Ecstasy, or MDMA is an illegal psychoactive drug that induces an euphoric state. However, some scientists from California are trying to establish if the drug can have a useful purpose in the case of terminally ill patients who often experience anxiety.
The trial, which was announced on Tuesday, the 26th of May 2015, will engage at least twelve participants who suffer from severe forms of cancer and the doctors expect them to live more than nine months.
Brad Burge, a representative of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies said that this trial will take place in Santa Cruz and it will last for about a year.
He also gave a few details about the trial, saying that the participants will each receive either a dose of 125 mg of Ecstasy or a 30 mg placebo dose.
The purpose of the study is to see if this drug has the ability to relieve some of the incredibly the symptoms of anxiety and panic and make patients’ struggle with the idea that they might die easier.
“Our hypothesis is that something is happening with MDMA that makes psychotherapy easier,” Brad Burge added.
The lead investigator of the trial, Dr. Philip Wolfson said that he believes the effects of MDMA can be extremely powerful and can change a patient’s state of mind, as long as he or she is under the strict supervision of a therapist.
“It’s a substance that supports deep, meaningful and rapidly effective psychotherapy,” he told the San Francisco Chronicle.
The patients will also be given a dose of placebo meds in order to see if the effects are self-induced or real.
One might wonder how this trial is legal, given the fact that MDMA is considered to be quite dangerous and is definitely not medicine you can purchase in a drugstore. It is decades since ecstasy has been banned under federal law.
In fact, when asked about their opinion on the trial, the Drug Enforcement Administration refused to comment on the matter. Nevertheless, Brad Burge said federal agency has already certified a security infrastructure.
FDA (Food and Drug Administration) representatives stated that the agency is not allowed to disclose information related to drugs that are being analyzed due to FDA regulation and U.S. laws.
It still remains to be seen how effective this trial is going to be. We will probably have an update in five to twelve months from now.
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