Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a visionary 501(c)(3) non-profit organization ushering the safe and ethical use of psychedelics as tools for healing and growth on individual, familial, societal, and planetary levels.
MAPS’ top priority is ethically introducing global access to MDMA-assisted therapy as a treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through regulatory approvals and training certification for therapy providers, as well as public education, policy reform, and building community support networks.
While the MDMA drug development program is the main priority of MAPS, the organization's programs include research into other psychedelic compounds and provide critical resources for researchers around the world interested in studying psychedelics. These resources include assistance with protocol development and regulatory guidance, in addition to providing study drug and training for investigators. As part of its commitment to open science and open praxis, MAPS publishes its research protocols, treatment manual for MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, published articles, and investigator's brochure on its website for free download, and actively collaborates with third-party researchers and institutions. Researchers and institutions around the world are building on the body of research that MAPS has produced.
MAPS operates a global network of intersectional education and research programs focused on the careful study of the risks and benefits of psychedelics. The education programs include: harm reduction and peer support through the Zendo Project; policy and advocacy efforts focused on community organizing and reducing barriers to research; a conflict resolution initiative for peace-building; and an active fiscal sponsorship program for fledgling mission-aligned organizations. MAPS also produces myriad educational materials, training workshops, and conferences, both physical and virtual. MAPS builds its global community of support through: outreach at events worldwide; a robust social media presence; and interviews and publications in various global media outlets. All of this work is supported by MAPS’ general operating fund.
MAPS aims to transcend geopolitical and social boundaries and intentionally cultivates interactions with thought leaders in a broad range of interest areas and outlets that demonstrate the broad applications of the healing potential of psychedelics, and to proactively build trust and common ground with those most likely to have resistance to psychedelics.
A Tipping Point for Psychedelic Medicine
MDMA-assisted therapy is poised to be a true breakthrough for psychedelic medicine and is the first psychedelic therapy to enter a Phase 3 clinical trial. This trial recently cleared a critical interim evaluation, with analysis confirming a 90% or greater likelihood that the final results will show significant effectiveness in treating PTSD. Achieving FDA approval for this treatment could be the tipping point to shifting psychedelics into the medical mainstream. This shift has the potential to unlock previously unavailable resources for the investigation of psychedelic-assisted treatments applied to our most critical mental health challenges: trauma, depression, addiction, anxiety, and more.
When administered in a clinical setting with trained therapy providers, MDMA has proven to be a powerful adjunct to therapy, which assists individuals in processing traumatic experiences in a deep and profound manner, leading to the alleviation of suffering. Clinical research indicates that MDMA may catalyze therapeutic processing by allowing participants to stay emotionally engaged when revisiting traumatic experiences, without feeling overwhelmed by anxiety or other painful emotions.
FDA approval of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD could help millions of people who are suffering from trauma. A long-term follow-up study published in June 2020 demonstrated that 67% of the study volunteers (N=91) who had PTSD for an average duration of 17.8 years were still in remission and no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis at least 12-months following the completion of their treatment.
While MAPS is the engine that powers this research, passionate supporters are the fuel that feeds our fire. We are inspired to press on towards the finish line of this 35-year marathon.
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