Micro-dosing LSD – a Brief Review of the October 2018 Phase Two Report
What a long strange trip it’s been. Once upon a time, the army tested massive doses of LSD on unsuspecting soldiers. Now, micro-dosing as psychotherapy treatment for PTSD seems to be on the verge of a breakthrough.
Methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy is a novel approach that combines psychotherapy with limited administration of MDMA in a controlled setting to enable people suffering from PTSD to process trauma more effectively. MDMA’s unique subjective and therapeutic effects induce an optimal state that complements the process of working through traumatic memories while reducing the fear response.
Journal of Psychopharmacology published their story about it, found here. We are excerpting the highlights for you below.
Psychotherapy Treatment for PTSD Methods of the Study
Posttraumatic stress disorder often does not resolve after conventional psychotherapies or pharmacotherapies. Pilot studies have reported that 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) combined with psychotherapy reduces posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms.
This pilot dose response trial assessed efficacy and safety of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy across multiple therapy teams.
Twenty-eight people with chronic posttraumatic stress disorder were randomized in a double-blind dose response comparison of two active doses (100 and 125 mg) with a low dose (40 mg) of MDMA administered during eight-hour psychotherapy sessions. Change in the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale total scores one month after two sessions of MDMA served as the primary outcome. Active dose groups had one additional open-label session; the low dose group crossed over for three open-label active dose sessions. A 12-month follow-up assessment occurred after the final MDMA session.
In the intent-to-treat set, the active groups had the largest reduction in Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale total scores at the primary endpoint, with mean (standard deviation) changes of −26.3 (29.5) for 125 mg, −24.4 (24.2) for 100 mg, and −11.5 (21.2) for 40 mg, though statistical significance was reached only in the per protocol set (p=0.03). Posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms remained lower than baseline at 12-month follow-up (p<0.001) with 76% (n=25) not meeting posttraumatic stress disorder criteria. There were no drug-related serious adverse events, and the treatment was well-tolerated.
Our findings support previous investigations of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as an innovative, efficacious treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder.