Though Veteran Affairs has provided crucial life sustaining—and often lifesaving—treatments to returning soldiers, the substantial and ever-increasing rates of veteran suicides, drug addictions, and criminal behavior indicate a need for broader options in treatment. One of the most profound discoveries uncovered through MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research is MDMA’s facilitation of the alleviation of addictive behavior in subjects, and, as a result, an alleviation of addictions in general. Addiction is one of the key symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and drug abuse plays a large role in the other afflictions suffered by veterans, namely criminal activity and a high rate of suicide. If there is any hope of treating this debilitating psychotic phenomenon—or at least containing its rapid growth and addressing its profound depth—alternative remedies as a means must not be ignored for a normative end.
Accordingly, this note argues that physicians must be able to treat PTSD victims through MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, an alternative remedy to PTSD treatment that has shown overwhelming promise in domestic and international medical research. In doing so, it first discusses 21 U.S.C.A. § 812, which labels MDMA as a Schedule I substance and prohibits healthcare professionals from using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat PTSD victims. Next, the note asserts that the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) erroneously categorized MDMA as a substance lacking an accepted medical use and lack of safety under medical supervision. The note sets out studies, domestic and international, where clinical testing of MDMA-assisted therapy to treat PTSD have been met with overwhelmingly positive results. Finally, the note argues that MDMA’s accepted medical use, low physical and psychological dependence, and known safety under medical supervision support its classification as a Schedule III under the CSA, and that the 1986 classification of MDMA as a Schedule I narcotic was, and continues to be, an arbitrary and capricious agency interpretation of an otherwise viable piece of congressional legislation.
Mending Invisible Wounds: The Efficacy and Legality of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy in United States' Veterans Suffering with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder,
29 J.L. & Health
available at https://engagedscholarship.csuohio.edu/jlh/vol29/iss2/9