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First Three Participants Enroll in Study
of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for
Life-Threatening Illness Anxiety

 

Front page of San Francisco Chronicle
highlights MDMA therapy research
June 19, 2015

Dear friends and supporters,

The evidence is everywhere—clinical trials are generating vital data, study participants are sharing their stories, harm reduction is becoming increasingly accepted, and news and social media are helping replace fear with facts. That's why I'm truly excited to bring you the June 2015 edition of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Email Newsletter.


The San Francisco Chronicle reports on our new study in Marin, Calif. Pictured: Principal Investigator Dr. Phil Wolfson and co-therapist Julane Andries, LMFT.

Between May 29 and June 8, the first three participants were enrolled in our Marin, Calif., study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness. "I feel absolutely honored to be meeting and working with our first three participants," writes co-therapist Julane Andries. "As they share their stories, and the physical and emotional pain they have endured, I am most impressed with their drive to seek help to be free from the fear, the anxiety, and depression that can come as one lives with life-threatening illness."

On Sunday, May 24, the San Francisco Chronicle published a front-page article by journalist Don Lattin about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research. "It's a really interesting and a very powerful new approach," Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, told the Chronicle. "It's not just taking MDMA. It's taking it in the context of a treatment that involves improved insight and increased skills and using this in the broader context of psychotherapy." The Chronicle also ran a second story about retired Marine Nigel McCourry's recovery from PTSD after participating in our South Carolina study.

Read more in this edition of the MAPS Email Newsletter, including:

Stay connected with our fast-growing community by following MAPS on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and reddit. Plus, we're now on Tumblr, Pinterest, and Google+!

We are making incredible strides, and your support means everything. The day is getting closer when people suffering from a variety of mental health conditions will be able to benefit from safe, legal medical marijuana and psychedelic therapy, and the doors will also open for their broader uses for spirituality, creativity, and personal growth.

 
Always upward,

Brad Burge
MAPS Director of Communications and Marketing

 

MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated with Life-Threatening Illness

    1. Marin: First Three Participants Enrolled

Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy

    1. Boulder: 20th Subject Treated; Two More Subjects Enrolled
    2. Canada: Fifth Subject Enrolled

MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults

    1. Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults: Seventh Subject Treated; Eighth Subject Enrolled

Psychedelic Harm Reduction

    1. Zendo Project Report: Lightning in a Bottle 2015

Support MAPS

    1. May Giving Report: Your Gifts Exceed Expectations—Again!

Media

    1. San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, NBC, CBS, and more...

MAPS Store

    1. Modern Consciousness Research and the Understanding of Art, including the Visionary World of H.R. Giger by Stanislav Grof, M.D. AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER
    2. Organic Cotton MAPS T-Shirts BACK IN STOCK

Events

    1. Book Launch and Art Gallery with MAPS and Stan Grof: July 19, San Francisco
    2. Women's Visionary Congress: Rising from the Underground: June 19-21, 2015, Petaluma, CA
    3. Breaking Convention: July 10-12, 2015, University of Greenwich, UK
    4. Telluride Mushroom Festival: August 13-16, 2015, Telluride, CO
    5. Psychedelic Science 2017: April 20-24, 2017, Oakland, CA

More News

  1. IJTS Releases Special Issue on Ketamine Therapies
  2. Can DMT Extend Brain Activity During Clinical Death?

 


Don Lattin writes for the San Francisco Chronicle about our ongoing research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for U.S. veterans with PTSD, telling the story of how retired Marine Nigel McCourry recovered from PTSD after participating in our South Carolina study. Read more...

MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR ANXIETY ASSOCIATED WITH LIFE-THREATENING ILLNESS

1. Marin: First Three Participants Enrolled

On May 29, June 1, and June 8, 2015, the first three subjects were enrolled in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness. Led by Principal Investigator Dr. Phil Wolfson in Marin, Calif., this study will treat 18 subjects suffering from anxiety related to a life-threatening disease that is either ongoing or in remission with a possibility of recurrence. "I feel absolutely honored to be meeting and working with our first three participants," writes co-therapist Julane Andries, LMFT. "As they share their stories, and the physical and emotional pain they have endured, I am most impressed with their drive to seek help to be free from the fear, the anxiety, and depression that can come as one lives with life threatening illness." On Sunday, May 24, the San Francisco Chronicle published a front-page article by journalist Don Lattin about increasing public understanding of psychedelic therapy research. "It's a really interesting and a very powerful new approach," Dr. Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health, told the Chronicle. "It's not just taking MDMA. It's taking it in the context of a treatment that involves improved insight and increased skills and using this in the broader context of psychotherapy." Learn more...
$593,000 estimated study cost • $186,000 raised • $407,000 still needed

Learn how we're making psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines at maps.org.

TREATING PTSD WITH MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY


MAPS staff and researchers connect with psychiatric professionals at the American Psychiatric Association annual symposium in Toronto, Canada, in May 2015.

2. Boulder: 20th Subject Treated; Two More Subjects Enrolled

On May 8, 2015, the 20th subject was treated in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for subjects with PTSD from sexual assault, violent crime, war, natural disasters, or any other cause, taking place in Boulder, Colorado. The 21st subject was enrolled on May 6, and the 22nd subject on May 14. Since the study began, six subjects have left the study either by voluntarily withdrawing or due to the discovery of exclusionary psychiatric conditions after they were enrolled. Assuming that no more subjects dropout or are removed, we now expect to enroll a total of 29 subjects for 23 to complete the study. We expect the final subject to be treated in August 2015, and results prepared for publication in late 2016. Learn more...
$763,000 estimated study cost • $716,000 raised • $47,000 still needed


The Spring 2015 Special Edition MAPS Bulletin is now online, taking a fresh multidisciplinary look at current opportunities and challenges in psychedelic and medical marijuana policy.

Learn about our Funding Priorities.

3. Canada: Fifth Subject Enrolled

On June 10, 2015, the fifth subject was enrolled in our ongoing Canadian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Led by Principal Investigator Ingrid Pacey, M.D., in Vancouver, B.C., this Phase 2 study will treat up to 12 subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD from sexual assault, violent crime, military service, or any other cause. "Two subjects have completed treatment and two subjects are partially through their crossover treatments, with some of them experiencing clinically significant improvements," reports MAPS Clinical Research Scientist Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D. "The last two subjects are due to start their experimental sessions in the next two weeks. We are hopeful to have these last subjects complete through the primary endpoint by September 2015." MAPS Canada | Learn more...
$470,000 estimated study cost • $46,000 raised + $69,000 raised by partners • $355,000 still needed

MDMA-ASSISTED THERAPY FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY IN AUTISTIC ADULTS

4. Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults: Seventh Subject Treated; Eighth Subject Enrolled

On May 23, 2015, the seventh subject was treated in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in 12 adults on the autism spectrum in Los Angeles, Calif. The eighth subject was enrolled on June 9. This study is exploring whether MDMA combined with therapy can enhance functional skills and quality of life in autistic adults with social anxiety. In addition to collecting data on the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy for reducing social anxiety in these subjects, researchers at Stanford University will also analyze blood plasma concentrations of several hormones (oxytocin, vasopressin, and cortisol) hypothesized to be involved in the therapeutic effectiveness of MDMA when combined with therapy. MDMA-autism.org | Learn more...
$336,000 estimated study cost • $1,000 raised + $15,000 raised by partners • $320,000 still needed

Learn about current and upcoming research at maps.org.

PSYCHEDELIC HARM REDUCTION

5. Zendo Project Report: Lightning in a Bottle 2015


Zendo Project staff and volunteers provided psychedelic harm reduction services at Lightning in a Bottle from May 21-25.

From May 21-25, 2015, 40 Zendo Project volunteers returned to Bradley, Calif., to provide psychedelic harm reduction services at the Lightning in a Bottle festival. Zendo staff and volunteers worked alongside medical staff (RGX Medical), DanceSafe, Lightning in a Bottle Rangers, and High Rock Security. On May 22, Zendo Project Director Linnae Ponté, Shannon Clare of MAPS, and volunteer Erica Siegal also led a public training on the principles of psychedelic harm reduction, including techniques, volunteer self-care, and integration support. Over the course of the five-day event, the Zendo's trained volunteers donated approximately 900 hours to provide compassionate peer-to-peer support to 62 individuals having a difficult or overwhelming psychedelic experience or needing other psychological support. "It's our hope and dream that one day, psychedelic first aid will be an integral and required part of festival safety infrastructure," says Zendo Project Director Linnae Ponté. "It is a pleasure to work with LIB festival organizers and forerunners of the psychedelic harm reduction movement to demonstrate how we can reduce the number of drug-related hospitalizations and arrests, and help keep event attendees safe." The Zendo Project was also featured in the article "This Music Festival Knows It Can't Stop People From Doing Drugs, So It's Trying To Keep Them Safe Instead" (The Huffington Post, May 20), and in a welcome blog post from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA): "Concerts and Drugs: Is There a Way to Reduce the Dangers?" (June 9). Learn more...

Help expand the Zendo Project—donate and share our Indiegogo campaign now through July 23! zendoproject.org

Learn about including MAPS in your will or trust.

SUPPORT MAPS

6. May Giving Report: Your Gifts Exceed Expectations—Again!

In May 2015, 223 donors gave $574,396 to support our mission. A special thank you goes to The Libra Foundation for a $400,000 grant to support our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder, Colorado; we would not have come so far without their consistent and significant support. We also thank Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, a progressive company co-led by David and Mike Bronner (David also serves on the MAPS Board of Directors) for their unrestricted contribution of $200,000. We thank George Goldsmith & Katya Malievskaia who gave $25,000 through their fund at Fidelity Charitable. Our gratitude goes to MAPS Board member Robert Barnhart for his $10,337 gift; to Sir Ivan and The Peaceman Foundation, who contributed $6,000; and to an anonymous donor for their $3,000 donation for MDMA drug development. Thank you to Paul Eastman who generously gave $2,723 (his second gift this fiscal year), and to Joakim Arfvidsson, William Harrison, Dan Mottsman, and Sahajia Sarkisian who each gave $1,000. Additionally, 302 donors gave under $1,000; 101 of you contributed through our Silicon Valley Gives Campaign, helping raise visibility in Silicon Valley for psychedelic science and triggering a $1,000 prize from Silver Spring Networks, plus a $5,000 match from the Enabling Potential Fund. For a complete list of donors, see our Annual Report in the Winter 2014 MAPS Bulletin.

We also had significant payments on pledges last month. Dr. Richard Rockefeller's family decided to honor Richard after his tragic death in an airplane accident last year, by donating the entire remaining amount of his $800,000 pledge in a single gift rather than over the next four years. Our love and appreciation goes to this very special and loving family. We also received the final payment of $81,600 from the bequest of former Board member Ashawna Hailey; our warm gratitude goes to Ashawna's brother Kim for executing the trust and stewarding the funds to MAPS—we will use it wisely! We also express our appreciation to Tripp Keber and Dixie Brands, Inc., for completing a $15,000 pledge this month for our marijuana research, and for continuing to advocate on our behalf in the marijuana industry.

Help us make psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines—donate today!

MEDIA

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

7. San Francisco Chronicle, NPR, NBC, CBS, and more...

FEATURED San Francisco Chronicle: Ecstasy Therapy Approved for Trial in Marin County | view
Don Lattin | May 24, 2015

FEATURED San Francisco Chronicle: Ex-Marine Sees Dramatic Drop in Symptoms After Party Drug-Therapy | view
Don Lattin | May 24, 2015

FEATURED NPR (KQED): FDA Approves Ecstasy-Assisted Psychotherapy in Marin County | view
Michael Krasny | May 28, 2015

NBC Bay Area: FDA Approves Experiment to Allow Bay Area Doctor to Use Ecstasy to Treat Patients | view
Terry McSweeney | May 28, 2015

CBS San Francisco: Feds Approve Ecstasy Therapy Study In Marin County | view
May 26, 2015

Boston.com: From Street Drug to Salvation? Research Suggests Therapeutic Benefits of Party Drug | view
Lara Salahi | June 17, 2015

Reuters: California Scientists Test Ecstasy as Anxiety-Reducer for Gravely Ill | view
Emmett Berg | May 27, 2015

Mic: How MDMA Could Piece Back Together Lives Shattered in Iraq | view
Tom McKay | June 10, 2015

The Tink Tink Club Podcast: Interview with Brad Burge of MAPS | view
June 3, 2015

FOX 10 Phoenix: Scottsdale Doctor Seeks Veterans for PTSD Medical Marijuana Study | view
Michael Edgecomb | June 9, 2015

NPR (KJZZ): Ex-UA Researcher Studying Marijuana as Treatment for PTSD | view
Steve Goldstein | June 10, 2015

Explore MAPS in the Media for more psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.

MAPS Store

8. Modern Consciousness Research and the Understanding of Art, including the Visionary World of H.R. Giger by Stanislav Grof, M.D.

NOW AVAILABLE FOR PRE-ORDER

200 pages | Published by MAPS

"Stan Grof, one of the consciousness pioneers of the 20th and 21st century, has been on the forefront of understanding the importance of art in our human evolution toward a more enlightened species. In his unparalleled work, he's created techniques of transforming the shadows into the light, and pointed to art as one the greatest expressions of these alchemical processes."—Martina Hoffmann, visionary artist

Release Date: July 19, 2015

$29.95 | Pre-order your copy now

PLUS: Join us for the official book launch and art gallery with Stanislav Grof and Rick Doblin on July 19 at the Bently Reserve in San Francisco.

9. Organic Cotton MAPS T-Shirts

BACK IN STOCK


These 100% organic cotton unisex tees are screen-printed by hand in Santa Cruz, Calif., by local artist Clay Chollar. Available in dark blue in limited sizes and quantities.

These are selling out faster than we can keep them in stock!


$30 | Now available

EVENTS

10. Book Launch and Art Gallery: The Visionary World of H.R. Giger with Stan Grof: July 19, San Francisco

MAPS invites you to a reception, book launch, presentations, book signing, and psychedelic art gallery at the famous Bently Reserve in San Francisco, Calif., on July 19, 2015. This is the official book release of Modern Consciousness Research and the Understanding of Art, including The Visionary World of H.R. Giger by Stanislav Grof, M.D., the new MAPS-published book exploring visionary art and the science of consciousness. Pre-order the book here. An intimate community reception will give you an opportunity to connect with Stan Grof and Rick Doblin and is open to everyone registering at the "Bon Vivant" level. Buy tickets now...

11. Women's Visionary Congress: Rising from the Underground: June 19-21, 2015, Petaluma, CA

The Women's Visionary Council will hold its 9th annual Women's Visionary Congress from June 19- 21, 2015 at the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) Earthrise Retreat Center in Petaluma, CA. The gathering will include presentations from visionary researchers, healers, activists, and artists from the U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The Women's Congress welcomes students and is open to people of all genders.Register...

12. Breaking Convention: July 10-12, 2015, University of Greenwich, UK

Breaking Convention is a multidisciplinary conference on psychedelic consciousness, featuring more than 130 presenters from around the world. Co-sponsored by MAPS, the 3rd Breaking Convention will be held at the University of Greenwich on July 10-12, 2015. Register...

13. Telluride Mushroom Festival: August 13-16, 2015, Telluride, CO

The Telluride Mushroom Festival celebrates all aspects of fungi, focusing equal effort on foraging and the gourmet aspects of mycology, along with cultivation, mycoremediation, and other psychoactives. Tickets available now...

Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out our Student Resources page!

14. SAVE THE DATE Psychedelic Science 2017: April 19-24, 2017, Oakland, CA

Mark your calendars—it's official! Psychedelic Science is returning to the San Francisco Bay Area. The conference will return to the Oakland Marriott City Center in California from April 19-24, 2017. The conference will feature the latest findings in the psychedelic research community and is expected to sell out early. We are incredibly excited to start coordinating this monumental event. We will announce ticket sales, as well as opportunities to participate, closer to the date. For past conference information, speaker videos, and more from Psychedelic Science 2013, visit psychedelicscience.org.


MAPS is proud to be part of Participation Row at all five Grateful Dead Fare Thee Well 50th Anniversary shows in Santa Clara and Chicago. Read Rick Doblin's HeadCount interview about psychedelic science and the Grateful Dead (June 18).

MORE NEWS

15. IJTS Releases Special Issue on Ketamine Therapies

The current issue of the International Journal of Transpersonal Studies features a special section on ketamine-assisted therapy and psychotherapy, co-edited by Glenn Hartelius, Ph.D., and MAPS-sponsored researcher Philip Wolfson, M.D. An expanded version of the issue will be published later this year by MAPS as The Ketamine Papers. "With the help of Dr. Philip Wolfson, a leading expert in ketamine-assisted psychotherapy and psychedelic therapies in general, we have brought together what is the most comprehensive set of papers on this approach to treatment-resistant depression that exists anywhere in the professional literature," writes IJTS editor Glenn Hartelius. Learn more...

16. Can DMT Extend Brain Activity During Clinical Death?

A group of Hungarian researchers has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for a new study investigating whether the potent psychedelic dimethyltryptamine (DMT) can help extend the life of the brain during clinical death. This will be a preliminary study investigating the underlying pharmacology of DMT's mechanism of action which could create an evidence base for future studies. Learn more...