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Re: Ecstasy safely converted and prescribed?

Posted by Larry Hoover on August 31, 2004, at 7:34:02

In reply to Re: Ecstasy safely converted and prescribed?, posted by linkadge on August 29, 2004, at 11:16:53

I'd like to take this opportunity to provide a more in-depth analysis of my position vis a vis therapeutic use of MDMA.

I can best represent my feelings by discussing another drug first. If I knew of an individual dying of bone cancer (a horrible painful exit from this mortal coil), I would hope they would be prescribed a suitable pain control medication. Perhaps, I should say, *the* suitable pain control medication, heroin. For these individuals, there is no psychotropic effect. Their powerfully up-regulated mu-opioid system (from the pain stimulus) mops up the heroin first, as those nociceptive receptors have a higher affinity for the drug than do the psychotropic ones. Unfortunately, too many doctors have images of junkies and shooting galleries in their minds, and heroin is far too seldom put to this admirable use. I have heard remarkable tales of people coming back to their old selves, under the influence of the heroin, and being permitted a last and fruitful interaction with their loved ones, prior to their inevitable death. Yet, I have actually heard doctors say that they don't want to turn the sufferer into an addict, and refuse the prescription outright. As if that mattered, in that context. But, in fact, the pain itself precludes addiction (if the dose is appropriate), as addiction can only follow psychotropic effects. So even that argument is fallacious. It is a classic non sequitur, and it arises from social propaganda. Drug abuse is a property of people, not of the drug itself.

Now, with respect to MDMA. There is a similar therapeutic use of MDMA, in an appropriately selected population (e.g. sufferers of PTSD), who are psychologically prepared for the drug experience, and guided by skilled clinicians. Two of the distinctive characteristics of this process (and of the use of heroin, as above), are that the drug is supplied in a much purer form than can be obtained "on the street", and at a very precise dose. You don't know what you're getting from a street dealer, or the dose, nor can you readily obtain that information. For example, an early batch of street MDMA was contaminated with MPTP (1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine), in an attempt to adulterate the MDMA with the drug meperidine (Demerol). Unfortunately for a few individuals, the MPTP was present in high enough concentrations to induce permanent Parkinson's-like symptoms. That's the problem with what we call "bucket chemists". Anybody can get a recipe off the Internet, but that doesn't turn you into a more so than reading a recipe for duck a l'orange will turn you into a cook.

I'm not a lily-white ivory-tower demagogue. I was a hard-core addict for many years. I did more PCP than I have a right to have even survived. I know what drug abuse is. And, if I may be so bold, I know what drug abuse isn't.

One hundred years ago, Eaton's (the Canadian equivalent to Sears) sold tincture of opium, and hemp extract. The latter was for "female concerns", or something phrased similar. Lo and behold, one hundred years later, we discover that PMS and dysmennorhea may be related to cyclic depletion of endocannibinoids (our internal, natural cannabis-like chemicals). That's not to suggest that pot-smoking is always valid, but it also does not invalidate medical use of marijuana. Or of opium.

Alcohol is an excellent disinfectant, and used in moderation, reduces the risk of heart attack.... Need I go on?





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