Scientists are investigating the power of MDMA to promote less hateful and more open political views.
A Trump supporter kept getting redirected to anti-Semitic and right-wing content on the internet and it shaped his beliefs, which he was proud to share anonymously on the internet. In time, he was considered to be one of the leaders of a white supremacist organization. One day he was exposed, causing him to lose his job, having everyone in his life cut him out and he started to have frequent panic attacks. Then, he participated as a volunteer in a double-blind study where he was told that he would receive either a placebo, a stimulant, or a sedative. He was not aware that he was about to embark on an MDMA journey.
When the experience started he noticed that he could see the world in a different way. There are many ways of perceiving life and it made him have a hard look at his relationship with family, friends, and former romantic relationships and realize that he was unhappy about how he maintained those relationships.
“I felt in that moment that all of my priorities in my life were just so messed up, the way I was interacting with people, particularly people who are close to me.”
Newfound Mission: Share Love
He was overcome by a euphoric feeling full of love and he felt like he wanted to share that feeling with the world. The MDMA experience gave him a new perspective on life in which he felt like some change was necessary, but at the same time changing one’s beliefs can be a tough challenge and it takes work for positive changes to take place.
Eight months after the experience, the participant is still working on the issues he discovered during the experience. The process that comes after the effects are over is called psychedelic integration and it is the stage in which the participant reflects on the insights and lessons they acquired during the experience and works on ways of transforming the journey into positive changes in normal everyday life.
In this stage, it helps to have some help devising an integration plan.
\Having a psychedelic preparation coach or integration coach is a great way to make the most out of the experience and increase the long-lasting benefits of the psychedelic experience. Visit our website and check our Preparation and Integration programs:
In the case of the former white nationalist we spoke about in this article, the experience was carefully planned and organized by a team of scientists and health professionals who are still in contact with him, helping him with therapy along the way. Even though the long-lasting effects are relevant and for the most part what people are looking for when they go on a psychedelic ceremony, it is important to have a deeper look at the short-term effects of a strong MDMA experience.
How Does MDMA Work?
MDMA has a broad similarity with different drugs. They have a similar euphoric feeling as amphetamines, but these drugs rarely result in transformative experiences as MDMA does. Most psychedelics as well as MDMA interact with serotonergic receptors and this could be responsible for the characteristic feeling of newfound meaning.
In contrast with most psychedelics, MDMA has acute effects on the hormone of love: Oxytocyn. When I worked in a store in Amsterdam selling legal mushrooms people often asked me what they could do in case of a bad trip, and to that, I answered: ‘Increase your Oxytocin levels’.
Oxytocin is the hormone that makes us feel an incredible sense of well-being. There are many ways to increase one’s Oxytocin level, and the easiest is to simply touch another human being (or animal). Holding someone’s hand can already have a big impact on their stress levels and could bring them back from a bad trip if they are open to human contact.
With MDMA, Oxytocin levels increase as a characteristic of the drug, and this often results in an intense sense of interconnectedness between us, everyone, and everything. This makes MDMA super efficient as an empathic tool and as a way to promote social bonding, even in people who are anti-social in ordinary life.
The intention is everything: think well about your intentions before your psychedelic experience and the substance will take you there. If you need help preparing for your psychedelic experience or making sense of it, please visit our website to know more about it:
Can MDMA Change Sociopolitical Values? Insights From a Research Participant — https://www.biologicalpsychiatryjournal.com/article/S0006-3223(21)00085-8/pdf