Chromatography

Can PTSD Be Cured?

May 30 2018 Read 902 Times

While post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) cases are usually associated with veterans, the latest findings suggest that up to three in 100 Brits may develop PTSD at some stage of life. Patients include firefighters and first response workers, as well as car crash survivors and rape victims.

Understandably, treating PTSD is both difficult and complex. Now, a study is breaking new ground and suggesting that ecstasy could emerge as an effective cure for the condition. According to scientists, the illegal party drug, which contains an active constituent known as MDMA, can offer results in as little as two weeks.

Ecstasy emerges as new PTSD treatment

The study was published in Lancet Psychiatry and drew on data from almost 30 patients, including military veterans, firefighters and a police officer. All had previously been diagnosed with PTSD and were given different doses of the drug, ranging from 30mg, 75mg and 125mg. After just two treatment sessions 86% of patients issued with 75mg doses no longer met the diagnostic criteria for PTSD. The 125mg group enjoyed a 58% recovery rate while 29% of patients in the 30mg group were given the all clear.

Enhancing traditional psychotherapy techniques

While MDMA triggers feelings of extreme euphoria and increased sensory perception, the team maintains that it can also be used to enhance receptiveness to traditional psychotherapy techniques by actively stimulating feelings of empathy and insight.  

"Our study suggests that MDMA might help augment the psychotherapeutic experiences and may have a role to play in the future treatment of PTSD," comments lead researcher Dr Allison Feduccia. “However, we would certainly not recommend that individuals try these drugs for the treatment of psychiatric disorders without the support from trained psychotherapists."

Recreational drugs meet modern medicine

Of course, self-treating PTSD isn't something that should be taken lightly. Both ecstasy and MDMA are classified as illegal Class A drugs in the UK, with possession charges carrying a maximum penalty of seven years behind bars. Furthermore, recent data confirms that ecstasy and similar drugs caused more than 50 deaths in 2015. For this reason, experts stress that MDMA should only be sourced from medical professionals, and always coupled with close psychological supervision.

Like MDMA, cannabis is another illicit substance gaining traction in the medical sphere. For more information on the latest medical marijuana developments don't miss 'Good is Not a Number - Challenges in the Cannabis Extraction Manufacturing: Transitioning from Traditional Subjective to Modern QC/QA/PAT Chromatographic Analysis'

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