Revolutionary Clinical Trials Show Party Drug MDMA May Work to Cure Alcoholism

in #health6 years ago

 A new trial in the UK, led by a team of researchers at the Imperial  College of London, is seeking to determine whether MDMA can help  alcoholics overcome their addiction. MDMA is the active ingredient in  the club drug known as ecstasy or molly, which has been illegal in the  U.S. and many other western countries since the mid-1980s. 

Until recently, any kind of scientific research into the benefits of  psychedelics has been strictly forbidden by the U.S. government.  However, the studies that are beginning to take place are showing that  these compounds have incredible healing abilities. 

The alcoholism study will take twenty heavy drinkers, who drink the  equivalent of five bottles of wine per day. All of the test subjects are  people who have had no success with traditional treatments and have a  history of repeated relapse. 

As a part of the study, the participants will go through detox before  completing an 8-week course of MDMA-assisted therapy, where they will  be given a dose of MDMA in just two of the sessions. During the therapy  sessions, the participants will work through their addiction issues as  well as past trauma or life stress that may play a role in their  decisions. 

After the sessions are over, researchers will follow up with  the patients for several months after to assess the potential long-term  effects of the trial. Ben Sessa, a clinical psychiatrist and senior research fellow at  Imperial College London who is working on the study, recently spoke at  the Breaking Convention conference in London about his research. 

“We know that MDMA works really well in helping people who have  suffered trauma and it helps to build empathy. Many of my patients who  are alcoholics have suffered some sort of trauma in their past and this  plays a role in their addiction. After 100 years of modern psychiatry,  our treatments are really poor. The chances of relapse for these  patients are really high—90 percent at three years. No one has ever  given MDMA to treat alcoholism before,” Sessa explained

Sessa also highlighted the fact that this study was not just about  expecting the drug to work on its own, but using it as a tool in therapy  to help the patient achieve some type of realization about how to  improve their lives. 

“It’s using drugs to enhance the relationship between the  therapist and the patient, and it allows us to dig down and get to the  heart of the problems that drive long-term mental illness,” he said. 

According to the United States’ National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism, approximately 90 percent of alcoholics will have at least one relapse in the years following treatment, and Sessa thinks we could be doing much better. 

“There’s no other part of medicine that would tolerate that.  Imagine that kind of outcomes in surgery or immunology or even oncology.  Doctors wouldn’t tolerate that. After a 100 years of modern psychiatry,  it’s outrageous! If we can do any better than 90 percent relapse rates  then we’re onto something,” Sessa told Talking Drugs. 

Instead of just giving addicts lectures or confrontational  interventions, Sessa says that MDMA allows us to uncover the buried  trauma that pushes some people towards a life of addiction. 

“There’s a real barrier in severe trauma, you can talk about all  sorts of things but you won’t talk about that one thing. And the reason  being that as soon as you go anywhere near that memory, the fear is so  great you daren’t open that door. That’s where all treatments get stuck:  people are too scared to talk about their pain,” Sessa said. Traditional psychotherapies would be, you know ‘tell me about  your rape…’ and at that point [the patients] just flee and they’re out  the door. So on MDMA you say ‘tell me about your rape’—people who’ve had  30 years of repressing it—and they say ‘do you know what… I can’, and  [they] talk all about it. They can do the trauma-focused psychotherapy  that they’ve been unable to do with all the traditional treatments,” he added.  

In other studies, MDMA has already been found to have positive impacts on treatments with PTSD, as well as relationship counseling

This is actually not the first time that psychedelic drugs have been  suggested as a possible treatment for alcoholism. In fact, Bill Wilson,  the co-founder of the Alcoholics Anonymous program, actually considered  promoting LSD as a tool for alcoholics to shake their addiction. Wilson  was a close associate with many early adopters of LSD and took numerous  trips in controlled, scientific settings while he was involved with the  AA program. 

Wilson believed that LSD was not a cure-all for mental problems and  diseases such as addiction, but he felt that it could be a catalyst  towards understanding one’s own life and changing direction. 

“I don’t believe [LSD] has any miraculous property of  transforming spiritually and emotionally sick people into healthy ones  overnight. It can set up a shining goal on the positive side, after all,  it is only a temporary ego-reducer. The vision and insights given by  LSD could create a large incentive—at least in a considerable number of  people,” Wilson reportedly said after his first LSD trip in 1956. 

In a later letter to Gerald Heard, one of his associates in the LSD scene, Wilson wrote, “I  am certain that the LSD experiment has helped me very much. I find  myself with a heightened color perception and an appreciation of beauty  almost destroyed by my years of depression.” 

Psychedelics offer us a glimpse into the final frontier of humanity—the consciousness.  

With these substances, we can explore the human imagination with  profound insight that will help us in our own personal lives and the  bigger picture as well. We must push for new legitimate scientific  research into the therapeutic uses for these drugs. These studies will  prove, as they have in the past, that psychedelic compounds have many  medical and spiritual uses that are necessary for our species to  continue the evolution of our consciousness. 


My name is John Vibes and I am an author and researcher who organizes a number of large events including the Free Your Mind Conference. I write for numerous alternative media websites, including The Free Thought Project @tftproject and The Mind Unleashed. In addition to my first book, Alchemy of the Timeless Renaissance, I have also co-authored three books with Derrick Broze @dbroze : The Conscious Resistance: Reflections on Anarchy and Spirituality, Finding Freedom in an Age of Confusion and Manifesto of the Free Humans

I just won a 3-year-long battle with cancer, and will be working to help others through my experience, if you wish to contribute to my medical bills, consider subscribing to my podcast on Patreon. 

"Until recently, any kind of scientific research into the benefits of psychedelics has been strictly forbidden by the U.S. government."

It's a real shame the evil U.S. government was ever allowed to impose such a draconian ban on these beneficial substances, which mother nature has provided for us.

We'll never know what innovations\inventions "government" regulations have prevented from happening. Also, they take talent out of the workforce & have it wasted on their enforcement & special projects. Once again the state robs humanity of wealth & prosperity by its very existence.

I find it amazing we give the authority to anyone so they can classify what is or is not therapeutic. We pick and choose who is accountable for the side effects of different treatment plans depending on who has the best lobbyists. Since they're always wrong about everything from the opioids to the times they straight blew smoke up our butts, why do we trust them at all?

smoke butt.jpg

LOL that where the term "to blow smoke up ones ass" originated?

Yup it's one of those things you just can't make up lol

I had always wondered why more breakthroughs were not recorded in mental health and addictions. It's interesting to imagine the power psychedelics could have in understanding our consciousness more. I think it can be used to tackle additions but that remains to be seen.

I personally was an alcoholic for many years and it was actually and LSD experience that told me to stop..i quit booze and cigarettes cold turkey..I will be interesting to see the outcome of these studies

Lsd is a real life changer!!

Thats great news! I miss out on anything to do with the Uk these days. It will blatently cure alcoholism after they find some love again :) One step at a time though, we dont want everybody to try Mdma though right?! hahahahaha! hey do you know when the documentary is released? The MDMA movie I believe its called from Dance Safe?

Amazing to see this research if finally being done and I really hope the the results are published. Surprised their allowing it to be done in England also, but great to see! Then finally people can start getting treated for these illnesses! Wonderful to hear thanks for sharing 💯🐒

There is so many powerful stories out there with people overcoming their deep, flesh-rotted emotional traumas with MDMA. I have done it a few times with pretty good results, especially in the growth of empathy and my willingness to let me feel lust. There is something annoying with it though in it's social use, and I can help feeling that the glow of love that you feel towards your peers are weirdly artificial and compensatory. Maybe that's just me being scared of that vulnerable state.

In my experience there is a big difference (intent) between using MDMA 'recreationally' or 'therapeutically'. Recreationally it may take the form of expressing sentimentality (all the weekend 'I love yous' to colleagues/friends/strangers) which otherwise remains buried, and which one feels 'ashamed' of on Monday morning when it's 'back to reality'. One may wonder if this is 'love' or just the drug speaking, and it can be very off-putting! Therapeutically, it may take the form as described in @johnvibes' post - ie of being able to get an 'overview' of one's own issues that would otherwise remain locked behind closed doors. It's seem as if the ego-mind is temporarily dropped or transcended (exposing the view / the 'glow of love'? :). Exploring oneself in this state doesn't have the 'sentimentality' hangover, and the personal insights gained are priceless. Sentimentality is seen for what it is (a complex compound of one's own issues), and 'Love' directed at self can be explored - this actually wasn't straightforward for me at all, and the first time I attempted it (on MDMA), I recoiled at first contact, so dry was I on the inside (so 'scared of that vulnerable state' perhaps)! It is exponentially more efficient than any psychotherapy (providing one has some understanding/experience of the psychotherapeutic process and tools), as direct observation of one's own experience is possible, and this does not need to be interpreted through the medium of the therapist (however good).

Ah what an mindful way to conceptualize the two different experiences. The very prosocial party-effects is probably the most congruent if a lot of other people in the party is having the same trip. My experience with people drinking is that I get overly emphatic and they get dull, which makes you feel more as an alien then necessary.
But thank you! I will think about the therapeutic mode of the drug, and explore exactly how direct the experience is. I still have a sneaky suspicion that there is a touch of overly sentimental feeling in the alone experience too, but it's sooo much easier to go loose in your sentimentality when you are alone.

Thanks @heartstar :D. Yes, a harmonious group on M together would be a very nice vibe. I've not experienced that (yet)! I have experienced the random party mix of M and alcohol as you describe, and it is indeed different frequencies. But then, for me, alcohol lowers, and M raises, frequency, and it's kinda to be expected IMO.

Being alone exposes the 'overly sentimental' and the 'sentimentality'. I'd loosely call 'sentimentality' all the stuff that may look like, or purport to be, love, but just isn't! Thus when alone on M with healing intention, the false is exposed for what it is, and there is a new space. This can be a very powerful experience of discovery IMO.

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