Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial—Interview With MDMA Expert Dr. David Nutt

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Ecstasy Legalized In Ireland

About a month ago we brought you the news about the live on TV, ecstasy trial. It featured British journalist Jon Snow and Dr. Christian Jessen doing a two part show that had them following volunteers as they take MDMA (that’s the pure form of Molly), as part of a scientific study. The study was designed by two of the world’s leading experts on MDMA, psychopharmacologists Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London and Professor Val Curran of University College London.

This morning I came across this article on Healthland featuring an interview with the highly respected Dr. David Nutt. They spoke with him about the drug-taking experiment he partook in on live TV, plus some other goodies.

Frist question was, “So why did you decide to give ecstasy (MDMA) to people on live TV?” To which he replied:

This is a fascinating story. I have been systematically trying to understand what drugs do in the brain. I spent 15 years trying to understand what alcohol does in the brain and I’ve given heroin to dozens of addicts in brain scanners. I wanted to study other drugs to see the similarities and dissimilarities.

But I could never get funding to study MDMA or amphetamines. Then one day about 18 months ago, a TV company came along and said we’d like to make a scientific film about drugs. We want to do something novel showing the science.

It was the biggest ever human experience study of MDMA and it was paid for by a TV company. The reason it was presented live was that they said that viewers believe it more if they can see live. It was a remarkable success. Just a few crazies attacked me.

It was on two nights in a row and I got to say hippocampus [a brain region involved in memory] on TV to 2 million people.

You can read the full interview here.