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Can 3,4,-methylenedioxymethamphetamine therapy be used to treat alcohol use disorder?

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Treating people with alcohol use disorder has been an important target area for psychedelic research – both in the first studies of the 1950s and during the Psychedelic Renaissance of the last 10 years. To date, most studies have looked at the classical psychedelic drugs as adjuncts to psychotherapy; with attention paid to the psychospiritual aspect of the experience as a central therapeutic process in effecting abstinence from drinking. Psychotherapy assisted with 3,4,-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) has never been explored for treating alcohol use disorder. However, MDMA has some unique pharmacological characteristics – particularly its capacity for reducing the fear response and facilitating engagement in therapy around past psychological trauma – that could make it a useful candidate for tackling the core features of alcohol use disorder. This paper briefly describes the burden of alcohol use disorders and the history of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in the field of addictions. It gives the theoretical and experimental justification for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treating people with alcohol use disorder and introduces a forthcoming study from Bristol and London, UK, exploring the role for MDMA in treating a person with this challenging condition.

Sessa, B. (2016). Can 3, 4,-methylenedioxymethamphetamine therapy be used to treat alcohol use disorder?. Journal of Psychedelic Studies, (0), 1-9. 10.1556/2054.01.2016.003
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