Imperial College London has been granted approval to use MDMA - Methylenedioxymethamphetamine, also commonly known as ecstacy (E) or Molly - to treat alcohol addiction. According to the Guardian, Ben Sessa, a clinical psychiatrist on the trial and senior research fellow at Imperial College London, announced this groundbreaking trial during the Breaking Convention conference in London.
"We know that MDMA works really well in helping people who have suffered trauma and it helps to build empathy," Sessa said. "Many of my patients who are alcoholics have suffered some sort of trauma in their past and this plays a role in their addiction."
After a detox period, 20 patients will be given "two conventional therapy sessions, followed by another full day of talking therapy under the influence of 99.99 percent pure MDMA," IFLScience.com reported. The hope is that the drug will help the participants to emotionally "open up" to their therapists.
While MDMA is still currently classified as a "Class A" drug in the UK and a "Schedule 1" drug in the US - regarded in both instances as dangerous drugs that have a "high potential for abuse," the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved a clinical trial of MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, and Imperial College London previously found that magic mushrooms could be used to help treat depression.