Ecstasy and PTSD

Posted on August 5, 2010


A new “study” is out that says Ecstasy may be the cure for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. At first I thought this was some bogus internet listing but after checking with my beloved shrink, I now know the study is real. I have several problems with this. First of all, if we only medicate ourselves how do we ever get to the root problem? If the euphoric feeling from Ecstasy only last 3- 5 hours what happens then? Do we take more or just go back to having PTSD?

 The study says that 3 people who had PTSD and could not work were able to go back to work after taking Ecstasy. If the effects only last for 3-5 hours they must be part-time employees. What company is going to hire someone who must remain “high” on Ecstasy in order to work? Will the government hire this person to be a FBI agent?

After suffering with the effects of PTSD for so long, I am extremely happy to be where I am today with it. I had been made to face those things that brought about my PTSD in the first place. By doing this, I now have defense mechanisms in place to help me deal with the effects of PTSD. Yes, I take a pill which is designed to curb my nightmares and it also controls my mood swings. I have tried to come off this pill only to find out all of the effects of my PTSD comes back. This pill does not get me high. It does not give me a feeling of euphoria but it gives me the chance to deal with life. Could I go back to work? No. Will I go out and hang in a crowd? No. But I can tell my wife and son that I love them and not have them afraid of what I might do next.

To say the Ecstasy is a cure for PTSD then Morphine is a cure for cancer. Both may cover up the symptoms but I don’t think either is a cure. Read the following about Ecstasy. See if you think it will be a cure. Leave a comment and let me know what you think.

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NIDA Home > Drugs of Abuse/Related Topics > Ecstasy/MDMA > InfoFacts > MDMA (Ecstasy)

NIDA InfoFacts: MDMA (Ecstasy)

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MDMA (3,4 methylenedioxymethamphetamine) is a synthetic, psychoactive drug that is chemically similar to the stimulant methamphetamine and the hallucinogen mescaline. MDMA produces feelings of increased energy, euphoria, emotional warmth, and distortions in time, perception, and tactile experiences.

How Is MDMA Abused?

MDMA is taken orally, usually as a capsule or tablet. It was initially popular among Caucasian adolescents and young adults in the nightclub scene or at weekend-long dance parties known as raves. More recently, the profile of the typical MDMA user has changed, with the drug now affecting a broader range of ethnic groups. MDMA is also popular among urban gay males— some report using MDMA as part of a multiple-drug experience that includes marijuana, cocaine, methamphetamine, ketamine, and other legal and illegal substances.

How Does MDMA Affect the Brain?

MDMA exerts its primary effects in the brain on neurons that use the chemical (or neurotransmitter) serotonin to communicate with other neurons. The serotonin system plays an important role in regulating mood, aggression, sexual activity, sleep, and sensitivity to pain. MDMA binds to the serotonin transporter, which is responsible for removing serotonin from the synapse (or space between adjacent neurons) to terminate the signal between neurons. MDMA also causes excessive release of serotonin from neurons containing the neurotransmitter, and it has similar but less potent effects on neurons that contain dopamine and norepinephrine.

MDMA can produce confusion, depression, sleep problems, drug craving, and severe anxiety. These problems can occur soon after taking the drug or, sometimes, even days or weeks after taking MDMA. In addition, chronic users of MDMA perform more poorly than nonusers on certain types of cognitive or memory tasks, although some of these effects may be due to the use of other drugs in combination with MDMA. Research in animals indicates that MDMA can be harmful to the brain—one study in nonhuman primates showed that exposure to MDMA for only 4 days caused damage to serotonin nerve terminals that was still evident 6 to 7 years later.1 Although similar neurotoxicity has not been shown definitively in humans, the wealth of animal research indicating MDMA’s damaging properties strongly suggests that MDMA is not a safe drug for human consumption. This is currently an area of active research.

Addictive Potential

For some people, MDMA can be addictive.2 A survey of young adult and adolescent MDMA users found that 43 percent of those who reported ecstasy use met the accepted diagnostic criteria for dependence, as evidenced by continued use despite knowledge of physical or psychological harm, withdrawal effects, and tolerance (or diminished response).3 These results are consistent with those from similar studies in other countries that suggest a high rate of MDMA dependence among users.4 MDMA abstinence-associated withdrawal symptoms include fatigue, loss of appetite, depressed feelings, and trouble concentrating.2

What Other Adverse Effects Does MDMA Have on Health?

MDMA can also be dangerous to overall health and, on rare occasions, lethal. MDMA can have many of the same physical effects as other stimulants, such as cocaine and amphetamines. These include increases in heart rate and blood pressure—which present risks of particular concern for people with circulatory problems or heart disease—and other symptoms such as muscle tension, involuntary teeth clenching, nausea, blurred vision, faintness, and chills or sweating.