Psychoactive drug could help troops with PTSD, UK general says — Analysis

It is possible that ecstasy, a recreational drug, may be beneficial in treating troops who have been traumatized.

Britain’s former Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter has drawn public attention to the possible treatment of severe PTSD with the psychoactive drug MDMA, commonly known as ecstasy and currently outlawed in the UK.

With British trials of ecstasy-assisted therapy expected to start in early 2022 at King’s College London, Carter featured the issue on Thursday’s BBC Radio 4 ‘Today’ program, which he guest-edited.

Carter, according to listeners, wanted to emphasize research done in the United States. The approval of MDMA-assisted psychological therapy could be granted as soon as 2023.

Rick Doblin (founder and executive director of Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies) was interviewed on the show. He also spoke with a participant from US trials.

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According to Doblin, ecstasy “This affects how activity is distributed in the brain.” By reducing activity in those parts which deal with “It is difficult to feel these emotions,” the drug lets people process fears and painful memories more easily. Doblin stressed that the use of ecstasy alone is insufficient to treat post-traumatic stress disorder. Therapy should also be considered.

A Vietnam War veteran who suffered from PTSD for more than 50 years confirmed that MDMA therapy has had a “calming” effect, enabling him to return to a relatively normal life and even make new friends.

Although it is a potent drug, the UK classifies ecstasy as a Class B drug. Possession can result in a 7-year sentence while dealing could lead to a life sentence.

Due to its popularity as a ‘party drug’, MDMA causes the deaths of dozens of young people in the UK annually.

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