We are researching MDMA to treat Alcohol Use Disorder.

Awakn has conducted the world’s only Phase IIa study of MDMA for Alcohol Use Disorder, BIMA (Bristol Imperial MDMA in Alcoholism Study), which is progressing into Phase IIb. The trial proved safety and showed high efficacy in a small group with three quarters showing continued improvement nine months later, compared to just 21% in a control group receiving current standard addiction treatment. The study was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

MDMA works differently to ketamine. Brain scans show that it supresses activity in the amygdala and hippocampus, the areas that encode emotions, learning and memory. It is believed that MDMA supresses chemicals released in response to negative stimuli (such as revisiting trauma) thereby allowing clients to engage these painful memories without being overwhelmed. It also creates temporary changes in brain functioning that support the learning of new behavioural responses.

This is thought to explain why we see such a powerful effect from MDMA-assisted therapy, where clients can confront and overcome traumatic events, which lie at the root of their addiction, and engage with therapy to quickly develop new healthy ways of processing these memories.

We expect MDMA to be approved for treating PTSD by 2023, and addiction by 2025.


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