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MAPS Bulletin Spring 2014: Special Edition: Psychedelics and Education
 
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April 24, 2014

Forget Raving, MDMA Is Helping War Veterans Cope With Their PTSD

By: Sean Levinson

Elite Daily

Elite Daily shares Tony Macie’s perspective about his experience participating in a clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat PTSD. The article pieces together Macie’s story with quotes from his interview with Vice, crafting a narrative that details preparing for the treatment, arriving to important realizations during the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, and receiving a new outlook on life. “I realized that I was pushing people away, so I rekindled a lot of relationships with my family and friends, and I was more open to love,” explains Macie. “When I got home [from Iraq] I couldn’t really communicate with my family, but I think I’m a lot closer to them now.”


Originally appearing here.

Tony Macie is one of the many Iraq veterans who returned home with post traumatic stress disorder.

Doctors gave him anti-depressants but, as usual, they were no use.

Thankfully, Tony is very open-minded and had heard of alternative methods of combating PTSD being experimented on in the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).

Those are the guys trying to convince the government that weed, hallucinogens and other drugs you probably took in college are much more beneficial for veterans than pills that turn them into zombies.

This particular trial dealt with MDMA, the primary ingredient in Ecstasy.

Vice’s Jack Gilbert spoke to Macie over the phone to discuss the effects the popular party drug hs on the brain of a traumatized war veteran stricken with severe insomnia and anxiety.

“The dose was 75 mg, which I took once in pill form. I went to meet with the guys three or four times before I took the MDMA, just to talk with them about the trial,” he said.
Macie explained the effects of the drug in detail.

“Then the MDMA kicked in and I started to feel good. I felt relaxed and calm, and a complete peace came over me. Memories came up I was previously trying to ignore, but then as soon as I would let the memory come up I would have a wave of pleasure, so I think my body was telling me to accept the memories.

I also felt I needed to take the positives out of everything, no matter what the situation is. I also came to a lot of realizations when I was on the MDMA.”

Macie told Gilbert that the MDMA put him in control of his memories. He had been harboring an incomparable amount of guilt over losing two close friends in an explosion and not until he took the MDMA did he understand what was required of him to move on.

“I realized that I was pushing people away, so I rekindled a lot of relationships with my family and friends, and I was more open to love. I also felt I was able to talk and communicate again. When I got home I couldn’t really communicate with my family, but I think I’m a lot closer to them now.”

And the more he opens up, Macie said, the better he feels each day.

As for negative side effects, there weren’t many.

“The only side effect was that my jaw might have been a little sore, but I didn’t really feel any negative effects from the treatment. It was a very positive experience,” he said.
Macie now believes that anyone with PTSD should be able to legally take MDMA.

“For me, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy opened the doors to compassion, love, and moving on.”
The government might not be willing to change its laws for the average citizen, but it should maybe reconsider for the brave men and women who risk their lives defending our country.

We can now add Macie to the growing list of veterans who have proven that, sometimes, what the government calls illegal may be the only way for PTSD victims to live the rewarding lives they deserve.


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