"How do you recover from a bad trip? A “psychedelics sanctuary” is set to open in New York this month, the first US therapeutic facility for users of psychedelic drugs. Instead of focusing on going cold turkey, the centre will use psychotherapy and group support to help users come to terms with any intense and difficult experiences they might have had while taking hallucinogenic drugs.”
Psychedelic drugs, such as LSD, are usually regarded as drugs of abuse. Conventionally, treatment has attempted to rid people of their addictions, encouraging complete abstinence. However, LSD, psilocybin and other psychedelics are not physiologically addictive. Many people who use psychedelics are not looking to be cured, but instead seek help making sense of their trips, which can sometimes fundamentally challenge how they see the world. “Many addiction treatment centres require the new patient to immediately establish abstinence as a requirement of starting treatment,” says Jeffrey Guss at the New York University School of Medicine. “While this may be the optimal path, some patients are just not ready to stop using completely, but are willing to begin a conversation about their concerns and worries about their use.” Staff working at the sanctuary will include a doctor, 11 clinical psychologists, plus psychedelics researchers. It will offer support groups, workshops and training in meditation and yoga. Preliminary, unpublished research suggests that people who receive help from group therapy have improved levels of well-being, says Katherine MacLean of the Center for Optimal Living. But while some people may benefit from sharing their experiences, others risk experiencing more trauma by recalling them, says Elias Dakwar, a clinical psychologist at Columbia University’s Division on Substance Abuse. It’s important that the therapists who lead these group therapy sessions are properly trained and familiar with psychedelics, he says. MacLean says centre staff will work to understand which people will and won’t benefit from group therapy. The centre will also look into the longer-term effects on people who have used ibogaine and ayahuasca, two increasingly popular but little-studied hallucinogens. The psychedelic sanctuary will also try to help users integrate more positive feelings from their drug use into their wider lives. Psychedelics can help people feel more compassion for others, and closer to nature. Research is starting to show that, in some cases, psychedelic trips that are guided by a therapist may prove beneficial for relieving depression and anxiety. A recent psilocybin study found that this compound from magic mushrooms can help people with life-threatening cancer face death.
From the Article: ‘Psychedelic sanctuary’ will help drug users get over bad trips
Published by: New Scientist
Original Link: https://www.newscientist.com/article/2116618-psychedelic-sanctuary-will-help-drug-users-get-over-bad-trips/
Artwork Fair Use: By Tony Alter from Newport News, USA (Sacred Heart With The Eye of Providence) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
"If compassion for the suffering of the patients fails to overcome the taboo, then perhaps financial advantage to Health Services will. The evidence is building up that more can be achieved in one session with these compounds than through years of psychotherapy."
Research currently underway includes an investigation into whether psychedelics can treat nicotine addiction, and promoting neurogenesis to aid those with Alzheimer’s. “Psychedelics seem able to shake this rigidity and reset the connections into more positive patterns of thought and behaviour,” suggested Feilding. While she understands that people are afraid of drugs and admits they can be misused and cause harm - taken incorrectly psychedelics can trigger mental illnesses and recurring hallucinations - she believes it is wrong to prohibit them "because when there is a desire, there will always be a way.” Instead, she backs strict regulation and a “common-sense” approach....“We need to change their classification so that scientific research can be carried on without amazing and vastly expensive obstacles, and so that physicians can prescribe them where appropriate.”,,,,"We have also reached a tipping point as to how psychedelics are reported in the media. The stigma surrounding the subject is falling away, and a serious conversation about psychedelics is no longer completely taboo. The future is bright, if only we allow it to happen."
From the Article: Why 2016 was a positive year for psychedelic drugs being used as medicine
Published by: Independent
Original Link: http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/psychadelic-drugs-medicinal-uses-2016-laws-policy-research-think-tank-amanda-feilding-beckley-a7472566.html
Artwork Fair Use: By Alex Proimos from Sydney, Australia (The Hand) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
"Investing in psychedelic medicine thus seems a no-brainer...it may be too much to expect ‘shroom bonds to catch on in the next 12 months. But after psychedelic medicine’s fraught trip to scientific rehabilitation, an alternative reality is now here...the cost of mental illness globally was as much as $2.5 trillion in 2010 and could more than double by 2030, reckons the World Economic Forum. Using those numbers, medical journal the Lancet has argued that investments in mental-health treatment have high returns. If $10 billion were invested every year from now until 2030, the net present value of enhanced economic productivity might be $400 billion.”
Despite its status as a controlled substance, psilocybin has started going into traditional late-stage pharmaceutical development. International trials are slated for the Netherlands, Norway and the United Kingdom over the next two years – and could be extended to other countries. Commercialising psilocybin could be knotty. Innovative financial solutions will probably be required to fund the costs of specialist training for supervisors and the production of pharmaceutical-grade quality. It may be too much to expect ‘shroom bonds to catch on in the next 12 months. But after psychedelic medicine’s fraught trip to scientific rehabilitation, an alternative reality is now here.
From the Article: Psychedelic drugs enlighten $2.5 trillion problem
Published by: BreakingViews
Original Link: https://www.breakingviews.com/considered-view/psychedelic-drugs-enlighten-2-5-trillion-problem/
Artwork Fair Use: By Rick Obst from Eugene, United States (Pioneer Father Statue, University of Oregon) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
"...somewhere between This Is Your Brain on Drugs and legal marijuana, the narrative on psychedelics got flipped on its head. Instead of being a middle finger to an orderly society, as they were in the sixties, psychedelics have become this generation’s silver bullet of mental health and mindfulness."
After Timothy Leary was fired from Harvard in 1963 for his psilocybin research, and especially after the CSA was enacted, psychedelics became a third rail in academic research. “In addition to the failure to get institutional approval or FDA approval, the ability to get any funding also dried up completely,” says Griffiths, who received approval for his first psilocybin study in 1999. “It was thought culturally to be too dangerous.”... What’s changed, in part, is a strange symbiosis between academic and recreational use—there now exist enough well-heeled people who have had transformative experiences with psychedelics (and private groups that see the promise of medical benefits) to bankroll research. These studies, in turn, give psychedelics the imprimatur of safety. But Griffiths cautions that psilocybin can be hazardous to certain people, like those with family histories of mental illness, and he advises against taking mushrooms outside of a controlled setting. “There are dangers,” he says, “and we certainly don’t want to be encouraging people who shouldn’t take these compounds.”...Extremely few of the more than 250 volunteers at Johns Hopkins have had serious adverse effects after oral doses of psilocybin. About a third did have bad trips. And in a separate Internet survey Griffiths conducted last year, 1,993 people said they’d had bad trips after taking a median dose of four grams. “Of the 1,993 respondents,” the study found, “10.7 percent reported putting themselves or others at risk of physical harm, 2.6 percent reported behaving in a physically aggressive or violent manner toward themselves or others, and 2.7 percent reported getting help at a hospital or emergency department.”... In the case of ayahuasca, participants follow a cleansing protocol designed to mitigate bad trips, avoiding red meat, spicy and fermented foods, alcohol, sex, and especially other psychedelics, hard drugs, and SSRI-type antidepressants that can interact badly with the drug. Surprisingly, children in some South American communities may drink the brew, and pregnant women are not discouraged by many practitioners from taking part in ayahuasca ceremonies. In fact, there was a pregnant participant at one of the ceremonies I attended. (Western medicine hasn’t weighed in on the subject, though there are heated debates over it in Brazil.)...Mark Kleiman, a New York University professor of public policy who served as an expert witness in the Supreme Court case, thinks that religious exemptions for psychedelics could grow even more lenient. “The Johns Hopkins groups have shown that a fairly heavy dose of psilocybin with a little bit of spiritual preparation has a very high chance of leading to a full mystical experience, which is in some viewpoints the direct form of religious experience,” he says. “There’s an argument to be made that the freedom of religion should include the free practice of spirituality even outside of congregations.” The takeaway I got was that ayahuasca isn’t legal in the U.S. but it might as well be.
From the Article: Are Psychedelics the New Prozac?
Published by: Outside
Original Link: https://www.outsideonline.com/2143036/are-psychedelics-new-prozac
Artwork Fair Use: By Wiki user 843 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
"But if the concept is expanded to allow nonmedical users, then perhaps professionals who aren't doctors but are trained in guiding someone through a trip could take up the role. "I imagine someone who has training in managing that experience, and a license, and liability insurance, and a facility," Kleiman said."
Here's how it would work: A psychedelic user would go through some sort of preparation period to make sure she knows what she's getting into. Then she could make an appointment at a place offering these services. She would show up at this appointment, take the drug of her choice (or whatever the facility provides), and wait to allow it to kick in. As the trip occurs, a supervisor would watch over the user — not being too pushy, but making sure he's available to guide her through any rough spots. In some studies, doctors have also prepared certain activities — a soundtrack or food, for example — that may help set the right mood and setting for someone on psychedelics. Different places will likely experiment with different approaches, including how many people can participate at once and how a room should look. The most convincing idea so far is letting people take psychedelics in a controlled setting Kleiman also envisions a potential system in which people can eventually graduate to using the drug solo. "It's like Red Cross water safety instruction," he said. "You start out, you're a newbie. You don't go into the pool without a trained, certified person to watch you, guide you, and keep you safe. After a while, your teacher gives you a test to certify that you're safe to be in the water alone. And you might even get certified to become a trainer, so you can guide newbies yourself." If pulled off correctly, this would maximize the best possible outcomes and minimize the worst. Supervisors could help prevent accidents, and they could walk people through good and bad trips, letting users relax and get something meaningful out of the experience. Regulation and licensing will be crucial to getting the idea right There are risks to the controlled setting. If a supervisor is poorly trained or malicious, it could lead to a horrific trip that could actually worsen someone's mental state. This is why regulation and licensing will be crucial to getting the idea right.
From the Article: The most convincing argument for legalizing LSD, shrooms, and other psychedelics
Published by: Vox
Original Link: http://www.vox.com/2015/7/24/9027363/acid-lsd-psychedelic-drugs
Artwork Fair Use: By Yusuf 'Ali [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"What’s often overlooked is that ayahuasca powers an entire micro-tourism industry that has sprung up in the Amazon. Opportunistic shaman prey on naive Westerners for cash and compete with each other by sometimes using dangerous ingredients to create ever-stronger brews that will reel in customers that want more bang for their buck. People have died as a result. This isn’t magic, it’s capitalism at its crudest."
But what can you expect? The shadow of the War on Drugs creates a dank breeding ground for crooks and hacks. Legalization and regulation is the only sane answer. Moral puritanism costs lives. The point of this whole rant isn’t to try to put people off of ayahuasca or insult the people who worship it – not at all. Bruce thinks it certainly has its benefits and would recommend it to everyone. Bruce just thinks that there’s a lot of vested interests out there trying to sell easy answers to complex problems, and too few people scrutinizing their hyperbolic claims. Ayahuasca is almost certainly not going to magically make all of your problems go away. Neither are anti-depressants. Your psychiatrist is not your Fairy Godmother. We live in a transaction-oriented culture where we’re taught that if you buy this shoe you will feel cool. If you wear this perfume you will feel sexy. If you take Zoloft you will be fixed. Life is much more complicated than that. That’s what they won’t tell you, because how do you sell someone an easy solution to complication? This is something that needs to be shouted loudly, clearly and often. Some problems can’t be solved, only managed. And accepting that is often the first step in moving forward.
From the Article: Why Ayahuasca Is a New Age Spiritual Scam
Published by: Highsnobiety
Original Link: http://www.highsnobiety.com/2016/12/15/ayahuasca-ceremony-scam/
Artwork Fair Use: By Roosevelt Garcia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
"She fought less with her husband and reveled in the joy her children provided. She wasn’t as irritable and, perhaps most crucially, vastly more efficient: Even on days she felt cranky, she was “weirdly productive,” she jots down in her log. Most of her time was spent on this book. “Found myself so effortlessly in the flow that I didn’t even notice time passing,” she writes. “I see why people microdose as an alternative to Adderall.”
Waldman’s problems, including mood swings and anxiety, were relatively ordinary. But she worried that, as she headed into menopause, the hairline cracks in her emotional health threatened to disrupt her marriage and livelihood...Waldman insists her experiment was never about connecting to a higher power or undergoing a spiritual awakening. But she certainly has motivations beyond self-tinkering: She uses her experience as a neurotic, middle-aged mother of four to normalize drug use that would otherwise be stigmatized and to argue that substances such as LSD should be decriminalized and reframed in our culture. The delight of this book is good proof that she’s right.
From the Article: A productive person's guide to a little bit of LSD
Published by: Bloomberg
Original Link: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2016-12-14/a-productive-person-s-guide-to-a-little-bit-of-lsd
Artwork Fair Use: Wellcome Library, London
"The new guidelines decriminalize the possession of small amounts of Marijuana, reversing a long-standing previous policy. The new guidelines are based on the successful experience of Portugal and were presented by the Chief Scientist of the Drug Enforcement Authority, Dr. Yossi Harel-Fisch."
“I heard about his model from my colleagues in Portugal. We learned a lot from their experience, and we think that we should adopt it here in Israel,” Dr. Harel-Fisch told the committee. “Portugal has a population of 10 and a half million people, and during the 70’s, they experienced a wave of drug abuse. Their strategy was to deal with it as a public health issue and not a criminal issue,” he added. According to the new guidelines, marijuana will continue to be outlawed, but possession of up to 25 grams will not be handled as a criminal matter. Enforcement would only be in public places and not in private areas. Dr. Harel-Fisch pointed out that in Portugal currently, only 7% of the youth use cannabis, compared to 17% in neighboring Spain, where it is still classified as a crime. He also said that the number of youth moving from cannabis to harder drugs is minimal. The Chairman of the Drug Enforcement Authority, Eitan Gorny, endorsed the new guidelines, noting that “in light of developments in the world, we understand that the problem with cannabis use is a social and medical problem, and only peripherally a criminal issue.”
From the Article: The end of the era in cannabis prosecutions?
Published by: Arutz Sheva 7
Original Link: http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/221615
Artwork Fair Use: By Heinrich Füllmaurer - Scanned from: Das Kräuterbuch, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=751052
Ending journalism’s bad trip — why it’s important to communicate responsibly about the health effects of psychedelic drugs
"Kathlyn Stone, one of our associate editors and a former media relations manager for the American Academy of Neurology, emphasized that responsible reporting on psychedelics can influence public perceptions and help research on these substances move forward."
"Because substances like psilocybin mushrooms and cannabis are controlled substances and long associated with drug misuse, researchers have faced numerous restrictions on using them in controlled clinical trials to test their potential benefits,” she said. “The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 deemed these drugs as having ‘no currently accepted medical use.’ It’s only been very recently that researchers have seen an easing of restrictions – and as a result, trials are multiplying.” For that trend to continue, Stone added, communications officials and journalists would do well to strike a cautious tone in their writing. “Now that the door has opened once again to safety and efficacy clinical research of these substances, it’s important for public relations and news reporters alike to use the same responsible approach to the research as current investigators have done.” Psychiatrist Susan Molchan, who is typically unsparing in her assessment of how news organizations overstate study results, saw cause for optimism in these data and how they were presented. After reviewing the NYU news release she said: “Given people’s perpetual interest in mild-altering drugs, it’s good to see psilocybin being examined in well-done studies by reputable researchers and to have results reported in a balanced way. The drug looks like it may actually be helpful to a lot of people when used under medical supervision, and given it’s quick and long-lasting effects on mood, may teach us something about developing other drugs that may treat depression more quickly than treatments available today.”My own inner skeptic tells me that writers need to remain very cautious about the potential downsides of psychedelics, however. Taking people with severe anxiety and sending them on mind-bending hallucinatory trips? Maybe I’m wrong, but I just don’t think that journey is going to end well for some of them. Dr. Michael Bierer, whose clinical practice focuses on addiction, also expressed concern about over-interpreting the benefits seen in these studies. “In the context of bipartisan fatigue with the war on drugs, it’s now PC to entertain mind-bending drugs’ therapeutic potential,” he wrote to me after reviewing the LA Times story. “I worry, as with cannabis, that the public and patients are too hungry to credit these substances and others with healing powers. I do believe there is a real signal there–and the psilocybin papers are convincing– but the application of these drugs might need to be specific to be efficacious. For instance, the role of the guide/therapist in the use of psilocybin may be critically important.”
From the Article: Ending journalism’s bad trip — why it’s important to communicate responsibly about the health effects of psychedelic drugs
Published by: Health News Review
Original Link: http://www.healthnewsreview.org/2016/12/health-effects-of-psychedelic-drugs/
Artwork Fair Use: By Will Fisher from Richmond, VA, United States - The Mic Closet, CC BY-SA 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=38089103
"A new Museum of Cannabis opens in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo"
Aiming to exhibit different ways to use cannabis, celebrating the fact that the South American country was the first to regulate consumption, production and sales of the plant.
From the Article: Cannabis museum celebrates legal weed in Uruguay
Published by: AZ Central
Original Link: http://www.azcentral.com/videos/news/world/2016/12/10/cannabis-museum-celebrates-legal-weed-uruguay/95183172/
Artwork Fair Use: AndrewJGallacher [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
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Eugene Center for Ethnobotanical Studies (ECfES)
Developing & promoting ethnobotanical education opportunities.
Downtown Office / Mail : 44 West 7th Ave. Eugene, OR 97401
E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Phone: 541-654-7033
Developing & promoting ethnobotanical education opportunities.
Downtown Office / Mail : 44 West 7th Ave. Eugene, OR 97401
E-mail: email@example.com Phone: 541-654-7033
Disclaimer: ECfES.org does not encourage illegal activity. We encourage harm-reduction, education, & integration.