CNN recently published a three-day series on the experimental use of the drug Ecstasy as part of treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. Readers had a lot to say in response to scientists who are studying the effects of MDMA, the chemical name for pure Ecstasy, on patients with PTSD.
Many readers said they were familiar with past research that's been done on these drugs and questioned why they are still illegal.
"I think the judicious use of many psychedelics can be very helpful in a lot of these cases. Sad how their use got derailed in the '60s because of culture wars."
"100% agree Thom. The real problem is that politics and policy stand in the way of advancing science and medicine for chemicals that we've had at our disposal for nearly 100 years now."
"Wow. Bills Hicks' quote from 'Sane Man' (1989) is coming true. 'Wouldn't you like to see a positive LSD story on the news? To base your decision on information rather than scare tactics and superstition? Perhaps? Wouldn't that be interesting? Just for once?' "
"MDMA was synthesized 100 years ago, and it is cheap and easy to make. There's no patent protection and therefore not much upside for big (pharmaceutical companies). Big pharma will lobby to keep MDMA, marijuana, and psilocybin illegal. They will be successful because of deep pockets."
@JessicaValenti @cnnhealth It's sad that it is "controversial" to use a drug that may work to treat an illness.
Several commenters questioned the short- and long-term safety of using these drugs to treat PTSD.
"Unfortunately, one can design a study to show about anything you want it to. MDMA is a very, very harmful drug that induces major depression and has ruined countless lives."
"I'm sure some people with PTSD would consider that a fair trade. It may not even work well, but if it works better than what there is now, that is an improvement."
Karla Lindberg Buckland's comment got a lot of attention from other readers. She said, "It all comes down to the question 'Does the benefit outweigh the risk?' as with every other pharmaceutical on the market. Sometimes quality of life is more important than quantity."
@ChrisRyanPhD @cnnhealth as a veteran I still don't like the thought of pills changing my cognitive decision making, Rec drugs included
"Living with this stuff can be hellish. You never know what's going to happen and trigger your brain into putting you right back into the worst moments of your life. ..."
"I have suffered from PTSD since my time in Vietnam and have been an outpatient at the VA ever since. I take daily doses of Sertraline, Prazosin and Mirtazapine. The sound of helicopters still send me running for cover. If this drug works for her, I'm hopeful it will help others. I don't care if it's legal or not, that's just how important I want to live my last years in peace with myself."
"Thank you for serving our country. I'm so sorry for your struggles, and I hear you. I have PTSD as well from decades of abuse. ... The thought that MDMA and a couple months' worth of sessions could get so many of us back on track sounds like a dream come true."
nathan turner@prodiluvian1987 @CNN @cnnhealth that is the silliest thing I have ever heard. That's like saying " I want to treat my depression w/ alcohol."