The Federal Drug Administration is allowing a team of Bay Area psychotherapists to experiment with ecstasy to treat patients.
Dr. Phil Wolfson, who has offices in San Francisco and Marin County, is in charge of the 15-month experiment approved the FDA and Drug Enforcement Administration.
Wolfson said he knows firsthand that ecstasy, or MDMA, is effective in easing extreme anxiety because he used it to get through the worst time of his life when his son way dying from leukemia.
“It tends to bring on a mood change,” Wolfson said. “It gives you a feeling of loving and caring. You’re more accepting of your own failure and difficulties and being able to own them better.”
Ecstasy, also known as Molly, is a drug commonly used at raves. The drug is currently considered by the federal government to have no therapeutic value.
Wolfson, however, received the government’s blessing to conduct a clinical trial of 18 patients using the drug in conjunction with a number of intense therapeutic sessions.
“If a drug works for a disabling condition and can be labeled to be used in a safe way in that population, then we think we have an obligation to evaluate the data and do what the data support, such as allow a trial to proceed,” an FDA spokeswoman said.
If the current trial goes as Wolfson believes it will, MDMA will then be used to treat large numbers of people over a two-year period.