The clinical application of MDMA has long been an issue of great interest for doctors, counselors, researchers, and users alike. Originally synthesized by a pharmaceutical company and subsequently tested on military personnel, the drug was then used by many clinicians and physicians prior to the DEA's strict regulation of the drug, which began in the mid 1980s (Mithoefer et al, 2010). The DEA has classified MDMA a "Schedule 1" drug, which means that it among the most controlled substances, a fact which has hindered the progress of research. For a detailed explanation of the DEA's scheduling of controlled substances, please refer to appendix A. Exception was made to this restriction, however, in 2003 when the US government permitted one organization, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies ("MAPS," for short), to conduct studies wherein the drug was to be administered to human participants in a clinically controlled experimental environment--a setting which allows for many of the most prevalent confounds found in MDMA research to be minimized and, in some cases, eliminated (Mithoefer et al., 2007; Mithoefer et al, 2010; MAPS.org, 2012). Though MAPS' studies are only just beginning, they have already had promising results in treating protracted cases of PTSD. These recent developments in MDMA research and the results of the subsequent studies have piqued the interest of academics and advocates alike as well as motive numerous other organizations to lend their support to the MAPS organization. This literature review aims to provide an overview of past and present paradigms within the body of MDMA research in order to provide an informational framework within which the recent works regarding the drug's therapeutic merit can be adequately examined.
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Bachelor of Science (B.S.)
College of Sciences
Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences;Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic
Length of Campus-only Access
Honors in the Major Thesis
Christian, Michael, "Exploring MDMA and its therapeutic potential" (2012). HIM 1990-2015. 1255.