Dangers of MDMA in the Therapeutic Setting

The dangers to people using MDMA in the therapeutic setting are mostly contributed to the danger of the chemical MDMA, and not the addition of psychotherapy. Though there may be some danger in having such intense feelings as those induced by MDMA, reports of psychological disorders caused by infrequent MDMA use are rare.

If MDMA was used for long periods of time, the dosages would certainly have to be carefully measured to avoid damage, because chronic users have shown that MDMA can have harmful effects. Morgan reported that ecstasy users were "more psychologically disturbed and impulsive than nondrug controls" and committed more errors on cognitive function tests. In a 2000 review, he reported "There is growing evidence that chronic, heavy, recreational use of ecstasy is associated with sleep disorders, depressed mood, persistent elevation of anxiety, impulsiveness and hostility, and selective impairment of episodic memory, working memory and attention. There is tentative evidence that these cognitive deficits persist for at least 6 months after abstinence, whereas anxiety and hostility remit after a year of abstinence." The adverse effects of MDMA include dizziness, vertigo, muscle tension, nausea chills, sweating, and faintness, and the come down can be a crash which can include severe anxiety, paranoia, sleep problems, and vivid nightmares. Even if there were no harmful effects of the drugs during use, there is a high chance of developing psychological dependance to attempt to never "come down". The coming down is usually unpleasant, and can turn into serious bouts of depression.


Therapeutic Uses

Common Feelings

Treatment of PTSD

Therapeutic Benefits

Therapeutic Dangers


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