Commonly known by users as Molly or Ecstasy, MDMA is a manmade drug used primarily for recreational purposes – usually as a party or club drug. The effects of the drug are two-fold, producing a high similar to meth, along with hallucinations much like those experienced by users of LSD.
Although MDMA has been around for several decades, it currently has no recognized medical uses and can’t be legally prescribed anywhere in the world.
Researchers at London’s Imperial College, who believe there may be a practical application for the drug, are preparing to conduct the world’s first clinical trials of MDMA as a treatment for alcoholism and other addiction.
The study, which will probably begin by the end of 2017, will involve 20 individuals who have a history of failed attempts at addiction treatment and a high rate of relapse.
Once patients are safely detoxed and alcohol is no longer present in the system, they will undergo two supervised counseling sessions without MDMA.
Next, patients will participate in a full day of counseling and meditation after taking a high dose of a pure, capsulized form of MDMA.
The goal is to determine if MDMA aids in counseling sessions by helping promote openness and a healthy patient-counselor relationship. If the trials net positive results, larger studies will likely follow.
Additionally, early studies in the United States indicate that the drug may be an effective treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and severe depression affecting people diagnosed with advanced forms of cancer.