by Bethany Montgomery
What is Ecstasy?
Ecstasy is a synthetic, psychoactive drug chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine (a powerful and highly addictive stimulant that affects the central nervous system) and the hallucinogen mescaline. Street names for MDMA include Ecstasy, Adam, XTC, hug drug, beans, and love drug. Ecstasy is an illegal drug that acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energizing effect, as well as hallucinations.
What is PTSD?
PTSD stands for post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD is a mental health problem that some people develop after experiencing or witnessing a life-threatening event, like combat, a natural disaster, a car accident, or sexual assault. The symptoms of PTSD are reliving the event, which causes bad memories or nightmares also known as flashbacks, and avoiding situations that remind you of the event or people that trigger memories of the traumatic event. Some other symptoms are having more negative beliefs and feelings, which is the way you think about yourself and others because of the trauma which may also cause a person to feel guilt or shame, and hyperarousal which may leave a person jittery, always alert and on the lookout for danger, have trouble concentrating or sleeping, or suddenly get angry or irritable, startle easily, or act in unhealthy ways.
The trial to treat PTSD with ecstasy has already been approved by the FDAto continue with the studies and trials. The trial starts by giving PTSD patients the ecstasy pill once a month just three times. This is also paired with long talking therapy sessions and then followed by sporadic weekly sessions with no use of the drug. This is to see how the drug affects the person. This is not a 100% treatment of PTSD as everyone has different levels and stages of PTSD and their bodies handle the drug differently. It is said that if the trial with ecstasy goes well, it could legalized as a treatment for PTSD as soon as 2021.