Ecstasy (MDMA) as treatment for PTSD?

Back from vacation and reading up on my piles of emails. This one came via my subscription to psychiatric news–Ecstasy-assisted Psychotherapy May Help Patients with Treatment-Resistant PTSD. You can read about it here on WebMD.

Interesting…a date rape drug being used to treat PTSD. There is some irony here I think in that many a date-raped woman was taken advantage of when slipped this drug.

How is it purported to work? By reducing or blocking symptoms (intrusive, emotionally laden feelings when thinking about traumatic events) and thereby allowing therapy to do its work. The therapy was done in an intensive manner rather than spaced out as most people do therapy. One wonders if prolonged exposure therapy was used as the therapy. If not, would PE therapy do as well or better than traditional PTSD therapy and MDMA?


Filed under Abuse, Anxiety, counseling, counseling science, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Psychiatric Medications, Psychology

4 responses to “Ecstasy (MDMA) as treatment for PTSD?

  1. D. Stevenson

    I wonder how it would work with NO therapy, just the drug.

    I also wonder how long the effects last down the road.

    I wonder how they tested the results…

    Have to wait for the full report, I guess.

  2. Anthony JC

    MDMA (ecstacy) is definately NOT a date rate drug. It increases a users awareness, give them increased physical energy and decreases sexual desire. You are obviously referring to GBH or liquid ecstacy which is like comparing water to milk or should I say blood to wine. It the context of psycho therapy the MDMA effect is controlled and if you have read the article or done a base level of reading on the subject you will understand that its administration essentially can fast forward therapy sessions by years by opening emotional gateways in the subjects. It may be more christian of you to wish these patients a speedy recovery then criticise and mis-categorise the molecle involved. Also alcohol is by far a worse evil in society and it forms part of your church services- very very interesting.

    • Anthony, Thanks for catching a mistake. Actually, MDMA has been used for lowering inhibitions in someone so as to rape them. But, you are right, I gave it the wrong title and Liquid Ecstasy is what is called the “date rape” drug. I conflated the two. My apologies to readers.

      I’m not sure why you are quite so hostile in the remainder of your comment. You should probably do some of your own homework rather than make generalized and therefore inappropriate comments about Christianity. There is nothing Christian about making a mistake about a molecule. It is simply being hasty and not thorough. And alcohol use amongst those with PTSD is very high but has nothing to do with this post nor the use of MDMA. Further, it is NOT a part of most evangelical churches. And any use of it in the other percentage of churches is not an evil.

      While your comment reveals my mistake, it also reveals your own anger and mischaracterizations of Christians.

    • D. Stevenson

      …”if you have read the article or done a base level of reading on the subject you will understand…”


      …”It may be more christian of you…..then criticise”…

      Huh? I don’t see criticism. Just looks like comments to me.

      ……….”Also alcohol is by far a worse evil in society and it forms part of your church services- very very interesting.”…..

      Ah, I see now. Somewhere along the line you have been hurt by Christians. Something about this post triggered those hurts. Caught in the pain of those emotions you think Phil is saying the same thing.

      Or maybe that is not the way it happens for you.

      For me though, that’s the way it happens.

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