By Robert Whited
A study released in the Journal of Psychopharmacology on Monday, July 14, shows the drug Ecstasy had positive results in the majority of patients when used to treat Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Existing treatments for PTSD include both pharmacotherapy and psychotherapies. Although a variety of drugs are used to treat symptoms of PTSD, they have limited efficacy.
The study group was mostly female victims of child sexual abuse and rape who suffered from PTSD for an average of about 19 years, said Dr. Michael Mithoefer, a South Carolina psychiatrist who oversaw the testing done by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) – a group that analyzes the use of psychedelic drugs in mental health treatment. Dr. Mithoefer explains the study in a video on the MAPS website.
The MAPS organization mission statement reads, Our mission is 1) to treat conditions for which conventional medicines provide limited relief—such as post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), pain, drug dependence, anxiety and depression associated with end-of-life issues—by developing psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines; 2) to treat many thousands of people by building a network of clinics where treatments can be provided; and 3) to educate the public honestly about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana.
MAPS founder Dr. Rick Doblin told Military.com in a recent interview, the study focused on 20 patients for whom previous drug and psychotherapy treatments were unsuccessful. He also said, “the study was the first of its kind and a stepping stone for a follow-up that will focus entirely on U.S. military veterans.”
According to the study, the high incidence of PTSD and the limited effectiveness of existing treatments combine to create an urgent need for the development of new treatments.
In the United States, the lifetime prevalence of PTSD in the general population is between 6% and 10% and is much higher in countries where there is endemic armed conflict.
For more information on the study visit: http://www.norml.org/index.cfm?Group_ID=4492