May 27, 2015
MDMA Therapy To Begin In San Francisco

The US Drug Enforcement Administration has given permission to a psychiatrist in San Francisco to begin using MDMA-assisted treatment.

Dr. Philip Wolfson will administer the popular party drug to 18 patients in an attempt to reduce anxiety disorders in people with cancer and other serious, life-threatening diseases.

Wolfson says that MDMA can be “transformationally potent,” and that it is “a substance that supports deep, meaningful and rapidly effective psychotherapy.”

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has also got behind the idea. FDA spokeswoman Sandy Walsh believes that “if a drug works for a disabling condition and can be labeled to be used in a safe way in that population… then we think we have an obligation to evaluate the data and do what the data supports, such as allow a trial to proceed.”

Preliminary therapy will begin with 13 patients participating in eight-hour sessions after taking the drug, with the other five patients taking a placebo. The entire project could take up to 15 months, with various follow-up sessions used to check on the mental status of patients.

If you’re in the Bay Area, Dr. Philip Wolfson will give a public talk titled “MDMA and the Science of Psychedelic Therapy — The Great Adventure” June 4, 7:30 p.m. at the First Unitarian Church, 1187 Franklin St., San Francisco. Get more info here.

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