Experiments trying out ecstasy effects on soldiers labeled with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) were promoted in an article in the military newspaper “Stars and Stripes” on Nov 20th.
Ecstasy (or MDMA) is a party drug popular in the 1980’s and 1990’s and still in use today though it has been on the same illegal drug list as heroin and LSD since 1985.
The NY Times and NBC Los Angeles both carried the story on Nov 20th.
The NY Times article entitled “A ‘Party Drug’ May Help the Brain Cope With Trauma” stated that military vets were lining up to try Ecstasy treatments delivered by Michael Mithoefer , a psychiatrist and his wife, Ann Mithoefer, a nurse. The couple works with researchers at the Medical University of South Carolina and co-ordinates with The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS).
But using MDMA as treatment! The MAPS website claims their pure medical grade MDMA is not Ecstasy which might have other drugs or chemicals substituted for the beneficial MDMA. They talk about chemical and hormonal imbalances of PTSD cases being remedied by MDMA effects but there are no scientific tests to show these imbalances exist or that the areas of the brain targeted by this drug even effect behavior in the way they claim.
MDMA is still an illegal drug due to its damaging and addictive effects.
Last summer CNN reported on MDMA’s current incarnation as “Molly” a short name for “molecule.” Molly is the powder or crystal form of MDMA — or 3, 4-Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. It’s a schedule 1 controlled substance ruled illegal by the DEA. It’s a psychoactive synthetic drug with hallucinogenic and stimulant characteristics similar to LSD.
Apparently at Miami’s Ultra Music Festival, fliers were found strewn all over the location asking “Have you seen molly?” While doing an introduction to an artist, the pop star Madonna asked the crowd “How many people in this crowd have seen molly?” and got a big appreciative roar from the drug takers though she later denied she was referring to this drug.
MDMA effects include flooding users’ brains with neurotransmitters serotonin, norepinephrine and dopamine, making them feel elated, empathic and full of energy. It also can produce elevated heart rates, distorted thinking, dehydration, exhaustion, greatly increased body temperature, seizures, cardiac episodes, comas and, in some cases, death.
Depression can follow once the drug high has worn off. Cases of long term depression have been created by using Ecstasy or MDMA.
MDMA was originally used to treat psychiatric disorders back in the 1960’s but was soon shown to make the disorders worse and banned. Today’s recreational use can lead to permanent effects of anxiety, depression, psychotic disorders and memory loss.
Military personnel with symptoms called PTSD by psychiatrists hardly need this drug and its after effects as a new “treatment”. One is rolling the dice as to where the patient will land mentally and emotionally given the wide array of ecstasy and MDMA effects following usage of it.
Having previously wasted billions on other psychotropic drugs that failed to fix PTSD, the military should never pay for an addictive substitute like MDMA.