MDMA can help treat PTSD, yet another study shows


#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/05/01/mdma-helpful-for-vets-with-pts.html


#2

Studies have been fairly small and included other specific interventions. I wonder if those who take MDMA recreationally report any change in their depression or anxiety between infrequent doses (e.g. after the “high”, for a lack of a better term, has worn off).

Anyone whose friends have indulged have any comment on their friend’s experience in this regard?


#3

i was part of that great experiment… mid-80s North/Central Texas X party.

it was fucking wonderful. i had so much fun and I was an angry bitch of an alpha male punk rocker. too much too many days in a row could create fairly severe negative reactions but luckily for me… it was only witnessed in friends. I didn’t take more than two or three days in a row cuz I, despite the smiles and hugs, still preferred LSD.


#4


#5

How, precisely, does one achieve being “double blind” when dosing people with MDMA? What exactly are they using on the control group(s)?


#6

Sugar. And plenty of them will still get high. Just not for very long. The placebo effect is a hell of a drug.

Double blind just means the researchers administering the pills have no idea what’s in them at the time of dosage.


#7

I know what it means. I still have a hard time wrapping my head around the idea of a placebo making people think they’ve taken a drug like MDMA when they haven’t.


#8

I missed this drug in it’s heyday (as in by the time I could have gotten it, it definitely would have been some shitty speed mix and I’m not a fan of street drugs on principal since I don’t know what the hell is in them anyway so I wouldn’t have). But if it could help someone like me I would try it.

I have been genetically confirmed to be unable to process most antidepressants and even many atypical antipsychotics… something I knew from horrible life experience but it was gratifying to have it permanently and officially stated in a medical test. So I’m trying fetzima which seems to help with straight up depression somewhat but does nothing for anxiety. I take Klonopin to deal with panic attacks and neurontin to try to help it go down smoothly and to soften the baby doses of ritilin I have to take to work properly, because I can’t focus on anything but terror. It helps me work but has horrible side effects because I have heart issues from disease and per my testing apparently all speed derivatives are also on the shit list from my metabolism. Funny, apparently I can process opiates just fine but honestly having taken them so much due to hospitalizations I’m not a fan and frankly I don’t want to play with such deeply addictive drugs since they’re not really prescribed for my problems and they don’t fix them, they just make me so out of it I don’t care. Again, useless for trying to hold down a job and live a boring middle class life (my great ambition was to crawl from the pits my family threw me in on my own… something I’ve almost managed to do).

I’m waiting for legit non-questionably legal drugs to come from cannabis and be available and or anything else… so if this drug became available to some one like me (a bonafide mentally ill person with CPTSD who tries to live a normal life) and if somehow it did NOT produce extreme or hallucinogenic responses (I need drugs that leave me able to function, drive, think… which is why I can’t just use anything) I’d be so excited. I wish I could have participated in the trial.

I’m fairly certain I have roughly the same genetic disposition as my father and while I don’t have contact with him because he’s terrible and even if he is too old to be as menacing as he was through the past, he’s mean, nasty, and both tries to hurt you while you’re there as much as possible and he then tries to use the interaction to spread awful rumors about you. Sadly though I also see failure of treatment. Sure he doesn’t try because he’s narcissistic and thinks he’s fine enough-- it’s everyone else with the problem. But I also remember how poorly anything doctors tried worked at even modifying or softening the extremity of his issues (he’s more bipolar type and I think at some point that was one of his many diagnosis coming out of state mandated rehab). I tend not to have any peaks, just flat lowlands with occasional landslides into deep chthonic pit mazes, and lots of terror over trusting anyone since I feel like I walk around with a visible target on my head for abusers. However I think the major difference between us is that I want to be functional, I want to be able to interact with people without drinking heavily to recover, I want to not feel terror, loathing, paranoia, and grinding pain from these kinds of things. I want to get better… he doesn’t. Makes all the difference in the world apparently. But I think there was a time in the past when even he could have been helped if help was there. I’m willing to keep trying, he gave up.

Honestly we need more and better drugs and I think mercifully this opening of genetic research is making that clear. I’m not making it up, the drugs mostly really hurt more than help because whole families of them can’t properly be processed by my body. This is independent of the problems caused by my post-cancer addled and auto-immune diseased (and now immune-suppressed) body. Cannabis is illegal where I live so none of the useful medical options that have sprung up in other places have helped but though I own a home I’d find a way to move if I was 100% sure I could get medical help there that isn’t available here. However, I also need to care for two remaining family members who I don’t want to abandon. I could get hold of weed but I need this for like work… I’m not going to be able to do my job high, I need to talk, remember details, and react quickly. I’d love to live long enough to see treatment options that are better than the subpar knowingly winging it efforts my dedicated but likely frustrated Psychiatrists have made. So studies like this, however remote, give me a drop of hope that maybe someday I’ll get to experience some of the human things that others talk about. I can’t currently and it’s sad. Because I’ll live and die this way, floundering ineptly in a world I clearly can’t survive in, fighting the feeling that natural selection is at play and I’m better off dead.

As far as placebo, considering how many people take what the fuck ever and think it’s MDMA I’m not surprised. Some people are REALLY prone to placebo. I’m not, probably because I’m weirdly in touch with my body despite periods of dissociation. I knew I had cancer, not in a panicked way, it was a calm confident message I was getting from my body and it terrified me because I didn’t think I was mentally strong enough to survive but apparently I was because I’m here. But my aunt, who tested similarly to me, swore by prozac for 40 years. I took it and quit after a month. Did nothing but make things worse. She was amazed because she’d even argued with me about it insisting I was having a nocebo effect. 40 years of placebo and I can tell you it didn’t work because I witnessed her behavior during that time, but she was sure it did work. Placebo effects are very very weird.

HOLY SHIT I DIDN’T REALIZE I’D TYPED SO DAMNED MUCH!!! Sorry.

TL;DR: Damn I hope they make some new drugs from the studies on Cannabis, MDMA, and LSD… and I hope they come to market in the next ten to twenty years. And yes extreme placebo effects are very very real.


#9

The Baby Boomers used for MDMA for therapy. It has a 100 year+ pharmacological history.

But like usual the Boomers didn’t want to share anything nice with any following generation so they made it illegal.


#10

In the early 2000s, research started focusing on the mechanisms behind the antidepressant effect of psilocin (the active metabolite of psilocybin). By 2012 or so (I’d cite but I’m short on time) they’d determined that psilocin’s antidepressant effects are mediated by a certain glutamate receptor paired with a certain serotonin receptor (in nerdspeak: a 5-HT2A+mGlur2/3 heterodimer).

Since then, there’s been fervent research on short-circuiting this mechanism via negative allosteric modulation of this glutamate receptor. There are several such drug candidates identified, a few of which are now in early phase clinical trials.


#11

My parents were pharmacists, and I remember when they changed the schedule on MDMA from class 2 to class 1 - the reports in the pharmacy magazines were that MDMA use long-term caused severe depression. But the studies on things like PTSD suggest that short-term use might have a good effect. I think that’s the key - originally, they were treating it like just another regular anti-depressant that people were expected to use all the time. Hopefully the new research will allow it to be reclassified again for use.


#12

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