Tom Shroder has written an excellent comprehensive article titled ‘The Peace Drug‘. Published in the Washington Post it focuses on MDMA therapy for PTSD.
Donna Kilgore laughs, a high-pitched sound that contains both thrill and anxiety. That she feels anything at all, anything other than the weighty, oppressive numbness that has filled her for 11 years, is enough in itself to make her giddy.
But there is something more at work inside her, something growing from the little white capsule she swallowed just minutes ago. She’s subject No. 1 in a historic experiment, the first U.S. government-sanctioned research in two decades into the potential of psychedelic drugs to treat psychiatric disorders. This 2004 session in the office of a Charleston, S.C., psychiatrist is being recorded on audio cassettes, which Donna will later hand to a journalist.
The tape reveals her reaction as she listens to the gentle piano music playing in her headphones. Behind her eyelids, movies begin to unreel. She tries to say what she sees: Cars careening down the wrong side of the road. Vivid images of her oldest daughter, then all three of her children. She’s overcome with an all-consuming love, a love she thought she’d lost forever.
“Now I feel all warm and fuzzy,” she announces. “I’m not nervous anymore.”
“What level of distress do you feel right now?” a deeply mellow voice beside her asks.
Donna answers with a giggle. “I don’t think I got the placebo,” she says.
Fourteen years ago, Donna Kilgore was raped.
Read The Peace Drug
UPDATE: Tom Shroder, the editor of the magazine will be fielding questions and comments about this article Monday at noon here.