Pubdate: Fri, 12 May 2017
Source: Vancouver Sun (CN BC)
Copyright: 2017 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Randy Shore
Page: A10


Independent local researchers are raising money for the third phase of
a groundbreaking study that uses the party drug ecstasy to treat
patients with post-traumatic stress disorder.

The study combines psychotherapy with the use of MDMA, which "enhances
the effectiveness of the psychotherapy by helping patients to access
and rework the unconscious painful emotions and memories in a safe
environment," according to the researchers.

MDMA has already shown promise as an adjunct to psychotherapy,
according to the prestigious Lancet Psychiatry medical journal. A
randomized controlled pilot study published in the Journal of
Psychopharmacology found that 83 per cent of PTSD patients responded
positively to psychotherapy combined with MDMA compared with just 25
per cent in the group that received psychotherapy alone.

The research group - Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic
Studies Canada - raised $13,000 at a public event featuring
psychiatrist and addiction expert Gabor Mate on April 29. Their crowdfunding effort has raised about $25,000 of its
$50,000 goal.

Lead researcher Mark Haden estimates the Vancouver-based segment of
the study will cost $1.5 million to complete.

Drug companies that usually fund clinical drug trials are not
interested in research on psychedelic drugs such as MDMA, which could
replace their more profitable psychiatric medications, said Haden, an
addictions counsellor and adjunct professor at the University of
B.C.'s School of Population and Public Health.

Psychedelic-assisted therapy could help could provide solutions to the
city's crisis of opioid addiction, which is often complicated by PTSD,
said Haden.

The research is being conducted with Health Canada's permission.
- ---
MAP posted-by: Matt