E for Ecstasy by Nicholas Saunders
Appendix 1: Reference Section
- 62 Designer Drug Confusion: a focus on MDMA, by Jerome Beck and
Patricia Morgan, from Journal of Drug Education, 16/3/86
- Beck and Morgan give a Cook's tour of the effects and clinical value
of MDMA. They quote Wolfson: "MDMA provides a positive alternative
to the dark and negative experiences of people experiencing psychotic states,"
Grinspoon: "MDMA appears to have some of the advantages of LSD-type
drugs without most of the corresponding disadvantages," Siegel: "MDMA
has been promoted as a cure for everything from personal depression to alienation
to cocaine addiction. . . It's got a lot of notoriety, but the clinical
claims made for its efficacy are totally unsupported at this time,"
and Greer: "Because every therapist I know who has given MDMA to a
patient has found it to be of significant value, I am convinced that it
can be shown scientifically to be efficacious."
- They say that continuous use of booster doses after the initial dose
to prolong the high produces great fatigue the following day. Regarding
deaths ascribed to MDMA, "later investigation revealed that the role
played by the drug, if it was even involved, was questionable in most cases."
But Beck and Morgan say that the potentially toxic interaction between MDMA
and alcohol merits further investigation. "As with other stimulants,
individuals under the influence of MDMA are often capable of ingesting large
amounts of alcohol."
- A delayed anxiety disorder has been observed in a few individuals. This
problem typically occurs among novice users of MDMA, and the manifestations
range from a mild anxiety to a full-blown disorder such as a panic attack
with hyperventilation and tachycardia, phobic disorders, parathesias, or
other anxiety states. Usually the drug was taken in a nonprofessional setting
for quasi-therapeutic reasons.
- On the basis of interviews with such clients, it can be inferred that
through taking MDMA, much of their repressed anxiety, hostility, guilt,
or other so-called negative feelings were released into their conscious
minds. . . After the release of this material, they are undefended and conscious
of what emotional and psychological work needs to be done. These initial
findings underscore a growing number of unsuccessful attempts at 'self therapy'
by individuals who run the risk of exacerbating their emotional problems
with unsupervised episodes.
- They conclude that MDMA's unique effect is desired by many people and
interest will continue to grow. MDMA could have a much greater long-term
impact on our society than all of the so-called designer drugs combined.
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