FDA Approves Study of Ecstasy for Autistic Adults with Social Anxiety


There are many different types of substances that are known as street drugs, and the obvious reason that people use them for recreational purposes despite the fact that they are illegal is because they like the way they make them feel. Clearly, there is a lot of danger involved with using these drugs without proper supervision, with addiction and overdose chief among them. However, these substances do not appear from nowhere and they have been studied over time by different researchers who have looked for potential medical benefits when used in the proper contexts. Medical marijuana, which is obviously an ongoing debate, is one current example.

Over time, there have been other street drugs that have been tried in medical testing settings, including LSD, which was quickly abandoned after researchers did not find much of a medical use for it. However, a more ‘modern’ street drug is going to be tested with the approval of the FDA on autistic adults who suffer with social anxiety, which is a common problem associated with certain points on the autism spectrum. That drug is commonly known as ecstasy, and the study is going to begin soon with the hope that using this substance in a controlled environment could provide some relief to people who struggle with this problem.

Ecstasy, which is known in the scientific community as MDMA, is a chemical compound that is known to have a calming and sometimes euphoric effect on people who use it in a recreational sense. Researchers at UCLA will be submitting the details of the protocol to the federal government for additional approval, as for right now only the concept has been given the go-ahead along with some of the other technicalities.

Clearly, the FDA has also indicated that this study needs to have tight controls attached to it for obvious reasons, but the hope is that it will at least provide some learning for the people who need help getting past these anxieties. When anyone suffers from social anxiety, let alone someone already struggling with autism, it makes it difficult to deal with other problems. For autistic people, the presence of this hurdle makes it that much more difficult to attempt to work towards the crux of the autism spectrum disorder and provide people in this position with the help that they need.

Autism is a condition that is varied by nature, and that in itself makes it difficult to attack from a medication standpoint. Many things have been discovered medically by studying what were previously thought to be ‘useless’ street drugs, and perhaps that will happen here as well. It’s going to be several months before anything is truly learned, and from there perhaps a pathway will be defined.

The New York medical malpractice lawyers at The Fitzgerald Law Firm have been representing families whose children have been diagnosed with autism after a medical mistake was made during birth for decades, and we hope that more information continues to arrive that helps people dealing with this condition.