Acid Test: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Pursues MDMA as Treatment for Psychological DisordersPosted: April 4, 2015 | |
MAPS and PSTD: Scientific MDMA research works against the stigma associated with psychedelics
The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is attempting to legalize MDMA as a prescription for certain illnesses. In a newsletter sent to their constituents on March 16, MAPS said it had received approval from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on Friday, March 13 for a Schedule I license for Phil Wolfson, M.D., the principal investigator in a new MAPS study. This isn’t the only time the license has been awarded to MAPS — this is currently the seventh MDMA clinical trial with DEA approval.
“MDMA reduces activity in the amygdala where fear is processed and it increases activity in the frontal cortex where people put things in association and context. So people are able to look at traumatic memories.”
“Obtaining DEA approval was the last step in the complex, arduous, and lengthy
process of getting approval for our study,” Dr. Wolfson said in the newsletter.
This was the final step before initiating experiments regarding the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses. MAPS had already received approval from the Institutional Review Board, FDA and the Research Advisory Panel of California to conduct the phase-2 study.
“They’re able to separate out that it was happening then and not now. We’re saying that MDMA itself is not the medicine. It’s MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.”
— MAPS founder Rick Doblin, in an interview with CNN
Connor McKay, president of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter at Northeastern, said this type of scientific research works against the stigma associated with psychedelics. McKay will also be welcoming the founder of MAPS, Rick Doblin, and former Washington Post Editor Tom Shroder, author of “Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal,” to Northeastern on April 3 to discuss psychedelic research.
“I think studies like this play an important role…both medical and personal. It gives a personal story to these treatments. It gives medical legitimacy to these substances.”
— Connor McKay, president of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter at Northeastern
“I think studies like this play an important role … both medical and personal. It gives a personal story to these treatments. It gives medical legitimacy to these substances,” McKay said. “I don’t think people are going to stop using MDMA recreationally. I think people will see it as abusing medicine … rather than ‘you’re just doing drugs.’ This will open the medical discussion about these substances.”
MDMA, chemically called 3,4-Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, is typically sold as ecstasy or molly, but these can contain adulterants or other substances. In a 2006 study by Vanderbilt University, only 39 percent of tablets sold as ecstasy were pure and 46 percent had no MDMA at all.
MAPS uses pure MDMA, which according to the nonprofit drug education organization Erowid has effects that include forgiveness of self and others, feelings of love and empathy, decreased fear, anxiety and insecurities and increased willingness to communicate. However, MAPS says the treatment is not based solely in the euphoric effects of MDMA, but rather what the combination of the drug and proper therapy can do….(read more)
- MDMA has been approved for use in a clinical trial for terminally ill patients (theunhivedmind.com)
- Marijuana Gears Up for Production High in U.S. Labs (scientificamerican.com)
- Psychedelics May Improve Mental Health Disorders, But We’ll Have To Support The Research To Find Out (medicaldaily.com)
- Sue Sisley’s Medical Marijuana for PTSD Research Official Rejected by 3 State Universities (tucsonweekly.com)
- Time To Erase The Stigma of Psychedelics (sorendreier.com)
- DEA approves MDMA as a “sufficiently safe” treatment for anxiety and psychological disorders (truthfrequencyradio.com)