Ecstasy to be tested on critical patients as an anti-anxiety medicine
Brad Burge, spokesman for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies announced over the next year in Santa Cruz, at least a dozen subjects with life-threatening diseases such as cancer, and a life expectancy of at least 9 months, will participate in a series of double-blind trial.
Each subject will be given either a full dose – 125 milligrams of MDMA (ecstasy), or an “active placebo” dose of 30 milligrams, on a random basis.
The objective is to test whether patients, who are in critical condition suffering from unbearable pain, anxiety, fear or depression due to their diagnoses can find some peace during the ecstasy-influenced psychotherapy sessions.
Dr. Philip Wolfson, the trial’s principal investigator, informed the San Francisco Chronicle newspaper that the MDMA experience, lasting four or five hours, can be “transformationally potent”. The whole mechanism is to be done under controlled settings with a pair of trained therapists.
“It’s a substance that supports deep, meaningful and rapidly effective psychotherapy,” Wolfson told the Chronicle.
MDMA (esctasy) is actually a psychoactive drug which has been banned for decades under the federal law.
Results of the therapy are to be expected within a time frame of 12 to 15 months.
“Our hypothesis is that something is happening with MDMA that makes psychotherapy easier,” Burge said.
“So with a lower dose of MDMA in the active placebo, it might fool the subject or the therapist. And by giving people the option of following up with another half dose, it just extends the window for therapy rather than making it more intense.”
Those receiving the full dose will later have an option to take another 62.5 milligram dose as a continuing part of the same session. Moreover, those receiving the placebo can also later rejoin the trial.