Is MDMA a curse or a cure?
Scientists have been conducting studies recently to determine the health benefits of psychedelics such as LSD and ecstasy (methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also known as MDMA or Mollies). Most people refer to a single-dose pill of the drug as a Molly. The drug became popular as a party favor in nightclubs and raves worldwide and is known as the feelgood drug.
A teenager partying in Bristol, England died after taking the drug at a nightclub. Drake Morgan-Baines collapsed after taking just one pill and having a brain seizure and going into cardiac arrest. His mother told reporters that she was devastated, warning people that just one dose could kill you. "Hospital staff told us it was high-potency MDMA and, because it was the first time he had taken any, it was too powerful for him. He got unlucky as his body couldn’t cope. One pill is enough to be in the same position we are in."
The controversial drug is dangerous, but it has also helped war veterans with PTSD. James Casey is a veteran who fought in Afghanistan. When he was interviewed he said that MDMA therapy gave him his life back. “It has allowed me not be a slave to my fears. I’m grateful for the privilege to have taken part in this study. I’m better, but there are all these people around me who aren’t. That includes veterans and active duty service members, people who have been in horrible car accidents, people who have been mugged, people who have been raped and abused. Trauma is trauma, and we shouldn’t be keeping the most effective treatment for PTSD to date from anyone.”
Almost 30 percent of the war veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan have PTSD. Casey was significantly helped in just three sessions over a 5-week period. The FDA has recently approved clinical trials to study MDMA for a treatment for PTSD, and the drug is expected to be a breakthrough therapy for the disorder.
Niko Mann is a freelance writer living in Los Angeles.