This speed freak of nature’s drug use was quite X-cessive.
A UK man likely set a new narcotics world record after he consumed 40,000 ecstasy tablets over nearly a decade — and lived to tell the tale.
The extreme drug binge was originally documented in 2006, but is currently blowing up online after MDMA garnered “rave” reviews among medical experts as a potential post-traumatic stress disorder remedy after a “Phase 3, double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial” by doctors at the University of California San Francisco and New York University.
“To our knowledge, this is the largest amount of ecstasy lifetime consumption ever described,” Dr. Christos Kouimtsidis, a psychiatrist based in the UK, co-wrote in the mind-melting case study published in the medical journal Psychosomatics.
The study was significant as, up until that point, little had been “known with respect to the relationship between both severity and persistence of these disturbances and lifetime number of ecstasy tablets ingested”.
According to the report, the 37-year-old raver, known has Mr. A, took MDMA heavily from age 21 to 30 after getting really into the “club scene.” Also known as Molly, “MDMA acts as both a stimulant and psychedelic, producing an energising effect, distortions in time and perception, and enhanced enjoyment of tactile experiences,” which has made it a popular designer drug at nightclubs, according to DEA.org.
The Surrey native started off taking five tablets every weekend, before upping his regimen to 3.5 pills a day for the next years. He then bumped that number up to an “XXX-L” daily dose of 25 tablets, which he would take for the remainder of his freelance drug trials.
“Typical use is not every day and not the amount of tablets he was taking,” Mr. A’s psychiatrist Kouimtsidis told the Daily Mail. “It was extreme, his use was really, really high.”
By the end of the nine years, the psychedelic adventurer had ingested a total of 40,000 ecstasy tablets, breaking the previous record of 20,000 documented in a 1998 study.
In fact, Mr. A only ceased his X-treme regimen after “collapsing” at parties on three separate occasions, per the study. Nonetheless Dr. Koumtsidis claimed there was reportedly so much ecstasy in the reformed reveller’s system that he was high “for a few months” after calling it quits.
Mr. A also experienced a host of severe long-term side effects, including bouts of “tunnel vision,” severe panic attacks, depression, muscle rigidity, hallucinations and even paranoid ideation. Other symptoms included poor concentration, short-term memory problems and disorientation to time, per a state medical exam.
The fact that Mr. A survived such a systemic assault at all seems miraculous. However, overdoses from MDMA are exceedingly rare, and generally occur due to dehydration, or when the drug is tainted with another illicit substance.
Although too much of any substance — illicit or not — can prove fatal, according to toxicology experts.
Following his ecstasy overload, Mr. A was prescribed 10 milligrams of olanzapine “and admitted to a brain-injury unit, where there was some improvement of “his memory skills as a result of the use of compensatory strategies,” per the study.
The incident surfaced amid reports that MDMA could be available in US hospitals in 2024 following breakthroughs trials demonstrating its efficacy as a PTSD treatment. The trial, conducted in 2021 on 90 patients with severe PTSD, revealed that 88 per cent went into remission after being administered Molly along with talk therapy.
This might seem surprising for a drug best known for making people dance all night long. However, MDMA is thought to work by rewiring neural connections; specifically, Molly quiets the brain’s fear centres, allowing PTSD sufferers to open up about their trauma with a therapist instead of keeping it locked away, the Guardian reported.
Meanwhile, a second Phase 3 trial of MDMA, conducted by the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Public Benefit Corporation, was completed this month in the US, although the results have yet to be released. These party drug dry runs involved participants with less severe PTSD, as well as on more people of colour, the Daily Mail reported.
As these recent trials were completed ahead of schedule, meaning a New Drug Application could be submitted to the FDA by mid-2023 and approved in as little as six months, per a Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies spokesman. This means it could be rolled out as early as autumn 2024, whereupon it would be available to some of the 12 million American adults suffering from PTSD.
More importantly, this could pave the way for the approval of more psychedelics to treat a variety of conditions ranging from PTSD to anxiety.
In October, a trippy US study found that an LSD-adjacent substance could potentially treat depression in humans sans the psychedelic side effects.
This article was originally published by the New York Post and reproduced with permission
Story Credit: news.com.au