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Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial

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In a UK television first, Jon Snow and Dr Christian Jessen present two programmes that follow volunteers as they take MDMA, the pure form of ecstasy, as part of a ground-breaking scientific study

About the Show

In a UK television first, Jon Snow and Dr Christian Jessen present two programmes that follow volunteers as they take MDMA, the pure form of ecstasy, as part of a ground-breaking scientific study

Series 1 Summary

Nearly half a million people are believed to take the Class A drug ecstasy every year in Britain and the country was dubbed the 'drug-taking capital of Europe' in a recent EU Drugs Agency report.

Now, in a UK television first, two live programmes will follow volunteers as they take MDMA, the pure form of ecstasy, as part of a ground-breaking scientific study.

Presented by Jon Snow and Dr Christian Jessen, the programmes aim to cut through the emotional debate surrounding the issue and accurately inform the public about the effects and potential risks of MDMA.

The six-month long neuroscience study - 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 - is using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine how MDMA affects the resting brain in healthy volunteers for the first time.

  • Episode 1

    The first programme unravels the mysteries of MDMA, revealing how the drug affects the brain.

    Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London will reveal the results of the scientific trial and the programme follows some of the volunteers - who include actor Keith Allen, novelist Lionel Shriver, a vicar, a former MP and an ex-soldier - through the trial.

    The programme also looks at the potential side-effects and dangers of taking MDMA and includes a discussion with an expert who disagrees with the study and is sceptical about its purpose.

  • Episode 2

    The second programme investigates the implications of the scientific study of the effects of MDMA, including potential clinical uses - such as whether it could offer a breakthrough in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD).

    The programme discovers what recreational users can learn from the trial before discussing MDMA's classification as a Class A drug and possible long-term effects.

Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial synopsis

In a UK television first, Jon Snow and Dr Christian Jessen present two programmes that follow volunteers as they take MDMA, the pure form of ecstasy, as part of a ground-breaking scientific study

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