(TMU) — Over the last ten years, there has been a new surge of scientific research into psychedelics.
Scientists are now finally getting a chance to gather information about how psychedelics affect our bodies and minds after many decades of finding themselves limited and restricted by the conditions of the drug war.
In a recent study conducted by researchers at Imperial College London, four alcoholics were given MDMA to assist in therapy sessions, and all four of them stopped drinking after the 8-week trial.
In the study, the participants underwent therapy sessions every single week, but during one of those sessions each month, the patients would take a pure dose of MDMA.
The test subjects varied in age and background, and included a 54-year-old mother of three, a 34-year-old father of two, a former heroin addict, and a retired man who had been drinking for 30 years.
The participants in the study were very serious drinkers, and three of the four had attempted and failed to quit on numerous occasions. One of the participants had never even bothered trying to quit.
However, after the MDMA assisted therapy program, they were all able to stay sober for over nine months, which was a personal record for each of them. They even reported that they didn’t have cravings, which is typically unheard of for people in their situation.
According to the United States’ National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 90% of alcoholics will have at least one relapse in the years following treatment.
Psychiatrist Dr. Ben Sessa, the study’s lead author, says that substances like MDMA can radically change how psychotherapy works by allowing patients to strike at the root of their addiction problems and traumas without the need for long term prescriptions.
Sessa believes that this is a major threat to drug companies who depend on keeping people medicated, which is why it is difficult to get funding for research and development of MDMA treatments.
“The idea of taking MDMA just twice and then not having to be on SSRIs for the rest of your life is not in the interest of the pharmaceutical industry. They’re not going to put money into a drug like MDMA, which then cures the patient and gets them off all their drugs,” Sessa said.
Before it became a popular club drug with the street name of ecstasy, MDMA was first used as a therapy aid for couples counselors, and now therapists are finally starting to use this powerful tool in a variety of therapy settings once again.
Other studies have found that MDMA assisted therapy could become a breakthrough treatment for PTSD as well.