MDMA is typically regarded as an illicit party drug, but its reputation might be changing soon. We’ve heard of MDMA psychotherapy before, but FDA approval of the drug for use in treatments is getting closer to fruition.

Research suggests that MDMA, along with other psychedelic drugs, can be effective if used in treatments for certain illnesses, such as post-traumatic stress disorder and social anxiety in autistic adults. One of the leading forces in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy suggests that the drug might be available in just five years.

 “We’re on track for MDMA to be approved by the FDA by 2021,” Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, said. “We are in a pretty good place for reaching this goal.”

MAPS is undergoing a ginormous $21 million plan to fund clinical trials and train psychotherapists. The reason that the drug is being considered a possible treatment for certain illnesses is that it’s an empathogen, which means it stimulates areas of the brain associated with feelings such as love. When used properly, it can guide patients in exploring traumatic thoughts in a safe way. It’s not the drug alone, but the combination of the drug with therapy, that might prove to be beneficial.

In the first clinical trial for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, 83 percent of patients no longer showed symptoms of PTSD after just two sessions. Doblin spoke with Huffington Post about his journey to secure MDMA as a legal treatment option by 2021. Read the full interview here.