MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials to begin final phase in Vancouver
published on January 21, 2018 by Geordon Omand in The Globe and Mail
Ed Thompson remembers the helplessness he felt each of the thousands of times his twin daughters would turn blue and go lifeless in his arms.
The young girls suffered from acute breath-holding spells, an involuntary condition that causes children to pass out, in their case up to 40 times a day.
“Having your kids die in your arms 7,500 times kind of sucks,” he said.
The girls’ conditions eventually improved, but the experience compounded earlier trauma Thompson had witnessed as a firefighter in South Carolina, sending him into a spiral of post-traumatic stress, substance abuse and thoughts of suicide.
“We hope to prove that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is the most effective treatment for PTSD that exists on the planet,” said Mark Haden, a public health professor at the University of British Columbia. Haden founded the Canadian wing of MAPS and helped organize stage two of the organization’s research trials in Vancouver.
Traditional PTSD treatment focuses on desensitization, which is painful and can last years, or even a lifetime, Haden said, adding that only about 10 to 15 per cent of people successfully recover and the drop-out rate is high.
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, however, lasts fewer than four months and preliminary studies show two thirds of participants remained free of PTSD one year after treatment, he said.
The experimental trials have been so successful, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, which overseas the approval and regulation of pharmaceutical drugs, has labelled it a “breakthrough therapy” for PTSD treatment.View the full article