MDMA may soon become a regulated prescription medicine.
2016 may not be a total loss. The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given the go for phase three trials of MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). This is the final phase of testing required to turn your favorite clandestine club drug into a legal medicine, according to the Guardian.
In America, the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) currently groups MDMA, together with Heroin and LSD, as schedule 1 substances. Molly, which you’ve probably taken at one time or another, gives you feelings of euphoria, love, togetherness and bonding. These qualities are what makes it so appealing for patients with treatment-resistant PTSD.
“Moving from phase two to phase three shows we have strong scientific reason to believe that MDMA is an effective treatment for PTSD in therapy. The fact the FDA is ready to move forward with phase three signals that they agree,” said Brad Burge, from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (Maps), a not-for-profit based in Santa Cruz, California, that has spearheaded efforts to turn MDMA into a medicine.
According to those close to the MDMA trials, if all goes as planned it can be legalized as early as 2021. This would provide a new avenue of treatment for those battling PTSD, and also for the rest of us who wouldn’t mind a prescription or two from time to time. Even if effective, the FDA may still not approve MDMA, as around 50% of drugs fail at phase three.
Legalization of MDMA, unlike medical marijuana, which is available for consumption in patients’ homes, wouldn’t be free for all of us. By design of the trial, the drug if legalized would only be able to be administered by a licensed psychotherapist.
“People come into a clinic and receive one MDMA pill from the doctor and take it right away for their therapy session. They don’t take it home,” said Brad Burge.
Burge warns that there’s a big difference between the pure MDMA used in the trial and the club drug ecstasy or molly.
“Less than half of the ecstasy or molly available on the street contains any MDMA at all, and it usually contains far more harmful adulterants,” he said.