Last month, the Federal Drug Administration granted researchers permission to move ahead with proposed clinical trials designed to study the effects of the party drug MDMA on people suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. The so-called “party drug” had, in fact, been used in therapy years before being banned in the United States, reports Suzannah Weiss.
Shulgin tested the effects of over 200 potentially psychoactive substances during on himself during the course of his carleer, including MDMA in 1976, which he eventually described as a ”low-calorie martini.”
The drug was originally developed in 1912 by Merck, in order to synthesize dextroamphetamine, a drug used in ADHD medications but was then shelved for decades until psychedelic drug designer Alexander Shulgin synthesized MDMA for himself in 1965, says Weiss.
A year later, Shulgin gave some to a psychotherapist, and “it spread like wildfire through the psychiatric community,” notes Weiss. “Psychologists also noticed that people under MDMA’s influence were more loving and communicative.”