Pineapple Fund, the $86 million Bitcoin charity started by an anonymous donor, has pledged $4 million to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) till March 10, 2018. The donation would be of great help to the nonprofit research organization, which is in want of fund to start the next phase of the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy trials in patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Pineapple Fund has already provided $1 million to this endeavor. “Existing treatments have so much room for improvement, and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy has shown great promise. We’re offering the matching grant because we think the psychedelic and cryptocurrency communities can work together to finish funding Phase 3 clinical trials,” Pine, the anonymous founder of the Pineapple Fund, said in a statement released on Jan. 10, 2018.
What MAPS does
Started in 1986, MAPS aims at developing the required legal framework encouraging the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana. It took the organization nearly 31 years to isolate the most promising option for PTSD treatment – the MDMA-supported psychotherapy. It’s a challenge for MAPS to get approval for the therapy as 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA), commonly known as ecstasy, is a synthetic drug classified as an illegal Schedule I substance.
However, in August 2017, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) “agreed that this treatment may have a meaningful advantage and greater compliance over available medications for PTSD.” The decision also paved the way for the Phase 3 trial, which might result in actual approval by the FDA.
PTSD is a mental disorder that affects those people who have experienced or undergone a combat operation, terrorist attack, serious accident, natural calamity, sexual assault, or major emotional loss. The disorder affects more than 24 million Americans at any given time.
The common symptoms of PTSD include unwanted memories of traumatic event, emotional numbness, angry outbursts, and avoiding situations that are reminders of the past trauma. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), almost 60 percent of men and 50 percent women experience at least one trauma in their lives. While women are more likely to witness sexual assault and child abuse, men are more likely to experience accidents and disaster, or to witness death or injury.
Many times, it is difficult to provide comfort to someone who has been through a harrowing experience. Even though more individuals are opening up about their psychiatric issues, there are a large number of people who do not like talking about their mental health conditions. It is the time when the help from friends or family members is of paramount importance.
The first step is to change the perception of people that mental illness is a personal failure. There is an urgent need to spread awareness about mental health and to deal with the stigma associated with it. With proper care, counseling and treatment, most people with the mental illness can recover, though it is a gradual process.
The treatment available currently for PTSD is not as helpful as it is desired. The available option of therapy is not enough, especially in severe cases. Two FDA-approved drugs, which need to be taken over a long period, cause severe side effects.
However, timely treatment can go a long way in the recovery of a PTSD patient. If a loved one is struggling with PTSD or any other mental health problem, contact the 24/7 Mental Health Helpline, which can offer you the best information on 247 mental health treatment in the U.S. Call at our helpline number 855-653-8178 or chat online with one of our representatives to access a 247 mental health treatment center near you.