The Insane Cure for PTSD That’s About to Be a Billion-Dollar Industry | Inc.

– Do you remember the day
the DEA made MDMA illegal? – Yeah, it was a tremendous
sadness because it was clear to us that there was an enormous potential that was being squandered and
that we had no idea how long it would take for us to bring it back. – Right. – I did I out of necessity,
so I became an entrepreneur more out of necessity
than out of intention. – [Male] We’ve got another drug. It is synthetic, and it
makes you love everybody. – MDMA. – It was extraordinarily psychedelic. – The potential for abuse is enormous. – [Male] Possession of ecstasy now carries the same penalties as heroin. – You can dance all night.
– Under emergency controls, it’s schedule one.
– And at the very least, deserves further research. – [Narrator] MDMA is best
known as ecstasy or molly, an illegal club drug that produces waves of pleasure and empathy, but
for the past several decades, one brazen entrepreneur has
been fighting to legalize the drug for therapeutic use. – How long have you actually
been looking to legalize MDMA? – 36 years. – The big question that I have is why? Did this feel like a calling,
a purpose, to go that long? – It was definitely a calling,
and I didn’t know how long it would take but I knew
that it didn’t matter, that this was the most
important idea that I had, the most important
contribution I could make to the world was to
bring back psychedelics. – [Narrator] At the
time, Rick was learning to be a psychedelic
therapist and experimenting with the healing power of MDMA. – That’s my Ph.D. – [Narrator] But when the
drug was criminalized, he founded the nonprofit
pharmaceutical company, MAPS, and began raising money
to fund clinical trials. – This is how the FDA was
structured at the time. – [Narrator] He’s been
trying to prove that MDMA is an effective treatment for PTSD. He believes in his cause so deeply that he’s staked his whole life on it. – For the first seven years of MAPS, I was the only employee,
and for almost all that, I never earned any money, and
then near the seventh year, I started getting 10
thousand dollars a year. – What are some of the
other sacrifices you’ve had to make along the journey? – Reputationally. People think if you’re
working on psychedelics, somehow you’re a bit off balanced. There’s that prejudice against it. They compared me to Pablo
Escobar, it was pretty hilarious. Yeah, we’ve been vilified, demonized, by all sorts of people. – [Narrator] In order to get
a sense of just how effective Rick’s MDMA treatment was, I
met with one of the patients from his phase two clinical trials. – I actually bought that
rifle within the past year. Prior to that, I didn’t own
weapons for eight years. ’cause I kept trying to
put them in my mouth, I got rid of them all. – [Narrator] John Lubecky
was stationed in Iraq as an army sergeant for 12 months. He returned home in 2006 with severe PTSD. – When I realized that
I absolutely needed help was on Christmas Eve of 2006. My wife had left while I was gone, didn’t want to sit in an
empty house on Christmas, so I went and I sat at the
war memorial in Raleigh, North Carolina on the capitol
grounds for about an hour trying to come up with a
really fun and inventive way to kill myself. I realized I had been through briefings, and they said if you
start feeling this way, go to a hospital, so I drove
to Womack Army Medical Center at Fort Bragg, and I said
I was gonna kill myself. They give six xanax, told
me not to take ’em all at the same time because it might kill me. They asked if I had guns at
home, and I said yes, a lot, and they asked if I had
ammo, I said yeah, plenty. And they said okay when you
get home, give all your guns to a neighbor, this is
4:00 in the morning. And they said come back
after the holidays. So I went home and I
drank a fifth of vodka, loaded a Beretta nine
millimeter, put it to my temple, and I pulled the trigger. And the most peace I had felt was that microsecond as the hammer fell. But it didn’t go off. It went bang, just the bullet
got stuck in the barrel, squib bullet. – [Narrator] John lived
with PTSD for eight years. Finally, in 2013, he got wind of Rick’s phase two MDMA trials. He applied and was accepted. – They put me through it, the treatment, and I still have some issues
with fireworks, explosions, loud noises, things like
that, but it reduced my PTSD by 50%, depression by 60%.
– Wow. – Suicide ideation completely vanished. – Wow.
– And I know you met Mitheofers yesterday.
– Oh yeah. – They’re the ones that
did the treatment with me, and I owe them and Rick Doblin my life. – [Narrator] Though Rick
Doblin is the entrepreneur, psychiatrists Michael Mitheofer
and his wife, Ann, a nurse, have run all of Doblin’s clinical trials. – This is where we store the MDMA. Some of our pills are red, so
we get a lot of jokes about the red pill or the blue pill. – Together they’ve administered
the drug to hundreds of patients and measured their results. While I was down in Charleston,
I got to meet with them as they were gearing up for
the third and final phase of clinical trials. Can you explain to me how MDMA
actually works in the brain? – MDMA causes a lot of
different effects in the brain. A good analogy would be is if
you’ve been tobogganing down a hill, then after a few
runs, you have a rut, and you can’t turn, and
that’s kind of the state people with PTSD are
in, and this MDMA effect on the neural networks is new fallen snow. – Wow. – That moment that I got blown up. – [Narrator] This is footage
from the phase two trials of a marine undergoing the MDMA treatment. – So you know you can see the
MDMA’s helping him face it without so much anxiety,
but he’s very clear, in fact he can remember,
he says he’s remembering it even more clearly.
– Right. – And then I tried thinking
about that aspect of me that’s just really grateful
and I had this image in a jail cell. – What a great dude.
– Yeah. All within a couple hours
of taking one dose of MDMA. He told us and his wife
told us in person too the rage attacks stopped
the day after that, and they haven’t come back years later. – [Narrator] If MDMA is legalized, it would not be a take home medication. It would be administered
under the supervision of professionals, like Michael and Ann. – [Male] So when do you expect
to get that FDA approval? – Rick says 2021, I say 2021 or 2022. – That’s constantly changing. – How will it feel when
that day comes for you? – That’ll be an amazing feeling. – Did you ever think of
quitting or did any moment did you just feel like
giving up, ’cause you know as entrepreneurs, there’s
always those moments. – Well I never had a moment of quitting, but I felt like this was about survival, my survival, humanity’s survival. The way that I kept going is I
had to change my satisfaction from outcome to struggle so that as long as I was trying hard and doing my best, I could be happy at the end of the day, whether it worked or
not, and if I was focused on the outcome, like I had
to succeed at this or that, against all this massive opposition, I would have been discouraged, burnt out, and would have given it up decades ago. – [Narrator] If Doblin
and his team win out, his 33 year old company
will finally be able to generate revenue, and
thanks to an FDA inventive called data exclusivity,
the earning potential is quite high. – We’re basically gonna
have six years of being the monopoly seller of MDMA. There’s 10 million people
in the U.S. that have PTSD. We’re talking about an
incredible need for the product. There’s many, many other
uses of MDMA other than PTSD, so we could be worth a billion
dollars or who knows what, but we’re not gonna, we
don’t value it in that way. – [Narrator] Rick told
me that all the profits his company makes will go
back into further research, and surprisingly, he himself
plans on stepping down. – My reward will not be
in money, I’ll become a psychedelic therapist,
and so I’ll probably leave for the next generation of
leadership to maps to others, and I’ll be, my reward
will be able to be a legal psychedelic therapist, which
is what I’ve wanted to do since I was 18 with a little tiny clinic on the beach somewhere and work
with people who want to grow but I will have made this whole, helped make this whole thing legal. So there’s not big payoff for
me at the end in that way. The payoff is the satisfaction
of dying peacefully and thinking wow, I helped
make the world a better place. (light music)

Stephen Childs


  1. Wouldn't certain strains of cannabis (I don't know much about it) help with PTSD? Not to mention the fact that they can grow it themselves (which in itself would be a form of therapy) organically?…

  2. Great work. It's amazing he has persevered for so long, and because he has thousands will be saved.

  3. Wow! Incredible. Rick drops a truth bomb about changing his satisfaction from outcome to struggle! Love this.

  4. Everyone who likes this Video, Check out Gerard Adams Youtube Channel, his content is absolutely amazing!

  5. Damn I've known about MAPS since the late 90's (I'm pretty sure) but nothing about the people that start it and this is the guy cool cool cool

  6. Also from the 'Gray Area' series, find out how people make a living by cleaning up crime scenes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-PkkvYeBURc&t=6s&index=3&list=PLB6U_DKtPryw06x-fRIdZuKvCWqt0Sobv

  7. I have always feel the government has no place making any substance to consume in a free society. But I reserve the right to warn people about possible hazards.

  8. I did a report/presentation about MDMA, Rick Doblin, PTSD, and MAPS for an international commercial law course at a private university. I hope I got a few people curious about the topic and that they look into it more. For the record, I haven't used MDMA or any other psychedelic drugs.

  9. Thank you MAPS! Thank you Rick Doblin! The world is changing faster than we could have hoped!

  10. Our vets shouldnt be homeless and living on the street with PTSD. You cant keep a job or wife or support network with rage and panic attacks from PTSD. Its cruel that we don't help these people with a simple pill.

  11. The working dose is 0.15mg for majority adult. If under dozed it could not work at all and get the disappointing feeling, when overdosed it not making sence at all. So find your own golden limit. Usually by the weight.

  12. The EDM festival-goers will cite this as justification for their bad habit of using excessive amounts of MDMA. Remember – MDMA use may only have therapeutic benefit at low, controlled doses with supervision of physicians.

  13. Gee, what an inspiring story of this charming drug dealer. Excuse me while I go and vomit.

  14. About to become a billion dollar industry eh? Sounds like money is the goal, and folks not having messed up heads is a side effect.

  15. I’m not going to blame it on the baby boomer generation because I would’ve probably thought that drugs were bad as well due to the sole source of information was three news networks. But I think it is up to my generation and the ones to come to make the improvements like this one to create good in the world. The war on drugs have failed and we need to adopt decriminalization programs as well as strong research on these drugs that have been illegal for so long.

  16. Because its out of patent(MDMA), big pharma will find a way to kill it, so they can sell there lethal SSRI drugs at $100/pill

  17. In health class in high school we just watched videos on how this and every drug destroys your health and your life. That type of one-sided brainwashing is why this guy has struggled for so long

  18. It is good for many types of PTSD not just vets, those with childhood trauma, and abusive relationships too

  19. Micro-dosing is a great alternative to the other “legal” alternatives out there. Good work.

  20. I have severe C-PTSD and on New Year's Eve I took pure ecstasy and it changed my life I am forever different. 🥺

  21. Is this known as the God Gene? This brother was called for this trip. THX 1966 Hyatt-Ashbury, I was there…

  22. This man has an astronomically large decision to make in appointing his successor to the leader of MAPS. Corruption and greed run rampant in big pharma, and it would be a travesty to see such an accomplishment of enabling our PTSD sufferers to be cured go to waste when the new CEO spikes the prices and makes it an unaffordable treatment.

  23. I want in, where do I sign up? Here in North Dakota . Seriously traumatized by the evil scums who fucking set me up to their benefits.

  24. I've been diagnosed with PTSD too and in my country all you can get is antidepressants which doesn't help at all. Atleast not for me

  25. You must be an INFJ, which is an Earth Angel. Thank you for doing this for all of us. My teenager tears herself apart each day struggling with the PTSD she has from bullying, a rape, and loosing all her pets and her home at the same time in life. Nothing has helped her. I will count the days until this is available to help cure her and give her back a normal life. Thank you

  26. Honestly it should be prescribed for take home, the damage that PTSD causes to your family is irreparable. No matter the good intentions of the therapist it's still hard to let that guard down. With take home prescription not only does the sufferer began healing but the marriage can began to heal as well. Spouses carry all that grief, anger and coldness we shed. There does need to be healing there and what better way than to responsibly spill your empathy and love for one another.

  27. I have a consult with a psychiatrist that does IV treatment. It’s expensive but I’m desperate.

  28. If you want my conclusion after decades of taking mdma and being on the autism spectrum. MDMA is a wonder drug.

  29. Wtf is wrong with the FEDs?? The news said the drug makes you love everybody and make you dance all night… who in they right mind thinks that bad!? So in other people tell your kid to hate everybody and stand stiff at a party!

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