Medical experts are beginning to consider the possibility that MDMA, also known as ecstasy, could help soldiers coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan combat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
The popular party drug has been the focus of a new and somewhat controversial experiment designed to help war veterans cope with the effects of coming home from war.
Michael and Ann Mithoefer, a husband and wife team of researchers, published a study on the subject in the “Journal of Psychopharmacology” investigating the long-term effectiveness of the drug as an anti-PTSD tool. They used 20 patients with PTSD who had proven unresponsive to conventional psychotherapy and gave them MDMA as part of their therapy sessions.
The original results showed that patients given ecstasy were more responsive to the treatment than those given the placebo, posting a “spectacular” 85 percent response rate, says Arran Frood at Nature. (The placebo group hovered at 30 percent.)