East Bay Express discusses research presented at Psychedelic Science 2013 by Yale associate professor Andrew Sewell indicating that medical marijuana may provide benefits to people undergoing PTSD treatment. Sewell’s study focuses primarily on a PTSD treatment method known as exposure therapy, and his research shows that adding marijuana treatments can expedite the process by increasing extinction learning.
The official journal of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy explores how current psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy research is providing innovative treatment methods for assisting people suffering from serious mental health conditions. The potential benefits of LSD-assisted therapy for end-of-life anxiety and MDMA-assisted treatments for PTSD and social anxiety are detailed, providing an inspiring overview of new ways to efficiently help people.
Psych Central details how recent scientific research into psychedelic drugs including LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin is providing innovative treatment methods that may potentially benefit serious mental health conditions such as depression, anxiety, and PTSD.
Think Progress reports about the results from a new study conducted at New York University measuring the connection between the number of cannabinoid receptors in the brain and the effects of PTSD while highlighting other recent research. The article also details the government interference that is preventing scientists from accessing the legal supply of marijuana to be used for research purposes.
Brad Burge of MAPS is interviewed on the Burt Cohen Show about the success of Psychedelic Science 2013, describing what happened when almost 2,000 attendees gathered together to learn about psychedelic research from over 100 speakers. Burge explains the process of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research in detail while also covering other successful psychedelic research currently taking place around the world.
SeekersWay interviews MAPS Director of Communication Brad Burge in Oakland at Psychedelic Science 2013, focusing on the success of the event, the connection between psychedelics and spirituality, and how new psychedelic research is providing innovative treatment methods for a variety of serious medical conditions.
French magazine Les In Rocks covers the success of MAPS’ research into treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Researcher Michael Mithoefer speaks about his experience conducting studies using MDMA as well as his expectations for the future of psychedelic research.
Metro News details how scientists are researching drugs including LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA as potential treatment methods for a variety of mental health conditions including addiction, PTSD, depression, anxiety, and more.
KNAU Arizona Public Radio reports on a new law allowing medical marijuana research to be conducted on university campuses in Arizona. MAPS’ Principal Investigator for medical marijuana research, Dr. Sue Sisley explains, “I think that’s the real purpose of a public university, to be able to examine subjects that are hard or controversial or complex in an environment that isn’t plagued by politics.” Sisley is looking to study the effects of medical marijuana for veterans with treatment-resistant PTSD and she has already begun to receive approval from necessary entities.
International Center for Ethnobotanical Research & Service (ICEERS) reviews their experience of attending Psychedelic Science 2013, providing recaps of presentations, workshops, key events, and much more.
The Yorker reports on the political climate in the United Kingdom that surrounds Professor David Nutt’s proposal to research the medical potential of psilocybin mushrooms. Author Simon Lillistone presents an overview of current psychedelic research, detailing how conditions including PTSD, depression, and anxiety may benefit from further studies.
Dr. Sue Sisley tells Medical Marijuana 411 about why she believes medical marijuana can help people suffering from PTSD, and how NIDA and the DEA are preventing clinical research into the healing potential of marijuana.
Greg Miller of Wired interviews MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin about his recent visits to the Pentagon to discuss treating PTSD in veterans with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with senior military officials. Doblin also discusses the success of the Psychedelic Science 2013 conference and events, explains how MDMA-assisted psychotherapy works, and shares his vision for the future of psychedelic medicine.
Sofia University hosts a live discussion between psychedelic researcher James Fadiman, Ph.D., and Brad Burge of MAPS about the potential for psychedelics to be used as tools for healing, growth, and discovery.
Irish Examiner reports about current research into psychedelics and marijuana, sharing a list of medical conditions benefiting from these scientific studies. The article goes on to examines the scientific and political landscape surrounding current and future research.
Vice conducts a series of spontaneous interviews with people on the streets of London with the aim of deducing whether or not the general public is open to the idea of using MDMA as an adjunct to therapy.
Right Side News writes about the current psychedelic research movement that is generating new treatment methods for a variety of medical treatments. The article highlights psychedelic research and educational initiatives being promoted by MAPS.
Vice examines the merits of using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD by summarizing past, current, and upcoming research. The article dedicates much of its length to the imminent research that will take place in Canada, noting that the necessary MDMA to be used in the study has been exported from Switzerland to Canada.
Healthline reports on a new study of psychedelic usage among US citizens. The study authors estimate that 32 million people in the U.S. have taken a psychedelic such as LSD, psilocybin, or mescaline, noting that men aged 30-34 show the highest level of exposure to psychedelics.
Reason shares the groundbreaking success of Psychedelic Science 2013, sharing information about current psychedelic research initiatives aiming to create new treatment methods for a variety of medical conditions.
Wired Magazine attends Psychedelic Science 2013 and shares how scientists and doctors around the world have “rekindled the scientific study of psychedelics.” Greg Miller’s article takes the science seriously while acknowledging that it isn’t science as usual but rather an exciting new field with impacts in neuroscience research as well as technology and medicine.
Motherboard writes about the recent visit to the Pentagon of MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin, PhD, to discuss MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research and encourage support for the studies. Article author Brian Anderson explains, “It’s a fool’s errand to say that the US military entertaining the idea of working with a reknowned psychedelics research group isn’t a sign that our notions of both war and therapeutic (and illicit) drugs aren’t changing, and quick.”
Courthouse News Service details a federal court’s decision to side with the Drug Enforcement Agency in a case revolving around the regulation of research-quality marijuana. Professor Lyle Craker has been fighting for 12 years to end the NIDA monopoly on marijuana for research in an attempt to help people suffering from serious medical conditions.
CBC interviews ayahuasca researcher Gerald Thomas about his recently completed Canadian MAPS-sponsored study of ayahuasca. Thomas educates the CBC audience about the benefits of ayahuasca, sharing early reactions from his study.
AlterNet reviews Psychedelic Science 2013, detailing the documented benefits that psychedelic research is providing. While explaining current research initiatives, the review also notes the large presence of ayahuasca researchers, appreciates the friendly community, and details future plans for studies.
Drug Truth Network interviews MAPS Director of Communications Brad Burge in a podcast focusing on Psychedelic Science 2013. Burge underscores the success of the conference while speaking about conference events and the large turnout of researchers and attendees interested in the science surrounding psychedelic substances.
The Daily Californian at UC Berkeley reviews of Psychedelic Science 2013, summarizing lectures and new information about clinical studies into psychedelics and more. The article notes the success of this wave of research, offering optimism for further studies.
Medical Daily shares the news that MAPS is bringing research into treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to Canada. Nine grams of MDMA have been exported to Canada from Switzerland, marking a significant step forward in our international effort to help people suffering from PTSD.
Backbencher provides an extensive overview of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, highlighting the innovative treatment method as a tool to help people overcome treatment-resistant PTSD. The article takes a look at possibilities for future research while listing locations around the world where MDMA research continues.
Popular Science explores common misconceptions and scientific research into MDMA. The article provides quotes from MAPS Clinical Investigator Michael Mithoefer, who explains that drugs bought and sold illegally often contain added components that can dramatically increase their risk.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reports on the current state of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatments in response to a new $9 million study of PTSD to be conducted in Cincinnati. The article highlights MAPS’ research efforts, detailing how treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can help people overcome treatment resistant PTSD.
Stop the Drug War reports on Psychedelic Science 2013, sharing information from a variety of lectures on using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat PTSD. The article features quotes from researchers and veterans, providing an optimistic outlook for the future of treating PTSD.
UOL provides coverage of Psychedelic Science 2013 by highlighting the event’s diversity in subject matter and attendees. The article also provides an overview of the large ayahuasca presence, sharing information about the psychedelic’s popularity in research and culture.
The Beckley Foundation Founder Amanda Feilding details the history of Bicycle Day, the anniversary of the first intentional LSD experience. Feilding provides insight into the resurgence of psychedelic research, remarking on the success of research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD and other initiatives.
CBC News announces that nine grams of MDMA have been exported to Canada from Switzerland to be used in our upcoming study of using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD, led by psychologist Andrew Feldmar.
Southern California Public Radio explores Psychedelic Science 2013. Scientists are presenting massive amounts of research results indicating that psychedelics such as LSD, MDMA, psilocybin, ayahuasca, and more can provide benefits to people suffering from serious medical conditions.
The National Post reviews The Substance, a new documentary about the history of LSD. The article highlights the therapeutic potential of LSD-assisted psychotherapy while also covering psychedelic research into using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treating PTSD.
Popular Science reports on the state of medical marijuana research, noting that studies are being blocked by governmental agencies such as the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Drug Enforcement Agency. After an unsuccessful twelve-year struggle in court with these agencies, Professor Lyle Craker explains, “If you’re going to run a trial to show this is going to have positive effects, they’re essentially not going to allow it.”
Stop the Drug War takes a critical look at the US First Circuit Court of Appeals’ ruling against Prof. Lyle Craker’s lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Agency for denying him a license to grow marijuana for research. This decision comes twelve years after Prof. Craker decided to take action against the anti-science policies that prevent federally sanctioned studies of the medical benefits of marijuana.
Good Times Weekly reports on the Ayahuasca Track at Psychedelic Science 2013, calling it the largest gathering of ayahuasca researchers ever. In addition to the healing potential of ayahuasca, the article notes how research into LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin is moving forward with success.
On April 15, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit rejected University of Massachusetts-Amherst Prof. Lyle Craker’s lawsuit against the Drug Enforcement Administration for denying him a license to grow marijuana for privately funded medical research. With its decision, the Court has ensured that the debate over the medical use of marijuana will continue to take place through political battles rather than through scientific research.
Bloomberg News provides a comprehensive overview of how medical marijuana research is facing significant government-imposed obstacles. The National Institute of Drug Abuse’s refusal to provide marijuana necessary is impeding comprehensive study proposals. Bob Melamede, CEO of Cannabis Science Inc., elaborates, “If you want to run a study to show it cures cancer, they will not provide you with marijuana.”
Reality Sandwich contributor Nese Devenot interviews MAPS Director of Communications Brad Burge about Psychedelic Science 2013, touching upon the diversity of the event, attendance milestones, and how the public perception of psychedelics is continuing to become more accepting.
Medical Daily reports on the obstacles preventing further psilocybin research from taking place in the United Kingdom. Professor David Nutt’s previous research indicated that psilocybin could be used to help treat depression, though his new proposal for additional studies is currently stuck in a standstill.
New York Magazine explores the current state of psychedelics, highlighting the therapeutic and medical potential of psychedelics while also exploring the emergence of new synthetic drugs. The article showcases current research, providing readers with information about how scientists are creating innovative treatment methods for medical conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, and more.
Reuters exposes Professor David Nutt’s successful research into using psilocybin as a treatment method for depression. Further research is being prevented by government-imposed obstacles. Nutt explains his current mission, “What we are trying to do is to tap into the reservoir of under-researched illegal drugs to see if we can find new and beneficial uses for them in people whose lives are often severely affected by illnesses such as depression.”
The Lawrentian reports on how a discussion about the benefits of treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy was hosted at Lawrence University. The conversation also touched upon the use of psychedelics for creativity and problem solving, and was led by MAPS Executive and Clinical Research Assistant Linnae Ponté, featuring an appearance from MAPS Founder Rick Doblin via video teleconference.
The Daily Campus looks at the current state of drug research while comparing the medical and recreational uses of various drugs. The article highlights marijuana’s anticancer properties, MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treating PTSD, and more.
Columbia University’s student-run online magazine reviews an event where researchers came together to thoroughly discuss MDMA, from its increasing prevalence in popular culture to its potential to treat serious conditions such as PTSD. The event was organized by Columbia’s Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter and featured panelists Allison Bajger, a doctoral candidate at Columbia, Ingmar Gorman, a doctoral candidate at the New School, Brittany Lewis of Global Grind, and Dr. Lewis-McCoy from CUNY’s City College.
Kamloops News reports on the recent approval of MAPS’ upcoming Canadian study focusing on treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. After the long review process, Health Canada is giving us permission to import 9 grams of MDMA to be used in the study.
Sam Woolfe of Backbencher reports on the current state of psychedelic-assisted therapy, highlighting MAPS in addition to Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris’ psilocybin and LSD research. The article presents the idea of a future where doctors and therapists will efficiently use psychedelic-assisted therapy to benefit their patients.
Michelle Aldrich writes for Alternet about how people diagnosed with cancer can benefit from medical marijuana. She mentions how MAPS Founder Rick Doblin’s recommendation of a specific therapist helped her healing process move in a much quicker pace.
The San Francisco Chronicle highlights Sofia University’s increasing popularity for students interested in careers in psychedelic research and medicine. Sofia University is hoping to attract new students to their unique programs by co-sponsoring Psychedelic Science 2013 and hosting an upcoming lecture focusing on similar subject matter featuring James Fadiman, Ph.D., and Brad Burge of MAPS.
Alternet reviews psychedelic researcher Thomas Roberts’ new book, The Psychedelic Future of the Mind, which explores current psychedelic studies and how future psychedelic research may move beyond a purely medical context. While summarizing the contents of the book, the author highlights efforts from MAPS, Johns Hopkins University, and more in their pursuit of validating the benefits of psychedelics through scientific research.
The Boston Globe provides a detailed account of medical marijuana in both scientific and legal contexts. Despite its Schedule I status, MAPS’ proposed medical marijuana research has received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Professor Lyle Craker won a 2009 Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) Administrative Law Judge hearing and is now suing the DEA for rejecting his application to start a farm to provide marijuana to privately-funded research. MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin is interviewed, speaking on how the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the DEA are preventing vital research from happening.
Dr. Richard Miller of Mind Body Health and Politics interviews MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin about his interest in psychedelics, the history and politics surrounding psychedelic research, and how studies conducted by MAPS are developing effective treatment methods for a variety of medical conditions.
Think Progress encapsulates comments made by theoretical physicist John H. Schwarz of the California Institute of Technology regarding the medical marijuana research blockade enforced by NIDA and the DEA. Schwarz posits, “Imagine what would happen to the environment if we gave coal and oil companies the power to block any climate research they didn’t like.”
The Daily Chronic reports on the current state of medical marijuana research in Arizona. A new bill that will end the ban on researching medical marijuana at Arizona colleges is advancing through legislature. After receiving approval from the Food and Drug Administration and the University of Arizona’s Institutional Review Board, Dr. Sue Sisley’s proposed research into the benefits of medical marijuana for treating PTSD is facing further obstacles as research resistance is maintained by the Drug Enforcement Agency and the National Institute of Drug Abuse.
Boston’s NPR News Station WBUR 90.9 FM interviews Rick Doblin, Ph.D., of MAPS and Professor Lyle Craker about the federal government’s medical marijuana blockade and how it is affecting proposed scientific research.
AZ Central explains how the Senate Health and Human Services committee of Arizona have approved a bill that would allow medical marijuana research to be conducted at university and college campuses in Arizona. Dr. Sue Sisley aims to conduct research at the University of Arizona, and has proposed a study into the potential benefits of using medical marijuana to treat PTSD. The study has received approval from all required entities except for the Drug Enforcement Agency and the National Institute of Drug Abuse, who continue to block the research.
AirTalk, a KPCC Southern California Public Radio program, educates their audience about how research into the benefits of psychedelics is creating new, effective treatment methods for a variety of serious medical conditions. KPCC interviews researchers Anthony P. Bossis, Ph.D. and Charles Grob, M.D. about the resurgence of studying psychedelics.
Herbal Gram Magazine provides a sweeping overview of Israel’s successful research into the benefits of medical marijuana, which has started a nationwide change in health care. MAPS Founder & Executive Director Rick Doblin explains, “We have insurance companies deciding it is a smart investment to cover medical marijuana. Israel is the only place I know of where that happens.”
ABC News Charleston provides coverage of MAPS’ research MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD, featuring interviews with Clinical Investigator Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and Ret. Maj. Ricky Smith, a veteran who participated in the study.
MAPS Founder & Executive Director Rick Doblin responds to former DEA administrator Robert Bonner’s claims that “not a single scientifically valid study by a qualified researcher has ever been denied by the DEA or, for that matter, by the National Institute of Drug Abuse.”
The Atlantic interviews Oxford ethicist Brian Earp about his advocacy for using MDMA as a way to strengthen relationships. Earp specifically mentions treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as one of the other innovative uses of MDMA.
The Los Angeles Times offers an editorial about how the DEA and NIDA’s interference with medical marijuana research proposals is the cause of a recent ruling to keep the drug listed as Schedule I. Regarding the DEA’s actions, the article offers perspective; “For a muscular agency that combats vicious drug criminals, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration acts like a terrified and obstinate toddler when it comes to basic science. “
Policymic writes about how activists are working hard to get government-approved medical marijuana research to take place after a recent court ruling decided against rescheduling marijuana to acknowledge its medical benefits.
Americans for Safe Access issues a statement after a federal court rejects their lawsuit against the DEA to reschedule medical marijuana. Citing lack of scientific studies, clinical research into medical marijuana is more important than ever.
The Globe and Mail covers the recent resurgence of psychedelic research, detailing how new clinical studies are contributing to the development of new, innovative treatments for PTSD, addiction, depression, and more.
Jane’s Defence Weekly provides detailed coverage of our recently completed Swiss study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a PTSD treatment, highlighting the need for a new, effective treatment method to help veterans.
The Living Hero Radio Show showcases Trips Beyond Addiction, a new audio documentary focusing on how scientists are exploring psychedelics in the treatment of addiction, featuring interviews from Brad Burge of MAPS and other knowledgeable guests.
TruthOut takes a detailed look at posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), reviewing traditional treatments and exploring new, innovative treatment methods. The article highlights MAPS’ research proposal for treating PTSD with medical marijuana at the University of Arizona, as well as our promising studies using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD.
Dr. Sue Sisley’s proposal to conduct medical marijuana research at the University of Arizona meets legal resistance after receiving the necessary approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the university’s Institutional Review Board.
Don Lattin, author of Distilled Spirits and The Harvard Psychedelic Club, publishes an extensive report for Spirituality & Health Magazine on the recent wave of psychedelic research that is creating new, innovative treatment methods for medical conditions such as PTSD, addiction, anxiety, and more. International media coverage of psychedelic research is slowly increasing mainstream recognition of the need for research into substances such as LSD, MDMA, ayahuasca, and psilocybin. Neşe Devenot of Psychedemia notes, “You can talk about this now at the dinner table without coming across as some kind of fanatic.”
Subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder experienced clinically meaningful improvements and no evidence of harm after participating in a small Swiss study evaluating MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, according to a paper published yesterday in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
The National Post provides coverage of Health Canada’s decision to allow MDMA research to be conducted in Canada. Researchers Dr. Ingrid Pacey and Andrew Feldmár will import nine grams of MDMA from a Swiss laboratory in order to to conduct studies focusing on treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.
MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin offers his input in response to an article featured on The Guardian. While touching upon the author’s and commenters’ points, Rick provides clarification about our MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research.
The Guardian highlights scientific research results indicating that Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy can help participants overcome PTSD without causing memory impairment or proclivity to drug abuse. Read MAPS Founder Rick Doblin’s response to the article and its comments here.
Jacob Sullum of Reason corrects Kent Sepkowitz’s inaccurate claims about MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research from an article posted on The Daily Beast. Sullum provides the facts necessary to refute the unfounded claims, in addition to providing his own views on MDMA research. Read The Daily Beast’s orginal article and read MAPS Founder Rick Doblin’s response to the Daily Beast article.
MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin corrects The Daily Beast author Kent Sepkowitz’s inaccurate claims about research into treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy by providing factual, scientific information.
Kent Sepkowitz writes for The Daily Beast, incorrectly claiming that our completed pilot study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD did not reach statistical significance and accusing researchers of overstating the results. Read MAPS Founder Rick Doblin’s response here and Jacob Sullum of Reason’s coverage of the conflicting information here.
UPDATE: On January 7, 2013, Kent Sepkowitz posted an apology for misreading the study results. Read the update here.
Marine Corps Times writes about promising research into treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The article highlights current research and results, while mentioning upcoming research that will focus on veterans, police officers, and firefighters.
SF Gate writes about the legalization of marijuana, highlighting how a variety of organizations, including the Drug Policy Alliance, NORML, MAPS, High Times Magazine, and others are working toward changing how the public feels about marijuana through social campaigns, research initiatives, and educational efforts.
Medscape covers our research into treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, noting that the study helped 83% of participants overcome their previously treatment-resistant PTSD. The article goes on to talk about the future of the treatment, citing hopeful projections of future research.
Fierce Biotech, a biotechnology industry publication, reports on scientific research into the effects of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD, highlighting the new therapy as a promising alternative to traditional treatments.
Reality Sandwich contributor Ido Hartogsohn shares a recent interview with MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, where he speaks about how he became interested in researching psychedelics, how he believes MDMA research will pan out, how MAPS is participating in harm reduction, and much more.
The Raw Story covers Rachel Hope’s participation in our study of Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy, which provided her a long-lasting reduction to her PTSD symptoms. “I kept getting better.”
Reuters summarizes how scientific research into the medical potential of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can help people overcome treatment-resistant PTSD. The article includes insights from researchers, a PTSD expert, and a professor in psychiatry and neuroscience. “The taboos are lifting, and people are getting practical about science,” Dr. Michael Mithoefer said.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta of CNN interviews Rachel Hope about her experience as a participant in our MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research. “I had all this access to my mind and I could control where I was thinking and going and look at things differently.”
The Age reports the state of MDMA research, highlighting our recent study focusing on treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The article also details Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine (PRISM) and their efforts to conduct similar research in Australia.
After receiving over a thousand comments in response to their three-part series, CNN continues the discussion surrounding research into treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy by showcasing a selection of readers’ thoughts, reactions, comments, and opinions.
CNN completes their three-part series on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD by analyzing facts surrounding both PTSD and MDMA, in addition to detailing Rachel Hope’s experience during and after receiving the therapy.
Psychology Today offers an interpretation of our results into research focusing on treating PTSD in veterans, victims of sexual assault, first responders, and more. The experimental treatment uses MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a tool to help people overcome PTSD.
CNN continues with the second installment of their three-part series covering our MDMA research and further profiles Rachel Hope, a participant in an MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study who was able to overcome PTSD as a result. The article details how MDMA was originally created and how MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research came to be a reality.
CNN begins their three-part series focusing on treating posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy by offering an extensive overview of the research. Rachel Hope, a woman who previously suffered from PTSD, received the treatment in 2005 and shares thoughts about her experience.
The Raw Story examines statements made by MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., from a video podcast hosted by Alexander Ward. Doblin speaks about creating MAPS, researching MDMA, his ibogaine experience, and how psychedelics may hold hope for the future of medicine.
News.com.au provides an overview of MAPS’ recent research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD, in addition to covering upcoming research efforts from our Australia-based non-profit colleagues, PRISM (Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine).
Salem News writes about the use of medical marijuana and MDMA as treatments for PTSD. Noting recent research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment method for PTSD, an optimistic outlook for the future of medicine if projected.
The Independent covers recent research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD, citing long-term follow-up results that show the treatment’s benefits were maintained an average of 3 years later.
In response to an article criticizing our recent research into treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, Dr. Ben Sessa offers his comments on the article, providing detailed rebuttals to unfounded claims made by Mancunian Matters.
Alternet describes the results of MAPS’ long-term follow-up research into treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, highlighting that the 16 participants maintained improvements an average of 45 months after treatment.
The Psychiatric Times reviews Andrew Penn’s 2012 US Psychiatric & Mental Health Congress talk in which he educated the audience about a variety of drugs, including research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD. He highlighted that 83% of participants maintained improvements in PTSD an average of 3 years later.
Andrew Sullivan writes for The Daily Beast about how scientific research into psychedelic drugs, such as studying MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD, is diminishing the stigma surrounding psychedelics.
The Raw Story goes into great detail about research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD, detailing everything from the “therapeutic alliance” between the therapists and participant, to sharing encouraging results that show promise for future medical advancements.
Gather responds to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research results by offering some staggering statistics about how much of our population currently suffers from PTSD without hope for a working treatment.
Stars and Stripes offers a recap of results from our long-term follow-up research into treating posttraumatic stress disorder with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The article also highlights our initiative to research medical marijuana as a treatment method for people suffering from PTSD.
Z6 Mag posts a lot of information and videos revolving around our research into treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, ranging from CNN interviews, to the lead psychotherapist speaking at the San Francisco Veterans Affairs.
Military.com reports on the implications of our research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for veterans with PTSD. “Completing the studies necessary to make this treatment available will require increasing financial and political support from both within and outside the military,” said Brad Burge of MAPS. “We provide men and women in the armed forces with the most advanced tools of war. It’s time we gave them the most advanced tools of healing, too.”
People suffering from chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) experienced lasting benefits from MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, according to a new long-term follow-up study published online November 20 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.
The New York Times announces today’s publication of the paper describing the results of our long-term follow-up study, showing that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can have lasting benefits for people suffering from PTSD. The results were published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, indicating that 83% of participants did not qualify for PTSD two months after treatment, and on average, improvements were maintained an average of 3.8 years later.
The Yale Daily News interviews Dr. James Fadiman, Ph.D., author of The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide, about his experience researching LSD, how psychedelic drugs influenced social movements in the 1960’s, and the prospective future of prescription psychedelics.
The Gazette reports on requests from Colorado veterans suffering from PTSD to have access to medical marijuana. Amendment 64, which passed on November 6, now allows the legal use of marijuana statewide.
In response to the 2012 election, Truthout provides a full overview of state initiatives with the goal of changing medical marijuana policy. Opponents of medical marijuana suggest that more marijuana research should be conducted before making it more widely available, though the article details how some government agencies (like NIDA) are making scientific research almost impossible to accomplish.
The Spirit Plant Medicine Conference gathered scientists, scholars, and shamans to present and discuss the latest research results into naturally occurring psychedelic drugs, such as psilocybin, ayahuasca, and ibogaine.
Erik Davis writes for Aeon Magazine about progression in the field of medicine as a result of the current wave of psychedelic research. Scientists contributing to research have developed potential treatments for a variety of medical conditions, including cancer, anxiety, and depression.
Dr. John Schwarz writes for The Huffington Post Blog about how medical marijuana is still excluded from research despite President Obama’s memorandum that science would guide federal policy decisions. Dr. Sue Sisley received approval from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to conduct research into marijuana as a treatment for veterans suffering from PTSD, but the study was blocked when the National Institute of Drug Abuse (NIDA) refused to sell the marijuana necessary to conduct the study.
Research from around the world suggests psychedelic drugs can provide medical benefits for a variety of conditions, ranging from PTSD to cluster headaches. Highlighting studies from MAPS, the Beckley Foundation, and various academic institutions, this article is a comprehensive look into the current state of psychedelic research.
Psychedelic Drug Research Renaissance: A Comprehensive Review, is a new book by author David Jay Brown that summarizes 22 years of clinical research into the medical potential of psychedelics. Drugs such as LSD, MDMA, psilocybin, ayahuasca, and more have been shown to have medical benefits, and this book is a very detailed resource for these substances and their capability to heal.
Massachusetts voters prepare to vote on whether to allow medical marijuana for people suffering from PTSD, chronic pain, HIV/AIDS, leukemia, and other illnesses, while a lack of adequately controlled scientific studies is fueling disagreements between patients and policymakers over its safety and effectiveness. Meanwhile, the National Institute on Drug Abuse continues to block MAPS’ planned, FDA-approved study of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in U.S. veterans.
Reality Sandwich reports on Psychedemia, a conference focusing on integrating psychedelics and academics taking place September 27-30. The recap includes details about discussion panels that focused on scientific research into psilocybin, salvia, and more.
The second annual Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research is an event highlighting scientific studies into psychedelic drugs such as LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin. Stichting Open recently held the event in Amsterdam, and MAPS Clinical Research Specialist, Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., gave a presentation about research into treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and the exciting results that have followed.
The Santa Fe New Mexican covers the controversy following New Mexico’s potential decision to no longer allow PTSD patients to legally use medical marijuana to treat their symptoms. The article goes into great detail about past and upcoming medical marijuana research while explaining the political situation surrounding the drug and PTSD patients in the state.
Psychiatrist Ben Sessa, M.D., writes to The Telegraph to discuss the contributions made by Professor Andy Parrott about MDMA research on UK Channel 4’s “Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial.” For Dr. Sessa, there is already ample scientific evidence that the benefits of pure MDMA in controlled settings for therapeutic purposes outweighs the risks.
The Register-Guard writes about how the politics surrounding medical marijuana affect people living in Oregon and veterans suffering from PTSD. The article provides hope for the future of medical marijuana by mentioning MAPS’ marijuana research initiatives and lawsuit against the DEA.
The Daily Nexus writes about recent MDMA research that aired on a Channel 4 documentary in the United Kingdom. The article suggests that even though psychedelic drugs have a taboo surrounding them at times, scientific research into the medical benefits of these substances provides hope for our society.
Philly.com reviews Psychedemia, a conference aiming to integrate psychedelics with academics. The article highlights speaker Julie Holland and her talk about how marijuana and MDMA can alleviate symptoms of PTSD.
Vice writes about the success of Drugs Live, a documentary program showcasing MDMA research that was sponsored by United Kingdom television station Channel 4. Conducted by Professor David Nutt and Val Curran, the research focused on brain scans of over 20 volunteers that were situated in an fMRI machine. Nutt is using the research results to make a case for treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.
Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris and Dr. David Erritzoe of Imperial College detail their research into MDMA using brain-imaging technology and explain why research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for treating PTSD and other mental illnesses may be beneficial.
The Telegraph reviews the new MDMA research documentary “Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial” and its success in providing a scientific approach that does not glamorize drug use. The research aimed to measure brain activity in volunteers using fMRI machines, in addition to studying the potential of treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The study was funded by United Kingdom television station Channel 4 and conducted by Professors David Nutt and Val Curran.
In response to airing Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial, an MDMA research documentary, Channel 4 provides a summary of MDMA and all of its components. The article highlights the medical potential of the drug, citing the intention of treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.
The Fix summarizes Drugs Live: The Ectsasy Trial, a documentary highlighting MDMA research that was sponsored by UK television station Channel 4. The research used fMRI machines to study resting brain activity after taking MDMA and was conducted by Professors David Nutt and Val Curran.
Amanda Feilding, founder of The Beckley Foundation, writes for The Guardian about how recent research results indicate that MDMA may work as an alternative treatment method for depression and PTSD. Feilding’s article coincides with the launch of the MDMA research documentary, Drugs Live, which featured research conducted by Professor David Nutt.
The Guardian examines Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial, an MDMA research documentary funded by Channel 4. Conducted by Professors David Nutt and Val Curran, the research focused on resting brain activity from over 20 healthy volunteers while under the effects of MDMA. Featuring a live discussion from a variety of participants, the program covered both positive and negative aspects of the drug.
The Telegraph writes an in-depth article about the increasing merits of psychedelic research. Citing research conducted by organizations such as MAPS and The Beckley Foundation, the article makes a strong case for the potential of psychedelics as alternative treatment methods for ailments such as depression, cluster headaches, and PTSD.
The New Statesman writes about public perception of MDMA and how scientific research is providing an alternative, objective narrative that squanders untrue claims about the drug. Highlighting MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, the article suggests, “People who would benefit from this therapy are not raving, but drowning. It wouldn’t hurt anyone to throw them a lifeline.”
Author Lionel Shriver provides a wonderfully detailed report of her experience as a volunteer for Professor David Nutt’s MDMA research being funded by Channel 4. The research was filmed and will be presented on Sept. 26 and 27, 2012 on Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial.
The Sun writes about Phil Campion, a former Special Air Services member who volunteered to take part in Professor David Nutt’s MDMA research. As a veteran, Campion has seen other veterans suffering from PTSD, which is what spawned his decision to volunteer. Nutt’s research focuses on resting brain activity, though seeing how MDMA could help treat PTSD is also one of the study’s goals.
At Psychedelic Science 2013, the world’s leading psychedelic research institutes will gather researchers, therapists, students, and the intellectually curious over five days to share the latest research on MDMA, LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca, ibogaine, and more. The event will feature pre- and post-conference workshops, lectures, discussions, a sunset cruise over the San Francisco Bay, live performances, and much more!
The Daily Mail highlights a variety of prominent figures and their involvement in new MDMA research being funded by Channel 4. Most notably, the article focuses on a three of the research volunteers and their thoughts, such as author Lionel Shriver, former MP Evan Harris, and actor Keith Allen.
The Guardian’s Oliver Laughland interviews researcher David Nutt and health campaigner Julia Manning about Channel 4’s decision to fund and broadcast research on MDMA, and their discussion ranges from neuroscience to morality.
FactMag writes about a new MDMA research that will be presented in an upcoming documentary titled Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial. The study was funded by Channel 4 and conducted by Professor David Nutt, with the purpose to see how MDMA affects resting brains.
Graham Lawton discusses the controversy over Channel 4’s decision to broadcast MDMA research conducted by Professor David Nutt. Lawton was a volunteer in the study and suggests that more debates about MDMA’s place in science are necessary.
BBC News writes about Evan Harris, former Member of Parliament, and his decision to volunteer for Professor David Nutt’s research on MDMA’s affect on resting brains. The research was funded and filmed by Channel 4, in order to be presented in an upcoming special.
Michelle Sexton of Americans For Safe Access writes about the current state of marijuana in order to present a medical professional’s perspectives on research and the drug’s classification as Schedule I. The article highlights MAPS’ efforts to conduct research on smoked and/or vaporized marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in veterans of war.
Digital Journal writes about Professors Val Curran and David Nutt’s MDMA research that was funded by Channel 4. The scientific study will air alongside a debate on Sept. 26 and 27, 2012, on a program titled Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial.
The Belfast Telegraph reveals the identities of MDMA research participants in a new story about an upcoming televised study. The research used fMRI machines to analyze activity in resting brains and was funded by Channel 4. Professors David Nutt and Val Curran led the research and are hopeful that their study leads the way for more studies into the therapeutic use of MDMA, such as the treatment of PTSD.
The United Kingdom Huffington Post writes about Professor David Nutt’s new research aiming to see if MDMA can cure depression. The article highlights Evan Harris, a former Member of Parliament, who is just one of 26 diverse subjects in Nutt’s study. The research was funded by Channel 4, which allowed the research to be filmed to be presented in the upcoming special, Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial
io9 writes about the Channel 4-funded MDMA study being conducted by Professor David Nutt. The article highlights statements made by Graham Lawton, a reporter who volunteered to be a part of the research.
The Stranger writes about New Scientist reporter Graham Lawton, and his experience volunteering for Professor David Nutt’s scientific study on the effect of MDMA on resting brains. The study was filmed and will air on Channel 4 in a special titled Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial.The Stranger writes about New Scientist reporter Graham Lawton, and his experience volunteering for Professor David Nutt’s scientific study on the effect of MDMA on resting brains. The study was filmed and will air on Channel 4 in a special titled Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial.
Medical Daily educates their readers about the history of MDMA and its use in psychiatry. Citing Donna Kilgore’s successful MDMA psychotherapy with Michael Mithoefer, the article advocates for more research to be done on MDMA before it can be used widely in therapy. The article mentions current research on the effects of MDMA in resting brains, in addition to efforts to treat PTSD.
The Guardian dives into the history of MDMA research, focusing on David Nutt and Val Curran’s new study funded by Channel 4, a United Kingdom television station. The new research used fMRI machines to measure brain activity and was filmed to be shown alongside a debate on Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial, an upcoming Channel 4 special. MAPS phase 2 pilot study using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat war veterans suffering from PTSD is also highlighted.
Professor Andy Parrott is quoted in the article as an opponent of the televised research. His argument suggests that honest drug education should not be considered as a way to protect kids from the drug, but blocking scientific research into therapeutic applications is a viable alternative. Parrott suggests that subjects may seek out the drug for self-medication purposes after the experiments, though our research suggests otherwise. Our long-term follow-up of subjects from our initial proof-of-principle study showed that only 1 of 20 subjects tried MDMA after the experiment, after which the subject reported that it was the therapeutic support and not just the MDMA that made their experience in our experiment so productive, and that she did not intend to use MDMA outside of a clinical context again.
Psychotherapy Networker writes about the current state of PTSD treatments and the potential of treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Detailing research conducted by MAPS, the article highlights MDMA as having significant potential for PTSD treatment.
Author David Jay Brown writes for the Santa Cruz Patch about research into LSD and psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy as treatment methods for anxiety in people with life-threatening illnesses. Brown examines current and past psychedelic research, making a strong case for these studies to continue helping people.
Channel 4, a United Kingdom television station, has funded the U.K.‘s latest MDMA research. The scientific study, led by Professor David Nutt, was a neurological analysis of the effects of MDMA on the resting brain. The research was filmed and the results will debut on Channel 4’s upcoming special, Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial.
Gabriel Mizrahi writes for The Huffington Post about how MAPS and other institutions are conducting research into psychedelics as new treatment options for PTSD, obsessive-compulsive disorder, alcohol dependency, and more.
Reality Sandwich writes about the cultural taboo surrounding psychedelics and how research into drugs like LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA is changing public perception of them. The article explains the vast difference in psychedelic experiments done by Timothy Leary in the 1960s and current psychedelic research being conducted within established scientific protocol by MAPS and other institutions.
The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research & Service (ICEERS) writes a press release announcing the results of a recently published ayahuasca study. The research focused on several aspects of mental health in 127 regular ayahuasca users who used ayahuasca twice a month over the course of at least 15 years. The ayahuasca users were compared to 115 non-users, and the tests were conducted again one year later. The study found no adverse psychiatric or neuropsychological effects of long-term ayahuasca users.
Jonathan D. Moreno writes for Psychology Today about the history of psychedelic research and therapy in hopes to change public perception of drugs such as LSD, MDMA, and psilocybin. The article highlights current psychedelic research conducted by MAPS, as well mentioning Psychedemia, an upcoming conference focusing on psychedelics and the culture surrounding them.
AZ Family describes Arizona’s current struggle with medical marijuana due to political obstacles. The public of Arizona petitioned the Department of Health Services to add PTSD, migraines, anxiety, and depression to the list of eligible conditions for medical marijuana, but all of the proposals were turned down due to lack of research. Dr. Sue Sisley of Arizona observes, “I don’t know any members of the public that are satisfied with the fact that science is being shackled by politics.”
August 7, 2012
Boom Festival 2012 Newspaper "Kosmicare"
An international team of volunteers ranging from psychiatrists to medical writers provided psychedelic harm reduction services at the Kosmicare tent at Boom Festival 2012. MAPS has supported psychedelic emergency services at Boom since 2002, and this year Kosmicare is a collaboration between Boom, MAPS, and government agencies. MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., shares his experience with Kosmicare and other psychedelic harm reduction initiatives.
Download the Final Drug Checking Report (PDF) from Boom Festival 2012, containing extensive information about the types and purity levels of drugs tested during the festival.
The Conversation reports on past and current research that tests the effects of drugs such as LSD, MDMA, psilocybin, and marijuana on human subjects. Recent research coincides with research from the 1960s, suggesting that psychedelics may offer therapeutic benefit for psychiatric disorders.
Author David Jay Brown explores how psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline can significantly enhance creativity. Citing previous psychedelic research studies, he makes a compelling argument that psychedelics and their relationship with creativity is something that should be researched in a serious capacity.
The Morning News profiles psychedelic researcher Dr. James Fadiman, featuring his thoughts on current, past, and future psychedelic studies. In addition to covering Fadiman’s LSD research focusing on creativity, the article also goes into detail about alternative therapeutic uses for LSD.
Reality Sandwich details Psychedemia, a new interdisciplinary conference placing its focus on psychedelic science, culture, and art. Psychedemia will be held in Philadelphia on September 27-30, featuring lectures, workshops, performances, art galleries, and more. MAPS will be co-sponsoring the event.
Care2 writes about “Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial,” a new television special highlighting MDMA research. Channel 4 funded the new MDMA research, led by Professor Nutt and Professor Val Curran. The six-month study focused on resting brain activity in healthy volunteers. The research was filmed and will be presented alongside a live debate this Fall on Channel 4 in the United Kingdom.
A new MDMA research study is being funded by United Kingdom’s Channel 4 television station. The research, led by Professor David Nutt and Professor Val Curran, will use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure resting brain activity in volunteers. The six-month study was filmed and will be combined with a live debate to create Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial, airing on Channel 4.
Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London writes for the Guardian about his current MDMA research project. With funding from Channel 4, a U.K. television station, and help from Professor Val Curran of University College London, Nutt has been able to measure resting brain activity in healthy volunteers after receiving a pure dose of MDMA. Channel 4 will air footage of the research along with a live debate about MDMA in two 60-minute installments of a special program titled Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial.
Channel 4, a United Kingdom television station, will be airing two 60-minute specials highlighting MDMA. The program, Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial, will show footage of a scientific study measuring MDMA’s effects on the resting brain, in addition to a live debate exploring all facets of the drug. The MDMA research is being funded by Channel 4 and will be led by psychopharmacologists Professor David Nutt of Imperial College London and Professor Val Curran of University College London.
The Sacramento Bee examines the recent completion of medical marijuana research conducted in California by the Center for Medical Cannabis Research (CMCR). The studies lasted over a decade and treated more than 300 patients, concluding that marijuana can offer benefits for treating pain from injuries, HIV, strokes, and other conditions. The article also highlights MAPS’ medical marijuana research plans.
Death and Taxes recounts Senator Robert F. Kennedy’s statements in support of LSD during a hearing in 1966. Kennedy, whose wife had been treated with LSD, suggested that too much emphasis was placed on potential danger instead of how LSD could be “very helpful in our society if used properly.”
The official journal of the American Botanical Council sorts out the science behind the medical uses of cannabidiol (CBD, an active component of marijuana similar to THC and with different effects) and describes researchers’ efforts to understand the real risks and benefits of all components of the cannabis plant.
“If we were to invent a drug designed to treat PTSD, what qualities would it have?” asks MDMA researcher Ben Sessa, M.D. Neil Boorman of Esquire magazine describes his experience taking part in the UK’s first study of the effects of MDMA on the brain. Download the full article (pdf).
The Guardian examines recent statements made by the United Kingdom’s former drug adviser, Professor David Nutt, concerning drug prohibition. Nutt suspects that the future of science and medicine will continue to be hindered if the UK upholds the current classification system of drugs, making it nearly impossible to do research on psychedelic drugs.
Care2 delves into the history of MDMA and its place in science and medicine. Brad Burge, MAPS’ Director of Communications, is interviewed and details MAPS’ research focusing on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a treatment for PTSD. Burge also talks about the future of MDMA as a therapeutic drug.
Lake Elsinore-Wildomar Patch reports on the LSD study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology in March 2012. The research indicates that LSD may be a viable option for the treatment of alcoholism. The article quotes MAPS researcher Peter Gasser, M.D., who recently completed a study of using LSD to treat anxiety in people suffering from life-threatening illnesses.
The Chronicle of Philanthropy details the $5 million bequest given to MAPS from software pioneer Ashawna Hailey. The bequest will go primarily towards research on using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat PTSD. Hailey was a board member of MAPS and cared deeply about drug policy reform, so she also left $1.25-million each to the American Civil Liberties Union, Drug Policy Alliance, Marijuana Policy Project, and Second Harvest Food Bank.
Writer David Jay Brown explores the connection between psychedelic drugs and religion, citing multiple psychedelic research studies. Brown expresses the idea that drugs such as LSD and psilocybin can create spiritual experiences that positively affect users of the drugs.
Época summarizes the vast history of LSD. In the 1960’s, researchers studied the effects of LSD and its potential as a treatment for schizophrenia and depression. The article highlights researcher Timothy Leary’s life and his use with the drug, focusing on his LSD activism, which caught the attention of celebrities, the general public, and the government. Despite its prohibition, research on LSD has begun to take place once again. Research studies in various locations across the world have begun studying LSD-assisted therapy for end-of-life anxiety and depression.
FYI Be Healthy sheds light on recent psilocybin research conducted by John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. The article goes into great detail about how the study was conducted and shares the fascinating results of the study.
NPR signifies recent statements about the safety of MDMA in clinical trials made by Dr. Perry Kendall, British Columbia’s chief health officer. Kendall’s stance suggests that the Canadian government’s attitude towards drug policy may be changing.
AlterNet covers the wide variety of uses for psychedelics and marijuana, highlighting the various histories and medical potential of the drugs. The article features a transcript of the talks given at Reform Conference by MAPS Founder Rick Doblin Ph.D. and Executive Director of The Beckley Foundation, Amanda Feilding.
The Canadian Press writes about statements made by British Columbia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Perry Kendall, concerning the safety of MDMA. Kendall suggests that the risks of MDMA are exaggerated and he would like to see government officials discuss potential changes to the current war on drugs.
Pål-Ørjan Johansen and Teri Krebs of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology analyzed six clinical trials of LSD that took place between 1966-1970. The results were published in The Journal of Psychopharmacology and explained that LSD can be an effective tool to treat addiction.
British Columbia’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Dr. Perry Kendall, is advocating for MDMA to be legalized and sold through government-regulated stores in Canada. Kendall says that the risks of MDMA are overblown, suggesting that psychedelic research from MAPS and others will provide better, safer drug policies.
One of Canada’s top health officials, Dr. Perry Kendall, is speaking out in favor of drug policy reform in Canada, specifically regarding MDMA. He believes that MDMA should be made legal and available in licensed, government-run stores across Canada.
Psychopharmacologist David Nutt posits that extensive research into psychedelic drugs could benefit the medical world substantially. He suggests that synthetic versions of naturally occurring psychedelics can be created to have more predictable effects. Professor Nutt’s open stance on the subject of drug policy reform and medicine is one more example of the expanding legitimacy of psychedelic research.
The College of DuPage in Illinois is debuting a new class focusing on psychedelic research. Instructed by Bruce Sewick, “Psychedelic Mindview” will inform students about the history of psychedelic research, along with highlighting recent clinical studies using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
Reality Sandwich compiles a list of recent articles focusing on psychedelics, featuring news of the $5 million bequest to MAPS, new research focusing on ketamine, and an opinion piece on drug policy halting the progress of medicine.
Two recent studies of psilocybin from the Imperial College London in the UK suggest that psilocybin, the main active component in magic mushrooms, could be a useful treatment for depression. MAPS executive director Rick Doblin and other researchers comment on the implications of the new research for the future of mental health treatment.
Care2 explores how Connecticut’s new medical marijuana law is at odds with the federal government’s continued unwillingness to allow research into its safety and effectiveness. While the DEA and NIDA continue to block MAPS’ FDA-approved study of marijuana for veterans with PTSD, over a third of the United States have taken matters into their own hands.
The promising results that MAPS is seeing in our ongoing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD research program is getting unprecedented attention from the scientists, doctors, and psychotherapists most involved in finding effective treatments for PTSD.
On May 31, 2012, psychiatrist Michael Mithoefer, M.D., presented information about our initial studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD and our ongoing study in veterans with the staff at the National Center for PTSD at the Palo Alto Veterans Administration. On June 1, Dr. Mithoefer had the honor of presenting our promising research results at the San Francisco Veterans Administration Medical Center Mental Health Services’ Grand Rounds.
On the evening of May 31, MAPS hosted a tremendously successful free lecture and discussion at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center. Psychiatrist Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and MAPS founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., shared the most recent research results from our ongoing series of Phase 2 clinical studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD with over 200 attendees in a standing-room only lecture hall. We also announced the recent $5 million bequest from the estate of software pioneer Ashawna Hailey.
This year, MAPS will benefit from a generous bequest of approximately $5 million from the estate of software pioneer Ashawna (Shawn) Hailey. This is the largest gift in MAPS’ 26-year history. The majority of Ashawna’s gift will be reserved for Phase 3 studies of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, and allow MAPS to make a compelling case for donations of the remaining funds—about $10 million—for Phase 2 and 3.
The Philadelphia Daily News juxtaposes current policies that criminalize psychedelics with the resurgence of academic and scientific interest in their therapeutic and spiritual uses. The upcoming Psychedemia conference at the University of Pennsylvania will explore the implications of recent research into the careful, beneficial uses of psychedelics for health and well-being.
Northwest Arkansas’ alternative magazine The Free Weekly looks at the history of psychedelics in science, medicine, technology innovation, and spiritual practice. The cover article highlights research by MAPS and other organizations into psychedelics as tools for healing and scientific discovery.
eBay featured the MAPS auction of Timothy Leary’s sensory deprivation tank on eBay Stories, a blog that highlights “remarkable listings” found on the site. The floatation tank was given to Leary by John C. Lilly and it sold for $6,700, with all proceeds benefitting MAPS’ research.
The Philly Post explains how psychedelic drugs have recently become more embraced by science and pop culture. Awareness of psychedelics and psychedelic research is beginning to rise with an article on MDMA from Oprah’s magazine, a popular scene on Mad Men involving LSD, and comedians highlighting psychedelics during their sets.
Psychedelic Press UK reviews Spiritual Growth with Entheogens, an edited volume by Thomas Roberts, Ph.D. (now available in the MAPS Store) exploring the history of psychedelics and their potential for self-help and spiritual awakenings. The book includes a chapter by MAPS founder Rick Doblin about his long-term follow-up study to Walter Pahnke’s famous Good Friday psilocybin Experiment.
Brain Blogger explores how patients may soon have more options for relieving the anxiety and stress that often comes with life-threatening illnesses. Researchers around the world working with MAPS and the Heffter Research Institute are finding ways to use psychedelics as part of a growing set of tools for treating end-of-life anxiety.
Rob Kampia, executive director of the Marijuana Policy Project, explains in a Washington Post editorial how the Obama administration has repeatedly failed to uphold his campaign promises to respect medical marijuana and put science before drug war politics.
The Louisiana State University student newspaper publishes an enthusiastic op-ed about how research into the beneficial uses of psychedelics, like the space race, offers a major opportunity for scientific advancement and insights into new methods of healing.
Could pharmacologically-assisted therapy one day help people struggling with difficult relationships? This article explores a few areas currently being explored, and mentions past research on MDMA’s use in couples therapy.
Dr. Gabor Maté is a Canadian physician who has been conducting MAPS-sponsored research on the therapeutic and spiritual use ayahuasca to help ease addiction. His work has come under fire recently from the Canadian government, but he and other scientists and patients continue insisting on the importance of finding more effective treatments for addiction and other patterns of dependence.
From alcoholism and PTSD to cluster headaches, anxiety, and depression, doctors and scientists are tuning in to the beneficial potential of psychedelics. AlterNet reports on the dramatic expansion of research in these compounds over the last ten years. The historical stigma on research into these tools is slowly but steadily evaporating.
Death and Taxes points out that “it has taken nearly 50 years for the medical profession to catch up” with writer Aldous Huxley’s final LSD experience. Now, however, international researchers are discovering through careful scientific studies what Huxley seemed already to know: that psychedelic-assisted therapy could help ease people’s passage to death.
Popular progressive media outlet Truthout reports on the worldwide surge in scientific interest in the therapeutic value of psychedelics, from LSD and MDMA to ketamine and psilocybin. The article takes a look at the most promising uses of psychedelic for conditions such as PTSD, anxiety associated with life-threatening illness, addiction, depression, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), and explores the latest research into how these substances might work on the brain.
Fox News comes out with a refreshingly sober article about the promise of psychedelic-assisted therapy for helping people overcome anxiety related to life-threatening illness. As psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow, a member of “the Fox News Medical A-Team,” cleverly points out, “Stigmatizing miraculous substances which we then relegate to the exclusive domain of drug pushers and addicts makes precisely zero sense. Let’s open our minds to the possibilities [sic] that many perilous drugs also hold much promise.”
A stirring article from the front page of The New York Times Magazine sheds light on how psychedelic-assisted therapy can help people with life-threatening illness overcome their anxiety and fear of death. Through real first-hand accounts of psychedelic therapy and earnest interviews with leading scientists from the Heffter Research Institute, MAPS, and other research centers from Harvard to Johns Hopkins, the article takes a comprehensive look at a fast-growing medical field that could bring hope to those who are dying.
Despite the headline, researchers involved in a recently completed study of high school students in Quebec caution that a direct, cause-and-effect line could not be found between recreational Ecstasy and amphetamine use and depression. South Carolina psychiatrist Dr. Michael Mithoefer, who is also leading MAPS’ ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for veterans with PTSD, acknowledges that the study raises interesting points. However, Mithoefer and other experts agree that the study fails to differentiate between those students whose drug use led to depression, and those students who seek out drugs because of other factors that do lead to depression, such as academic or social struggles or other substance use.
BBC News tells the story of Thillen Naidoo a South African man who found that ibogaine treatment helped him overcome his severe cocaine addiction. Increasing numbers of caregivers and patients worldwide are exploring the potential of ibogaine for addiction treatment, but the substance remains an illegal drug in most countries. In this article, experts in the UK discuss what it will take to make ibogaine and other psychedelics available as legitimate medicines for the people they could help most.
Voters in Massachusetts may soon have the chance to decide whether to make medical marijuana legally available in the state. MAPS is currently supporting a federal lawsuit by University of Massachusetts-Amherst professor Lyle Craker, Ph.D., against the DEA for denying him a license to grow marijuana for research. If Massachusetts voters approve medical marijuana and the federal government continues to block research into its safest and most effective uses, the gulf between the war on drugs and the needs of patients will become clearer than ever.
Boston University’s independent newspaper reports on a recent symposium hosted by NORML at Suffolk University on marijuana research. The symposium signals the increasing support for marijuana research and policy change among student groups at major universities. MAPS founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., was among the many experts called in to address the politics, economics, and science of marijuana.
Legislators in Massachusetts are considering a new initiative that would make medical marijuana legally available in the state. With the support of MAPS founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and others, Massachusetts voters submitted over 80,000 signatures in support of the new law. If passed, Massachusetts would become the 17th state to contradict the federal government’s unethical and increasingly unpopular refusal to allow the medical uses of marijuana.
Mental Health Today examines how psychedelic research has changed over the last fifty years. The article profiles Dr. Ben Sessa, a psychiatrist who studied the safety of MDMA for the United Kingdom’s Advisory Council for the Misuse of Drugs in 2009. Psychedelic research is also being done in the United States by MAPS, with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as a promising treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Sessa believes that “one has to weigh up the dangers of a drug being used therapeutically against the benefits it brings.”
Kush Magazine explains how despite having a patent on the medical use of cannabinoids and maintaining a monopoly on the supply of marijuana for research, the federal government continues to block research that could make marijuana into a medicine.
The “floatation tank,” sometimes called the isolation or sensory deprivation tank, was developed in the mid-1950’s by psychoanalyst and consciousness researcher John C. Lilly, M.D. Lilly used the isolation tank to test the relationship between the mind and external reality. After extensive experimentation with the tank, he came to explore it for many potential applications, ranging from increasing creative problem-solving ability to facilitating meditation and prayer.
This tank was originally owned by the controversial psychedelic researcher Timothy Leary. In February of 1996, Dr. Lilly and the Samadhi Tank Company delivered the tank to Dr. Leary to help ease his end-of-life suffering. The current owner is Dean Chamberlain, photographer and renowned visionary artist who has generously agreed to share proceeds from the sale with MAPS to benefit of psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education.
A new study conducted at Imperial College London and funded in part by MAPS finds that psilocybin’s ability to enhance memory recall in healthy adults can be measured through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Lead study author Robin Carhart-Harris, Ph.D., proposes that the results may have implications for the use of psilocybin in psychotherapy.
International multimedia broadcaster Voice of America presents a fascinating and wide-ranging interview with MAPS founder and executive director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and discusses the long history and promising future of psychedelics as tools for healing and personal growth.
TIME reports on the results of a new Norwegian study which found that 59% of subjects who were administered a single dose of LSD significantly reduced their alcohol use up to six months following treatment. The study was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, and takes up where earlier studies left off in the 1950s, revealing the immense potential of psychedelics to help people overcome addiction.
West Coast Leaf reports on how Prof. Lyle Craker’s efforts to start a medical marijuana production facility under license to MAPS are still being blocked by the DEA. While veterans’ groups, researchers, and state legislators alike already recognize the effectiveness of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD, the DEA continues to stand in the way.
The New York Times reports that a single diagnosis of PTSD can cost $1.5 million in taxpayer-funded benefits over a soldier’s lifetime. This gives military commanders an incentive to issue unwarranted but cheaper diagnoses, and highlights the need for cheaper and more effective treatments.
On February 15, Prof. James Fadiman and the UC Santa Cruz Brain Mind & Consciousness Society hosted an evening lecture event about the use of psychedelics for healing, personal growth, and creativity. Dr. Fadiman, author of the pathbreaking new book The Psychedelic Explorer’s Guide: Safe, Therapeutic, and Sacred Journeys spoke to a packed auditorium of students and local community members about what researchers know about the risks and benefits of psychedelics.
Neuroscience is shedding a new light on the way that memories are formed and remembered in the human brain. New research is showing that the very act of remembering changes the memory itself—that the context in which a specific event is remembered can dramatically influence that memory. When it comes to traumatic memories, then, drugs that positively alter the emotional context in which they are recalled—such as MDMA—could make it easier for people to confront their most painful memories.
The dissociative anesthetic ketamine, which is both a legal anesthetic and a popular recreational drug, could have fast-acting, though perhaps short-lived, antidepressant properties. In the 1990s, MAPS helped fund a Russian study which demonstrated that ketamine combined with psychotherapy showed promise as a treatment for alcoholism and heroin addiction. Now, a series of new studies are once again renewing interest in the therapeutic properties of ketamine and its chemical cousins.
Also check out Karl Jensen’s Ketamine: Dreams and Realities on the MAPS Store for a comprehensive overview of the therapeutic and spiritual uses of ketamine.
The results of a 5,000-subject, two-decade long study show that unlike tobacco, regular marijuana smoking does not damage lung performance over the long term. The results suggest that smoked marijuana may in fact be a safe medicine, though federal obstruction has blocked clinical research into this potential. University of Massachusetts-Amherst Prof. Lyle Craker comments on the results. Prof. Craker and MAPS are currently engaged in a lawsuit against the DEA to grow marijuana for FDA-approved clinical research.
The front page article in the Santa Cruz Weekly tells the whole story: A traumatized veteran speaks out about how MDMA helped him, the black market widens the gulf between “Ecstasy” and pure MDMA, and MAPS finds real therapeutic benefit in MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.
The Santa Cruz Patch reports on the latest from the field of psychedelic research: MAPS’ offer of $10,000 to a research team that can develop a new protocol to explore whether MDMA could help treat autism spectrum disorders or Asperger’s syndrome in adults.
An article on Reality Sandwich explores two sides of the psychedelic renaissance: Entheogenesis Australis 2011, an outdoor conference celebrating psychedelic culture and spirituality, and Cartographie Psychedelica, MAPS’ own 25th anniversary conference and celebration in December 2011. As the article points out, MAPS’ events are distinguished an innovative integration of culture, creativity, and rigorous science.
With PTSD affecting almost 7% of American adults and few effective treatment options available, research into innovative approaches to PTSD treatment is expanding rapidly. “The Shrink Tank” blog at Psychology Today explores some of the most promising approaches, including MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.
Health officials are concerned about a rise in recreational Ecstasy use, and law enforcement and researchers agree that the danger lies not in the MDMA (which illegal Ecstasy may or may not contain) but in the uncertainty of the criminal black market.
The New Zealand Herald reports on the results of two new UK psilocybin studies that researchers claim point to the drug’s possible use in depression treatment. The article also includes a few interesting facts about the history of psychedelic and medical cannabis research.
Jason Mays and Amy Herrera are among the many veterans struggling to find effective treatments for PTSD. While there may not yet be a cure, marijuana could provide these suffering patients with significant relief—yet the federal government so far continues to block MAPS’ efforts to conduct research for making it a legal prescription medicine. The Philadelphia Weekly reports on how researchers, doctors, and patients alike are calling on the government to allow the research.
The UK National Health Service published this report in response to the extensive media interest in a pair of recent studies led by former UK government drugs advisor David Nutt. The research, funded in part by MAPS along with the Beckley Foundation, the Neuropsychoanalysis Foundation, and the Heffter Research Institute, suggested that psilocybin’s possible antidepressant effects may be connected to its effect on specific brain regions. The NHS points out that the studies were preliminary, and that research has yet to determine whether psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy is a viable treatment for depression.
TalkTalk examines Professor David Nutt’s research into psilocybin using fMRI machines. Nutt’s study was funded by MAPS and found that decreased activity of key brain areas with psilocybin may permit ‘unconstrained style of cognition’.
Bloomberg reports on the results of a pair of studies published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and the British Journal of Psychiatry hinting at psilocybin’s effect on brain function and memory. The results are encouraging for researchers interested in the possible role of psilocybin in the treatment of anxiety and depression.
A new brain imaging study suggests that psilocybin’s effect on human consciousness may be linked to how it suppresses, rather than activates, certain brain areas. This fascinating finding was the outcome of research conducted by UK researchers and funded in part by MAPS. The Scientist interviews several leading psychedelic researchers about the possible therapeutic implications of these results as well as the challenges of conducting government-approved research on psychedelic drugs.
BBC News reports on new research funded in part by MAPS into the effects of psilocybin on memory and brain function. Senior study investigator Prof. David Nutt, who was fired as lead drugs advisor to the UK government for saying that MDMA and LSD were less harmful than alcohol, saw the results as evidence for the therapeutic potential of psychedelics. According to Prof. Nutt, “We need to have a more scientific rational approach to drugs, and vilifying drugs like psilocybin whilst at the same time actively promoting much more dangerous drugs like alcohol is totally stupid scientifically.” Watch the interview (scroll down) with lead study author Robin Carhart-Harris on the BBC website.
Two new British studies funded in part by MAPS—one a brain imaging study and one involving memory—have produced additional evidence for psilocybin’s possible role in the treatment of anxiety and depression. The studies are preliminary, but highlight the importance of a multidisciplinary approach to psychedelic research.
Nature News reports on the results of a new brain imaging study by neuropsychopharmacologist David Nutt and colleagues at Imperial College London that psilocybin decreased activity in parts of the brain associated with depression and anxiety. The authors suggest the results could help explain some of psilocybin’s therapeutic benefits. MAPS contributed funding for the study, as did the Beckley Foundation, the Neuropsychoanalysis Foundation, and the Heffter Research Institute.
The Oxford Student recaps the turbulent history of MDMA one century after its creation. From an unrecognized chemical to a widely used (and abused) party drug to a promising therapeutic tool, MDMA has challenged and excited researchers for generations.
The Atlantic makes a compelling case for the federal government to allow MAPS’ FDA-cleared study of marijuana for veterans with PTSD to move forward: In the struggle between legitimate medical research and irrational government fear, veterans are the ones caught in the crossfire.
Correction: The Atlantic writes: “The plan is contingent upon final approval by a Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) scientific review panel, which is likely to ratify the proposal after the project leader, Dr. Sue Sisley, alleviated the Food and Drug Administration’s concerns over safety precautions.” In fact, the FDA cleared the protocol in April 2011, and the National Institute on Drug Abuse and Public Health Service (which are part of HHS) review committee later rejected it, refusing to sell MAPS the marijuana needed to conduct the study. The study is on hold either until NIDA agrees to sell our researchers the marijuana, until MAPS succeeds in growing its own marijuana for research, or until the marijuana can be legally imported.
A well-written article in Macleans explains how the illegal status of MDMA creates a dangerous black market in adulterated Ecstasy pills. The gulf between the relative safety and healing potential of MDMA in therapeutic contexts and the uncertainty of recreational Ecstasy use is widened by current harm-maximization drug policies.
MAPS researchers share their frustrations getting our planned Canadian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD up and running. After three inspections of the Vancouver pharmacy that will be used to store the MDMA to be used in the study, Health Canada has changed the requirements for receiving a Controlled Substances license and requested that additional changes be made. The Vancouver Observer speaks with lead investigators Ingrid Pacey, M.D., and Andrew Feldmår, Ph.D., about the challenges of initiating psychedelic psychotherapy research in Canada.
The Chronicle of Higher Education speaks with MAPS Director of Communications Brad Burge about a new study of recreational Ecstasy use, the tricky issue of study design, and how sensationalist headlines can dangerously distort scientific results.
2011 Media Articles...
December 28, 2011
Catalyst Magazine "Academia on Acid" by Greta Belanger deJong.
Catalyst Magazine publishes this enthusiastic review of MAPS’ 25th anniversary “Cartographie Psychedelica” conference and celebration, highlighting the various facets of the four-day event that made it such a success. From academic discussions to participatory artwork, the conference brought together researchers, academics, artists, and activists of all kinds.
An Israeli news source describes MAPS’ upcoming Israeli study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. The article includes an excellent interview with Tali Nachshoni, M.D., who was one of three therapists who recently participated in MAPS training study for MDMA-assisted psychotherapists in the U.S. Dr. Nachsoni describes her own experience undergoing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as part of MAPS’ training program for clinical MDMA-assisted psychotherapy investigators. The study will begin enrolling and treating subjects in early 2012.
The Telluride Mushroom Festival was one of the many partners and exhibitors that helped make MAPS’ 25th anniversary conference and celebration such a huge success. Here is their own account of the sights, sounds, and knowledge shared at Cartographie Psychedelica.
An incisive article on TIME.com points out the severe restrictions that emergency bans place on research than can be done to determine the actual risks and safety of new compounds. MAPS was founded in 1986 after such an irrational scheduling—that of MDMA. The tide is only now starting to turn—25 years later, we’re learning what emergency bans can do to hinder careful scientific investigation.
Author and psychologist Bruce Eisner recalls his own experience watching MAPS grow from a twinkle in Rick Doblin’s eye into the fast-growing international non-profit research organization it is today. MAPS’ 25th anniversary was an excellent opportunity to reflect on all the domains—scientific, medical, legal, spiritual—in which MAPS’ research now plays an important role.
A new study shows an association between long-term illegal Ecstasy use and long-term changes in brain chemistry. The researchers note, however, that they did not find any associated changes in mental health or cognitive functioning, nor do they know whether the chemical changes last forever. The study’s implications are also limited for other reasons, as MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research Michael Mithoefer, M.D., points out in his response.
The study fails to ask the crucial methodological questions addressed in a study published in February 2011 by Harvard University’s John Halpern, M.D., which found no evidence of cognitive changes in long-term Ecstasy users.
The urgent need for research into effective treatments for PTSD is leading some military physicians to propose some fairly radical new solutions. The most recent suggestion by a Navy doctor—involving a single injection of an anesthetic to the neck—is likely to be even more controversial than the comparatively conservative MDMA-assisted psychotherapy approach being studied by MAPS. PTSD is a complex biopsychosocial condition, and as the article points out the idea of a magic, one-step cure is probably “too good to be true.”
Alternet is the first to report on MAPS’ new MDMA for autism research grant, which is it offering to a team of researchers interested in developing a protocol for a new study of MDMA-assisted therapy for Asperger’s syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders. Neuroscience and anecdotal reports already suggest that MDMA’s ability to enhance empathy and communication could make it a viable treatment for individuals suffering from these disorders, and we hope to conduct the research to find out whether that’s true.
Bloomberg reports on the resurgence of mainstream interest in psychedelic research, especially in recent studies on psilocybin’s possible therapeutic benefits. Scientists are finding through careful clinical trials that psychedelics, when used in the proper settings, can be powerful tools for emotional and even spiritual healing.
A petition has been created by the Veterans for Medical Cannabis Association (VMCA) on the U.S. government’s “We the People” Whitehouse.gov web site in order to help gain support for a U.S. policy change that would allow disabled military veterans to access medical marijuana to treat posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). According to the web site, “cannabis is an effective medicine…to ease the symptoms of PTSD, giving disabled Veterans a big improvement in their quality of life.” Here’s a link to find out more.
Another petition was created by a veteran at Change.org to send a message to the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the DEA to stop blocking MAPS’ medical marijuana research for treating veterans with PTSD. This petition specifically addresses the medical marijuana study proposed by MAPS to study how cannabis affects veterans with PTSD. The proposed study has been approved by the FDA, but has been blocked by NIDA’s refusal to allow the researchers to purchase the cannabis necessary to conduct it. According to Sergeant Ryan Begin of the United States Marine Corps—who served two tours in Iraq, and suffers from PTSD—his condition “received the greatest benefit from medical marijuana.” So it’s not surprising that a lot of veterans are upset about NIDA and the DEA’s attempt to block medical research and want to do something about it. More information about this petition can be found here.
Researchers, therapists, patients, and policy experts are acknowledging the extent of psychedelics’ return to mainstream science and medicine. From LSD and MDMA to psilocybin and ketamine, these substances are increasingly recognized for their ability to catalyze profound emotional, psychological, and even physical healing. A quote from MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., says it all: “We’re trying to break a social mindset saying these are strictly drugs of abuse…It’s not the drug but how the drug is used that matters.”
The SF Bay Guardian reports on MAPS’ 25th Anniversary conference, Cartographie Psychedelica, taking place from December 8-12, 2011. From in-depth workshops and riveting lectures to interactive art and electronic DJs, the event marks a historic turning point for the continued mainstreaming of psychedelic and medical marijuana research.
Positive coverage in Australian media shows public support is growing for a possible new study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD to take place in Australia. It’s a very good sign that even those known to exaggerate the risks of MDMA acknowledge the importance of MAPS’ research.
Note: MAPS’ clinical trials use pure MDMA, not illicit Ecstasy tablets which often contain other more dangerous compounds, in combination with psychotherapy to treat PTSD. Another correction to the article is that researchers at NYU are using psilocybin, not LSD. The only clinical LSD research in the last 35 years has been MAPS’ recently completed Swiss study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy for end-of-life anxiety.
David Jay Brown, award-winning author and MAPS Bulletin guest editor, points out that MAPS’ upcoming 25th anniversary, courageously entitled Cartographie Psychedelica, is more than a celebration: It’s an historic event marking the return of psychedelics and medical marijuana to mainstream science, medicine, and culture.
“While a lot of music and visionary art has long been influenced by psychedelics, and many artists and musicians have greatly valued the experience,” Brown writes, “The recently awakened acceptance of these forbidden fruits in respected cultural terrains, such as academia, medicine, and spirituality, is now, finally, seeping its way into the mainstream culture.”
A powerful petition by a wounded Iraq veteran is putting a human face on MAPS’ struggle to end the federal medical marijuana research blockade. Sgt. Ryan Begin, United States Marine Corps (Ret.), is calling on NIDA and the DEA to stop standing in the way of MAPS’ proposed study of marijuana for veterans with PTSD so that he and his fellow veterans can get the relief they need. Sometimes, it makes the most sense to hear it from those who are most affected by the government’s obstruction of medical marijuana research.
Apple’s late founder Steve Jobs once said that taking “LSD was one of the two or three most important things I have done in my life.” In 2007, LSD inventor Albert Hofmann (at 101) sent Jobs a personal handwritten note asking Jobs to support MAPS’ (now completed) Swiss study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy for end-of-life anxiety. The Fix has posted the letter on its website for a rare glimpse of this connection between two revolutionary inventors.
In 2007, MAPS Founder and Executive Director Rick Doblin asked LSD inventor Albert Hofmann to send Apple founder Steve Jobs a letter asking him to support research into the beneficial applications of Hofmann’s “problem child.” Jobs never did contribute to MAPS or to psychedelic research, but led to a heartfelt conversation between Doblin and the famous innovator and entrepreneur.
In the continuing legal battle over medical cannabis in California, attorneys for the medical cannabis industry said that they are seeking court orders to halt an imminent crackdown by the U.S. federal government on medical cannabis dispensaries, their landlords, and cannabis growers. In a legal motion filed on November 8, medical cannabis distributors and some medical patients are asking federal judges in four districts of Northern and Central California to issue temporary restraining orders that would prevent federal prosecutors from taking action.
MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., has spoken about the federal obstruction of medical marijuana research and in support of this collective injunction against the cannabis dispensary crackdown. His statements appear in the legal proceedings for the case as a declaration of support for the plaintiff’s petition (for Northern, Central, and Southern California plaintiffs).
The federal blockade on medical marijuana research is directly affecting real veterans suffering from combat-related PTSD. In this short article, Sgt. Jamey Raines, who himself used marijuana to cope with PTSD symptoms after serving in Iraq, calls on the federal government to allow medical marijuana research.
European Dispatch explains how MAPS’ possible UK study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD will build on the outstanding results of our flagship U.S. study. If we can find the funding necessary for this study, it will be the first-ever clinical trial of MDMA in the UK and the latest addition to our expanding international MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research program.
Wired magazine reports on NIDA’s recent refusal to sell MAPS researchers marijuana for our FDA-cleared study of marijuana for veterans with PTSD. According to researcher Sue Sisley, M.D., “At this point, I can’t help but think they simply don’t want to move forward. Maybe they figure if they stall long enough, we’ll give up and go away.” Read more about MAPS’ ongoing efforts to conduct medical marijuana research for veterans.
David Jay Brown shares information about using the psychedelic drug, ibogaine, for curing addiction. He explains the way that the drug works to block withdrawal symptoms as well as the physical dependency of drugs like opiates. MAPS is currently funding ibogaine research in Mexico, with plans to begin a new study in New Zealand.
Backpage Magazine explores everything about Salvia divinorum in a new article. Salvia’s legal nature and extremely intense effects make it a very controversial subject. Rick Doblin of MAPS advocates research into its safety and effects, though he suggests, “Very few people would be going to salvia if they had alternatives.”
A High Times writer describes her time attending MAPS 25th Anniversary Cartographie Psychedelica Tour in New York City. She was seated next to intrigued scholars for dinner and listened to some of the brightest minds speak about psychedelics and the future of psychedelic research.
One of the most common ways to attempt to treat people suffering from posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is a drug called Risperdal, but recent research shows that the drug is only as effective as a placebo. The proposed MAPS research study for using medical marijuana to help veterans with PTSD was approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in April, but recently the Department of Health and Human Services refused to sell MAPS the government-grown medical marijuana necessary for the research. MAPS plans to fight this decision until the research can properly be completed.
An article that begins and ends in the usual fashion—with scary, unfounded stories about how marijuana is destroying America’s youth—nevertheless includes a brief mention about how the federal government stifles studies that could call those stories into question. NIDA Director Nora Volkow thinks that she knows all she needs to know about marijuana’s risks and benefits, but MAPS Director of Communications Brad Burge gets a word in edgewise.
A persuasive Washington Post op-ed condems the federal government’s ongoing refusal to allow legitimate, necessary medical marijuana research from moving forward (“Marijuana may help PTSD. Why won’t the government find out for sure?” October 14, 2011). The op-ed follows an earlier Washington Post feature article on the federal obstruction of marijuana research. Download the original op-ed here (pdf).
Nese Senol presents an elegant essay about new options for students interested in pursuing academic careers in psychedelic research and education. A condensed version of this essay also appeared in the Winter 2011 MAPS Bulletin.
Stephen Ross, M.D., has been conducting research at NYU on the effects of psilocybin mushrooms on cancer patients reaching the end of their life. He posits that psilocybin can truly bring about spiritual states, which is why it is so important to study it from a psychological standpoint. His research in cancer patients so far has shown decreased death anxiety, decreased depression, greater integration back into daily life, improved family function, and increased spiritual states.
Mairjuana researcher and University of Arizona professor Sue Sisley, M.D., recently spoke to doctors and medical marijuana patients in Phoenix, Arizona about the National Institute on Drug Abuse’s (NIDA) obstruction of her proposed MAPS-sponsored study involving clinical trials of medical marijuana and veterans with PTSD. he blocked study would take place in Phoenix, potentially at University of Arizona College of Medicine. Sisley stated that NIDA has a “government-enforced monopoly on the legal supply of marijuana” and that NIDA is one of the biggest obstacles to researching medical properties of the plant.
U.S. President Barack Obama has not followed through on his campaign promises to allow states to enforce their own medical marijuana laws. Obama’s administration has recently used the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Justice, the Drug Enforcement Administration, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) against medical marijuana patients and dispensaries, after promising not to interfere. Most recently, HHS refused to sell government-grown medical marijuana to MAPS for a FDA-approved medical marijuana study for United States veterans with PTSD.
Despite his 2008 campaign promises, President Barack Obama has been faltering on his original claims that he would allow medical marijuana to be left in the hands of individual states. His administration’s Department of Health and Human Services recently refused to sell government-grown medical marijuana to MAPS for our approved research on American combat veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder. According to the argument presented in this article, compared to other United States presidents, Obama’s recent actions surrounding medical marijuana may mark him as the worst president in history for medical marijuana.
In the aftermath of Steve Jobs’ death, his quote about taking LSD has resurfaced. Jobs described taking LSD as one of the most important things that he did in his life. Here, Slate explores the idea that LSD could have positive effects on creativity. Research on LSD and its effect on creativity happened in the 1950’s, conducted separately by Oscar Janiger of UC Irvine and psychiatrist Louis Berlin. Their research suggests that LSD can encourage creativity in those who are creative to begin with.
Tennessee Congressman Steven Cohen recently wrote a letter to Gil Kerlikowske, the Director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, requesting that the Obama Administration remove marijuana from the list of Schedule I controlled substances. In Kerlikowske’s response, he claimed that the government “ardently support[s] research” on marijuana’s medicinal uses, and that the DEA has approved every valid marijuana research proposal. His false statements arrived just days after publications began writing about the Department of Health and Human Services refusing to sell government-grown marijuana to MAPS for FDA-reviewed research.
The fifth annual Horizons Conference in New York City featured talks about the current state of psychedelic research, creating psychedelic art, debates, and more. Scientists presented the latest in psychedelic research progress and MAPS was there to participate and help make it happen.
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave MAPS permission to initiate research on the effects marijuana and people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Health and Human Services Department (HHS) has refused to sell researchers the government-grown marijuana necessary for the research until a list of contradictory conditions are met.
Professor David Nutt and psychiatrist Dr. Ben Sessa are considering recreating a MAPS-sponsored study in the United Kingdom about the effects of MDMA on people with posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The original study conducted in the United States resulted in 83% of the participants reporting a significant improvement to their condition after a two month period. The new study would incorporate neuroimaging to provide insight into the effects of MDMA on the brain, and would be the first-ever human clinical trial of MDMA to take place in the UK.
In April, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved MAPS to use thirteen pounds of government-grown medical marijuana to treat U.S. combat veterans with Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The study has been halted by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) until revisions are made to the original research proposal. Researchers in Israel have been studying the effects of marijuana on rats showing signs of PTSD after being induced with stress. Their results suggest that there is a specific time-frame that allows for marijuana to be most effective after traumatic events. Our veterans’ windows of time are slowly closing due to interference from the HHS.
Researchers at John Hopkins University are revisiting their previous psilocybin research studies from 2006 and February 2011 to see if the psychedelic had any change on the participants over time. The latest results reveal that some of the participants showed long-lasting improvements in relationships, mood, and general well-being, as described by themselves and their family members. This research suggests that psilocybin’s medicinal use may not be limited to treating the mentally ill but could also be useful for healthy people.
Katherine MacLean, a postdoctoral student at Johns Hopkins University, led a team of researchers to study the effects of psilocybin on a group of 52 participants who had already completed similar trials with the researchers. The results showed that psilocybin made some users more open to new ideas, as well as providing a positive personality change amongst some, as observed by subjects and their families. Researcher Roland Griffiths also noted that they had not seen any negative long-term side effects of the drug. While some users became uncomfortable at times, the effects were time-sensitive and dissipated within hours. Next, MacLean and Griffiths plan to conduct research on the effects of psilocybin in cancer patients who are depressed and/or anxious as a result of their illness. Their goal is to eventually be able to use psychedelics as part of approved treatments for mental illness and to study consciousness as a whole.
Brian Vicente of Sensible Colorado is fighting for American combat veterans with PTSD to be allowed to use medical marijuana to help relieve their symptoms. In April, The Food and Drug Administration gave MAPS approval to conduct a study of whether marijuana could help fifty veterans suffering from PTSD. The study has been put on hold due to the Department of Health and Human Services refusing to sell government-grown medical marijuana to MAPS. For Vicente and many others, HHS’ refusal to support veterans in need is unacceptable.
Researchers in the UK are hoping to obtain funding for what would be the first-ever clinical trial of MDMA in the UK. The study, which would be led by UK researchers David Nutt, M.D., and Ben Sessa, M.D., and sponsored by MAPS, would explore the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for people with PTSD. The study would build on MAPS’ flagship US study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy by adding an additional neuroimaging component, adding to the rapidly growing scientific knowledge about the safety and effectiveness of MDMA administered in clinical contexts.
While we have not yet received regulatory approval or funding for the study described in this article, researchers are encouraged by a recent invitation from the Wellcome Trust to submit a grant request for a possible study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD to take place in the UK. Potential Clinical Investigators David Nutt, M.D., and Ben Sessa, M.D., describe the significance of the study, which would be the first clinical MDMA trial ever to take place in the UK and which could—by using brain imaging technology—greatly add to current knowledge about the safety and effects of MDMA administered in clinical contexts. The article also mentions a recent study by Johns Hopkins scientist Roland Griffiths that found that psilocybin could have a lasting positive effect on personality.
MAPS’ medical marijuana research made national headlines once again with this article in The Washington Post about the federal government’s recent refusal to sell MAPS marijuana for our planned study of marijuana for veterans with PTSD. Reviewers from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the Public Health Service refused to allow MAPS to purchase marijuana for the study, despite the study protocol already having approval from the FDA.
According to the article, the reviewers’ comments are “a jumbled picture of sometimes contradictory concerns” and addressing them all could be extremely difficult, if not impossible, and the review process itself may serve only to delay and obstruct medical marijuana research. Pressure is building against the NIDA monopoly and the federal obstruction of medical marijuana research, but meanwhile the study is at a standstill.
Mindful Metropolis reports on the current state of research for using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy with United States combat veterans who suffer from Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). At least 30% of veterans seen by Veterans Administration doctors suffer from PTSD. In the MAPS study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, the participants had dealt with the condition for 19 years on average, and more than 80% of participants were cured of chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD after their MDMA-assisted therapy sessions. Michael and Annie Mithoefer of MAPS are expected to publish follow-up results of their study by the end of the year, with the phase two results to follow about six months after.
Online women’s magazine Jezebel reports on a recent grant request submitted by UK researchers for a MAPS-sponsored study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, to take place in the UK. If the study receives funding and regulatory approval, it would be the first clinical trial of MDMA ever to take place in the country.
Encouraged by the extremely positive results of our flagship U.S. study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, researchers are hoping to be able to conduct a similar study in the UK. In the article, prominent psychopharmacologist David Nutt, M.D., describes why he wants to see the study take place: “I feel quite strongly that many drugs with therapeutic potential have been denied to patients and researchers because of the drug’s regulation.” Worldwide, psychedelic research is booming, and researchers are hopeful that the UK could be the next government to put science before politics.
The Guardian reports on a possible new study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD to take place in the UK. MAPS, together with psychopharmacologist Dr. David Nutt and psychiatrist Dr. Ben Sessa, has recently been invited to submit a grant proposal to the Wellcome Trust for the study. If it receives funding and regulatory approval, the study would be the first of its kind in the UK. The article concludes with Dr. Nutt’s observation that more cautious UK media such as The Daily Mail would not welcome the news, a recent positive article in that same publication clearly shows that times are changing. As the Guardian article points out, MAPS’ research on MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD “has caused some in the scientific community to think what was until recently unthinkable.”
The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) has continued its trend of blocking FDA-reviewed clinical trials proposed by MAPS. The article compares the relative difficulty of conducting federally-approved research on psychedelics with studies of marijuana, and points out the unlikelihood of NIDA agreeing to let the study move forward.
A long and in-depth article on Salon.com sheds light on the wide-open field of medical psychedelic research, focusing primarily on recent and ongoing studies at NYU and Johns Hopkins. The only information that might be added to the piece is that MDMA is probably even closer to approval for medical use than LSD or psilocybin, despite the recent explosion of research into all of these substances.
A recent study showed that rats injected with WIN 55,212-2, a synthetic cannabinoid like THC, had fewer negative reactions to stressful events than those that were not, suggesting that the compounds found in marijuana could reduce symptoms of PTSD in humans. This short blog post points out that while animal models of stress and anxiety are not necessarily adequate measures of those symptoms in humans, studies like these do add to the growing evidence suggesting that marijuana could help those struggling with PTSD.
A recent study suggests that rats given a synthetic cannabinoid did not react as strongly to severely stressful events as did rats given placebo, adding to the growing scientific evidence that the compounds found in marijuana play a role in mediating stress and anxiety. While the applicability of these results to human beings is uncertain, studies such as these remind us of the promising potential of marijuana as a treatment for PTSD and other disorders.