Could MDMA-Assisted Therapy Help Treat Anorexia?

D. Photography by Picard

A Toronto psychedelic therapy clinic has been selected as a testing site for a new study on MDMA-supportive therapy for eating disorders.

Can MDMA-assisted therapy treat eating disorders, such as anorexia? A new study funded by the US-based nonprofit Multicultural Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is looking to find out.

While the safety and efficacy of MDMA-supportive therapy is still being investigated (and is not approved by Health Canada for the treatment of a mental health condition), Ronan Levy, founder of Canadian mental wellness company Field Trip Health – Toronto Has been selected as one of the test sites for the study – indicating previous trials that showed promise in treatment for those diagnosed with PTSD: in a phase two trial conducted by MAPS, active treatment 54 percent of trial participants in the group are no longer eligible for diagnosis of PTSD after completing treatment.

It is important to note that this is MDMA-Assisted Therapy, i.e. using psychedelic molecule to enhance the work of traditional therapeutic techniques. Trial patients will have to work with the physician before treatment, during treatment.

“With mostly psychedelic-assisted therapy, MDMA enables people to see their lives and see things from different perspectives,” Levy explains. “Many times, these mental health conditions are rooted in trauma or past experiences that people are not able to cope with or process emotions. Psychedelics can enable people to reproduce those moments more objectively. “

After using psychedelics, Levy says, there is a period of neuroplastic that allows greater cognitive flexibility to change attitudes and / or habits. He compares an analogy to Michael Pollen in his book, How to change your mind“Imagine two ski tracks in Levi,” Levy says. “The more you ski on those tracks, the more they disappear, but the psychedelics come along and shake the ice world. Suddenly you have fresh powder on top of those ski tracks to carve out new paths. In very simplistic terms, that psychedelic treatments seem to have such positive effects on the treatment of these mental health conditions. “

There is a particular urge in finding treatment for anorexia nervosa, which has the highest mortality rate of any mental health disorder. “The number of people in the trial is going to have a significant impact on the quality of life,” Ronan says. “So we are very excited to participate.”

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