Turek IS, Soskin RA, Kurland AA.
“Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA) Subjective Effects”.
Journal of Psychedelic Drugs. 1974 Jan-Mar;6(1):7-14.
The modern history of investigations into the psychotherapeutic potential of drugs displaying psychotropic effects probably begins with the studies of hashish carried out over a century ago. Over the intervening decades many compounds have been examined for this purpose with increasing scientific acumen. In more recent times, LSD has been the focus of considerable interest in this regard, especially since a growing awareness of the significance of set and setting in influencing various parameters of drug action made it possible to exercise a greater degree of control in directing the course of a drug experience toward therapeutic objectives. In our own facility, a continuing series of experimental studies of LSD assisted psychotherapy in the treatment of alcoholics, neurotics, the psychological care of the cancer patient, and narcotic addicts have been pursued with encouraging findings. Most recently, our attention has turned to other compounds that might be more readily utilized than LSD. In this pursuit, studies were carried out with Dipropyltryptamine (DPT), a compound with hallucinogenic properties somewhat similar to LSD but of considerably shorter duration of action.
In 1959, Alles reported on his studies of analogues of mescaline and specifically on Methylenedioxyamphetamine (MDA). Several of these phenylisopropylamine compounds, frequently but incorrectly referred to as 'amphetamines,' have in recent years been the object of study, among them 2,5 dimethyoxy-4-methylamphetamine (DOM) and 2,5 dimethyoxy-4-ethylamphetamine (DOET). Alles selected MDA for a series of self-experiments and reported that the compound, though it was not hallucinogenic, did heighten perception, citing that he could hear sounds that were usually inaudible. Alles reported that the threshold dose for the appearance of subjective effects was about 80 mg. He noted as side effects some increase in blood pressure and pupillary dilation and stated that the effects of MDA in preventing sleep were substantially less than amphetamine. Naranjo' and his associates, in 1967, tested MDA as a possible adjunct to psychotherapy. Utilizing volunteers who had previously experienced the effects of other psychoactive agents such as LSD, they confirmed that MDA was not hallucinogenic but that other effects, similar to those produced by LSD, could be obtained. In a dosage from 40 to 150 mg, none of the subjects reported hallucinations, perceptual changes, impaired thinking or eyes closed imagery. Yet, the subjects reported that, at some point during the drug action, MDA brought about an intensification of feeling, a facilitation of insight, and heightened empathy. It was also reported that thc psychotropic effects of this compound reached a peak intensity within two hours, with some effects continuing for approximately eight hours. It was these rather promising observations that led to the initiation of the present study.