Ecstasy `helps fight off post-traumatic stress`

London: Ecstacy – the dance drug - helps people suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) benefit more from psychotherapy, researchers say.

The latest study by U.S. researchers follows up on earlier research into the drug, the Independent reported.

Although the scientists remain at odds regarding the true effects of this drug, experts asserted that ecstasy reduces fear and defensiveness and increases trust between patient and therapist, thus enhancing the effects of the psychotherapy.

The currents findings are based on the experiment done on 21 patients, who had PTSD for 20 years but has not responded to psychotherapy.

The patients were given two eight-hour psychotherapy sessions, and according to the initial results, which was reported two years ago, it was revealed that that 83 percent of those given ecstasy showed significant improvement in symptoms compared with 25 percent of those given a placebo.

The experiment was disapproved as the volunteers had been followed up only for a few weeks.

On the other hand, Michael Mithoefer, a psychiatrist, and his wife Ann, a nurse, from South Carolina, recently said four years later that the benefits have been maintained.

The study has been published in The Journal of Psychopharmacology.


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