UNITED STATES: Traumatised soldiers to be given ecstasy


The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a trial involving US soldiers who have served in Iraq, to test if MDMA, the active ingredient in ecstasy, can relieve the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. According to the US centre for PTSD, around 30% of combat veterans will develop PTSD, but the US government has allocated just $5 million to treat it among Iraq veterans. PTSD causes emotional disconnectness, and a state of nervous anxiety and is associated with suicide, domestic violence and abuse. In the trial, soldiers take the equivalent of an ecstasy tablet at the start of an eight-hour therapy sessions during which music will be played. The study's leading psychiatrist, Michael Mithoefer, said the drug means that "people are able to connect more deeply on an emotional level".

From Green Left Weekly, February 23, 2005.
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