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5 Things To Understand About MDMA As A PTSD Treatment

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If you suffer from PTSD, you may have heard that several psychedelics, including MDMA, are being researched for use in treatment of PTSD. MDMA has had promising results when used in combination with traditional psychotherapy, and is on track for FDA approval in 2021. While the medicine may improve your treatment options, there are several things you need to know about it before you decide whether it is an avenue you want to pursue. 

MDMA Is Not Currently Approved For Medical Use In The U.S. 

While MDMA treatment is promising, it is not currently approved for treatment in the U.S., and will probably not be approved until 2021. Even then, it may not be widely available at first. You should know that MDMA is currently a schedule I in the U.S., which means it is illegal to possess or sell. Some therapists may offer MDMA treatment, but you should understand that, unless this is part of the sanctioned trials going on, it is illegal and potentially dangerous. Currently, therapists do not have access to valid suppliers of MDMA, so you risk taking impure MDMA during your treatment. 

You Should Seek Treatment Now, Instead Of Waiting For MDMA To Become Available 

Although MDMA may actually cure PTSD in a way current treatment options cannot, there is no reason for you to suffer until MDMA becomes available. Instead, you should seek treatment to minimize your symptoms and allow you to live your life to the fullest. Current treatment options include therapy and anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication. For most people, current options will allow you to manage your PTSD. 

MDMA Treatment Is Only Effective When Combined With Therapy 

MDMA treatment is not like taking anti-depressants or anti-anxiety medication. It involves several therapy sessions before and after you take the medication, and therapy during your MDMA session. While an SSRI may allow you to manage your PTSD with minimal therapy or even no therapy, MDMA will not be effective unless combined with therapy. 

If you are considering MDMA treatment in the future, it is a good idea to start building a relationship with a therapist you trust now. This will prepare you to get the most out of your treatment when it becomes available to you. 

MDMA Is A Short-Term Treatment Intended For Those With Treatment-Resistant PTSD

Most MDMA treatment for PTSD involves one or two doses of MDMA over a longer period of time. It is not a daily or even monthly medication. It is intended to help "reset" parts of your brain and increase your connection with your therapist so your therapy can be more effective. 

At the moment, MDMA is being used for treatment-resistant PTSD. This means it is for people who have tried traditional methods to control their PTSD symptoms and had little or no success. However, in the future it may be used more broadly to treat both intense, treatment-resistant PTSD and less severe cases. 

You May Be Required To Stop Other Treatments Before Pursuing MDMA Treatment

MDMA is incompatible with many traditional PTSD treatments. Taking MDMA along with an SSRI or MAOI can have severe negative effects. You may need to wean off of your current medication, and stay off it for a few weeks or months, before you are eligible for MDMA treatment. Because of this, you may want to work with a therapist to develop coping skills that will help you get through the period between your current medication and your MDMA treatment. 

While MDMA is not widely available as a PTSD treatment, it is something that those who suffer from PTSD should be aware of. Until it becomes available, you should work with a therapist and continue traditional treatment options.