According to various reports, the U.S Food and Drug Administration has now designated 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) better known as ecstasy, as a breakthrough therapy for PTSD. If approved medicinally, the treatment could prove to help millions currently suffering from the traumatic disorder.
Of course, such a status could lead the drug to faster approval. Just last week, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) announced that the FDA had finally approved the popular recreational party drug Breakthrough Therapy Designation.
Such a decision was reached after years of clinical trials showed significant relief for PTSD sufferers.
According to Forbes, MAPS has done most of the leg-work necessary for getting the substance approved over a 30 year timespan. This was explained during the press conference held to announce MDMA’s Breakthrough Therapy designation, and indicates that the agency, “has agreed that this treatment may have a meaningful advantage and greater compliance over available medications for PTSD.”
Following such a decision have been feelings of excitement and concern. However, one positive turn of events is that researchers are now also studying the medicinal effects of other psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin (magic mushrooms) and LSD.
MAPS has been conducting trials on MDMA since the late 1980’s, despite skepticism.
Their endeavor was one to prove the drugs therapeutic value, which was achieved in 2011. Then, the drug began to gain a reputation as a potential treatment for PTSD. Since, scientists have pushed for further testing, but the drug’s harmful reputation has proceeded it. Thankfully, in spite of this, the FDA has saw through science exactly what the drug is capable of.
In the future, this could prove to be groundbreaking for all sufferers of mental illness, and especially those with PTSD who could be reaping the effects of such decisions by as early as 2021. And if it proves to be a safe and effective treatment, it could help millions of people who are currently suffering.
Image via. MDMA — Photo Illustration: R. A. Di Ieso