Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Giant of the Week

 
For the first edition of this weekly award, I'm happy to recognize Michael Mithoefer, Rick Doblin, the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (http://www.maps.org/) and their associates for the remarkable progress made in researching the use of MDMA (ecstasy) to treat Post-traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

In the 1960's, psychedelic substances like MDMA showed incredible ability to treat a wide variety of mental illness, but cultural hysteria unfortunately outlawed their use, be it for recreation or research. After several decades of silence, patient but steady and significant progress is being made. Each week we see a new article highlighting this research. Recent features have been done by CNN and the New York Times (see below for links).

In Mithoefer's original study, more than two-thirds showed a significant improvement three years later; "meaningful sustained reductions." Those numbers are astonishing. With further refinements of the treatment, drugs, and research, it is hard to imagine what the future potential of these drugs are, but it sure seems like the sky is the limit.