The drug MDMA, better known as ecstasy, has been successfully used to treat post traumatic stress disorder, according to a trial published online in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
MDMA was used in combination with psychotherapy to treat 20 US patients with PTSD who had not responded to other forms of treatment.
Subjects underwent two eight-hour psychotherapy sessions about a month apart, with 12 taking MDMA and eight a placebo. At follow up, more than 80 per cent of those who received MDMA no longer met diagnostic criteria for PTSD, compared with 25 per cent of the placebo group.
The researchers noted that MDMA was regularly used in psychotherapy before its popularity as a recreational drug.