Psychedelic Therapy Has a Sexual Abuse Problem


From Quartz: “Over the past five years, scientific interest in psychedelics has boomed, with clinical trials on MDMA leading the way. Now the drug is on the cusp of becoming legal medicine…

Alongside the potential benefits, psychedelic therapy also carries a serious risk of sexual abuse. Patients in psychedelic therapy are intensely vulnerable. They are high, in a power imbalance with their therapist, and dealing with mental health issues. And MDMA, known colloquially as ecstasy and a ‘love drug,’ is known to create feelings of sexual arousal and emotional intimacy.

A few years ago, a therapist [Richard Yensen] working in a Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) MDMA study publicly spoke about his challenges dealing with a patient’s sexuality… Not long after, Yensen was accused of sexually assaulting a PTSD patient, Meaghan Buisson, during a MAPS clinical trial on MDMA…

Allegations of sexual abuse are not unusual within the field of psychedelic therapy, and the risks are widely known among practitioners. The head of MAPS, Rick Doblin, acknowledged as much in his Harvard University doctoral thesis. ‘The loving and trusting feelings that can be induced by MDMA can make patients more vulnerable to sexual pressure,’ Doblin wrote in 2000.

The nonprofit said it reported Yensen’s sexual relationship with Buisson to the FDA after Buisson told MAPS of her allegations… But Buisson believes MAPS failed to adequately protect subjects from abuse. The organization didn’t warn the FDA or study participants of the risk until after Buisson’s allegations became public… As psychedelic therapy swiftly marches towards full legalization, Buisson’s experience suggests there aren’t sufficient protocols to protect patients from sexual abuse.”

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  1. To give psychologists and psychiatrists, who have been systemically covering up child abuse and rape for over a century, and by DSM design,

    the right to force drug people with the “love drug”/”rape drug,” strikes me as one of the dumbest ideas, of which I’ve ever heard. Of course, sexual abuse will continue to occur, and get worse. And it’s apparently pretty bad already.

    For goodness sakes, the majority of psychologists and psychiatrists deny, and blame their clients for, the common adverse and withdrawal effects of the drugs they currently prescribe. They’re apparently mass rapists currently. Neither the psychologists, nor the psychiatrists, are trust worthy or ethical enough to prescribe psychedelics.

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