The medicinal usage of 4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has recently been a hot topic as people debate whether or not it will be approved as a legitimate drug by the FDA. This drug, also known as Molly, directly affects brain neurotransmitters. It subsequently binds to presynaptic serotonin transporters and produces its actions. Which impacts are long-term or short-term?
However, the use of the substance has been shown to promote general well-being, facilitate conversation, improve self-confidence, and lower user anxiety, to name a few benefits. As beneficial as it is, its effect when the user is not adequately managed is negative; it causes dehydration, sleeplessness, overheating, a jump in blood pressure, and so on. It affects the fetus when used by a pregnant woman.
However, most medical studies on psychedelics have focused on two drugs: psilocybin, the main element in magic mushrooms, and MDMA, also known as ecstasy or Molly. LSD, mescaline, DMT, and other psychedelics are also being studied.
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Furthermore, the medicinal effect of this medicine overcomes the advertising effect if users adhere to correct usage and do not abuse it. Microdosing has proven to be the most successful method of maximizing the therapeutic use of psychedelic substances while minimizing their adverse effects. Would the Food and Medicine Administration (FDA) approve this drug for its medical benefit while ignoring the advertisement effect? Molly is commonly referred to as a party drug due to the euphoric effect on users. Let’s see how effective MDMA therapy is.
MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is an experimental kind of psychotherapy. In a therapy setting, a trained professional administers pharmaceutical-grade MDMA to a patient, guiding the patient by asking questions about what they are experiencing and assisting the patient in asking questions of themselves. According to Sisley, the psychoactive substance functions as a conduit, allowing “the patient’s inner healer to take hold.”
“MDMA catalyzes some patients to go farther than they ever could in standard cognitive behavioral therapy,” Sisley says. Some people may compare it to receiving 20 years of traditional talk therapy in four months. […] According to studies, it helps [patients] to extensively explore traumas in a safe, trustworthy setting developed inside the traditional therapeutic process.”
A 2021 study published in Nature Medicine examined 91 persons suffering from severe, chronic PTSD. Half of them received MDMA-assisted therapy, while others received a placebo. Almost 90% of those who received MDMA saw a “clinically substantial” reduction in symptoms, and 67% no longer had PTSD.
Compared to typical talk therapy, 30 percent of people discontinue treatment, and only about 40 percent recover sufficiently to no longer have PTSD. Compare that to other FDA-approved PTSD medications, which only help reduce symptoms around 25% of the time.
The term “psychedelic” literally means “mind-revealing,” which is one way to characterize the potent effects of psychedelic drugs. It is also called hallucinogens or entheogens. They produce a dramatic alteration in your self-awareness and consciousness. However, drugs such as alcohol, cocaine, and opioids tend to have such effects. What distinguishes psychedelics?
It is “their consistent ability to create states of altered perception, thought, and sensation that is not normally encountered save in dreams or during times of religious exaltation.” Meditation, fasting, deep breathing, and other disciplines may result in “religious exaltation,” not limited to traditional religious practice.
MDMA has been shown in experimental contexts of emotion processing, such as fMRI, psychophysiological measures, and self-report studies, to facilitate the perception of positive emotional expressions of empathy. According to reports, it also helps to reduce the social pain associated with negative thoughts perceived by others and social rejection (Bedi et al., 2009; Hysek et al., 2012b, 2014; Frye et al., 2014). MDMA has been shown to improve emotion identification and increase prosocial feelings in others (Bedi et al., 2010). MDMA has also been demonstrated to improve concentration on pleasurable emotional stimuli (Bershad et al., 2019). MDMA has also been shown to reduce anxiety in therapeutic settings (e.g., Danforth et al., 2018). Evidence suggests that MDMA increases emotions of connection to people (Borissova et al., 2020), which is especially important in pair therapy to allow individuals to feel connected within the experience, regardless of the information communicated.
Facilitating the communication of emotional material in relationship therapy leads to increased intimacy and satisfaction (e.g., Sanford, 2007; Christensen et al., 2020). This experience can be aided by MDMA. Painful sensations can be perceived as valuable in the therapeutic process, feelings of love and deep appreciation can arise, and reducing defensiveness can assist in supporting the full experience of emotion by keeping the whole experience of emotion (Metzner and Adamson, 2001; Stolaroff, 2004). Beyond the benefits of oxytocin release alone, MDMA has been linked to seeing others as empathic and compassionate, according to Hysek’s paper published in 2013. Other researchers that buttressed it include Bedi, Wardle De Writ, and Kuypers, who published their results in 2014. The MDMA allows for a free experience of emotion and the present moment. Old memories, desires, or distress are frequently marred outside of this context.
Some of the impacts of MDMA on cognition include the ability to engage with difficult memories. According to Kosfield (2005), it could result from a sense of danger and openness to people. Wagner’s 2019 report also buttressed that users experienced clearer thoughts without becoming overwhelmed by the emotions that the thoughts typically elicit (Wagner et al., 2019). According to neuroimaging findings, bad memories may be seen as more bearable after MDMA (Carhart-Harris et al., 2014). Furthermore, memories, particularly those with intense emotional content, can be approached differently, and fear extinction can occur while engaging in the memory (Young et al., 2015, 2017; Doss et al., 2018; Feduccia and Mithoefer, 2018; Hake et al., 2019). MDMA also boosts reported trust perceptions (Stewart et al., 2014), a critical cognitive process in interpersonal dynamics that can sustain considerable relational misery. There is evidence that MDMA reopens a crucial learning period for social interaction in mice, allowing for new social interaction learning to occur (Nardou et al., 2019). When translated to humans, there is a massive chance for new learning to occur, extending into the following category, behavior.
MDMA has been proven to alter speech by boosting social and sexual words, a readiness to divulge personal information (Baggott et al., 2015) and an increase in interpersonal focus in the language (Bedi et al., 2014). MDMA has also been demonstrated to improve collaboration (Gabay et al., 2019). MDMA, when used therapeutically, can reduce experiencing avoidance and increase involvement in challenging content (emotional and cognitive) without confusion, including a desire to communicate (Feduccia and Mithoefer, 2018; Wagner et al., 2019). Following MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, there is increased openness to experience, promoting increased participation and risk-taking in vulnerability in interpersonal interactions (Wagner et al., 2017). Reports of enhanced introspection and improved communication, taken together, give a behaviorally rich opportunity for relational processing and learning. (Metzner and Adamson, 2001; Stolaroff, 2004; Wagner et al., 2019).
MDMA’s physical effects, directly linked to psychological processes, might include solid bodily feelings associated with past events, which are beneficial to re-experience in the supporting container of a therapeutic setting (Mithoefer et al., 2014). Somatic consequences can be related to any cognitive or emotional content that arises, including memories (Wagner et al., 2019). Additionally, relaxing bodily effects may occur, providing the pair with supporting feelings. Reduced fear response and enhanced intimacy emotions may help intensify these helpful somatic experiences and allow for immersion into challenging ones when necessary. Brain imaging after MDMA shows that cheerful facial expressions are more rewarding and angry facial expressions are less rewarding (Bedi et al., 2009), potentially supporting the tolerance of growing somatic disorders.
The critical element in ecstasy pills, MDMA, was recently proven in a new trial. It also aids in treating Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). It is accompanied by a sympathetic mood, sensory pleasure, self-confidence, increased vitality, and so on. Without question, this invasive therapy represents a paradigm shift that will benefit us more than damage us medically.
The medication has been found to benefit those suffering from anxiety and despair. Even though it has medicinal functions, the government has not cleared it for public usage.