The potential of psychedelics for treating PTSD

Wired: For Rick Doblin, being invited to the Pentagon was an emotional experience. Growing up in the 60s, Doblin embraced the counterculture and protested the Vietnam war and the military-industrial complex behind it.

Yesterday he was at the Pentagon trying to persuade military medical officials to permit a clinical trial that would test MDMA, the active ingredient in the party drug Ecstasy, in conjunction with psychotherapy, in active duty soldiers with post-traumatic stress disorder.

“There’s been this history of conflict between psychedelics and the military, and we’re trying to say that’s not the only vision,” Doblin said. “There’s a way for us to come together.”

Doblin is the founder and director of the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), which is trying to get drugs like psilocybin, LSD, and MDMA approved for medical use. MAPS has already sponsored small clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, first in survivors of sexual abuse and assault, and now in military veterans, police, and firefighters.

Doblin spoke with Wired about his military mission and what it says about shifting attitudes towards psychedelic drugs. [Continue reading…]

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