The federal government has OK'd clinical trials of the outlawed drug ecstasy, known for its euphoric effects, as a means to treat post-traumatic stress disorder.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the phase 3 clinical trials on Tuesday. The drug has been tested for its ability to make patients more comfortable discussing traumatic events.
Commonly known as Molly or the chemical MDMA, the substance has been a popular club drug for decades.
The National Institutes of Health claims ecstasy was created in Germany in the early 1900s. A small number of U.S. psychiatrists started using it on patients in the 1970s under the government's supervision. Then, as the drug hit the underground scene in the 1980s, it was banned by the government.
In one previous trial, ecstasy was given to patients by the psychiatrist during therapy sessions as part of a larger treatment schedule. The patients, according to the New York Times, reported a 56 percent decrease in the severity of symptoms on average. By the end of the study, two-thirds of the patients no longer met the criteria for PTSD.