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MDMA Is Being Tested to Treat Alcohol Addiction

In the UK, doctors are preparing to start a clinical study where MDMA will be used to treat alcohol addiction. The drug won’t be administered on it’s own, however, but will be accompanied by psychotherapy sessions. In a few short months, the study will be underway as it was recently granted ethical approval.

How the study will work is twenty patients, who are all heavy drinkers, will be administered small doses of MDMA during two therapy sessions. After a physical detox, they will have two therapy sessions without the drug, followed by a day of high dosage where they will lie down and speak with a therapist in a state of “meditation”.

The reasoning behind this new study can be given to us by the clinical psychiatrist of the study who is also a senior researcher at Imperial College London, Ben Sessa. He states that MDMA has helped people with traumatic experiences in the past, and that most alcoholics’ addicitons are fueled by some sort of trauma. Furthermore, the MDMA is not what will be treating the addicts, but it will help foster a stronger relationship between the patient and the therapist. He believes that this will allow the patient to open up more about their lives so that the therapist can better see why addiction is a problem in their lives.

The use of psychedelics, such as psilocybin, in medicine is increasing, and definitely shouldn’t be ruled out just yet. US researchers have found MDMA to be very helpful in treating post traumatic stress disorder, and severe depression has also been examined. Some are still cautious towards these studies because of the wide range of effects these drugs can have on different people.

H/T: The Guardian

Image Credit: CBS News/istockphoto