From the title you’re probably thinking, what illegal drugs are they talking about? This blog will be referring to two different types of drugs, one of these drugs is not commonly known by the public but, one of these drugs is a very common ‘party’ drug called MDMA, also known as Molly or Ecstasy. MDMA, usually comes in tablet or capsule form that can be taken orally, stimulates the release of neurotransmitters in the brain, but in this case serotonin is released, with a high that lasts between three and six hours (“MDMA: Effects, Hazards & Extent of Use.” Drugs.com. 2018. L. Anderson, PharmD.). Molly enhances people’s sense of pleasure, self-confidence, increases energy, and, often people feel ephori when on MDMA (“MDMA: Effects, Hazards & Extent of Use.” Drugs.com. 2018. L. Anderson, PharmD.). Molly was used in psychotherapy in the early 1970s and soon turned into a street drug in the 1980s, but scientist today are seeing that Molly can help treat those who are suffering from PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). Scientist are using the effects of MDMA with psychotherapy to reduce the fear related to traumatic memories and it’s been showing results. This form of treatment is creating a neural setting primed for new learning and extinguishing fear associated with traumatic memories (Feduccia and Mithoefer. “MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD”. Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 2018. Elsevier).
Now to the last drug, Ketamine. I know you might be saying this to yourself, “what is ketamine?” and “what would Ketamine be used for?” and I will tell you. Ketamine is a medication (mostly known for being a dissociative) used for starting and maintaining anesthesia, it induces a trance-like state of pain relief, memory loss, and, sedation (“Ketamine.” Wikipedia. 12 Mar. 2019. Wikimedia Foundation. 1 Mar. 2019). There have been studies that show low doses of ketamine may reduce morphine use, nausea, and vomiting after surgery; although there is still not much research behind the use Ketamine in psychological treatment, but the medical world their starting to realize that Ketamine is viable option for those that suffer from chronic pain and in some cases of CRPS (complex regional pain syndrome) low doses of Ketamine can be a form of treatment (“Ketamine.” Wikipedia. 12 Mar. 2019. Wikimedia Foundation.). Ketamine has also been found to be a fast-acting antidepressant in cases of major-depressive disorder and bipolar depression; scientists have also found that Ketamine could be used as an alternative to postoperative pain management instead of using morphine (“Ketamine.” Wikipedia. 12 Mar. 2019. Wikimedia Foundation.). Although Ketamine has not been approved by the FDA as a antidepressant, it’s molecule cousin, esketamine, was recently approved in February 2019, as an antidepressant in a nasal spray form; this nasal spray is suppose to work as a dopamine reuptake inhibitor (“Esketamine.” Wikipedia. 12 Mar. 2019. Wikimedia Foundation.).
Even though there is not much research behind using Ketamine and MDMA as a treatment plan with psychotherapy, I hope the video below gives you more insight into different treatment plans for mental disorders and pain management.
This video should give some insight to what Ketamine is and how beneficial Ketamine is now coming out to be. In this video Ketamine helps reduce Carol’s major-depressive disorder: <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hcXiHYSt3k>
Carole, a Ketamine Therapy patient, discusses her transformation. Dir. Ketamine Wellness Centers. YouTube. 23 June 2017. 13 Mar. 2019 <https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3hcXiHYSt3k>.
“MDMA: Effects, Hazards & Extent of Use.” Drugs.com. 24 Sept. 2018. L. Anderson, PharmD. 24 Feb. 2019 <https://www.drugs.com/illicit/mdma.html>.
Feduccia, Allison A., and Michael C. Mithoefer. “MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD: Are memory reconsolidation and fear extinction underlying mechanisms?” Progress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry. 07 Mar. 2018. Elsevier. 26 Feb. 2019 <https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278584617308655>
“Esketamine.” Wikipedia. 12 Mar. 2019. Wikimedia Foundation. 1 Mar. 2019 <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Esketamine#cite_note-MDS-2>
“Ketamine.” Wikipedia. 12 Mar. 2019. Wikimedia Foundation. 1 Mar. 2019 <https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ketamine>.