Government Approval of MDMA for Treating PTSD Likely

a silhouette of a man disappearing and turning into smoke standing on a hill looking 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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Chronic Sufferers Are Choosing LSD and Psilocybin For Migraines

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I remember the day I got my first migraine pretty vividly. I was a freshman in high school sitting in math class, when all of a sudden, my vision became blurry. I soon felt shaky, nauseous, incredibly confused, and frightened by what was happening to me. But in the hour or two it took to see a doctor, my symptoms had disappeared.

Migraine Hallucinations and Pain

Eventually, I realized I had experienced my first migraine, and since then I suffer through a few every year. While they’re pretty debilitating and can ruin an entire day, I’m lucky I don’t suffer from chronic migraines as some do.

In the U.S. it’s estimated that roughly 3.2 million Americans live with chronic migraines and of that percentage, some experience 15 to 20 a month. These headaches last four hours or more on average, and often force sufferers to take days off work. This adds up to not only lost hours of their lives but lost productivity and money. In fact, it’s estimated up to $31 billion in productivity is lost annually from headache disabilities in the U.S. alone.

I can tell when a migraine is coming on because of a chain of predictable symptoms. First, I begin to see auras and my vision is blurred, then all symptoms subside like the calm before a storm, and finally the piercing headache, nausea, vomiting, and shakiness.

Hallucinations and bizarre visuals often accompany or signal to migraine sufferers they’re about to endure a headache. The most common visual oddities are blurriness and auras, but some experience zigzags, swirling vortices, and Picasso-esque patterns. Physical hallucinations aren’t unusual either.

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