MDMA

We are the Gateway to Revolutionary Healthcare

MDMA

What is MDMA Therapy?

MDMA therapy aids in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD] and such affective disorders as anxiety and depression through a combination of psychotherapy and 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine [MDMA].

The United States Food and Drug Administration [US FDA] designated MDMA therapy for PTSD a ‘Breakthrough Therapy’ in 2017 and has since worked with the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies [MAPS]. They have undertaken a plan to make MDMA therapy an FDA-approved prescription treatment by 2023.[1]

A synthetic, psychoactive drug that works to alter mood and perception, MDMA—more commonly known as molly or ecstasy—acts as a stimulant for the brain, releasing neurotransmitters [including dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine, cortisol, and oxytocin] which heighten the senses and boost such emotions as empathy and self-awareness.[2]
Here at Gateway Sciences, we help our patients deal with PTSD through carefully choreographed MDMA therapy sessions under the care of expert medical practitioners.

Our facility at Santa Monica is staffed with the best in the world, and our team has state-of-the-art equipment at their disposal to help you lead a better life tomorrow.

Applications of MDMA Therapy

Due to its natural psychedelic properties, MDMA brings about a renewed sense of self-awareness while helping users self-actualize and reflect on their past and themselves. Coupled with their effect of reducing anxiety and feelings of stress makes MDMA is the ideal aid in the treatment of many mental ailments.[3]
It helps them to open up. This effect, coupled with psychotherapy, is instrumental in helping patients suffering from PTSD to share their traumas and overcome them through introspection.
[Icon]

Benefits vs Risks

MDMA is quite a useful drug with remarkable capabilities. However, it must be noted that as is the case with every medicine, MDMA has specific risks associated with it as well.

Benefits

  • Helps alleviate feelings of anxiety and depression.
  • Helps overcome past trauma.
  • Helps relax the body and compose the mind.
  • Helps mitigate adverse impulses in OCD patients.
  • Helps patients self-actualize through introspection, making them more self-aware and empathetic.

Risks

  • May lead to addiction and dependency in some cases.
  • MDMA’s effect on the brain has not been thoroughly researched.
  • MDMA’s usage on its own without psychotherapy is ineffective to treat ailments.
  • MDMA has some short-term adverse effects such as blurred vision, sweating, and a rapid heartbeat.
  • Overdose of MDMA can lead to long-term adverse effects.

[8][9]

A Brief History of MDMA

1912
German scientists first synthesize MDMA.

1914
The Merck company issues a patent for MDMA due to its potential in the pharmaceutical industry.

1950s
The notorious MK-Ultra project by the CIA begins to use MDMA and other psychedelics to study mind control and use it in warfare.

1970s
Scientists and therapists begin issuing MDMA to patients suffering from PTSD and other illnesses because MDMA makes users more willing to revisit past traumatic events.

Early 1980s
MDMA becomes popular as an underground party drug commonly known as ecstasy. However, MDMA begins to lose its credibility as a legitimate medicine due to its connotation with drug abuse in raves and parties.

1985
MDMA is outlawed under the Controlled Substances Act due to the stance of the United States on the war on drugs.

Early 1990s
MDMA is used in Switzerland during group and couple therapies.

2004
The FDA approves MDMA research due to its potential benefits as a medicine in the fields of psychotherapy.

2011
The first trial of MDMA as a psychotherapeutic supplement is underway.

2014
The results of the study are astounding, and the FDA labels MDMA as a “breakthrough therapy” in treating PTSD and other mental ailments.

2010s-Present Day
More research is undergoing as the effects of MDMA are discerned and assessed.

Modern Day Research on MDMA Therapy

MDMA research and study has expanded in the past few years. Even before the FDA’s approval, the effectiveness of MDMA in treating PTSD and mental disorders was quite well known. Since the approval, however, studies and research have renewed with increased legitimacy.

In recent years, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) institution has been leading the charge in MDMA research. They conducted a trial in 2000 in around 15 different sites spanning different countries, which produced astounding results. During the trial, 88% of the people who were studied under the effects of MDMA showcased improved moods. It was revealed that MDMA mitigates the performance of the amygdala, which is responsible for initiating fear in the brain. This allows patients to recall traumatic events of their lives with none of the fear and despair.[10]

In 2017, a study by Scottsdale Research Institute concluded that out of total patients involved in a clinical trial of MDMA, around 54% of them were no longer considered to suffer from clinical PTSD. Over time, that number increased to 68% as the situation of the patients improved.[11]
Further studies are planned in the near future to understand the scope and effectiveness of MDMA.

By 2023, the FDA plans to approve the usage of MDMA in psychotherapy, which would be a great boon for those who have found no solution to their PTSD.

Prevalence and Acceptance

MDMA’s calming effects and mitigation of symptoms of PTSD are currently being researched; however, we have developed a better understanding of its benefits as an aid in the treatment of mental ailments.

Studies in MDMA were picking up pace in the 1970s and early 1980s until the Controlled Substances Act in 1985 virtually stalled all research into the substance.[12]

In recent years, MDMA assisted therapy has been gaining popularity. It is proving to be more potent than conventional PTSD treatment. Regular PTSD treatment employs the use of antidepressants alongside cognitive-behavioural therapy [CBT] as well as psychotherapy. Unfortunately, over half of the patients report lacklustre results.[13] This is not the case with MDMA, where over half of the patients report a great change in their lives and go into remission.[14]

Usage of MDMA is increasing as a medicinal drug. Its connotation as an illicit substance is waning, and awareness about its effects is growing. MDMA assisted therapy may become the premier treatment for PTSD in the near future. Our researchers at Gateway Sciences understand the potential of the substances. They hope to utilize their unique properties to help you become a better version of yourself through self-actualization.

Effectiveness of MDMA Therapy

MDMA has gained quite the reputation for being one of the most effective drugs in helping treat PTSD on the market. Conventional psychotherapy can be ineffective as patients are unwilling to recall and revisit their trauma. The antidepressants often have a temporary effect. MDMA, on the other hand, limits the influence of the amygdala, which is responsible for fear. This allows for an entirely new way of treating trauma. Patients would be more willing to recall and overcome their trauma without fear.[4][15]

MDMA also allows for more empathy and openness, which further augments its effectiveness. The effects can lead to self-actualization which paves the way for self-reflection and introspection. As a result, MDMA helps patients visualize their lives from a different perspective than before. This is invaluable for those who have treatment-resistant PTSD and chronic illnesses.[15]

MDMA assisted therapy is often spread out over 12 weeks, with therapy sessions every two or three weeks. The patient in each session ingests a capsule containing a prescribed dose of MDMA. MDMA takes effect in less than an hour, and psychotherapists assist the patient in venting and overcoming their trauma. The entire session can last up to around 8 hours as the substance takes effect and helps the patient vent.[16]

Where to Begin?

Gateway Sciences prides itself on being the forerunners in medicinal sciences and always seeks to provide our clientele with the means to attain a higher sense of self.

Do not hesitate to call us for advice or consultation HERE

Call Us: 1 (424) 330-0000

Address: Gateway Clinics Santa Monica, 1205 1/2 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90403

References

  1. Taylor P. MDMA on track for 2023 approval as PTSD therapy, says developer. Pharma Phorum. 2021 May.
  2. Mustafa NS, Bakar NHA, Mohamad N, Adnan LHM, Fauzi NFAM, Thoarlim A, Omar SHS, Hamzah MS, Yusoff Z, Jufri M, Ahmad R. MDMA and the Brain: A Short Review on the Role of Neurotransmitters in Neurotoxicity. Basic Clin Neurosci. 2020 Jul-Aug;11(4):381-388. doi: 10.32598/bcn.9.10.485. Epub 2020 Jul 1. PMID: 33613876; PMCID: PMC7878040.
  3. Millière R, Carhart-Harris RL, Roseman L, Trautwein FM, Berkovich-Ohana A. Psychedelics, Meditation, and Self-Consciousness. Front Psychol. 2018 Sep 4;9:1475. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2018.01475. PMID: 30245648; PMCID: PMC6137697.
  4. Mitchell, J.M., Bogenschutz, M., Lilienstein, A. et al. MDMA-assisted therapy for severe PTSD: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 3 study. Nat Med 27, 1025–1033 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01336-3
  5. Patel R, Titheradge D. MDMA for the treatment of mood disorder: all talk no substance? Ther Adv Psychopharmacol. 2015 Jun;5(3):179-88. doi: 10.1177/2045125315583786. PMID: 26199721; PMCID: PMC4502590.
  6. Sessa B, Higbed L, Nutt D. A Review of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-Assisted Psychotherapy. Front Psychiatry. 2019 Mar 20;10:138. doi: 10.3389/fpsyt.2019.00138. PMID: 30949077; PMCID: PMC6435835.
  7. Steig C. Psychedelic trips could soon be part of therapy – here’s what those sessions will look like. CNBC. 2021 July.
  8. Parrott AC. The potential dangers of using MDMA for psychotherapy. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2014 Jan-Mar;46(1):37-43. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2014.873690. PMID: 24830184.
  9. Parrott AC. The psychotherapeutic potential of MDMA (3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine): an evidence-based review. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2007 Apr;191(2):181-93. doi: 10.1007/s00213-007-0703-5. Epub 2007 Feb 13. PMID: 17297639.
  10. Doblin R. A clinical plan for MDMA (Ecstasy) in the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD): partnering with the FDA. J Psychoactive Drugs. 2002 Apr-Jun;34(2):185-94. doi: 10.1080/02791072.2002.10399952. PMID: 12691208.
  11. Mithoefer MC, Feduccia AA, Jerome L, Mithoefer A, Wagner M, Walsh Z, Hamilton S, Yazar-Klosinski B, Emerson A, Doblin R. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treatment of PTSD: study design and rationale for phase 3 trials based on pooled analysis of six phase 2 randomized controlled trials. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2019 Sep;236(9):2735-2745. doi: 10.1007/s00213-019-05249-5. Epub 2019 May 7. PMID: 31065731; PMCID: PMC6695343.
  12. Gabay M. The federal controlled substances act: schedules and pharmacy registration. Hosp Pharm. 2013 Jun;48(6):473-4. doi: 10.1310/hpj4806-473. PMID: 24421507; PMCID: PMC3839489.
  13. Alexander W. Pharmacotherapy for Post-traumatic Stress Disorder In Combat Veterans: Focus on Antidepressants and Atypical Antipsychotic Agents. P T. 2012 Jan;37(1):32-8. PMID: 22346334; PMCID: PMC3278188
  14. Thal SB, Lommen MJJ. Current Perspective on MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. J Contemp Psychother. 2018;48(2):99-108. doi: 10.1007/s10879-017-9379-2. Epub 2018 Jan 6. Erratum in: J Contemp Psychother. 2018;48(2):109. PMID: 29720767; PMCID: PMC5917000.
  15. Young MB, Norrholm SD, Khoury LM, Jovanovic T, Rauch SAM, Reiff CM, Dunlop BW, Rothbaum BO, Howell LL. Inhibition of serotonin transporters disrupts the enhancement of fear memory extinction by 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA). Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2017 Oct;234(19):2883-2895. doi: 10.1007/s00213-017-4684-8. Epub 2017 Jul 24. PMID: 28741031; PMCID: PMC5693755.
  16. Mithoefer MC. A Manual for MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in the Treatment of Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). 2015 August.