The US Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) has authorized the use of MDMA (also known as Ecstasy) for clinical trials relating to couples experiencing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Intended for what is called Cognitive-Behavioral Conjoint Therapy (CBCT), the studies will focus on couples in which one of the people is suffering PTSD and the other, though not experiencing PTSD, is going through some sort of psychosocial distress along side their partner.
The study is being run by MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies. According to their website, "MDMA may hold promise in catalyzing the effects of CBCT for PTSD. Given the properties of MDMA, specifically in inducing empathy and interpersonal openness, these psychopharmacological effects are especially relevant."
Administering MDMA to suffering couples in a safe environment can induce a sense of love and trust that can enable partners to talk about their thoughts and feelings. Often, it is just getting over that hump of bringing it up that can induce the the journey of healing.
MDMA will be administered to both members of the couple, as they will both be clients of the study, rather than one being a "support person."
The website explains, "the therapists will carefully work with the both participants to establish a sense of safety, trust, and openness to create an environment supportive of healing."
The DEA is on-board, acknowledging the extreme value of the drug and the serious problem that so many citizens are facing as a result of combat veterans having to readjust to civilian life.