MDMA, or methylenedioxymethylamphetimeine, is a chemical that affects the release of serotonin and oxytocin in the brain and is a schedule I drug in the United states. I have seen many people ingest this drug at music festivals over the years with no ill effects, which led me to wonder how bad it really is. Most commonly known as a part of the ecstasy pill or molly powder capsule, this crystalline drug is used at raves, parties, and clubs worldwide for a heightened sense of euphoria and a myriad of psychedelic effects. This substance is known as the love drug for its ability to bring people closer together and lower normal social anxieties. In the last few years, more and more studies are being done on using MDMA for a variety of psychological conditions. Here are some of the things found during these studies.
No Brain Damage
One of the things most people hear when seeking, purchasing, and using MDMA was that it would cause holes in your brain and you would suffer from memory loss, loss of coordination, and impaired speech. Formerly, most studies agreed that it did cause damage to the mind; however, new large studies have started to show that this is not the case for the average casual user. In a study for the Addiction Journal, 52 users and 52 non users of the drug were given samples of the drug then later tested for decreased cognitive function. The results showed very little reduction to brain function and the only noticeable effect was the decrease of proper impulse control.
Research has also been done on treating PTSD victims with MDMA assisted therapy. The findings were that 83% of the treated patients that suffered with PTSD no longer qualified as an afflicted patient once the treatment was finished. In a long term follow up, the benefits were reported stable in almost all cases 3.8 years later. These amazing results, reported in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, indicate a promising future for the use of MDMA in various psychotherapy treatments. These results indicate that this illicit substance could be a great advancement in the safest and most effective ways to treat this condition.
In early 2013, the FDA approved a study for the treatment of social anxiety in 12 autistic adults. While this seemed promising the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies has had to jump through many hoops to keep this project afloat. In December 2013 they secured final permits and funding and began their study in February of this year. While this study’s results have not been released yet, hopes are high for positive results. The drug MDMA will work to lessen social anxiety in subjects through and increase in empathy and the ability to regulate emotions more easily.
The beneficial effects on empathy are so high that many unlicensed therapists are popping up around the world offering guided couples therapy while on doses of MDMA. Many couples have found this a very effective way to manage a rocky relationship and over time many have been able to maintain its benefits. The entactogen brand of drugs increase the ability for people to say what they mean without embarrassment and for their partner to receive this information in a positive way. Although MDMA is not an aphrodisiac it does work to make people feel closer to each other due to the release of oxytocin in the brain. This could be the future for couples therapy around the world.
These are all exciting uses and advancements within the realm of psychology using the once shunned drug MDMA. I have friends in relationships that can attest to the drugs power to change the way you see the world. You never know, we may one day live in a world where many of these disorders and problems may be solved with one single white pill.
For more alternative medicine reading and information from this author, check out:
How to Get High Without Drugs (Legally & Safely)
10 Ways to Lower Blood Pressure Naturally
8 Natural Diuretics to Add to Your Diet
MAPS- Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults
Treating PTSD With MDMA Assisted Therapy
MAPS- Could A Single Pill Save Your Marriage?
Residual Neurocognitive Effects of MDMA Study