Next step in MDMA trials for PTSD takes place in Vancouver and Montreal

Numinus Wellness Inc. will host the clinics for the extension of the MAPS study.

The synthetic drug MDMA is commonly distributed in tablets called as “ecstasy”. Portokalis/Getty Images

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An ongoing study shows huge potential in treating PTSD with psychotherapy assisted by a psychedelic substance called MDMA.

PTSD is post-traumatic stress disorder, a mental health condition affecting people who have experienced or witnessed distressing events like wars and serious accidents.

The California-based Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is currently undertaking what is described as the world’s most advanced psychedelic therapy research in the world.

The study utilizes MDMA or 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine, a synthetic substance that is commonly distributed as a party drug.

The drug is known on the street as “ecstasy”.

MAPS is doing what is known as Phase 3 trials in the U.S., Israel, and Canada.

The trials at this phase are a requirement before MDMA gets approval from the Food and Drug Administration in the U.S. for public use as a drug.

Part of the next stage of the study will be held at two sites in Canada, particularly in Vancouver and Montreal.

The sites will be hosted by Numinus Wellness Inc., a Vancouver-based company.

Numinus is licensed by Health Canada to test, sell, and distribute psychedelic substances.

“Our clinical and research teams are well positioned to implement MAPS’ research and, ultimately, to work with MAPS on the translation of research findings into mainstream clinical practice,” company vice president Joe Flanders said in a media release Wednesday (November 10).

The media release recalled the results of a previous MAPS phase 3 study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.

In that trial, 88 percent of participants “experienced a clinically meaningful reduction in symptoms”.

In addition, 67 percent “no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis”.

“As we get closer to our goal of making MDMA-assisted therapy a reality, it is critical that we work with clinics who will advance making this treatment widely accessible in real-world settings,” MAPS founder and executive director Rick Doblin said in the release.

Follow Carlito Pablo on Twitter at @carlitopablo

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