Can ecstasy treat the agony of PTSD?

Kai is a contributing correspondent for Science magazine based in Berlin, Germany.

For almost 30 years, Rick Doblin has pushed the idea of using the drug MDMA, better known as ecstasy, in psychotherapy. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which he founded, has funded two phase II trials of MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), one with encouraging results, and is supporting several others. Doblin and some other scientists believe the drug may help PTSD patients relive their traumas with a therapist in a safe atmosphere without overwhelming emotions. Swiss neurobiologist Franz Vollenweider says Doblin has a political agenda and lacks the expertise or the money to organize a phase III study.

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