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Veteran says MDMA therapy helped him find his former self

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18min 51sec
Rachael McAllister
Scott Ostrom in May of 2022, a few years after he underwent MDMA-assisted therapy in Boulder.

Scott Ostrom, of Denver, had nightmares and anger problems after two deployments in Iraq. He sought help for his Post Traumatic Stress Disorder from traditional therapists but couldn't find relief. Then, he saw information about a research study in Boulder using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat people with PTSD. Ostrom went through an extensive vetting process and eventually did three therapy sessions with MDMA in 2019. He said the drug, in combination with therapy, helped him confront the man he became during wartime -- what he and his therapists termed "the bully" -- and rediscover his former self.

One of Ostrom's therapists, Marcela Ot'alora, is the principal researcher for the Boulder trial. It's one of 15 study sites in the US and abroad funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, or MAPS. Ot'alora said the results so far have been extremely promising, with two-thirds of participants no longer meeting the criteria for a diagnosis of PTSD. MAPS expects to submit the final results soon and anticipates FDA approval in late 2023.