Ecstasy, the illegal psychoactive drug, is hoped to relieve anxiety caused by terminal disease, as announced by the main funder of a team of California scientists. They are about to enter clinical trials with more than 12 subjects.
All of the participants are suffering from various life-threatening diseases, such as cancer. According to Brad Burge, the spokesperson for the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, their life expectancy is somewhere around the 9 months marker.
That’s why the subjects will participate in the study for the next year, which takes place in Santa Cruz. The experiment will involve researchers randomly administering the patients either a dose of Ecstasy (or MDMA, the scientific term) – 125 milligrams – or 30 milligrams of placebo.
Burge explained the target is to observe the effect a prolonged ecstasy-influenced psychotherapy will have on the seriously ill patients who reacted to their diagnoses with debilitating anxiety, depression or exhausting fear.
Leading investigator Dr. Philip Wolfson told in a press release that the four-to-five hours MDMA session can actually be benefic and rather potent if it is medically controlled and supervised by trained therapists.
Wolfson added that Ecstasy is a drug that helps the patient experience psychotherapy in a meaningful, deep way, which also happens to show effects in a short time.
It’s been decades since MDMA is under federal ban by law due to its addictive character and medically instable effects. Even though no comment has been made by the Drug Enforcement Administration, Burge stated the clinic where the trials will take place had updated and has been certified by federal agency to be secure.
Food and Drug Administration spokeswoman Sandy Walsh explained the DEA is under strict FDA rules and cannot disclose information about the drugs used and developed for the study. The U.S. law also prohibits any revealing of further information.
Within 12 to 15 months, researchers expect to see some results from the clinical trials. Burge said that MDMA is believed to make psychotherapy easier. The placebo will also contain a smaller dose of MDMA, so low it could fool both the participant and the therapist.
Researchers offered the subjects the possibility of requesting another 62.5 milligram dose in the same session as the dose given part of the study. Those who will be part of the placebo control group also have the possibility of later re-entering the trial.
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