Careful long-term studies are moving MDMA from being banned as a rave drug to being legal as prescription medicine. New follow-up research shows its effectiveness, as an adjunct to psychotherapy, in cases of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) that have been resistant to other treatments.
The finding is not that feeling good for a day is a cure, but rather that the state induced by MDMA can help a person suffering from PTSD be open to psychotherapy. Why? The molecule lowers defenses and helps the patient face what would otherwise be overwhelming memories.
Specifically, a small-scale but long-term study of 16 “subjects” shows definite improvement and no drawbacks. The average length of time since treatment was 45 months. None of the participants had developed a drug dependency and none had suffered cognitive impairment, which were two of the fears associated with earlier reporting about MDMA.