According to a study, the PARTY drug MDMA could cure post-traumatic stress disorder in seven out of ten patients.
US scientists found that taking the Class A drug, also called ecstasy, along with therapy reduced symptoms of mental illness in 71 percent of people.
Around 2.6 million Brits suffer from PTSD at any one time – four percent of the population.
It can force them to relive terrible events from their past and can be difficult to deal with.
The University of California, San Francisco, administered 18 weeks of therapy to 104 patients and previously administered MDMA to some of them. The results were then compared.
In the end, 71 percent of those given MDMA had their symptoms improved enough to no longer meet a PTSD diagnosis, compared to 47 percent of those given placebo.
Professor Neil Greenberg, from the Royal College of Psychiatrists, said: “We have been eagerly awaiting the results of this important study.
“It provides evidence of a potentially beneficial treatment option for those who cannot be helped by more traditional treatments.”
This is further evidence that psychedelic drugs can be used to promote mental health, with the painkiller ketamine and psilocybin from magic mushrooms also potential game-changers.
Possessing, selling or prescribing MDMA is illegal in the UK.
However, studies have shown that the drug helps people open up and feel less anxious, allowing them to process stressful events with a therapist.
Australian doctors can already prescribe MDMA to treat post-traumatic stress disorder and drug-resistant depression.
Previous studies suggested the drug could also be used to treat alcoholism.
The latest study, published in Springer Nature, said the drug was “well tolerated” and had no serious side effects.
Prof Greenberg said MDMA-assisted psychotherapy was “not a treatment of choice for most patients with PTSD”.
He said it would be “strictly controlled” and require two trained therapists, he added.