MDMA short for ‘3,4 Methylene-dioxy-N-methylamphetamine’, also known as Molly is a Schedule I substance drug. This means that it is considered by the U.S. Federal government to have no medical benefit and a high potential for abuse. But what if it told you that MDMA can serve as a medicine for psychotherapy sessions. A drug that can potentially help patients with traumas.
The documentary, Neurons to Nirvana: Psychedelic Medicines, showed a testimony of a patient with terminal cancer. She said, “Naturally there is a lot of fear and anger and pain, emotional pain. That surrounds something like that. It has allowed me to open up and have communication with my family that I have never been able to have before.” The documentary showed that there were trials where DEA administrative law judge heard hours of testimonies from users and made the decision that schedule III made more sense for MDMA and that clinical research would be much easier to do. Schedule III means it can be accepted for medical use with the adequate restrictions, but the DEA did not take its own administrative law judge’s recommendation and put MDMA as a schedule I drug.
MDMA releases mostly serotonin and dopamine in the brain. Molly is not a hallucinogen, it is a serotonin agonist, which is a compound that activates serotonin receptors. This drug acts as an antidepressant or antianxiety medicine that works immediately. The types of medicines used to treat anxiety are called anxiolytic, a medicine that sedates, but MDMA is a quick medicine that does not sedate the person.
MDMA users report to feel relaxed, happy, and confident after approximately 45 minutes of taking it. This drug makes people feel completely alert and enhances memories of repressed trauma, making is a suitable medicine for psychotherapies. The problem with treating people with repressed traumas such as soldier with PTSD is that there is too much anxiety or emotional numbing. MDMA allows people to face their fears without being overwhelmed and at the same time have an emotional connection. Not only is Molly is a suitable drug for treating anxiety, but it also helps people have empathy for others because it also releases oxytocin in the brain. A hormone that is involved in bonding. If this drug is used in psychotherapies, then there will be more people who are relaxed, happy, trusting, and empathetic of others.
This drug will not be best used if people think that the only way to feel better is taking this drug again, creating and addiction. This drug can help patients with trauma only if they understand that it will help them open up, but that it is not the solution. Molly is an interesting drug, but the only way to completely understand its benefits and risks is by doing clinical research and the problem with pharmaceutical companies is that they are not interested in a medicine that will be given only a couple times, and it’s not that they don’t want you on a drug, but they want you to be on corporate drugs. Since MDMA was patented in 1914, it holds no profit. A drug cannot be patented twice and before marketing a new drug, a company has to show the risks and benefits of a medicine through trials. The only way for that is by obtaining exclusive rights to sell the drug through holding its patent.
In my opinion MDMA has much potential to be used as a medicine, but only after we understand its risks and benefits. The only way for pharmaceutical companies to do this is if we as a society, change our outlook on this drug through education and create a movement towards a positive outcome. What are your opinions on this subject? Do you consider MDMA to be a potential medicine for psychotherapies? If so comment on the bottom if this page.
Marry Bellis. (2015). The Invention of MDMA or Ecstasy. http://inventors.about.com/library/weekly/aa980311.htm
NIDA for Teens. (2015). Drug Facts MDMA (Ecstasy or Molly). http://teens.drugabuse.gov/drug-facts/mdma-ecstasy-or-molly
Oliver Hockenhull (Director). (2013). Neurons to Nirvana: Understanding Psychedelic Drugs. Mangusta Productions.