Mdma Ecstasy Research With Dr Michael Mithoefer

Posted By Ina Woolcott

Some doctors, including Dr Michael Mithoefer, believe MDMA could be the key to solving previously untreatable deep-rooted traumas. For a hard core of PTSD cases, no amount of antidepressants or psychotherapy can free them of the horror of systematic abuse or a bad near-death experience, and the slightest reminder triggers vivid flashbacks.

Dr Michael Mithoefer is a psychiatrist from South Carolina who struggled for years to get funding and permission to study with MDMA.

What makes MDMA so useful, Mithoefer believes, is the trust it establishes. “Many people with PTSD have a great deal of trouble trusting anybody, especially if they’ve been betrayed by someone who abused their trust, like a parent or a caregiver,” he says. “MDMA has this effect of lowering fear and defences. It also allows more compassion for oneself and for others. People can revisit the trauma, feel the original feelings but not be retraumatised, not feel overwhelmed or have to numb out to cope with it.”

One lady Mithoefer studied with was Donna, who suffered with PSTD (post-traumatic stress disorder), after being raped said:

“Michael and Annie Mithoefer aren’t your typical kind of therapists”. She was dubious about Michael’s ponytail and sandals when they first met, but she is emotional as she talks about him now. “I don’t think I’ve ever met two people who cared so much about people getting well. I’d see tears in their eyes when I told them what I went through.” Three other former patients of the Mithoefers who contacted me about this article described them as “heroes”, “pioneers”, even “life-savers”.

At the time the Mithoefers treated Donna, March 2004, their study had been a long time in the pipeline. Convinced of MDMA’s potential, Rick Doblin, founder of the MAPS, (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies), had been in and out of the courts seeking permission from the FDA, Food & Drug Administration for clinical research since 1984.

For those of you against the use of MDMA to help people with PSTD –

In 2004, the most recent year for which there are records, 46 people died after taking Ecstasy, compared to 8,221 alcohol-related deaths. And most of those who die with MDMA in their system have mixed it with substances such as alcohol or cannabis, which confounds the picture. Earlier this year, the police chief for North Wales, Richard Brunstrom, called for the drug to be reclassified, claiming it was “safer than aspirin”. He was widely shouted down, but Steve Rolles of Transform believes he may have a point. “It’s not appropriate to have Ecstasy in class A. In terms of indicators of harm – toxicity, mortality, addictiveness and antisocial behaviour – it’s not comparable to heroin or cocaine. But the government won’t reclassify it. Reclassifying cannabis [from class B to C] in 2004 caused years of grief from opposition parties and the media.”

…if MDMA does prove effective, companies could stand to lose millions from lost sales of long-term antidepressants prescribed for PTSD. Sessa says: “There’s no financial incentive for the pharmaceutical companies to look into it. Psychotherapy is notoriously under funded and discredited by the drug companies. It could benefit the government to look into MDMA, but their funding is a drop in the ocean next to a company like Pfizer’s research budget. So who’s going to pay for a multi-centre psychotherapy trial for 10,000 people – the couch-makers?”

I personally feel that of course if it helps people it should be available – more so than the powerful antidepressants which can lead to suicide and indifference to life and addiction.

After all, antidepressants can be addictive and may eventually result in the patient needing drug treatment, which is an entirely different problem altogether.

Why don’t people just want to help one another, rather than just be interested in making money. I don’t get it. Don’t companies like Pfizer have enough profits in the bank to live happily ever after and fund quality research that genuinely helps people rather than make them dependent, or even iller and then needing different drugs to counter the effects, and then more drugs to counter the effects of those drugs.

To read more… : Ecstasy is the key to treating PTSD

Related reading :Research on psychedelics moves into the mainstream (FROM THE LANCET)

Further reading: : MDMA RESEARCH INFO


5 thoughts on “Mdma Ecstasy Research With Dr Michael Mithoefer”

  1. I have a friend who I feel would totally benefit from this study . How does she go about getting in on the research study. We are in Tennessee but I feel this treatment sounds so promising and I have mentioned this treatment to her today

  2. Please help! I am a mother of 2 boys and i had experienced tons of trauma, neglect, emotional abuse, abandonment and physical abuse. I now suffer the consequences in my daily life, not only me but my family. I have been on so many diffrrent medications that have not helped. I do not want my children to go through what i went through because of my defenses being high with there dad. I can already see my 4 year old mocking me and getting angry and raging. I wsnt to give them a life without stress and i am complrtely stressed, tense and on edge! I want to be a part of this! Please tell me what i can do to be a part of this! I am willing to do anything to help my children have the life they deserve!

  3. The studies are being conducted by Dr. Michael Mithoefer near Charleston, South Carolina. You can write to him at:
    208 Scott St # A
    Mt Pleasant, SC 29464

  4. I have done extacy over a hundred times I have watched my friends on the same pills they gave me they had the best time of their life one time I was given 5 pills that I seen friends take their eyes looked like owls eyes they had a great time I felt nothing and I went to sleep the only time I have ever rolled was the first time I took it one of my best felling ever don’t know why it hasn’t worked since

  5. My father, somehow, was slipped some psychedelics, while in a hospital, in 1953, in Cairo, Egypt. Tripping with no context, no idea what was happening. When he came down, he learned very quickly that NOBODY wanted to hear about his experience “talking to God” etc. They put him in shackles and flew him to a mental institution in Massachusetts.

    Trained as research scientist
    [organic chemistry, his Ph.D thesis — the new field of paper chromatography, mid-1940’s]

    he kept close observation, exploring the intersection of spirit, psyche, philosophy in his lived experience over the next forty years.

    His 100+ handwritten journals (each of 100 pages) were handed down to me upon his death. I’m having them scanned in, put up in the cloud.

    What I’d like help with: suggestions for what to do next?

    I’m imagining some university would love to get its hands on this first person, on the edge of consciousness material.  Yes?

    Graduate students eager for primary sources, the consciousness revolution, from the 50’s onward?

    (He never did psychedelics again, but he became a “Great Books” teacher, went to Bell Labs “T-groups, Esalen encounter groups, journal work with Ira Progoff, introduced me to the human potential movement, classes in RC — ReEvaluation Counseling — early 70’s…)

    Should I post some of his insights somewhere?

    [ Anyone heard of the “Copernican Transform” — as best I understand it, it means that instead of looking at things,  (as most people do, the “common sense” way) from the “inside out” — instead switching it to look at things from the “outside in”.
    Any relevance today?]

    Please any suggestions of who wants this trove of 10,000 pages?

    Thank you.
    Paul C. Hoffman
    VM 510.496.3463

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