Scientists in Bristol, UK, have developed a programme researching the application of MDMA as a treatment for addiction, according to The Independent.
The original study in the usage of MDMA in addiction treatment began at Imperial College London and clinical psychiatrist and senior research fellow at Imperial College London Dr Ben Sessa stated on his website:
3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) is a remarkable substance.
Forget what you know about the popular use of this compound in the context of the recreational drug ecstasy (whatever that is these days). MDMA is a medical drug that started its life in the clinical setting.
It has a unique receptor profile that makes this drug, when combined in a supervised clinical setting with experienced psychotherapists, the perfect tool to enhance trauma-focused psychotherapy.
Early life psychological trauma – especially when induced by child maltreatment and abuse – is very difficult to manage.
It underlies most if not all adult anxiety-based disorders such as PTSD and addictions.
Sadly, traditional psychiatric treatments with antidepressants and counselling are ineffective for 50% of sufferers because the severity of their distressing trauma is too great for them to discuss and explore their memories with a therapist.
But MDMA provides exactly the right blend of subjective psychological effects to safely and gently hold the PTSD sufferer; providing a secure platform of containment in which they can reflect upon and eventually resolve their long-standing emotional issues.
UK legislation presently blocks the usage of illegal street drugs for the treatment of illnesses and disorders, something Dr Sessa is seemingly eager to change.
Further to legislative blocks, the usage of one drug to cure addictions to others will be sure to raise eyebrows and cynicism in the field of addiction theory given the notion that ‘once you are an addict, you are for life”.
Put simply, such research may lead to replacing one addiction for another or even worsen a present condition.