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Charting Progress: Updates on MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

There has a been a lot of interest in Dr Sauls' role as a principal investigator in the expanded access use of MDMA for treatment of PTSD and I wanted to provide some updates and resources for anyone trying to learn more about this promising new therapy.

First, some background, as there has been a lot of confusion about what is happening locally. Thanks to decades long work by the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), the pioneering research of Michael and Annie Mithoefer, and the commitment of countless clinicians and donors, it became possible to legally research the use of MDMA for treatment resistant PTSD. PTSD is disabling, deadly, and there are very few effective treatments. In early studies, MDMA has shown incredible promise for treating PTSD and has been curative in approximately 75% of cases, even three years after treatment. Because of these impressive results, the FDA has authorized expanded access to the treatment which will allow people suffering from PTSD access to this therapy outside of a clinical trial.

At the local level, The Pearl Psychedelic Institute has been working for over 2 years to become the nations first operational expanded access site for offering MDMA assisted therapy for the treatment of PTSD. Dr Raymond Turpin, of Pearl Psychedelic Institute, and Tiffany Sauls MD, and are the principal investigators for this expanded access site. Rob Jacoby and Derek Rutter, two therapists that work with Asheville Integrative Psychiatry are involved with the study as well. Over the next few months the expanded access site will be accepting a very limited number of patients for the 3 month therapeutic protocol. More information is available on our website here and at Pearl Psychedelic Institute's new website here.

This is big news in psychedelic medicine at the local level. The psychedelic medicine community in western NC is small and there has been a lot of collaboration and work involved in getting us one step closer to making this therapy generally available. At Asheville Integrative Psychiatry, we look forward to offering this treatment, and our current Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy protocol is modeled on the MDMA protocols due to the increasing evidence that the therapeutic component of psychedelic assisted psychotherapy is the key factor for effective treatment. At Asheville Integrative Psychiatry, we are, of course, planning on integrating nature connection therapy with MDMA in the same way that we currently do with our Ketamine Assisted Psychotherapy protocol.

Dr. Tiffany Sauls

Tiffany Sauls MD, owner of Asheville Integrative Psychiatry

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