MDMA may help those with PTSD

Jason Manaois / October 31, 2018

MDMA and ectasy is displayed.
(Photo courtesy of Kripos_NCIS/

The BC Centre on Substance Abuse is establishing a psychedelic clinical research program, the first study is looking at treating post traumatic stress disorder using MDMA. The research is one of multiple sites mostly in the US, and aims to pool all the data together to find clinical treatment for PTSD.

Dr. Kenneth Tupper of the BCSU said the reason MDMA is being researched for treatment is because of it’s functions on the human brain’s neurotransmitters.

“It has functions on various neurotransmitter systems including; serotonin, dopamine, oxytocin, that seem to facilitate a number of therapeutic mechanisms when combined with psycho therapy,” Dr. Kenneth Tupper/ BC Centre on Substance Abuse

It is still in the early stages of testing which is why patients being used are ones with severe cases. These people are described by Dr. Tupper to have gone through a life changing traumatic event.

According to the doctor, research has only recently started because of MDMA’s history of being highly restricted due to its use as a street drug. However, the results from patient testing have been mostly positive.

MDMA is widely used at raves. (Photo Courtesy of Dominic Simpson/

“The results that have been generated so far are very promising, we’re finding two thirds of patients no longer meet the criteria for PTSD” – Dr. Kenneth Tupper, BC Centre on Drug Abuse

The group partnered with the BCSU is called MAPS, based in the US. Dr. Tupper hopes Canada will follow their neighbours in the south in hopes of finding a reliable treatment to a disorder experienced by many Canadians.

With files from Austin Czerwinski.