4 May 2014
Can MDMA Heal Psychological Trauma?
When you think of the drug “Ecstasy,” you probably imagine horror stories in which a naive teenage was found dead of the dance floor after blowing a whistle non-stop for three days. While there have certainly been reported deaths caused by the substance inside of Ecstasy, the drug is much safer than most people in the general public believe. The substance in Ecstasy is a drug that the public knows little about, which has potential dangers and uses. MDMA is known to be an illegal empathogenic drug that has been classified to be part of both phenethylamine and amphetamine classes of drugs, a stimulant and a hallucinogen and has become prominent over the past decade. This common social drug is usually taken in the form of a tablet, and it can also be snorted, inhaled or injected. Actually, MDMA was first used in the 1970s, but not just as a recreational drug but as an aid in psychotherapy. Some of the earliest studies have shown that MDMA in combination with psychotherapy can help people who have overcome a severe trauma – such as war, torture, disasters, or sexual assault. They will often experience the after effect, in a condition known as post-traumatic stress disorder and possibly other disorders as well.
The beginnings of MDMA were innocent, even banal. (OPRAH, 2011) In 1912, MDMA was first developed by two German scientists that worked for the Merck pharmaceutical company. The original intended use of MDMA was supposed to be an appetite suppressant and vasoconstrictor for people with low blood pressure (NIDA, Abuse 2011). It was researched sporadically for the next 65 years, though research was never based on psychoactive effects, but rather ef...
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...decade for the drug to reach the eye of the public. Nowadays most people have at least a general idea of what effects MDMA has on the mind and the body, even if those ideas are incorrect. Hopefully, further study will shows us MDMA is indeed more than a recreational drug but instead a way to help those whose mental anguish is treatable through conventional therapies. MDMA is a drug, and like all drugs there is a significant risk it taking it. Whether it's the chemical itself or the behaviors that come with it, it's important to note that it is not risk free. However, the effects of the drug may be able to give us the unparalleled ability to treat mental illness by allowing users to face their problems with a sort of protective armor, letting them relive troubling experiences without fear and solving deep-seated issues that therapy alone may not be able to treat.