MDMA: Future Potential as Treatment for Alcoholism

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.

Alcoholism and Trauma

Most alcoholics have a history of trauma at some point during their lives. Scientists are hopeful that MDMA, known to help build empathy in users, will enhance the connection between patient and therapists, thus helping patients dig down to address a host of long-buried issues.

Use of the drug for therapeutic purposes is controversial, although some therapists flying under the radar have long been using MDMA-assisted therapy for difficult cases of alcohol addiction. Proponents believe that MDMA helps with a long list of issues, including depression, grief, anxiety and trauma.

If the results proceed as hoped, it will still be several years before health care providers can legally prescribe the drug to treat alcohol addiction. In the meantime, it’s important to note that MDMA purchased on the street is extremely dangerous and unpredictable, often cut with chemicals or other drugs.

MDMA abuse can trigger a number of adverse effects, including sweating, fatigue, depression, anxiety, paranoia, insomnia, rapid heartbeat and brain damage.

How Can I Help Someone with an Alcohol Problem?

If you want to help someone with an alcohol problem, seek a qualified drug and alcohol rehab clinic with a proven treatment program and skilled counselors. Never attempt to help an alcoholic with MDMA or any other drug.

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