Xtra News Community 2
December 14, 2017, 07:49:55 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
News: Welcome to Xtra News Community 2 — please also join our XNC2-BACKUP-GROUP.
 
  Home Help Arcade Gallery Links BITEBACK! XNC2-BACKUP-GROUP Staff List Login Register  

Psychedelia


Pages: 1 [2]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Psychedelia  (Read 226 times)
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #25 on: April 19, 2015, 02:23:03 pm »


from the HERALD on SUNDAY....

Curious young birds in Wellington sanctuary trip on magic mushrooms

By MATTHEW THEUNISSEN | 5:00AM - Sunday, April 19, 2015

All the birds recovered after being placed in cardboard boxes and left to come down for a few hours.
All the birds recovered after being placed in cardboard boxes and left to come down for a few hours.

A GROUP of inquisitive birds were left out of their tree after eating what is believed to be magic mushrooms at a Wellington wildlife sanctuary.

Five rare little hihi — mostly juveniles — were found “sort of paralysed or spasming” on the ground in the Zealandia Sanctuary in Karori after a ranger noticed them pecking at an unidentified fungus.

Zealandia lead ranger conservation Matu Booth said the age of the birds that ate the mushrooms may go some way towards explaining their strange behaviour.

“Maybe it was a bit of a teenage ‘let's try it’ mentality. Perhaps one bird was down there trying it and others were encouraged to do it, too,” he said.

All the birds recovered after being placed in cardboard boxes and left to come down for a few hours.

Booth said the birds were always looking for new food sources.

“But for a species to suddenly go from nectar and insect eating to apparently eating fungi, that's a bit of a strange one. One explanation may be that there were some insects on the fungi.”

The hihi, or stitchbird, is one of New Zealand's rarest birds because of its carefree, friendly nature and propensity to nest in tree holes, making it an easy target for rats and other predators.

Zealandia conservation manager Raewyn Empson said hihi usually ate nectar, fruit and insects and consuming mushrooms was unheard of.

It could not be confirmed that the birds' condition had been caused by the fungi, nor what sort of mushrooms they were.

“We've never heard of hihi eating mushrooms before, but that's not to say that they don't,” she said.

“We do know that tui get drunk on the nectar of flax flowers and have been affected by rhododendron flowers, so it's not unusual for animals to have effects from eating something.”

There was no way to know whether animals deliberately consumed mind-altering substances.

“We can't get into their heads so we don't really know what's going on,” she said.

The hihi was wiped out from New Zealand's mainland by 1885 and at one time the only surviving population was located on Little Barrier Island.

After extensive conservation efforts, the birds have been reintroduced to the Karori reserve, Tiritiri Matangi and Kapiti Island.

Even if their penchant for hallucinogenic substances cannot be proved, hihi are undoubtedly quirky characters famous for being the only bird known to sometimes mate face to face.

Their Maori name translates to “rays of sun”, the story being that the demigod Maui threw the bird into a fire after it refused to fetch him water, resulting in the male's yellow breast plumage.

“They're a delightful little bird,” Booth said. “They are special on lots of levels — they're special because they're endangered but also because they're quite unusual.”


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11434904
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #26 on: May 02, 2015, 08:32:12 pm »


from The Guardian....

Is LSD about to return to polite society?

For 40 years, Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March, has
believed psychedelics are an effective treatment for depression and
anxiety. Now a growing number of scientists agree.


By ED CUMMING | 8:00AM BST - Sunday, 26 April 2015

“I've always been something of an outsider”: Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March, at her home in Oxford, England. — Photo: Richard Saker/The Observer.
“I've always been something of an outsider”: Amanda Feilding, Countess of Wemyss and March,
at her home in Oxford, England. — Photo: Richard Saker/The Observer.


IMAGINE a family of drugs that could treat addiction, depression and post-traumatic stress: sicknesses of the soul for which modern medicine, in all its surgical wizardry, has few cures. Substances that were a fillip to creativity and could provide those who took them with an experience comparable to seeing God or witnessing the birth of a child. Say these wonder chemicals were found: why would a society make them illegal?

The question has dogged Amanda Feilding since the 1960s, when during her teens and early 20s she first tried psychedelics. Through cannabis, LSD and magic mushrooms she found that the doors of perception were flung wide open. A blissful period of experimentation followed, in the heyday of that swinging decade, before the doors were slammed shut again in what she says was a panic about their dangers.

“It was a tragedy,” she tells me on a wet morning at Beckley Park, her home outside Oxford. “Ann Shulgin [psychedelics pioneer, and widow of its patron saint, Alexander] is a great friend. She said that on the day they heard they couldn’t use LSD or MDMA for their research they were in tears at the loss for the patients. They knew the real value of these substances to aid so many areas that are intractable.”

Feilding has dedicated her life to the reversal of this proscription, first as an artist and latterly as a tireless supporter of scientific research, courtesy of her Beckley Foundation. The dangers of abusing recreational drugs have been well documented since the 1960s, and for many scientists and policy-makers they remain as urgent as ever. Feilding hopes to show that the risks are overstated and that the laws surrounding their use should be relaxed. After decades of perseverance, there are signs that her work is coming to fruition. A handful of studies using LSD and psilocybin (the psychedelic compound found in mushrooms) has turned into a steady trickle, and the results have been promising to her cause. More remarkably, some of the theories thrown about half a century ago might be borne out by modern science.

Feilding would be the first to concede that her background is not that of a neuroscientist. She is descended from the House of Habsburg and can trace a direct line back to Charles II. Beckley Park is a Tudor hunting lodge, a mile down a muddy driveway from the main road. It has three moats and three towers, and inside is a rambling warren of antique furniture and well-stocked fireplaces. As I made my way around, dogs sheltered from the rain under rose-covered stone arches. Courtesy of her husband, Jamie, Feilding is the Countess of Wemyss and March. She is a bit like the cool aunt you never had: a little eccentric around the edges, perhaps, but warm, smart and fiercely devoted to the cause. “My background is a gain and a hindrance,” she says. “One is who one is. We lived in this incredibly beautiful house, but we never had any money or heating. I was quite isolated and I’ve always been something of an outsider.”


“It has had subtle but definite benefits for me”: Amanda Feilding trepans herself on film in 1970.“It has had subtle but definite benefits for me”: Amanda Feilding trepans herself on film in 1970.“It has had subtle but definite benefits for me”: Amanda Feilding trepans herself on film in 1970.
“It has had subtle but definite benefits for me”: Amanda Feilding trepans herself on film in 1970.

In 1966, when she was 22, she met Bart Huges, a Dutch chemist with whom she had a long romantic relationship. He introduced Feilding to the psychedelics and the science of consciousness, and in particular to his theories about how blood circulates in the brain. He described two theories controlling blood supply to the brain: a ‘large mechanism’ of overall blood volume, and a ‘small mechanism’ which controlled the distribution of blood in the brain more specifically. “Funnily enough, that second mechanism has been shown to be more or less what we’re picking up now in our studies,” Feilding says.

Huges’s other interest was trepanation, the practice of drilling a hole in the skull to expose the outer layers of the brain. Proponents claim that it is one of the earliest forms of surgery — ancient skulls have been found with holes in them — but it is fair to say that modern medical consensus is against it. The zenith of Feilding’s experimentation with cerebral circulation was in 1970 when she trepanned herself, an experience that was turned into an art film, Heartbeat in the Brain. A short excerpt is on YouTube (see below). In the film the 27-year-old Feilding explains that if the public is not made aware of trepanation’s benefits then it will never be available free on the NHS. Next she chops her fringe off and drills a hole in her forehead. The available clip (the whole film is not online) cuts to the moments after the procedure. Feilding, her head bandaged and white apron stained red, wipes the blood off her face and smiles.




“The video is frustrating in terms of public perception,” she says. “But trepanation has had subtle but definite benefits for me, and to the other people I know who have had it done. Jamie had chronic headaches until he was trepanned, but not since. I think it has a lot of potential advantages. My theory is that trepanation improves the level of blood circulation round the brain to that of childhood. You get more blood into the brain with each heartbeat, and also an increase in washout of toxins. I’d suggest that cannabis and psychedelics do the same thing, but at a higher level. There are other techniques that can achieve this, like yogic breathing or cranial osteopathy, but trepanation is permanent.”

You can see why Feilding might be wary of associating these more far-out views with her campaigning. “We have always been in favour of serious, controlled use of psychedelics. For 20 years they were hailed as a wonder drug. There was a whole range of potential areas for their use. But in the 1960s the recreational aspect got out of hand. I think people like Timothy Leary did a lot of damage.” Leary, the chemist and LSD pioneer, was called America’s most dangerous man by President Richard Nixon. “There was a backlash, and the reputation of these drugs was much worse than it should have been. The harm was thoroughly exaggerated. But it left a long trail of anti-LSD feeling.”

It also put the brakes on a lot of research. Between 1953 and 1973, the US government funded 116 studies of LSD, among thousands of trials in total. Test subjects included those with depression, autism and cancer as well as prisoners. As the journalist Michael Pollan put it, writing in the New Yorker recently: “The results reported were frequently positive. But many of the studies were, by modern standards, poorly designed and seldom well controlled, if at all.” The issue of controls is still an issue; unlike with, say, paracetamol, it can be hard for researchers to be blind to which of the volunteers has taken a psychedelic. (In some famous American studies, those who had been given the drug wandered around claiming to have seen God.)

In 1998, encouraged by the advent of MRI scans, Feilding founded the Beckley Foundation. “I had been exploring these ideas in art; nobody takes any notice of art, so you can say whatever you want. The new techniques meant that finally it was possible to measure, however vaguely, what actually went on in the brain. I realised that I could have more impact with science.”

The foundation works to understand drugs better, Feilding says, reducing the harm they cause and demonstrating their therapeutic potential. Often this has been a thankless role. Newspapers still feature regular horror stories about the consequences of recreational drug use, particularly among young people. These substances are controlled “more tightly than nuclear weapons”, Feilding says, even for research purposes. Scientists have been wary of being affiliated with such a murky field, and no government wants to touch it. There are few votes in encouraging people to take acid. Funding is scarce, the research expensive. Even for a small study, the MRI costs can run into the tens of thousands of pounds.

Feilding and her small team of supporters have remained undaunted and now hope that the wheel is starting to turn. In the UK, Beckley has worked closely with Professor David Nutt, the former government chief adviser who was sacked for suggesting that taking ecstasy was less dangerous than riding a horse, and Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, at Imperial College, London. Carhart-Harris and his team have just completed the first modern imaging study into the effects of LSD on the brain; full results will be out later this year. It’s the latest in a series of experiments into the effects of drugs, including psilocybin, MDMA and LSD, on the brain and consciousness, and the foundation is involved in a number of upcoming and ongoing schemes in the UK and abroad.

“These are good times. We feel like we’ve got our money on the right horse,” says Carhart-Harris. “None of it would have been possible without Amanda and the Beckley Foundation. We are about to start a clinical trail using psilocybin to treat depression, which feels historic. The World Health Organisation has estimated that depression is set to become the leading contributor to the global burden of disease. Given the magnitude of the problem, there’s huge potential that psilocybin, and maybe other psychedelics, will be a big help. Other researchers are looking at psilocybin to treat alcohol dependency or smoking addiction. And there’s also the end-stage anxiety stuff, which has been around for a little while.” A small study at UCLA suggested that psilocybin could help terminal cancer patients come to terms with their mortality. In a study led by Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins University, more than 70% of 36 patients given psilocybin reported that they had had one of the five most meaningful experiences of their lives.


“We feel we’ve got our money on the right horse”: Dr Robin Carhart-Harris and his team have just completed the first modern imaging study into the effects of LSD. — Photo: Francesco Guidicini/Camera Press.
“We feel we’ve got our money on the right horse”: Dr Robin Carhart-Harris and his team have
just completed the first modern imaging study into the effects of LSD.
 — Photo: Francesco Guidicini/Camera Press.


Ideas about the effect of psychedelics tend to focus on something called the default-mode network, a theory that there is a group of areas that are active when the brain is at “wakeful rest” and not focused on anything else. It’s a kind of “engine running” system that operates above other functions and takes up a large amount of the brain’s energy.

“It is complicated,” says Carhart-Harris, “but one way of summarising it is that there is a principle that there are similarities among certain pathological states, like depression or addiction. Negative patterns of thought can become entrenched, with the ruts getting deeper and deeper. Think of it as being like a spiral — it’s interesting that these metaphors often turn out to speak to the underlying mechanisms, as well as being true on a poetic level. What you see with psychedelics is this dismantling of organisation, a scrambling in the cortex. These drugs introduce a kind of storm, but in the context of treating a pathology, it can be a useful storm, a reboot of the system.”

The research is bearing fruit but still needs money, which is why Feilding has come forward. The foundation depends mainly on a small number of individual donors, although they used a crowdfunding site, Walacea, to raise money for the LSD imaging study. Despite her key role, Feilding has been wary of putting herself in the foreground of publicity about the foundation. Partly this is because she is not a “scientist with a diploma”, as she puts it, but she also worries about how she comes across, that she risks being seen as a kind of aristocratic hippy with a personal interest in getting high. A Daily Mail article about her in 2010 was headlined “The Cannabis Countess”. This kind of thing is unhelpful when your goal is a revolution in international drugs policy.

As far as Carhart-Harris is concerned, Feilding needn’t worry. He argues that the research she helped to initiate has gathered so much scientific momentum that no amount of tabloid mischief can derail it. “There are as many studies now as there were in the 60s,” he says. “The increase has been exponential. It’s more exciting than it has ever been, and the results are really impressive. There has also been a generational change with drugs: more people have had experience with a range of different substances, and they’re more educated and more mature about them. They see a silly story about drugs as being silly. Even for the newspapers that thrive on sensationalism, the bigger story is that psychedelics can be used therapeutically.”

Feilding, Carhart-Harris and others inside the camp tend to be evangelical about their work. You sense this is partly because they feel like pioneers. But it is also because compared to other areas of medicine, present cures for these conditions seem so frustratingly vague. A rogue appendix can be chopped out; an infection can be treated with antibiotics. But if you are depressed, or terrified by your terminal cancer, what then? Mood-numbing drugs to manage your feelings, or a chat with a doctor in a tastefully decorated room. Psychedelics, they feel, dangle the possibility that there is a way to measure the unconscious, to go beneath the operating system and see what’s really wrong with the computer.

Although results have been promising, sample sizes are still small. Even if everything goes to plan, serious clinical applications are many years and more sophisticated tests away. These drugs were not banned by accident. In 1971 the Journal of the American Medical Association warned that repeated consumption of psychedelics would usually result in permanent “personality deterioration”.

“Twenty years ago I thought that many recreational drugs were beneficial, but the more research I’ve done, the more I’ve found that the beneficial effects are pseudo phenomena, and they’re almost invariably outweighed by negative effects,” says Andrew Parrott, a professor of psychology at the University of Swansea, who has long opposed these kinds of studies. He is at the other end of the spectrum of belief on this topic, but his remarks show the scale of the task on the Beckley Foundation’s hands.

“If you look at the research, a lot of it is giving drugs to relatively normal people and then asking questions along the lines of: ‘Have you had a nice mystical experience?’ Now and again you get people who’ve had a bad reaction, but in a controlled situation on a lowish dose that’s going to be quite unusual. You get a kind of halo effect, where you ask people the right questions, and a lot of the researchers tend to be users themselves.”

“Science goes in cycles, and at the moment this kind of research is very trendy. Lots of people I know are applying for research grants to look at these drugs, but theoretically I can’t really see why these drugs would benefit people with clinical disorders. Every drug has acute positive effects in the short term, but long term the negatives take over. Psilocybin and LSD will have dramatic changes to brain function, to people’s beliefs and attitudes, but if you’re looking at therapy, I don’t see it. For me, therapy always means a talking therapy.”


“In the 1960s the recreational aspect got out of hand. There was a backlash, and the harm was thoroughly exaggerated. It left a long trail of anti-LSD feeling”: Amanda Feilding. — Photo: Richard Saker/The Observer.
“In the 1960s the recreational aspect got out of hand. There was a backlash, and the harm was
thoroughly exaggerated. It left a long trail of anti-LSD feeling”: Amanda Feilding.
 — Photo: Richard Saker/The Observer.


He adds that there is a certain irony in the possible use of these drugs to treat people for tobacco addiction — one idea that is being mooted. “In the 1930s doctors prescribed smoking to treat anxiety, because smokers felt less anxious when they had a cigarette. We’ve since realised that you’re simply getting rid of withdrawal symptoms. Youngsters who take up smoking become more stressed, and then if you give up you become less stressed six months or a year later.”

When Amanda Feilding first tried psychedelics the space race was at the front of the public imagination. Cosmonauts floated in orbit; Americans walked on the moon. Dreams of galactic travel have faded over the half-century since, as the cold distances of space seem ever more insurmountable. Our brains, on the other hand, have revealed more explorable depth with every study. So if larger, more wide-ranging trials can expand on the promise of the Beckley Foundation’s work, Feilding could find herself the spiritual godmother of a large and important field of medicine.

“Amanda should enjoy her position,” says Carhart-Harris. “History will see her as one of the initiators of this whole movement, and rightly so.” And if it comes to naught, nobody can say she did not give it her all.


http://www.theguardian.com/society/2015/apr/26/lsd-amanda-feilding-depression-anxiety-science
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #27 on: May 05, 2015, 03:28:07 pm »


from Radio New Zealand....

David Nutt: reinvestigating psychedelics

Saturday Morning” with Kim Hill | Saturday, 02 May 2015

PSYCHEDELIC

CHAIRMAN of independent, science-led drugs charity DrugScience, and is Edmund J Safra Professor of Neuropsychopharmacology and Head of the Department of Neuropsychopharmacology and Molecular Imaging at Imperial College London. His team are the first in the world to scan the brains of volunteers under the influence of LSD.

REINVESTIGATING PSYCHEDELICS (left-click to listen directly from Radio NZ's website; or right-click and select Save target as... to save as MP3 to your own storage medium)

http://www.radionz.co.nz/national/programmes/saturday/audio/201752758/david-nutt-reinvestigating-psychedelics
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #28 on: May 05, 2015, 03:28:28 pm »


from The New York Times....

Pushing LSD in Nanny-State Norway, as a Human Right

By ANDREW HIGGINS | Monday, May 04, 2015

Pal-Orjan Johansen and his wife, Teri Krebs, with their children in Oslo. Mr. Johansen and Ms. Krebs are leading a drive to provide safe and regulated access to drugs like LSD and Ecstasy, which they say have health benefits. — Photo: Bryan Denton/The New York Times.
Pal-Orjan Johansen and his wife, Teri Krebs, with their children in Oslo. Mr. Johansen and Ms. Krebs are leading a drive to provide safe
and regulated access to drugs like LSD and Ecstasy, which they say have health benefits. — Photo: Bryan Denton/The New York Times.


OSLO — In a country so wary of drug abuse that it limits the sale of aspirin, Pal-Orjan Johansen, a Norwegian researcher, is pushing what would seem a doomed cause: the rehabilitation of LSD.

It matters little to him that the psychedelic drug has been banned here and around the world for more than 40 years. Mr. Johansen pitches his effort not as a throwback to the hippie hedonism of the 1960s, but as a battle for human rights and good health.

In fact, he also wants to manufacture MDMA and psilocybin, the active ingredients in two other prohibited substances, Ecstasy and so-called magic mushrooms.

All of that might seem quixotic at best, if only Mr. Johansen and EmmaSofia, the psychedelics advocacy group he founded with his American-born wife and fellow scientist, Teri Krebs, had not already won some unlikely supporters, including a retired Norwegian Supreme Court judge who serves as their legal adviser.

The group, whose name derives from street slang for MDMA and the Greek word for wisdom, stands in the vanguard of a global movement now pushing to revise drug policies set in the 1960s. That it has gained traction in a country so committed to controlling drug use shows how much old orthodoxies have crumbled.

The Norwegian group wants not only to stir discussion about prohibited drugs, but also to manufacture them, in part, it argues, to guarantee that they are safe. It recently began an online campaign to raise money so that it can, in cooperation with a Norwegian pharmaceuticals company, start quality-controlled production of psilocybin and MDMA, drugs that Mr. Johansen says saved and transformed his life.

“I helped myself with psychedelics and want others to have the same opportunity without the risk of arrest,” said Mr. Johansen, a 42-year-old researcher at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. He recalled how, as a young man, he defeated an alcohol problem, a smoking habit, post-traumatic stress disorder and depression by taking psilocybin and MDMA.

The drugs are banned in Norway, as in most countries, but can, under tight supervision, be used for medical purposes and in scientific research.

While it took decades for pro-marijuana campaigners in the United States to shift public attitudes and government policy, Norway’s psychedelic champions insist that they already have science and even the law on their side.

But even politicians who support them, all of them quietly because of the extreme sensitivity of drug policy, caution that it will be a long struggle. EmmaSofia has nonetheless succeeded in making its cause an issue, with Mr. Johansen appearing in debates on NRK, the state broadcaster, and in a lengthy profile in a leading newsmagazine.

Eager to sidestep the strictures of Norway's intrusive “nanny state”, Mr. Johansen and his supporters tap into a more freewheeling side of this button-down Nordic nation and point to a long tradition of nature-worshiping shamans, particularly among Norway’s indigenous Sami people.

Also lending a hand are the Vikings, who, at least according to fans of psychedelic drugs, ate hallucinogenic mushrooms to pep them up before battle.

Cato Nystad, a 39-year-old drum maker, EmmaSofia supporter and organizer of traditional ceremonies that involve psychedelic potions, said many Norwegians wanted to get in touch with their wilder, more spiritual sides.

Steinar Madsen, the medical director of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, said he had no objection in principle to what he called EmmaSofia’s “interesting project,” but cautioned that “it is a very long shot.”

He scoffed at the argument that Norway needs to reconnect with its shamanistic past. “I don’t believe this stuff,” he said, adding that “drugs were not part of this tradition in Norway.”

Ina Roll Spinnangr, a Liberal Party politician who supports a more relaxed policy on drugs, said the best way to bring about change was not to attack Norway’s paternalistic government but to turn it on its head.

“You have to use a nanny argument: The government needs to take control and regulate the market instead of leaving it to criminals,” she said. “The argument that you decide yourself what you put in your own body will never work in Norway.”

As a result, she added, “I would never use the word ‘legalize’, but talk instead about regulating, not liberalizing.”

Ketil Lund, 75, the retired Supreme Court justice who advises EmmaSofia on its legal strategy, said he had never used psychedelic drugs and had no interest in trying them. But, he said, he supported Mr. Johansen’s campaign as part of a “bigger struggle” against antidrug policies in the West that he described as “an absolute failure.”

“The present narcotics policy in the West has so many detrimental effects,” he said. “These have to be balanced against detrimental effects of the drugs themselves.”

He said he was not qualified to adjudicate a raging debate over the possible hazards and benefits of psychedelic drugs like LSD. But he had been impressed by research suggesting that they were less harmful than alcohol. “People have used psychedelics for centuries,” he added.

The taboo in the West on psychedelics, however, is deeply entrenched — a legacy of government campaigns against drug use and a long backlash against the counterculture of the 1960s, when Timothy Leary, a Harvard professor and zealous promoter of LSD, urged Americans to “turn on, tune in and drop out.”

“LSD terrifies governments. It is their ultimate fear because it changes the way people look at the world,” said David Nutt, a professor of neuropsychopharmacology at Imperial College London. He was fired in 2009 as the British government’s drug policy adviser after he told a radio interviewer that alcohol was far more harmful than LSD and other psychedelics.

He praised EmmaSofia and other groups for helping to lift the stigma and fear long attached to psychedelics, adding that “there has definitely been a renaissance” in recent years of medical research after decades of science-killing “paranoia and censorship” based on scare stories about psychedelics that fed public panic.

“We are not in the 1960s anymore and have moved on,” said Mr. Johansen, a clinical psychologist, adding, “This is a question of basic human rights.”

LSD, which was first synthesized in a Swiss pharmaceuticals laboratory in 1938, and MDMA, which was patented in 1914, won wide acceptance in Europe and the United States in the middle of the last century when they showed early promise against alcoholism and other maladies.

But initial euphoria over their medical use was then swamped by deep alarm as recreational use of psychedelics surged, leading to a cascade of horror stories in the news media.

The United States banned LSD in 1970. A year later, the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances classified LSD and MDMA as “Schedule I” drugs, those that pose a serious threat to public health.

The United Nations convention banned their use “except for scientific and very limited medical purposes by duly authorized persons.” It also exempted psychedelics contained in plants “used by certain small, clearly determined groups in magical or religious rites.”

Mr. Johansen said the dangers connected with psychedelic drugs had been exaggerated by stories that did not take into account probability. “Everything carries a risk. If you walk in a forest, a tree may fall on your head, but does this mean you should never go in the woods?”

Dr. Madsen, of the Norwegian Medicines Agency, conceded that there “are a lot of myths” about psychedelic drugs like claims that “if you use LSD, you will jump from the roof.”

All the same, he sees no quick way around a thicket of laws and strict regulations on their use. “Everyone sees we have to be very careful with these drugs,” he said. “I don’t think the time is ripe.”


Henrik‎ Pryser Libell contributed reporting from Oslo.

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/05/05/world/europe/an-uphill-campaign-in-norway-to-promote-lsd-as-a-human-right.html
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #29 on: June 04, 2015, 02:03:27 pm »


from The Daily Beast....

This LSD Could Save Your Life

A psychiatrist in London is calling for the reclassification of
drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms to treat mental illness.
Why we’ve been underestimating psychedelics for decades.


By CHARLOTTE LYTTON | 5:15AM EDT - Saturday, June 02, 2015

Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast.
Photo Illustration by Sarah Rogers/The Daily Beast.

A LEADING PSYCHIATRIST has called for the reclassification of magic mushrooms, LSD, and other psychedelic drugs on the grounds they could be crucial in treating mental health problems.

James Rucker, honorary lecturer at King’s College London’s Institute of Psychiatry, proposed that legal restrictions on the use of such substances be lifted and used to aid ailments such as anxiety and addiction.

Such drugs “were extensively used and researched in clinical psychiatry” during the '50s and '60s, Rucker wrote in the British Medical Journal, but were prohibited in 1967 following fears that they were causing psychological harm—in spite of medical evidence to the contrary. But more than two decades after they were classified as Schedule 1 materials in accordance with the United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances, the U.S.'s war on drugs was revealed to be little more than fear mongering.

In 1992, John Ehrlichman, former assistant to Richard Nixon, admitted that the administration had stoked misgivings about the harmful effects of drugs and exploited the public’s lack of awareness for their own political gain—a move which means, 50 years later, psychedelics face more restrictions than heroin and cocaine.

“Hundreds of papers, involving tens of thousands of patients, presented evidence for their use as psychotherapeutic catalysts of mentally beneficial change in many psychiatric disorders, problems of personality development, recidivistic behaviour, and existential anxiety,” Rucker says of the drugs’ medical history. “No evidence shows that psychedelic drugs are habit forming; little evidence shows that they are harmful in controlled settings; and much historical evidence has shown that they could have use in common psychiatric disorders.”

Christopher Evans, director of UCLA’s Brain Research Institute, agrees with Rucker’s examination: “Many of these highly restricted hallucinogenic drugs should be considered for their therapeutic potential in well-controlled clinical studies in controlled environments. Though I believe the drugs should remain closely regulated (like opiates), the restriction should be geared to allow clinical research.”

Organizations around the world—most recently in Norway—have begun contesting the current restrictions. There have also been a number of pilot studies undertaken to test the clinical efficacy of psychedelic substances when used as treatment for ailments such as obsessive-compulsive disorder, alcohol addiction, and cluster headaches, the results of which support Rucker’s claims. A study published last week in the Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry journal has even suggested psychoactives such as MDMA may help treat PTSD.

One of the principal qualms surrounding the use of psychedelics is that they will induce dependence, but existing research shows that this is not the case. LSD was named the safest psychotropic—a substance that alters brain function and perception—in a 2010 analysis of potential harms caused by drugs of this nature, and is significantly less likely to result in a toxic dose than alcohol, cocaine, or heroin.

“Drug legislation has been bias toward groups of people that are associated with the drug and of course financial interests as opposed to the intrinsic harm the drugs cause to the population and addiction liability,” Evans says. “Hallucinogens certainly have potential therapeutic value in many diseases and are much less likely to become problematic to society than psychostimulant therapeutics such as methylphenidate and amphetamine, and opiate therapeutics such as Oxycodone or Vicodin.”

“Addiction is not the problem.”

It is not only that its effects have been misrepresented, then, but that its benefits have been suppressed in favor of antediluvian political propaganda. A U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2001-2004 found that those who reported use of psychedelics had lower levels of serious psychological distress, with no need for mental health treatment. No association with psychosis was uncovered.

The classification means that pilot studies on the effects of the drugs remain challenging. Rucker cites the “practical, financial and bureaucratic” barriers to carrying out trials with psilocybin—the naturally occurring compound in magic mushrooms—as a result of the UN’s mandate. Only one manufacturer in the world holds enough of the correct quality to be used effectively, and costs some $153,000 for 50 doses. In the UK, holding the drug requires a $750,000 license (which only four hospitals have) and regular inspections from police. As such, the price of clinical trials for psychedelic substances is up to 10 times higher than those for heroin.

In view of the evidence, then, perhaps it’s time we stop dismissing 'shrooms and hallucinogens as the pastime of underachieving college kids and re-examine their potential impact on the medical world.


http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2015/06/02/this-lsd-could-save-your-life.html
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #30 on: June 19, 2015, 05:27:05 pm »


from RAW STORY....

Microdosing — a new, low-key way to use psychedelics

By PHILLIP SMITH - AlterNet | 1:28AM EDT - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

CREATIVE-MIND

AT THE fifth annual Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics conference in New York City in October 2011, pioneering psychedelic researcher Dr. James Fadiman solidified his reemergence as a leading researcher of and advocate for psychedelic substances. Fadiman had done groundbreaking research with LSD up until the very day it was federally banned in 1966, but after that, he retreated into a life of quiet conventionality—at least on the surface.

While Fadiman disappeared himself from the public eye for decades, he never did give up him interest in and enthusiasm for psychedelics. A year before appearing at Horizons, he published his life’s work, The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, an amazing compendium of hallucinogenic lore, as well as a user’s manual for would-be psychonauts.

The book examined the primary uses for psychedelics, such as spiritual enlightenment at high doses and improvements in creativity at smaller ones. It also addressed a lesser-known but increasingly popular phenomenon: microdosing.

Microdosing refers to taking extremely small doses of psychedelics, so small that the affects usually associated with such drugs are not evident or are “sub-perceptual,” while going about one’s daily activities. It’s being done by anyone from harried professionals to extreme athletes to senior citizen businesswomen, and they’re claiming serious benefits from it.

To trip brains (or have a transcendental experience) on LSD, a dose of 400 micrograms or more is called for; to explore your inner self, take 200 micrograms; for creative problem solving, try 100 mikes; but for microdosing, take only 10 to 15 micrograms. Similar microdoses for other psychedelics would include 0.2-0.5 grams of dried mushrooms (about one-fifth the normal dose) or about 50-75 micrograms of mescaline.

At that Horizons conference, as reported by Tim Doody in a fascinating profile of Fadiman, the bespectacled 70-year-old at one point asked his audience “How many of you have heard about microdosing?” A couple of dozen hands went up. “Whoa!,” he exclaimed.

He explained that, beginning in 2010, he had been doing a study of microdosing. Since research with LSD remains banned, he couldn’t do it in a lab, but had instead relied on a network of volunteers who administered their own doses and reported back with the results. The subjects kept logs of their doses and daily routines, and sent them via email to Fadiman. The results were quite interesting, he said.

“Micro-dosing turns out to be a totally different world,” he explained. “As someone said, the rocks don’t glow, even a little bit. But what many people are reporting is, at the end of the day, they say, ‘That was a really good day’. You know, that kind of day when things kind of work. You’re doing a task you normally couldn’t stand for two hours, but you do it for three or four. You eat properly. Maybe you do one more set of reps. Just a good day. That seems to be what we’re discovering.”

Study participants functioned normally in their work and relationships, Fadiman said, but with increased focus, emotional clarity, and creativity. One physician reported that microdosing put him “in touch with a deep place of ease and beauty.” A singer reported being better able to hear and channel music.

In his book, a user named “Madeline” offered this report: “Microdosing of 10 to 20 micrograms (of LSD) allow me to increase my focus, open my heart, and achieve breakthrough results while remaining integrated within my routine. My wit, response time, and visual and mental acuity seem greater than normal on it.”

These results are not yet peer-reviewed, but they are suggestive.

“I just got a report from someone who did this for six weeks,” Fadiman said. “And his question to me was, ‘Is there any reason to stop’?”

It isn’t just Fadiman acolytes who are singing the praises of microdosing. One 65-year-old Sonoma County, California, small businesswoman who had never heard of the man told AlterNet she microdosed because it made her feel better and more effective.

“I started doing it in 1980, when I lived in San Francisco and one of my roommates had some mushrooms in the fridge,” said the woman, who asked to remain anonymous. “I just took a tiny sliver and found that it made me alert and energized all day. I wasn’t high or anything; it was more like having a coffee buzz that lasted all day long.”

This woman gave up on microdosing when her roommate’s supply of 'shrooms ran out, but she has taken it up again recently.

“I’m very busy these days and I’m 65, so I get tired, and maybe just a little bit surly sometimes,” she admitted. “So when a friend brought over some chocolate mushrooms, I decided to try it again. It makes my days so much better! My mood improves, my energy level is up, and I feel like my synapses are really popping. I get things done, and I don’t notice any side-effects whatsoever.”

She’s not seeking visionary experiences, just a way to get through the day, she said.

In an in-depth post on the High Existence blog, Martijn Schirp examined the phenomenon in some detail, as well as describing his own adventure in microdosing:

“On a beautiful morning in Amsterdam, I grabbed my vial of LSD, diluted down with half high grade vodka and half distilled water, and told my friend to trust me and open his mouth. While semi-carefully measuring the droplets for his microdose, I told him to whirl it around in his mouth for a few minutes before swallowing the neuro-chemical concoction. I quickly followed suit,” Schirp wrote. “We had one of the best walking conversations of our lives.”

James Oroc, author of Tryptamine Palace: 5-MeO-DMT and the Sonoran Desert Toad, exposed another realm where microdosing is gaining popularity. In a Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies monograph titled Psychedelics and Extreme Sports, Oroc extolled the virtues of microdosing for athletes. Taking low-dose psychedelics improved “cognitive functioning, emotional balance, and physical stamina,” he wrote.

“Virtually all athletes who learn to use LSD at psycholytic [micro] dosages believe that the use of these compounds improves both their stamina and their abilities,” Oroc continued. “According to the combined reports of 40 years of use by the extreme sports underground, LSD can increase your reflex time to lightning speed, improve your balance to the point of perfection, increase your concentration until you experience ‘tunnel vision,’ and make you impervious to weakness or pain. LSD’s effects in these regards amongst the extreme-sport community are in fact legendary, universal, and without dispute.”

Even the father of LSD, Albert Hofman seems to have been a fan. In his book, Fadiman notes that Hofmann microdosed himself well into old age and quoted him as saying LSD “would have gone on to be used as Ritalin if it hadn’t been so harshly scheduled.”

Psychonauts, take note. Microdosing isn’t going to take you to another astral plane, but it may help you get through the day. For more infomation on the microdosing experience, dig into the links up-story, as well as the Reddit user forum on microdosing. Surprisingly enough, the vaults of Erowid, that repository of drug user experiences, returned only one entry about microdosing, from someone who appears to have been a subject in the Fadiman microdosing experiments.

And, of course, if you want to try this, you have to obtain some psychedelics. They’re illegal, which doesn’t mean they aren’t around. An increasing number of people are finding them on the dark web; others obtain them the old-fashioned way: from within their own communities. Those who are really interested will get to work.


Related story:

 • Watch: The fascinating reason magic mushrooms make you trip


http://www.rawstory.com/2015/06/microdosing-a-new-low-key-way-to-use-psychedelics
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #31 on: June 19, 2015, 05:27:20 pm »


from Munchies....

Should You Be Eating LSD for Breakfast?

By MUNCHIES STAFF | 1:00PM EDT - Wednesday, June 17, 2015

ACID

PUT ASIDE the over-easy egg, the lox and schmear, and even the chia seed pudding. If you want clarity and focus throughout your day, perhaps you should be eating powerful psychedelic drugs for breakfast.

That’s if you believe a small group of scientists and psychonauts who have increasingly sung the praises of microdosing, or the ingestion of small amounts of LSD.

A just-published Alternet feature by Phillip Smith delves into the phenomenon, crediting psychedelic researcher Dr. James Fadiman for popularizing the practice in his 2011 book The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys.

“Microdosing,” writes Smith, “refers to taking extremely small doses of psychedelics, so small that the affects [sic] usually associated with such drugs are not evident or are ‘sub-perceptual’, while going about one’s daily activities. It’s being done by anyone from harried professionals to extreme athletes to senior citizen businesswomen, and they’re claiming serious benefits from it.”

A Hunter S. Thompson-caliber ball-tripping dose of acid tends to fall in the 400-microgram realm, sending you into deep conversations with ancient platypus warrior spirits on planet Xenu. But Smith claims that a mere 10 to 15 micrograms can impart “increased focus, emotional clarity, and creativity” that your cup of cold brew can’t.

Bonus effect: You won’t get screamed at by disembodied eyeballs in your glove compartment.

During a speech at the “Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics” conference in New York City in 2011, Fadiman explained that with microdoses of LSD, “the rocks don’t glow, even a little bit. But what many people are reporting is, at the end of the day, they say, ‘That was a really good day’. You know, that kind of day when things kind of work. You’re doing a task you normally couldn’t stand for two hours, but you do it for three or four. You eat properly. Maybe you do one more set of reps. Just a good day.”

Smith spoke to a 65-year-old Bay Area woman who has been microdosing with psilocybin mushrooms, rather than LSD, for 35 years. “I just took a tiny sliver and found that it made me alert and energized all day. I wasn’t high or anything; it was more like having a coffee buzz that lasted all day long.”

Indeed, author James Oroc has suggested a “secret affair between psychedelics and extreme sports,” with athletes microdosing in an effort to increase their performance. Oroc rather breathlessly claims that “LSD can increase your reflex time to lightning speed, improve your balance to the point of perfection, increase your concentration until you experience ‘tunnel vision’, and make you impervious to weakness or pain.”

With those kind of gains, who needs bulletproof coffee? A mere 15 micrograms of LSD spread on your blueberry coffee cake muffin might just be the best part of waking up.


Related story:

 • Magic 'Shrooms Deserve to Be Elevated Into Quiches


http://munchies.vice.com/articles/should-you-be-eating-lsd-for-breakfast
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #32 on: August 09, 2015, 10:44:17 pm »


from Forbes....

Why Did My Grandmother Try LSD For Multiple Sclerosis In The 1960s?

By EMILY WILLINGHAM | 2:26PM - Tuesday, August 04, 2015

LSD

LAST YEAR, LSD took a tentative, presumably groovy step back into the medical limelight when it was the featured performer in a controlled human trial for the first time in 40 years. Its re-debut involved a role as an anti-anxiety drug in 12 patients in Switzerland, most of them with cancer, and marked a new interest in LSD and other psychadelics for things beyond having a long, strange trip.

This resurrection of a drug that was made illegal in 1966, putting the brakes on a fairly robust research interest, reflects the fact that history can repeat itself. After all, the '60s and earlier were a great time to try these not-yet-illegal, mind-altering substances for a variety of human ills, or at least to try to figure out how they work.

The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, where results of this most recent LSD trial appeared, offers up four pages of … hits … on LSD, from the 1950s through the 1970s, covering everything from therapeutic uses in psychotherapy to basic discoveries about how it works to why people like it (sample paper from 1973: College students  and LSD: Who and why?. Sample phrase from abstract: “While there are students who use almost any and all drugs ….”).

But I don't find much about using LSD for multiple sclerosis (MS), which is interesting because my grandmother took the trouble to visit a clinic in the 1960s on several occasions for experimental LSD treatments for her MS. Why is unclear, although some research had looked at LSD's effects on spinal reflexes [in cats, research done at the US Army Chemical Warfare Laboratories (!)] and possibly something to do with myelin, the target of the neurodegenerative processes that result in MS. It was definitely something that researchers like Antonio Balestrieri, working in Italy in the 1950s, tried out in patients with MS and other neurodegenerative diseases, and I assume my grandmother was one of the “human subjects” of similar experimentation.

The physician who treated her was one T.T. Peck, who had a clinic at San Jacinto Memorial Hospital in Baytown, Texas. This self-described ‘country doctor’ came to his interest in LSD by way of peyote, which intrigued him based on a “Latin-American patient” having told him that he stayed healthy by chewing peyote buttons. Peck also tried LSD on a 5-year-old girl because she was “completely rebellious about everything”. That intervention does not seem to have been successful.

Given her typical non-tripping behavior, the mix of my grandmother and LSD must have been … interesting, even under controlled clinical conditions. As with the rebellious 5-year-old, LSD did not, however, do much for her MS, which progressed until she was in a wheelchair, where she stayed, ruling the world around her for 5 more decades.

According to reports, therapies like this in controlled clinical spaces didn't carry a risk of permanent psychosis, but concerns about that popular perception were very much to the fore in the mid-1960s, and justifiably so, given the 1966 ban.


Clare Boothe Luce. — Photo: Associated Press.
Clare Boothe Luce. — Photo: Associated Press.

But before those rumors about brain damage and psychosis associated with LSD and those darned college students who would try anything, the drug carried a sort of cachet that made it rather popular in a certain set. Around the time my grandmother was taking her clinically controlled acid trips, people like conservative Congresswoman Clare Boothe Luce were also giving it a spin as research subjects in a government-sponsored study of LSD.

Perhaps the most famous legacy of Luce's meticulously journaled acid trips is a line that encapsulates the feeling of heightened consciousness associated with hallucinogens: “Capture green bug for future reference.” What did the green bug mean? What would secrets would it unlock? That part remains obscure.

Although some see the potential return of LSD, marijuana, and other currently illegal drugs as triumphant and hopeful, with therapeutic potential for anxiety and pain—which is a key feature of multiple sclerosis — others are a tad dismissive. One expert quoted in a Bloomberg piece published when the Swiss study was just enrolling in 2008 was particularly down on the renewed interest and super satisfied with the effectiveness of current pharmaceuticals:

“Detachment from reality isn't a good way to address illness, said Ken Checinski, a fellow of the U.K.'s Royal College of Psychiatrists. New anti-depressants and psychological techniques make LSD irrelevant to modern medicine, while the potential side effects and findings of previous studies don't justify renewed research, he said.

“Sometimes if patients take drugs such as LSD, they perceive benefit, maybe because they become detached from reality, but we all have to come back and live in the real world,” Checinski said.


That assertion, of course, begs some philosophical questions about perception and the real world and biological questions about the role that our sensory systems play in both. But it also elides the very real physiological effects that any psychoactive drugs can have that might be worth exploring. For now, they're effects that we don't understand well enough in part because of the four decades that they were the noli me tangere of research chemicals.


As a family member informs me.

Emily Willingham is a science writer, editor, and educator with a background in developmental biology, physiology, and English literature. Read more about Emily HERE and find Emily (too often) on Twitter.

http://www.forbes.com/sites/emilywillingham/2015/08/04/why-did-my-grandmother-try-lsd-for-multiple-sclerosis-in-the-1960s
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #33 on: August 09, 2015, 10:44:39 pm »


from The New Zealand Herald....

Can magic mushrooms cure schizophrenia?

By BEN ELLERY | 3:15PM - Sunday, August 09, 2015

Magic mushrooms growing in the wild. — Photo: The New Zealand Herald.
Magic mushrooms growing in the wild. — Photo: The New Zealand Herald.

A HALLUCINOGENIC DRUG derived from magic mushrooms is being given to human guinea pigs in a controversial experiment aimed at curing schizophrenia.

Professor David Nutt, who was sacked as a Government adviser after a controversy about the dangers of drugs, is leading the study that is costing the taxpayer £250,000 (NZD$585,000).

Volunteers at King's College London will be given psilocybin — the naturally occurring psychedelic compound produced by more than 200 species of mushrooms — and placed inside an MRI scanner to monitor their brain activity.

They will experience a “high” for an hour and have been warned “the size and shape of things can appear distorted, walls may appear to move, shapes and colours may be seen on surfaces, the room may appear to get bigger or brighter, and time may appear to pass more slowly”.

The scientists believe the hallucinations experienced by users of magic mushrooms are caused by the same part of the brain that is active during a schizophrenic episode.

After the 24 volunteers have had their dose, they will then be given an experimental drug called saracatinib. The hope is that if the saracatinib stops the hallucinations of the psilocybin, then it could also alleviate schizophrenia.

Using psilocybin has required special permission from the Home Office. The drug is being sent from Germany, at a cost of £1,000 a dose.

The participants will all be male, aged between 18 and 50, and have previously used hallucinogenic drugs. They are being paid £350 each for taking part. Professor Nutt claims the study, funded by the Medical Research Council and conducted in conjunction with Imperial College, could provide a huge leap forward in the treatment of schizophrenia. He said: “There have been no breakthroughs in the treatment of schizophrenia for 50 years because it is such a complicated illness. Because psilocybin is a controlled substance, we have had to jump through a lot of hoops — the study was delayed for a year while we got the Home Office licence.”

“Magic mushrooms can be picked for free but we are having to pay £1,000 a dose. It's madness. Our volunteers will experience the effects of the psilocybin for about an hour and there will be some of the world's best psychiatrists on hand.”

“If this is successful, it could pave the way for a much larger study of the drug on people with schizophrenia. We have decades to catch up on as many drugs such as psilocybin were made illegal, and that has made studying them very difficult.”

Elizabeth Burton-Phillips, of charity DrugFAM, said: “Magic mushrooms are a powerful hallucinogen which can cause real harm to the brain. As with all hallucinogenic drugs, the impact on anyone's brain is a game of Russian roulette.”


http://www.nzherald.co.nz/lifestyle/news/article.cfm?c_id=6&objectid=11494437
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #34 on: August 27, 2017, 08:48:57 pm »


from The Washington Post....

Ecstasy could be ‘breakthrough’ therapy for soldiers,
others suffering from PTSD


The psychedelic drug is headed for fast-track FDA review based on latest research.

By WILLIAM WAN | 6:04PM EDT - Saturday, August 26, 2017

Jonathan Lubecky, a Marine Corps and Army veteran, returned from a deployment to Iraq with severe PTSD. His participation in a study of MDMA, the drug commonly known as ecstasy, proved life-saving. — Photograph: Travis Dove/The Washington Post.
Jonathan Lubecky, a Marine Corps and Army veteran, returned from a deployment to Iraq with severe PTSD. His participation in
a study of MDMA, the drug commonly known as ecstasy, proved life-saving. — Photograph: Travis Dove/The Washington Post.


FOR Jon Lubecky, the scars on his wrists are a reminder of the years he spent in mental purgatory.

He returned from an Army deployment in Iraq a broken man. He heard mortar shells and helicopters where there were none. He couldn't sleep and drank until he passed out. He got every treatment offered by Veterans Affairs for post-traumatic stress disorder. But they didn't stop him from trying to kill himself — five times.

Finally, he signed up for an experimental therapy and was given a little green capsule. The anguish stopped.

Inside that pill was a compound named MDMA, better known by dealers and rave partygoers as ecstasy. That street drug is emerging as the most promising tool to come along in years for the military's escalating PTSD epidemic.

The MDMA program was created by a small group of psychedelic researchers who had toiled for years in the face of ridicule, funding shortages and skepticism. But the results have been so positive that this month the Food and Drug Administration deemed it a “breakthrough therapy” — setting it on a fast track for review and potential approval.

The prospect of a government-sanctioned psychedelic drug has generated both excitement and concern. And it has opened the door to scientists studying new uses for other illegal psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin (commonly known as magic mushrooms).

“We're in this odd situation where one of the most promising therapies also happens to be a Schedule 1 substance banned by the [Drug Enforcement Administration],” said retired Brigadier General Loree Sutton, who until 2010 was the highest ranking psychiatrist in the U.S. Army.

Because of the stigma attached to psychedelics since the trippy 1960s, many military and government leaders still hesitate to embrace them. Some scientists are also wary of the nonprofit spearheading ecstasy therapy, a group with the stated goal of making the banned drugs part of mainstream culture.

But the scope and severity of PTSD makes it all irrelevant, said Sutton, who now works as New York City's commissioner of veteran services. “If this is something that could really save lives, we need to run and not walk toward it. We need to follow the data.”

PTSD has been a problem for the military for decades, but America's recent wars have pushed it to epidemic-level heights. Experts estimate between 11 and 20 percent of soldiers who served in Iraq or Afghanistan suffer from PTSD.

The affliction is typically triggered after experiencing or witnessing violence, including assault and abuse. It has ravaged lives and broken up marriages. It often leaves its victims in sudden panic and prevents them from dealing with the original trauma.

And that last symptom is what makes PTSD particularly hard to overcome with traditional talk therapy. Because patients can't talk about and process the trauma, experts say, it lingers like a poison in their mind.

Only two drugs are approved for treating PTSD: Zoloft and Paxil. Both have proved largely ineffective when it comes to veterans, whose cases are especially difficult to resolve because of their prolonged or repeated exposure to combat.

“If you're a combat veteran with multiple tours of duty, the chance of a good response to these drugs is one in three, maybe lower,” said John Krystal, chairman of psychiatry at Yale University and a director at the VA's National Center for PTSD. “That's why there's so much frustration and interest in finding something that works better.”


ECSTASY has long been a favorite at trance parties and raves because of its unique ability to flood users with intense feelings of euphoria. But as a byproduct, it also reduces fear and imbues users with a deep sense of love and acceptance of themselves and others — the perfect conditions for trauma therapy.

By giving doses of MDMA at the beginning of three, eight-hour therapy sessions, researchers say they have helped chronic PTSD patients process and move past their traumas.

In clinical trials with 107 patients closely monitored by the FDA, 61 percent reported major reductions in symptoms — to the point where they no longer fit the criteria for PTSD. Follow-up studies a year later found 67 percent no longer had PTSD.


A dose of MDMA in the office of South Carolina psychiatrist Michael Mithoefer, who has studied its use as a treatment for PTSD. — Photograph: Travis Dove/The Washington Post.
A dose of MDMA in the office of South Carolina psychiatrist Michael Mithoefer, who has studied its use as a treatment for PTSD.
 — Photograph: Travis Dove/The Washington Post.


“If you were to design the perfect drug to treat PTSD, MDMA would be it,” said Rick Doblin, who three decades ago founded the California nonprofit behind the clinical trials.

It is no accident that the group — the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) — chose PTSD as its argument for ending the government's ban on psychedelics.

“We wanted to help a population that would automatically win public sympathy,” he said. “No one's going to argue against the need to help them.”

Doblin, now 63, talks openly about his own history with drugs. He began tripping on LSD as a rebellious, long-haired college freshman in the 1970s. He says it helped him see the world and himself in new ways. He wanted to become a therapist and use psychedelics to help others achieve similar insights, but he couldn't because LSD was already banned.

“The flaw of the early psychedelic movement was that they made it countercultural, a revolution,” he said. “Culture is dominant. Culture is always going to win.”

For a decade, he worked in construction until he came across MDMA for the first time. When the DEA moved to criminalize it in 1984, Doblin created MAPS and sued the agency. The lawsuit failed, and Doblin realized that psychedelics were perceived as too fringe to win public support.

To succeed, he decided, both he and the issue had to go mainstream.

Doblin talked his way into the public policy PhD program at Harvard University and learned to navigate the federal bureaucracy. He shaved off his mustache, cut his shaggy hair and learned to dress up.

“I used to laugh about how simple it was,” he said. “You put on a suit, and suddenly everyone thinks you're fine.”

The external switch reflected an internal one as well. Instead of fighting government officials, he began plotting to win them over, especially those at the FDA.

And the key, he realized, was science.


BEFORE the FDA would even talk about clinical trials for MDMA, the agency needed proof it wasn't dangerous. Previous studies suggesting its neurotoxicity had been limited to rats. So in 1986, Doblin scraped together money to buy monkeys for those same researchers, who found the risks to be much less at human-equivalent doses than previously thought.

The next step was investigating MDMA's effects on people. Doblin again raised money to fly psychedelic users he had befriended to Stanford University and Johns Hopkins University for spinal taps. The studies were approved by review boards at both institutions. Doblin also participated, undergoing two spinal taps.

In the two decades that followed, Doblin and MAPS inched toward progress.

The nonprofit grew from a one-man band to a staff of 25 with headquarters in Santa Cruz. It tapped into the scene in Silicon Valley — where many tech entrepreneurs have used psychedelics to spark creativity. (Steve Jobs famously praised LSD as “one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.”)

MAPS received a $5.5 million bequest from the founder of a software company. The hipster soap company Dr. Bronner's pledged $5 million. A professional poker player who attributed his wins to microdosing on LSD gave $25,000. Recently, an anonymous $21,000 bitcoin donation came in.

Much of that money funded small-scale clinical trials, which laid the groundwork for the last remaining hurdle: Large-scale “phase 3” trials that will begin next year, involving 200 to 300 patients in 14 locations.

If those future trials yield similar results, the FDA could approve the MDMA treatment for PTSD as soon as 2021, according to Doblin.


Rick Doblin founded a nonprofit advocating research into the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs. — Photograph: Nirvan Mullick.
Rick Doblin founded a nonprofit advocating research into the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs. — Photograph: Nirvan Mullick.

Yet his dream extends beyond that. He envisions a future where psychedelic treatment centers are in every city — places people can visit for enhanced couples therapy, spiritual experiences and personal growth. He believes psychedelics can help address the country's biggest problems, from homelessness and war to global warming.

“These drugs are a tool that can make people more compassionate, tolerant, more connected with other humans and the planet itself,” he said.

That kind of talk makes many in the medical community nervous.

It's hard to measure the exact dangers of ecstasy. Because it is not used as widely as marijuana or cocaine, for example, fewer statistics are available on overdoses or injuries. In 2011, a public health monitoring system identified 22,498 emergency department visits nationwide related to ecstasy.

MDMA researchers point out that one key difference between MDMA and street ecstasy (along with another variant called “molly”) is the street versions often contain other harmful drugs, experts say. Sometimes the pills don't even contain MDMA.

But even in its purest clinical form, MDMA can pose risks. At high doses, it can cause the body to overheat. It can cause anxiety and increase the stress hormone cortisol. Chronic use can also cause memory impairment.

“I think it's a dangerous substance,” said Andrew Parrott, a psychology professor at Swansea University in Wales who spent years researching the drug's harmful effects. He worries FDA approval for the treatment of PTSD could lead many in the public to believe ecstasy is safe for recreational use.

Other experts, however, have become increasingly intrigued by its promising results.

“Anytime you have an organization that is advocating for drugs that are illegal, it marginalizes them in the research field. MAPS still isn’t seen as mainstream. But it's possible they have a point here,” said Krystal, the Yale psychiatrist, who has not been involved with the group's research. “I can't think of a single medication that doesn't carry some side effect. The question here is whether the benefits outweigh the risk.”


FOR Lubecky, the drug can't be approved fast enough.

The Marine Corps and Army veteran recalls coming home from Iraq in 2006 to discover his wife had left him, sold his motorcycle and taken his dog. That, coupled with the trauma of what he had saw at war, sent him over the edge.

On Christmas Eve, he put the muzzle of his Beretta to his temple and pulled the trigger. The gun malfunctioned, he said, “but that microsecond after the hammer fell is when I finally felt at peace because I knew the pain would finally be over.”

One incident in Iraq in particular tormented him — a shot he took while protecting his unit. “It was a situation where the right thing to do was the immoral thing,” he said, declining to describe it in detail. “You're looking through a scope at another human being and you do one thing and suddenly they don't exist anymore.”

For years he told no one about it. He would panic even thinking about it.

After he was accepted into the MDMA clinical trial in South Carolina, he found himself on a futon with two counselors on either side as the effects of drug sunk in.

“I was in such a comfortable place,” recalled Lubecky, 40, who now works in Charleston as a political consultant. “I didn't even realize I was finally talking about it, admitting it for the first time to anybody.”

Since then, he said, he has learned to accept what happened in Iraq. And the guilt he now struggles with is the fact he got chosen over others for the clinical trial.

“I was the 26th veteran chosen for a 26-person study,” he said. “I have friends who are suffering every day like I was. But they can't do it because it's illegal. This could save their lives.”


• William Wan is The Washington Post's roving national correspondent, based in Washington, D.C. He previously served as the paper's religion reporter and diplomatic correspondent and for three years as The Post's China correspondent in Beijing.

__________________________________________________________________________

Related to this topic:

 • Onetime party drug hailed as miracle for treating severe depression

 • Key ingredient in ‘magic mushrooms’ eased cancer patients' fear of death


https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/ecstasy-could-be-breakthrough-therapy-for-soldiers-others-suffering-from-ptsd/2017/08/26/009314ca-842f-11e7-b359-15a3617c767b_story.html
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
aDjUsToR
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 783


« Reply #35 on: August 28, 2017, 02:05:10 am »

Yes sounds tantalising however I have heard some horror stories such as people experiencing hell-like hallucinations which took months or years to recover from.
Report Spam   Logged
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #36 on: October 02, 2017, 01:58:53 pm »

Yes sounds tantalising however I have heard some horror stories such as people experiencing hell-like hallucinations which took months or years to recover from.


Well, if people have mental hang-ups and are stupid enough to take “magic” substances, they only have themselves to blame.
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #37 on: October 02, 2017, 01:59:01 pm »


from the San Francisco Chronicle....

Free the magic mushrooms, arrest Big Pharma

By MARK MORFORD | 2:46PM PDT - Thursday, September 28, 2017

700 pounds of psilocybin “magic mushrooms” with a street value of $1 million found in house in Berkeley, California. Destroy the cure, reward the poison. Ah, America. — Photograph: Berkeley Police Department. In this April 13th, 2010 photo, Dr. Stephen Ross shows an example of the pill a patient would take in a study on the effects of hallucinogenic drugs on the emotional and psychological state of cancer patients in New York. The pill could could either contain a placebo or psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms. — Photograph:  Seth Wenig, Associated Press.
LEFT: 700 pounds of psilocybin “magic mushrooms” with a street value of $1 million found in house in Berkeley, California. Destroy the cure,
reward the poison. Ah, America. — Photograph: Berkeley Police Department. | RIGHT: In this April 13th, 2010 photo, Dr. Stephen Ross shows
an example of the pill a patient would take in a study on the effects of hallucinogenic drugs on the emotional and psychological state of cancer
patients in New York. The pill could could either contain a placebo or psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.
 — Photograph:  Seth Wenig, Associated Press.


HERE is what you most definitely do not do, if you're storing somewhere around 700 pounds of hallucinogenic mushrooms in the living room of your Berkeley house, stacked like manna in large plastic tubs, just waiting to make life better for countless thousands of hippies and hipsters, enlightened seekers and people who like to commune with trees.

You do not start screaming. You do not start yelling at your husband/wife/business partner, right there in your home/mushroom production facility, arguing so loudly that it alarms the neighbors, and they call the police and the police arrive and bang on the door and you finally have to let them in and, whoops, there's $1 million worth of trippy goodness, sitting right there on the floor, because you really need a garage.

Another lesson? If you are a dealer in large quantities of home-grown magic fungus, do not skip the couple's counseling. I mean, obviously.

And thus did the Berkeley cops seize all 700 pounds of happy fungus and arrest our bickering young couple, thus yanking a sizable portion of product off the Bay Area hallucinogen market and jacking up the price for, oh, about an hour, given how even that much psilocybin is but a sliver of what Berkeley likely produces every week, and if you could peel back the roof and peer through the walls of every home in the East Bay you will possibly find that magic mushrooms are more populous than smoothies and Birkenstocks and Subarus, combined, because Berkeley.

It's all sort of sad, isn't it? And numbly ironic? It very much is.


Fresh Colombian magic mushrooms legally on sale in Camden market London in June 2005. A ballot measure could legalize psilocybin in California as early as 2018. — Photograph: Photofusion/UIG/Getty Images.
Fresh Colombian magic mushrooms legally on sale in Camden market London in June 2005. A ballot measure could legalize psilocybin
in California as early as 2018. — Photograph: Photofusion/UIG/Getty Images.


For one thing, it dovetails — albeit a bit tragically — with the recent news that California might indeed decriminalize psilocybin as soon as next year, assuming the ballot measure Kevin Saunders, a mayoral candidate in Monterey County, submitted to the state, earns enough signatures.

After all, psilocybin's medicinal qualities are becoming increasingly well documented (not to mention the centuries of evidence from shamans and healers), helpful in treating everything from PTSD to cancer-related death anxiety, various neurological and emotional disorders and which, along with MDMA, gives users in controlled environments a truly precious, life-affirming reconnection to something quite sacred indeed (Self, God, Goddess, soul, the divine, love — call it what you want but don't call it hippie nonsense because then you clearly have no idea what you're talking about, and should probably take some mushrooms for yourself).

Saunders himself claims that psilocybin helped him kick heroin over a decade ago. And, let us be reminded, it's fentanyl-laced heroin that's killing tens of thousands of Americans right now, the ones who've been blocked from getting their doctor-overprescribed opioids. See how that works?

There is indeed irony afoot, and it's vicious. The opioid crisis, the one spurred by shameless pharma companies shoving hundreds of millions of pricey painkillers down the throats of millions of unsuspecting Americans (and now developing countries) and thus co-creating, along with inept, overprescribing doctors, the worst epidemic in our nation's history, one which is currently killing more Americans every year than the Vietnam war, and rising fast, this crisis could be well helped by the very thing we still dumbly fear and continue to outlaw.

Is it not curious? And ridiculous? And brutally tragic? How we condemn and destroy the natural spiritual enhancer/potential cure, and reward, to the tune of billions of dollars to Big Pharma, the obvious poison?


• Mark Morford has been providing hyper-literate, award-winning commentary and cultural criticism to the San Francisco Chronicle and SFGate since 1998, which probably astounds him more than it does you. He's also one of the Bay Area's premier yoga instructors, leading classes, workshops and retreats in SF and around the world since 2001. Read his latest stories, follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, or just visit MarkMorford.com for the whole of it.

http://www.sfgate.com/opinion/article/Morford-Berkeley-magic-mushrooms-Big-Pharma-12238372.php
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Donald
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 898



« Reply #38 on: October 02, 2017, 04:46:55 pm »

...all is not what it seems...to the naive😉


Epic moment at UN as truth teller ambushes them and shatters their lies
by SB on October 2, 2017 at 2:30pm

Above: PLO delegate goes into shock listening to UN Watch speaker Mosab Hassan Yousef expose PLO lies.
There is nothing I enjoy more than good political ambush and Palestinian Mosab Hassan Yousef on behalf of UN Watch made a speech that made heads turn and eyes bulge. It is crude to say it but I see the UN as one big circle jerk who only allow Israel to be described in the vilest of terms. Because they expect all Palestinians to stick to the prescribed anti-Israel narrative they were totally shocked by Yousef’s speech.


 
Statement by United Nations Watch
36th Session of the U.N. Human Rights Council
Delivered by Mosab Hassan Yousef

Thank you, Mr. President.

I take the floor on behalf of UN Watch.


My name is Mosab Hassan Yousef. I grew up in Ramallah as a member of Hamas.

I address my words to the Palestinian Authority, which claims to be the “sole legitimate representative” of the Palestinian people.

I ask: where does your legitimacy come from?

The Palestinian people did not elect you, and they did not appoint you to represent them.

You are self-appointed.

Your accountability is not to your own people. This is evidenced by your total violation of their human rights.

In fact, the Palestinian individual and their human development is the least of your concerns.

You kidnap Palestinian students from campus and torture them in your jails. You torture your political rivals. The suffering of the Palestinian people is the outcome of your selfish political interests. You are the greatest enemy of the Palestinian people.

If Israel did not exist, you would have no one to blame. Take responsibility for the outcome of your own actions.

You fan the flames of conflict to maintain your abusive power.

Finally, you use this platform to mislead the international community, and to mislead Palestinian society, to believe that Israel is responsible for the problems you create.

Thank you.
Report Spam   Logged
Kiwithrottlejockey
Admin Staff
XNC2 GOD
*
Posts: 28122


Having fun in the hills!


« Reply #39 on: October 02, 2017, 05:18:35 pm »


I reckon you need to take some psilocybin to loosen up your mind.

Or even better....a full-on dose of mescaline to “blow your mind” for about twenty-four hours.

It may even improve your intelligence....it would certainly open your mind up to some of the hidden dimensions.
Report Spam   Logged

If you aren't living life on the edge, you're taking up too much space! 
Donald
Part-Of-The-Furniture Member
*
Posts: 898



« Reply #40 on: October 02, 2017, 05:21:46 pm »

Haha...yes I have some ideas on how to "open up your mind" also...do you have access to firearms😉
Report Spam   Logged

Pages: 1 [2]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Open XNC2 Smileys
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum

Buy traffic for your forum/website
traffic-masters
Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Page created in 0.234 seconds with 12 queries.