MAPS Public Benefit Corporation has completed data collection for the Phase 3 study of MAT for PTSD
MDMA-Assisted Therapy (MAT) is one step closer to becoming medically available. After an epic 36-year long journey, the MAPS Public Benefit Corporation has completed data collection for the Phase 3 study of MAT for PTSD. As of November 22, 2022, the data set has been locked and is now ready for statistical analysis. Notably, Phase 3 is the last phase in the FDA approval process, so this is the final stretch!!!
As reported previously, results from Phase 2 and the first part of Phase 3 have been nothing less than spectacular. A lot of people are very excited about the potential healing power of MAT, which will initially be approved for the treatment of PTSD.
If the previous results hold, MDMA-Assisted Therapy will likely be the first psychedelic-assisted therapy to be formally approved for medical use. This will mark a very positive shift in the history of human healing. Substances such as MDMA, which have highly potent therapeutic value, have been suppressed and demonized by the war on drugs for several decades now, leaving them unavailable for research and for those in need.
It’s important to clarify that MDMA is not to be approved as a prescription drug on its own. Due to its high potency and experience-altering potential, MDMA will only be approved for use in a psychotherapeutic context, hence MDMA-Assisted Therapy. Doctors will not be able to prescribe MDMA in isolation from therapy. This makes MDMA-Assisted Therapy a very unique and novel kind of treatment, where therapy and the drug are administered together. The therapy will help with the optimal integration into everyday life of the emotional shifts and cognitive insights experienced during the dosing session. This is an extremely important point, which differentiates medical approval from the full legalization of MDMA (which is a whole different issue altogether). The clear benefits of medical legalization are the safety of its use in this context, and the maximization of its therapeutic potential.
We should also keep in mind that the powerful improvements captured in MAPS research happen after only three MDMA sessions. In fact, only one MDMA therapy session can produce powerful lasting positive changes. So we are not talking about ongoing use of MDMA, as is the case with SSRIs for instance.
Notably, MDMA is commonly considered a love drug, a substance that opens hearts, improves communication, and helps people connect better with each other. While initial approval of MDMA-Assisted Therapy will likely be for PTSD only, the full power of MDMA likely lies in healing relationships. I cannot emphasize more how important this point is. MDMA will likely help us love each other better, which is anything but a trivial task.
Unfortunately, current research on the relationship healing power of MDMA is in its infancy at this time (e.g., see work by Anne Wagner), and it may take a few years before MDMA can be used legally to heal relationships.
You can thank Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies and your colorful, big-hearted founder Rick Doblin, for doing all this amazing work! You can support MAPS @ maps.org