Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
January 17, 2018, 02:25:08 AM

Login with username, password and session length

  • Total Posts: 725184
  • Total Topics: 59104
  • Online Today: 297
  • Online Ever: 1421
  • (August 13, 2016, 05:18:44 AM)
Users Online
Users: 1
Guests: 254
Total: 255


Welcome to the POZ Community Forums, a round-the-clock discussion area for people with HIV/AIDS, their friends/family/caregivers, and others concerned about HIV/AIDS.  Click on the links below to browse our various forums; scroll down for a glance at the most recent posts; or join in the conversation yourself by registering on the left side of this page.

Privacy Warning:  Please realize that these forums are open to all, and are fully searchable via Google and other search engines. If you are HIV positive and disclose this in our forums, then it is almost the same thing as telling the whole world (or at least the World Wide Web). If this concerns you, then do not use a username or avatar that are self-identifying in any way. We do not allow the deletion of anything you post in these forums, so think before you post.

  • The information shared in these forums, by moderators and members, is designed to complement, not replace, the relationship between an individual and his/her own physician.

  • All members of these forums are, by default, not considered to be licensed medical providers. If otherwise, users must clearly define themselves as such.

  • Forums members must behave at all times with respect and honesty. Posting guidelines, including time-out and banning policies, have been established by the moderators of these forums. Click here for “Am I Infected?” posting guidelines. Click here for posting guidelines pertaining to all other POZ community forums.

  • We ask all forums members to provide references for health/medical/scientific information they provide, when it is not a personal experience being discussed. Please provide hyperlinks with full URLs or full citations of published works not available via the Internet. Additionally, all forums members must post information which are true and correct to their knowledge.

  • Product advertisement—including links; banners; editorial content; and clinical trial, study or survey participation—is strictly prohibited by forums members unless permission has been secured from POZ.

To change forums navigation language settings, click here (members only), Register now

Para cambiar sus preferencias de los foros en español, haz clic aquí (sólo miembros), Regístrate ahora

Finished Reading This? You can collapse this or any other box on this page by clicking the symbol in each box.

Author Topic: Ecstasy could be effective in treating PTSD  (Read 1754 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline spacebarsux

  • Member
  • Posts: 1,350
  • Survival of the Fittest
Ecstasy could be effective in treating PTSD
« on: December 27, 2012, 11:37:38 AM »
MDMA (the illegal drug ecstasy) may provide long term benefits as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder, according to a study which looked at its use alongside psychotherapy.

The research was a follow up to an earlier study published last year in which a group of 12 patients with chronic treatment resistant PTSD were given MDMA, and compared with another group of eight patients who were not, during and after psychotherapeutic treatment for their PTSD.

The new paper, which is published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, has followed up all but one of the original participants, up to six years after they were treated with MDMA. The researchers found that their PTSD symptoms remained reduced, they didn't go on to abuse drugs, and there was no harm to memory and concentration after the treatment.

PTSD can be debilitating to those who suffer from it and there is a need for more effective treatment options. Some people vividly relive traumatic events in their past via uncontrollable flashbacks or nightmares; often those suffering from it will avoid anything linked to the traumatic event, which can lead to difficulties in daily life (if a person was assaulted while shopping for example, they may be unable to cope in crowded places afterwards).

In the original study, people were given MDMA up to a maximum of three times, and in a therapeutic setting (including extended therapy sessions involving overnight stays), so short term effects of the drug could be monitored, and long term harms would be unlikely. The people recruited for the study were those who had already received conventional treatment for PTSD, which had been unsuccessful. Although the number of people in the study was very small, they found that both groups' symptoms improved over time those who received MDMA as well as psychotherapy showed a greater improvement up to two months after the end of treatment.

The follow up paper shows that improvements to most of the participants in the short term persist in the longer term; at least three years after treatment. Two participants relapsed after the end of the trial, and three did not answer the questionnaire, meaning the treatment was still not completely successful for everyone. This is not unusual in treating complex mental health problems. After the end of the initial study, all participants in the placebo group were offered further therapy with MDMA, and all but one accepted, so there is no longer a comparison group. This means it's harder to tell whether the participants would have got better anyway.

There's also another reason for caution. When running experiments that begin with an extremely ill population, as this study does, an improvement over time is highly likely due to an effect called 'regression to the mean'; if you only investigate people at one end of a spectrum, they are more likely to move back towards the middle of the spectrum, regardless of the treatment they receive.

Currently, sufferers are treated with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs, the drugs often used to treat depression), and with psychotherapy including cognitive behavioural therapy and psychodynamic psychotherapy.

While these treatments are the best available at the moment, they are not that effective. Clinical trials of psychotherapy have shown that roughly a quarter of PTSD sufferers who enrol for treatment fail to complete it, and even for those who finish their treatment, recovery is not guaranteed.

Before it was made illegal, MDMA was sometimes used by psychotherapists to aid therapy sessions. People who use MDMA describe it as inducing euphoria and decreasing fear, but also report remaining clear headed and alert, unlike after using other drugs and alcohol. Psychotherapeutic techniques can involve asking patients to revisit their traumatic event in a safe environment, in order to try and eliminate the excessive reaction to the memories. In PTSD, the fear response to these memories can sometimes be so great that patients are unable to revisit them, even in the safety of a therapy session. If MDMA does reduce feelings of fear, but does not affect clear headedness, it could be a very useful tool for psychotherapists to help put patients at ease before they have to remember their trauma.

But MDMA is not without harms. Short term effects of use can include hyperthermia (the opposite of hypothermia; the body heats up) and dehydration. Researchers initially assumed this was because MDMA was often used at raves, where people danced in hot rooms and didn't drink, but experiments in lab conditions have shown these short term effects too. Also, there is evidence (although not all studies agree) that long term use can have damaging effects on memory, increase depression and anxiety, and lead to liver and teeth damage.

This is only a pilot study, it will need to be repeated with larger numbers of patients. But doing these kinds of studies using illegal recreational drugs can be very difficult.

Professor David Nutt's TV show 'Drugs Live' earlier this year was also attempting to investigate MDMA and PTSD, and he suggested there are difficulties in obtaining funding for conducting research into uses for illegal substances. As Mark Stokes pointed out recently, turning to TV to fund these experiments doesn't always make for brilliant science. This study was funded by a group called the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, rather than a more traditional research funding body. In the current climate of austerity and spending cuts for science, it is hard to tell whether studies that examine uses of illegal drugs are being selectively less funded, or whether all areas of science are being forced to look to more unorthodox sources for money.

Infected-  2005 or early 2006; Diagnosed- Jan 28th, 2011; Feb '11- CD4 754 @34%, VL- 39K; July '11- CD4 907@26%,  VL-81K; Feb '12- CD4 713 @31%, VL- 41K, Nov '12- CD4- 827@31%

Offline BT65

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 10,785
Re: Ecstasy could be effective in treating PTSD
« Reply #1 on: December 27, 2012, 03:11:12 PM »
Ms. P posted a study sometime back about MDMA treating depression.  I e-mailed my doctor to see what he thought and he said he did not believe MDMA would ever be prescribed outside of a clinical setting due to the high risk of abuse. 

It is interesting.  Of course, Freud used to treat people with cocaine.  That didn't last.
I've never killed anyone, but I frequently get satisfaction reading the obituary notices.-Clarence Darrow

Condom and Lube Info http://www.aidsmap.com/Condoms/page/1044833/
Please check out our lessons on PEP and PrEP. http://www.poz.com/factsheets/fs_2014_09_prep.pdf


Offline anniebc

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,174
  • AM member since 2003
Re: Ecstasy could be effective in treating PTSD
« Reply #2 on: December 27, 2012, 05:24:01 PM »

 Freud used to treat people with cocaine.  That didn't last.

Freud was a cocaine addict at a time when it wasn't against the law to use it, so it's not surprising he used it on others, it was prescribed and used as an euphoric, but the harmful side of the drug hadn't been discovered back then, and of course you are right Betty his treatment of others using cocaine didn't last.

Jan :-*
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Jeff G

  • Administrator
  • Member
  • Posts: 17,062
  • How am I doing Beren ?
Re: Ecstasy could be effective in treating PTSD
« Reply #3 on: December 27, 2012, 05:33:51 PM »
A guy named Steve treated me with coke all through the 90's . It worked wonders for my spirits if I did a bump every 20 minutes . He wasn't a doctor , just a bartender .
HIV 101 - Basics
HIV 101
You can read more about Transmission and Risks here:
HIV Transmission and Risks
You can read more about Testing here:
HIV Testing
You can read more about Treatment-as-Prevention (TasP) here:
You can read more about HIV prevention here:
HIV prevention
You can read more about PEP and PrEP here
PEP and PrEP

Offline anniebc

  • Member
  • Posts: 6,174
  • AM member since 2003
Re: Ecstasy could be effective in treating PTSD
« Reply #4 on: December 27, 2012, 05:35:26 PM »
A guy named Steve treated me with coke all through the 90's . It worked wonders for my spirits if I did a bump every 20 minutes . He wasn't a doctor , just a bartender .

LOL....silly bugger... ;D

Jan :-*
Never knock on deaths door..ring the bell and run..he really hates that.

Offline Andy Velez

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • Posts: 32,240
Re: Ecstasy could be effective in treating PTSD
« Reply #5 on: December 27, 2012, 07:13:32 PM »
Shared ecstacy (repeated) use will not save a relationship.

It is with some empirical data that I offer that observation.
« Last Edit: December 27, 2012, 07:17:44 PM by Andy Velez »
Andy Velez

Offline thunter34

  • Member
  • Posts: 7,361
  • His name is Carl.
Re: Ecstasy could be effective in treating PTSD
« Reply #6 on: December 28, 2012, 09:17:10 PM »
My two cents (which are probably worth even less):  Ecstasy is one drug that I have absolutely ZERO regrets about doing.  In fact, in many ways it helped pull me out of a big depression during a rough patch.  While I have no professional cred to back it up, my experience from using it makes me totally buy its potential for treating PTSD and other such disorders.

I think it's been given an unnecesary bad rap - much like marijuana has.
AIDS isn't for sissies.


Terms of Membership for these forums

© 2017 Smart + Strong. All Rights Reserved.   terms of use and your privacy
Smart + Strong® is a registered trademark of CDM Publishing, LLC.