In 2020, the non-profit organization the Navy Seal Foundation which is involved in helping the Naval Special Warfare families announced one of the largest single grants, a $50,000 pledge, to help fund MAPS-sponsored clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. This pledge was created to help those suffering from PTSD. More specifically, the donation was given to assist military personnel which includes Naval Special Warfare veterans suffering from mental issues mainly surrounding PTSD. This donation was made through the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) which contributes to bringing awareness to psychedelic benefits. The foundation has explained how they are putting this donation toward urgent treatment of PTSD in their members. Much of these trials being able to happen can be credited to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy success rates among other people and PTSD survivors. This gift to the Navy Seals is a large step forward in getting FDA drug approval for step three of a larger study. The $50,000 donation will allow for many more people suffering from PTSD to be approved for treatment in order to work through their trauma in a groundbreaking way.
The Navy SEAL Foundation Funds MDMA PTSD Study
With the nation's 20th anniversary of the tragedy of 9/11, men who joined the Navy and went on to become SEALS after the attacks of 9/11 are starting to retire from their hard work and service. Many of these men have had to live through some of the hardest and most painful losses and battles that our nation has ever seen. These men need to deal with mental stability in order to be able to go on and be active members of communities for families. With the Navy Seal Foundation reinforcing the advancement of research related to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy treatment they are giving the Navy Seals more options to PTSD treatment that could prove to be more successful than treatment that is being conducted currently. With the goal of all PTSD survivors to be treated in a safe, healthy way, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is an option that many people have found relief in and shows promising benefits when in comparison to “normal” PTSD treatment trials.
What is MAPS?
MAPS is the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a nonprofit organization whose main goal of bringing a deeper understanding to psychedelic drugs and their benefits. MAPS has been known to have a past of FDA-regulated trials and research in which highlight the benefits of psychedelic treatment. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has been conducted through MAPS as early as 2014. They continue to prove the many benefits and possibilities of psychedelics and the improvements that they can have on mental health.
What is the Navy SEAL Foundation?
The Navy SEAL foundation mission is “provides immediate and ongoing support and assistance to the Naval Special Warfare community and its families.” The NSF is a national nonprofit organization which gives assistance to programs for SEALs, SWCCs, veterans, and assists their families. Their main goal is to provide the best service for those they are looking after. They want to be able to offer a positive transfer into the workforce after their time while serving. This is one of the main reasons as to why research for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is so important to testing with PTSD veterans. It is an alternative method of treatment that could work not only quicker but more effective for SEALS and veterans to deal with trauma.
Navy Seals and PTSD
Navy SEALS have to live through trauma on a daily basis.Up to 4% of people worldwide suffer from post traumatic stress disorder. PTSD forces people to relive life-threatening memories of traumatic events that have happened to them or that they have witnessed in their lifetime. The U.S. Naval Institute claims that “on average, at least one service member or veteran commits suicide everyday as a direct result of thier service.” These numbers are not only alarming but also proving that more treatment should be available especially to those who have lived through some of the most traumatic events that we have ever experienced as a nation. PTSD related suicide is common in Navy SEALS and some studies even suggest that PTSD can greatly increase the chance of veterans commiting suicide. The result of standard treatment of PTSD has limited effectiveness and also can take years to tackle a case of PTSD. Opening up treatments for MDMA for SEALS will allow for not only a faster recovery process but a much more effective and open recovery process.
MDMA Therapy for PTSD
Many people all over the world suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder severely. It is difficult to recover from PTSD and it can develop from seeing or experiencing any form of traumatic event in someone's lifetime. Existing treatment is often ineffective, people who suffer from PTSD rarely have breakthroughs from just talking about an event that has happened, it is also difficult for PTSD survivors to speak about traumatic events that have happened in their lifetime. After a number of trials with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy sessions, most patients respond positively to the treatment and are able to revisit traumatic events to tackle the root of the issue. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy combined with regular treatment is able to have lasting effects on many people who suffer from PTSD. Psychotherapy utilizes the usage of psychological procedures to assist one alter their mindset in how they view themselves and their personal mental health. These sessions allow people to see their traumatic events and deal with the feelings which trigger them head on. The use of psychedelics is able to reach a different part of the brain, allowing growth and ultimately the ability to look at their traumatic experiences from a different perspective.
FDA Approval of MDMA Therapy
In August of 2017, the FDA permitted Breakthrough therapy designation for treatment of PTSD through MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The FDA describes breakthrough therapy designation as an intention to “expedite the development and review of drugs for serious or life-threatening conditions.” Before this can happen, the drug must be proven to have significant positive effects and positive outcomes of treatment that will help surpass current treatment available. The grant given by the Navy Seal Foundation will help fund the drug approval for phase three of the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study through the FDA.
MDMA PTSD Therapy, New Hope for Veterans
Veterans see and live through unimaginable trauma. Relieving this trauma is just a small part of leading the way for them to transfer back into their family lives after serving their time. Current treatment options often do not tackle the real issue at hand. MDMA-assisted psychotherapy is providing not only results but hope for veterans as the recovery process from PTSD has proven to be successful through monitored sessions. PTSD is a mentally debilitating condition and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has the abilities for people to begin to move past their trauma and view it in a new mindset. The future of PTSD treatment is not only promising but vital to allowing our veterans to live in peace.