-label medication to manage conditions that are particularly resistant to treatment with conventional pharmaceuticals.

The latest in a series of recent studies has found that ketamine can quickly and dramatically decrease chronic and suicidal thoughts. Dr. Naveen Thomas is a psychiatrist who has been using ketamine in his practice for years.

“I and many of my colleagues have of course had tremendous success in using ketamine in people who are really suffering from depression. I’ve had a lot of success in treating people with Post-traumatic Stress Disorder,” Dr. Naveen said.

“And some of these folks have spent years and years doing absolutely the best they could using such a wide variety of the conventional treatments, be they various medication treatments, be they various forms of psychotherapy. We’ve seen really wonderful effects.”

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