MDMA Changes The Way People Talk About Their Loved Ones, Study Shows

In recent years, psychoactive drug MDMA has piqued the interest of psychologists who wonder if it could be beneficial in treating mental health problems. A new study, which finds that the drug can facilitate introspection and help people to feel closer to their loved ones, further suggests this may be the case.

Known by the scientific name 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine and sold on the street (often with dangerous additives) under the names Molly and ecstasy, MDMA is known to evoke feelings of intimacy and compassion.

The study, which was published this week in the journal Psychopharmacology, analyzed how the drug affects the way users talk about the important people in their lives — and showed evidence of these prosocial effects. People used more emotional language and words that indicated feelings of social connection, such as “friend,” “support” and “empathy” while under the influence of MDMA, the researchers found.

“With MDMA, you get these really increased feelings of sociability and closeness with others,” Matthew Kirkpatrick, a professor of preventative medicine at the University of Southern California and one of the study’s authors, told The Huffington Post. “When you’re on MDMA, you tend to focus on positive social-emotional stimuli, and you’re less reactive to negative emotional stimuli, such as fearful or angry faces.”

The findings suggest that MDMA may someday be a tool used in couples therapy.

“I suspect you would see that couples would rate each other as being more emotionally responsive, they would feel closer to one another and they would engage in longer conversations about deeper topics,” Kirkpatrick explained. “I think it could be quite useful for couples counseling.”

For the small study, 35 healthy participants — all of whom had previous experience with MDMA — completed two sessions with a research assistant. During one session, participants were given MDMA —> Read More