(Unsplash)

PTSD patients sought in B.C. for MDMA-assisted therapy trial

Treatment is so far 2-3 times more effective than conventional therapy

Medical trials for a promising new treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder are coming to Vancouver.

The trials are the third phase of tests for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD survivors, conducted by the Canadian arm of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, based in Santa Cruz, Calif.

MDMA, more commonly known as the party drug ecstasy, was shown to be upwards of 67 per cent effective in earlier phases of the clinical trials.

Executive director Mark Haden said results like those are remarkable, given that PTSD has been “relatively untreatable,” with most remedies being only 10-25-per-cent effective.

“PTSD is an unconscious tape-loop. It is an emotional response that somebody … will have in an repetitive way,” said Haden. “Their life is difficult to manage because the flashbacks are strong, intrusive and disturbing.”

When conventional therapy tries to dig into their memories, Haden said patients flinch away from tackling the trauma.

MDMA breaks down the mental barriers and fears that stop many sufferers from getting to the root cause of their illness, Haden said. This allows patients to “access the tape-loop,” or the traumatic memories, at the root of their PTSD.

The drug also allows for a stronger link between the therapist and the patient – something that’s key in all successful therapies.

Haden said MDMA is simply another tool in a complex clinical process.

“It’s a supported psychotherapeutic treatment that starts with an assessment and an alliance with a therapist. Nobody is dancing.”

Researchers are currently looking for patients with severe PTSD for the phase-three trials. Haden said researchers hope to begin work this year, and if the trials are successful, have the treatment approved in Canada by 2021.

Anyone interested in participating can email the association.


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Forestry workers set to begin job action in Kootenays

Operations in Castlegar, Cranbrook, Galloway, Elko, Radium, Golden may see job action this week.

Road trip comes to end with split for Grand Forks Border Bruins

The team is coming off its longest road trip this season.

Grand Forks high school students remember

The school and the Legion joined for the annual Remembrance Day ceremony.

Letter: English town remembers Grand Forks on anniversary of Armistice

Phillip Morris writes from Shrewsbury, England.

Crowd gathers at Phoenix memorial for Remembrance Day

The small group shared remembrances around the campfire.

REPLAY: B.C’s best video this week

In case you missed it, here’s a look at the replay-worth highlights from this week across the province

Children between 6 and 9 eligible for $1,200 RESP grant from province

BC Ministry of Education is reminding residents to apply before the deadline

Victoria spent $30,000 to remove John A. Macdonald statue

Contentious decision sparked controversy, apology from mayor

Privacy concerns over credit card use for legal online pot purchases

Worries follow privacy breaches at some Canadian cannabis retailers

NEB approves operating pressure increase to repaired Enbridge pipeline

The pipeline burst outside of Prince George on Oct. 9, now operating at 85 per cent

B.C. VIEWS: Setting speed limits in a post-fact political environment

Media prefer ‘speed kills’ narrative, even when it fails to appear

Controversy erupts over Japanese flag in B.C. classroom

Online petition demanding removal has collected more than 5,700 signatures

Death toll rises to 76 in California fire with winds ahead

Nearly 1,300 people remain unaccounted for more than a week after the fire began

Trump says report on Khashoggi death expected in a few days

Jamal Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post who was slain Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

Most Read