Recent media reports, including an extensive article in the New York Times, have detailed a current number of independent, small-scale studies of the effectiveness of the mind-altering “party drug” Ecstasy (MDMA) in the treatment of post traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The theory being tested by mental health professionals is that using the drug in conjunction with specialized psychotherapy (counseling) might increase the traumatized brain’s ability to recall difficult experiences with clarity and tranquility. This treatment might allow the patient to process the pent up emotions that typify PTSD so that lasting healing can be accomplished.
PTSD is a unique condition in that it contains both physiological and psychological elements. During intense stress the brain seems to function the way a fuse box does during electrical overload. The brain partially shuts down when intensely traumatic events occur as a way of protecting the individual from suffering a complete nervous breakdown. This bio-chemical phenomenon allows the patient to survive the stressful circumstance by triggering “fight or flight” reflexes and limiting the conscious brain’s capacity to fully comprehend what has happened.
Some examples of the kinds of experiences that can lead to PTSD are as follows:
The chemical process that happens during trauma may help a soldier, fireman or police officer survive for a few hours, but if the individual can’t recall and process the traumatic event, the emotional blockage can cause panic attacks, nightmares, depression, substance abuse and addiction.
Ecstasy (MDMA) is a stimulant and mild hallucinogen that is related to amphetamine but has very different effects. It works by slowing neurotransmitter action in the brain in a way that does not create the typical high of stimulants, but instead gives users a sense of peace and an eagerness to share their feelings with others and to empathize with their friends. MDMA intensifies visual stimulation and emotional response, sometimes to unhealthy levels. Side effects include the following:
Some users combine Ecstasy with other drugs or with alcohol in order to intensify the euphoric effect. Users can become psychologically addicted to Ecstasy and may suffer from permanent brain damage.
MDMA is not safe. The only studies that have been completed so far are very small-scale and inconclusive. A person suffering from PTSD may desperately crave any cure that offers the slightest bit of hope for relief. Many have turned to illegal supplies but have no idea what chemicals they are actually taking. Street supplies of the drug frequently contain other chemicals, including cocaine, LSD, benzodiazepines and barbiturates. One major drug interdiction in Europe has led to greatly reduced supplies of MDMA worldwide. Most illegal supplies contain at least one other chemical.
For free answers about PTSD, ecstasy and treatment programs that are legal and effective, please call our toll-free, 24 hour helpline today. Don’t trust your brain to experimentation. We can help you find relief from PTSD, substance abuse and depression with proven, personalized treatment. Call now.