FDA Approves First Clinical Test of Ecstasy 

  FDA Approves First Clinical Test of Ecstasy 

Posted by FoM on November 06, 2001 at 20:15:38 PT
By Christopher Newton, Associated Press Writer 
Source: Associated Press  

Researchers have gained government approval to test the drug "Ecstasy" as a treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder for the first time since the drug was criminalized in 1985. The decision was made this week by the Food and Drug Administration and marks a shift for the agency, which has virtually banned the drug from researchers for more than a decade. 
The trial has not yet been approved by a review board at the Medical University of South Carolina, the proposed site for the research. If the university accepts the plan, the test will be supervised by the husband and wife team of Dr. Michael Mithoefer, a psychiatrist, and Annie Mithoefer, a psychiatric nurse in Charleston. Michael Mithoefer said the fact that Ecstasy is a hot commodity among some teen-agers should not impede research. "It's ironic that when these drugs become illegal, the legitimate research goes to zero and the illegal and recreational use goes way up," Mithoefer said. "It seems foolish to me to have a situation where millions are using the drug in an uncontrolled way and yet physicians who want to do careful research are not allowed." The FDA would not comment on the test. If the study proceeds, 12 people will be given Ecstasy, also known as MDMA, as they go through therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. Eight people will be given a placebo. Each person will also undergo 16 hours of therapy without drugs. Post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental problem for millions of Americans, is caused by a fixation with an emotionally charged event. Victims often experience bad dreams and have trouble with relationships -- essentially becoming stuck in the moment of crisis. In the 1970s, MDMA was used by many psychiatrists to treat the disorder. Some psychiatrists believe the drug can allow victims to have a cathartic moment, releasing their emotional stress over an incident. Treatment using MDMA stopped as the federal government began to crack down on the drug for its recreational use. The study is being funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a group that advocates the use of psychedelic drugs for therapy. Rick Doblin, the founder and director of the group, said researchers have fought for years to overcome propaganda about the drug. "The way things work in the drug war is, if a drug is criminalized, it is bad or evil," Doblin said. "There is an effort to produce science to mislead people about the drug. This is a big step away from that for the FDA." The plans for the test are producing strong skepticism from those fighting the drug war. "I know of no evidence in the scientific literature that demonstrates the efficacy of Ecstasy for any clinical indication," said Alan Leshner, director of the government's National Institute on Drug Abuse, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal. "We don't give drugs of abuse to naive subjects except under extraordinary circumstance." Complete Title: FDA Approves First Clinical Test of Ecstasy Since Drug was Criminalized Newshawk: JR Bob Dobbs Source: Associated PressAuthor: Christopher Newton, Associated Press WriterPublished: Tuesday, November 6, 2001 Copyright: 2001 Associated Press  Related Articles & Web Site:MAPS Panel Weighs Tougher Penalties for Ecstasy Oppose Punishing Ecstasy More Harshly

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Comment #7 posted by Elfman_420 on November 07, 2001 at 01:50:05 PT
Yes, MDMA isn't terribly safe.. but.....
Prohibitionists say marijuana sends kids to hospitals, of course they are going to say MDMA, the "drug of the day", sends kids to hospitals.MDMA is much more dangerous than cannabis, BUT:Most MDMA on the street contains other drugs. "Special-k", heroin, and speed are the most common. Once in a while there is no MDMA, but a mix of other various drugs. This is in thanks, of course, to prohibition. The reason most people go to the hospital is from the combination of these other drugs. MDMA by itself would only send somebody to the hospital if they took too large of a dose. Other overdose factors can include the body overheating, a result of dancing for hours on end in a place that doesn't have proper ventilation, as well as dehydration, same reason.Remember that MDMA was originally used by psychiatrists to treat the symtoms I listed in my previous comment. It wasn't until the drug was found on the black market at dance clubs that it was made illegal.
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Comment #6 posted by Psychotropic Nomad on November 07, 2001 at 01:15:40 PT:
MDMA has no medical value, how can they make something legal that puts kids in hospitols? MDMA is goverment controlled, anything that THEY can profit from has to be legal.... check out this thread: [url="L]legalise Heroin says State...[/url]. They can't control marijuana, therefore they cannot profit from it. It all makes sense now doesn't it? I knew it all along.Nomad
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Comment #5 posted by Patrick on November 06, 2001 at 23:32:48 PT

Yep E_Johnson
You see Ecstasy is man-made chemical compounds blended together. This substance can easily be proven "safe" in one of them big fancy government sponsored pharmaceutical laboratories. Whereas a natural herb like cannabis that grows in the dirt must be completely evil since labs cannot patent it. Gee now that I put it in perspective it makes complete sense. Sort of like military intelligence.
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Comment #4 posted by Elfman_420 on November 06, 2001 at 23:32:47 PT

Sorry. Please change DEA to FDA in my comment and note that the FDA isn't physically stopping people from using cannabis as the DEA is currently doing.I believe the FDA is responsible for scheduling narcotics, though, correct?
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Comment #3 posted by Elfman_420 on November 06, 2001 at 23:28:27 PT

From somebody who has done both........
I had the fortunate/unfortunate (haven't decided yet) experience of doing ecstacy. Once. It was alright. The biggest benefit I saw was that I could smoke as much cannabis as I wanted without getting tired. I will most likely never do it again, as I got pretty depressed the few days afterwards. I can see how it could be used by psychiatrists in a controlled environment for PTSD and for couples with marital problems who wish to get along better. That is about the extent of this drug's use.. It is certainly not in the league of anti-depressents that are so popular these days, as extended use is very harmful. Cannabis, on the other hand, treats almost every ailment to some degree, and treats many much better than any manufactured drug out there. It is much safer than MDMA and other drugs, can be used repeatedly without harm so it can be used as an anti-depressent if so desired.When I figure out WHY the FDA would approve a test on MDMA before, mind you, BEFORE the university even approved the test, and they won't even let bed-ridden cancer patients use the safest and most effective substance known to man to treat their illness, I'll let you know.
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Comment #2 posted by Rev0x on November 06, 2001 at 23:21:09 PT

"We don't give drugs of abuse to naive subjects except under extraordinary circumstance." People abuse Nyquil all the time maybe we should outlaw that too. Then we can force everyone that has a flu to buy a street manufactured copy of it which may contain impurities that cause more sickness, leading to more government propaganda to justify the Nyquil prohibition. Then when doctors prescribe the street made stuff we can call them all Nyquil abusers too, and supress additional research for the effectiveness of Nyquil citing that it has a high potential for abuse.
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Comment #1 posted by E_Johnson on November 06, 2001 at 22:29:29 PT

FDA tests Ecstasy but not marijuana?
Um, um, um....
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