According to a recent report released by the U.S.A.’s Drug Enforcement Administration, Ecstasy will be tested as an anxiety reducer for terminally ill patients. The decision was adopted after therapists working for the Administration have proven that MDMA, commonly known as ‘Ecstasy’ could have good results on depressed patients.
The debate whether hallucinogens should be used in the medical treatments of terminally ill patients has been going on for decades. Therapists have persuaded the Food and Drug Administration into accepting the use of light drugs, such as, marijuana to alleviate the pains of patients suffering from advanced forms of cancer and AIDS.
The stiffest drug to be used so far for medical purposes has been morphine. Doctors have been using this medicine on cancer patients suffering from severe pains during metastases, more specifically bone metastasis. As wide-spread as this pain alleviator may be, doctors still show reluctance when it comes to prescribing it. Morphine is usually administered under the close surveillance of authorized medical personnel.
Therapists working within the Drug Enforcement Administration think they could soon be using another hallucinogenic substance, MDMA, to cure depression among patients suffering from cancer. They have thus, secured their medical facilities for what appears to be a “Shutter Island”-inspired experiment.
According to the medical personnel in charge of the experiment, the 18 patients have only 9 months to live. 13 patients will be administered MDMA, whereas the remaining participants will be given Placebo. During the eight-hour long therapy sessions, patients will work closely with Dr. Philip Wolfson, a San Anselmo psychiatrist and his colleagues to determine whether the psychological state of the patient has changed in any way or another.
Wolfson was not able to at least hint to some of the benefits that Ecstasy could lead to among cancer patients. The drug has been previously linked to severe heart failures, kidney failures and high blood pressure. Moreover, previous tests have shown that MDMA is usually responsible for severe panic attacks and anxiety. According to the test results published by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, MDMA has been prohibited precisely because it has led to a significant increase in patients’ restlessness, irritability, aggression, impulsiveness and sadness.
Judging by the data provided by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, the last hallucinogen that therapists could use to diminish depression among terminally ill patients is MDMA. Yet, the Food and Drug Administration is one step away from accepting the medical experiment, even though many efforts have been made to banish or at least, to prevent Ecstasy consumption among U.S. inhabitants.
As one might expect, the immanency of MDMA’s use in medicine has triggered many disapproving voices on behalf of organizations fighting to prevent drug abuse. The latter claim similar experiments could cause a general loosening of authorities’ control over MDMA use. They make reference to the recent increase in marijuana use that was registered after the plant was accepted as an alternative medical treatment, to support their point of view.
Do you think the recent MDMA experiment will lead to an increase in Ecstasy consumption? Will FDA’s approval loosen drug abuse regulations? Share your thoughts with us and leave your comment below.
Image Source: The NY Post