Deakin Communicating Science 2016

EES 200/101

Therapeutic uses of Ecstasy


3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine or more commonly known as MDMA is a party drug but could it have benefits in the medical field. “MDMA is a synthetic drug that alters mood and perception (awareness of surrounding objects and conditions.” Although mostly perceived as a drug used for recreational purposes, studies at Harvard University and in South Carolina, Switzerland and Israel could determine whether there are legitimate medical uses for the club drug.

A frequently discussed topic is the use of illicit drugs to combat pain and stress experienced by medical patients, usually patients with cancer. The legalisation of medicinal marijuana in Colorado was majorly covered in the media recently and saw families from all over the United States moved to reap the benefits. With the rapid increase in the benefits of marijuana, MDMA could soon follow suit.

Slate recently reported the use of MDMA would mainly be used to treat post traumatic stress disorder. Such a huge advantage of the drug is that is is a fast acting without sedation. But the US Government classifies ecstasy as a schedule 1 drug meaning that it is classified as having no accepted use in the medial field. But should governments around the world really decline people experiencing traumatic mental and physical pain.

Although research has linked long term ecstasy use to mental impairment such as memory loss, no permanent mental damage has been associated with regulated use. On this basis researchers are interested in captivating the benefits of MDMA while making sure that is it 100% safe.

This graphic shows some of the side effects of ecstasy use, but it is correlated with how often the drug is taken. When the drug is moderated the side effects are a lot less severe. This reiterates the point that if researches can find suitable dosages that maximise the benefits of the drug and minimise the side effects, the drug could have use in the medial field.

Resources hyperlinked


One comment on “Therapeutic uses of Ecstasy

  1. sebrawson
    May 8, 2016

    You’ve made a fairly in-depth analysis of the issue at hand, and have obviously put a lot of time not only into the investigation of the science behind MDMA and its effects; but also the social and ethical ramifications of MDMA use both therapeutically and recreationally. In reference to your claim towards the end of your article, regarding cognitive and memory impairment, I feel it’s important to show some evidence, and whilst this study isn’t exactly the most well-rounded piece of scientific literature around; it does go some way to demonstrate the phenomena. (

    Your use of in-text citations and hyperlinks makes the article very easily to interact with, and goes a long way to improve the fact-checking of your statistics and information. I feel there is a bit more content to add to this, but it reads quite well, and its prompt nature means that it’s not a bore to read, good job!


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This entry was posted on April 29, 2016 by in Burwood - Friday 2pm.

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