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Mind-Altering Drugs Could Cure PTSD
Key Excerpts from Article on Website of Popular Science

Popular Science, December 22, 2015
Posted: January 17th, 2016

About 8 percent of Americans experience PTSD; for veterans, that number is 30 percent. Treatment is notoriously difficult, but people could find relief in an unusual form: psychedelic drugs. MDMA - found in molly and ecstasy - earned a bad rap in the 1990s as ravers drug of choice. But psychotherapists are coming to value the way it increases empathy while decreasing fear and defensiveness. MDMA gives people the ability to revisit an event thats still painful without being overwhelmed, says psychiatrist Michael Mithoefer. Following a recent MDMA trial, 83 percent of his treatment-resistant participants no longer showed symptoms of PTSD. In one study, Mithoefer worked with a New York City firefighter post-9/11. The subject had tried treatment before. While undergoing a popular method that uses eye movement to reprocess a trauma, hed been so overcome that he ripped a sink off the wall. MDMA, however, worked. It wasnt easy for him, Mithoefer says. But our sink is still attached. MDMA isnt a one-trick pony either; it can treat end-of-life anxiety and alcoholism, and its not addictive. Were talking about the rise of a whole field of medicine, says Rick Doblin, founder of the nonprofit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which is running a handful of MDMA trials, including Mithoefers. Doblin thinks the FDA will greenlight the drug for mainstream use by 2021.

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more openly.

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