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Media > Newsletter: November 19, 2010



MAPS mission is to treat conditions for which conventional medicines provide limited relief, such as PTSD & anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses, by developing psychedelics & marijuana into prescription medicines.
MAPS' Snow Chalet and News Update
November 19, 2010


Dear MAPS Supporters,

If you can make it to Los Angeles on Dec. 11th and 12th, 2010, we hope to see you at Catalysts, our mini-conference with Stan Grof, M.D., Charlie Grob, M.D., Alicia Danforth, Ph.D.s, Matt Baggott, Ph.D., Julie Holland, M.D., James Fadiman, Ph.D., Stephan Beyer, Ph.D., Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and others. Tickets are selling quickly, so we encourage you to get one before they sell out.

We have a great opportunity for anyone who likes to ski, snowboard, sled, or hang out mountainside enjoying winter’s beauty. A generous MAPS supporter has gifted MAPS a vacation rental at a ski chalet in Kirkwood, California, a ski area 30 minutes from South Lake Tahoe. We’re passing this good fortune on to you in the form of a raffle.

The vacation rental is valued at $800-$1200, and you can buy raffle tickets for just $10, or buy a dozen tickets for $100. We will randomly select the winner on Dec. 23, 2010. Of course, every ticket you buy supports psychedelic and marijuana research.

On Nov.1, our research combining MDMA with psychotherapy was featured in the American Psychological Association’s major publication the Monitor on Psychology. The article, “Research on Psychedelics Makes a Comeback,” was sent to every APA member, which means tens of thousands of psychologists recently read about our promising studies!

On Nov. 6, we hosted a marijuana summit in Denver, which was featured in the New York Times. On Nov. 7, we hosted an MDMA-psychotherapy workshop, followed by a benefit event in Boulder, which was featured in the Boulder Weekly. We’ve made considerable headway toward starting MDMA/PTSD studies in Canada, Israel, and Jordan. Our study in the U.S. with veterans has enrolled its first subject. Four subjects are already enrolled in our new ibogaine study. We submitted our marijuana for PTSD protocol to the FDA. Our clinical research team has been generating numerous reports, and our Executive Director Rick Doblin has been globetrotting in order to oversee and assist in the aforementioned projects.

As we move into the holiday season, we ask you to keep MAPS in mind as you plan your holiday charitable giving. We also want to remind you that MAPS memberships make great gifts for friends and family.

Best wishes for a festive holiday season,

Randolph Hencken, M.A.
Director of Communication and Marketing, MAPS

What's happening this month at MAPS:

(Articles are below)

  1. MAPS Receives more than $100,000 in Donations from Seven Donors
  2. Mithoefer Presents Second Poster at ISTSS Conference
  3. US Veterans’ Study Begins Recruitment: First Subject Screened In!
  4. Video Archiving Begins for Swiss MDMA/PTSD Study
  5. Abbreviated Clinical Report About Israeli Study Completed
  6. Jordanian MDMA/PTSD Study Receives Full Approval From Hospital Ethics Committee
  7. MDMA Import License Submitted for Canadian Study
  8. Master Drug Tracking System Completed
  9. Marijuana/PTSD Study Gains Julie Holland, M.D., as Medical Monitor
  10. Ibogaine Study Enrolls Fourth Subject/International Conference
  11. International Journal of Drug Policy: Ayahuasca Track at Psychedelic Science Conference
  12. New Edition of Mavericks of the Mind by David Jay Brown
  13. MAPS Winter Raffle Contest: Ski House Rental Kirkwood, California (Tahoe area)
  14. Catalysts Conference and Related Events, Los Angeles, CA Dec. 10-12

1. MAPS Receives more than $100,000 in Donations from Seven Donors

We wish to acknowledge seven substantial donations we recently received: $30,000 from the Riverstyx Foundation and $25,000 from an anonymous family foundation for the US MDMA/PTSD study with veterans, $20,000 from John Gilmore, $10,000 from Ian Brown, $7705 from Anja Saunders for MDMA research in general, $5000 from Adam Wiggins, and $5000 from Rene and Susan Ruiz. We extend our sincere gratitude for these contributions.

2. Mithoefer Presents Second Poster at ISTSS Conference

On Nov. 5, 2010, at the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies annual conference in Montreal, Michael Mithoefer, M.D., presented findings, in poster form, from the long-term follow portion of MAPS’ first completed MDMA-assisted psychotherapy study. The poster showed overall therapeutic results were sustained over time. Dr. Mithoefer presented the short-term results from the study at the ISTSS conference in 2008. The new poster provides a comprehensive overview of the study, including short-term and long-term data. Dr. Mithoefer and others are preparing a paper about the results of the long-term follow-up to the US pilot study for submission to a peer-reviewed journal.

3. US Veterans’ Study Begins Recruitment: First Subject Screened In!

We are currently in the recruitment phase of our newest U.S. study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) exclusively with U.S. veterans from the Iraq, Afghanistan and Vietnam wars. Nearly three-dozen veterans have inquired about being subjects in the study, and one subject has passed the screening process. Our research team is screening the other potential subjects to determine eligibility. Pre-screening happens over the phone using an IRB-approved phone script.  When a subject passes prescreening and continues to express interest in being a part of the study, they are scheduled for an in-person medical and psychological assessment.  One more person is scheduled for screening during November and another is scheduled for screening in December.  Clinical Investigators Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., are able to treat two or three subjects a month.  We are currently on track for the study to move forward at a steady pace. We are actively recruiting subjects from the Charleston area, if you know anyone who may be eligible to participate in the study, please have them contact: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

5. Video Archiving Begins for Swiss MDMA/PTSD Study

Our Swiss MDMA/PTSD study collected video from nearly all of the sessions with treatment subjects. We are now preparing a method to archive the videos for future research purposes. This collection of video footage is a wealth of information about therapy techniques and subjects’ responses to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The archives will allow future researchers to do post-hoc analysis on the videos from a third-party perspective. These researchers may or may not be directly affiliated with MAPS. For example, this dataset could prove invaluable to Ph.D. dissertations or other scientific studies. We are currently investigating methods to duplicate and archive all this video data, which will be time-consuming and presumably costly.  Should any researchers be interested in access to these videotapes, contact .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

5. Abbreviated Clinical Report About Israeli Study Completed

On Oct 14, 2010, Rick Doblin, Ph.D., met in Tel Aviv, Israel, with Moshe Kotler, M.D., Principle Investigator of MAPS’ Israeli MDMA/PTSD study. They discussed the abbreviated clinical report of the results of the first five subjects, and the design of a new protocol. Dr. Kotler and co-therapist Sergio Marchevsky, M.D., signed off on the report. It will be submitted along with our new protocol application, which is still in process, to the Israeli Ministry of Health. While in Tel Aviv and Jerusalem, Rick also met with psychologists who will become co-therapists in the new study.

6. Jordanian MDMA/PTSD Study Receives Full Approval From Hospital Ethics Committee

On October 20, Rick visited with Clinical Investigator Nasser Shuriquie, M.D., at Al-Rashid Hospital to discuss our Jordanian MDMA/PTSD study. The protocol was approved by the Al Rashid Institutional Review Board (IRB) several days before the meeting and is being prepared for submission to the Jordanian FDA.  Rick also met with Mona Abdulhamid Alnsour, Ph.D., co-therapist on the study who is married to Dr. Nasser, in yet another husband/wife co-therapist team.

MAPS has hired the Antaea Medical Services LTD to monitor the Jordanian study. On October 21, Rick met in Amman with the primary monitor on the study Kamila Novak, the firm’s founder Mr. Roussos, and their consultant Dr. Mohammad Rawashdeh (former Director of the Jordanian FDA). They also discussed MAPS working with this firm on the monitoring of our Israeli study.

On October 22, Rick’s last meeting in Amman was with two State Department officials, both physicians, working at the U.S. Embassy in Amman. The officials had previously visited Al-Rashid Hospital as part of their Crisis Response evaluation work. There they had been told about MAPS’ sponsorship of the MDMA/PTSD study and had expressed an interest in meeting Rick. The meeting got off to a great start when one of the officials recalled having been in contact with Rick about ten years prior. Rick had contacted the Center for the Treatment of Torture, in Minneapolis, Minnesota, to see if they would be interested in a grant to study MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. The Embassy official worked at the Center at that time, but the Center wasn’t in a position to conduct a clinical study. Ten years later, the Embassy official expressed appreciation for Rick’s dedication to develop MDMA/PTSD research including the Jordanian study. The meeting concluded with a discussion about MAPS’ U.S. MDMA/PTSD study with veterans. The two officials acknowledged the need for new treatments for PTSD and were sympathetic with MAPS’ Jordanian MDMA/PTSD project and U.S. study with veterans.

Donate  Make a Contribution

7. MDMA Import License Submitted for Canadian Study

On Nov. 1, 2010, Pharmacist Colin Holyk from Kerrisdale Pharmacy resubmitted his application for a “licensed dealer permit” to Health Canada in order to import MDMA for our Canadian MDMA/PTSD study. The application was originally submitted in September 2009. It took Health Canada nine months to respond with several questions about what activities the pharmacist would be conducting in order to be a licensed dealer. It took our team some time to clarify the Canadian regulations, after which we resubmitted the application. We look forward to Health Canada’s response, and will do whatever is required in order to start this long anticipated study.

8. Master Drug Tracking System Completed

MAPS’ clinical research team has completed creating a master drug tracking system for all MAPS’ MDMA studies. This database keeps records about manufacturing, shipping, quality control, and analysis of the drugs over years. We now have a central method of drug accountability to review at the conclusion of a MDMA trial, which gives a comprehensive assessment of what happened to the MDMA from start to finish. Our records go back to 2003 when the first MDMA was shipped for our pilot study in Charleston, S.C.

9. Marijuana/PTSD Study Gains Julie Holland, M.D., as Medical Monitor

Julie Holland, M.D., has reviewed the protocol and agreed to be the medical monitor for our newest study of marijuana as a treatment for PTSD. The protocol was submitted to the FDA on Nov. 12, 2010, and on Nov. 17, 2010, MAPS received a new Investigational New Drug number for marijuana: #110513.

Dr. Holland recently edited and published “The Pot Book,” which is a magnificent resource about marijuana. The book is available in the MAPS store and proceeds directly fund MAPS’ medical marijuana research mission. 

10. Ibogaine Study Enrolls Fourth Subject 

Since our last email newsletter, two more subjects have enrolled in our ibogaine-outcome study, bringing us to a total of four subjects out of an eventual 30. The study is following patients at Pangaea Biomedics, a treatment facility in Playas de Tijuana, Mexico. Principal Investigator Valerie Mojeiko and Co-Investigator Thomas Kingsley Brown, Ph.D., lead the study. The researchers are collecting data from opiate-dependent subjects for one year after ibogaine-assisted detoxification to evaluate the long-term outcomes of ibogaine treatment. Brown is administering the Addiction Severity Index (ASI), our primary outcome variable, on a monthly basis for a year.

11. International Journal of Drug Policy: Ayahuasca Track at Psychedelic Science Conference

On Nov. 3, 2010, the International Journal of Drug Policy published online a paper about the ayahuasca track during the Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century conference this last April. Beatriz Caiuby Labate and Clancy Cavnar are the authors of the paper, “The expansion of the field of research on ayahuasca: Some reflections about the ayahuasca track at the 2010 MAPS ‘Psychedelic Science in the 21st Century’ conference.” Labate is also author of Ayahuasca Religions: A Biography and Critical Essays, which is published by MAPS and available for purchase in the MAPS webstore.

If you are interested in communicating with Labate about her paper or book, or reading the paper in full, you can contact her through her website at www.bialabate.net.

12. New Edition of Mavericks of the Mind by David Jay Brown

MAPS recently published a very limited second edition of David Jay Brown’s Mavericks of the Mind. The book contains new and expanded interviews with legendary thinkers, including Terence McKenna, Allen Ginsberg, Timothy Leary, John Lilly, Carolyn Mary Kleefeld, Laura Huxley, and Robert Anton Wilson. We expect to sell out of this book quickly. Copies can be purchased through the MAPS website store.

13. MAPS Winter Raffle Contest: Ski House Rental Kirkwood, California (Tahoe area)

Tickets: $10 each or 12 for $100; Prize value: $800 - $1200

MAPS invites you to support psychedelic and marijuana research by entering our ski-chalet vacation raffle. The winner will enjoy a use of a lovely mountain house in Kirkwood (a ski resort 30 miles from South Lake Tahoe, California).

The lucky raffle winner can choose to use the home for a ski weekend or a 4-day midweek. The home is NOT available for the busiest holidays: the week before Christmas, week of Christmas to New Years, Martin Luther King weekend, Presidents Day weekend. Spring break is negotiable, depending upon the owner’s plans. 

The House is perched on the highest street in Kirkwood, high above the bustle of condos and on a perfect sledding hill. It is a short walk to the edge of the forest and ski area entrance, or a quick traverse onto the runs without crossing a road. At the end of a day on the slopes the Kirkwood shuttle vans drive back to the house.

This 1500 sq. foot house has two stories, three bedroom w/ two baths with a 12' x 20' deck and windows with views of Red Cliffs and the ski area. Sleeping up to ten people in three bedrooms: the giant room has a queen and 4 singles; another has a king and the third has a queen bed. The kitchen is fully equipped with a stove, microwave, coffee maker, dishwasher & refrigerator (there are no laundry machines or cable TV). There is a large TV and video player, a CD/tape player and many comfy spots to enjoy your time at 8,000 ft. The owners promise you a “Sweet and easy and quiet, a real mountain experience.”

14. Catalysts Conference and Related Events, Los Angeles, CA Dec. 10-12

MAPS is hosting several events in downtown Los Angeles the weekend of Dec. 10-12. From 6-11 p.m. Friday at Temple of Visions Gallery, MAPS will host a free reception, which will include an auction of art from nearly a dozen internationally renowned visionary artists. On Saturday, Dec. 11, from 9 a.m- 6 p.m., at The Downtown Independent Theatre, MAPS will host Catalysts: The Impact of Psychedelics from Consciousness to the Clinic (day one of the mini-conference).  Speakers include Stan Grof, Charlie Grob, Alicia Danforth, Matt Baggott, Julie Holland, James Fadiman, Stephan Beyer, Rick Doblin, and others. When the conference ends for the day at 6 p.m., doors will open at nearby Temple of Visions, where MAPS will host Critical Components, a dinner benefitting our MDMA/PTSD study with veterans of war. When the benefit ends at 10 p.m., MAPS will host Flux, the official after party for the Catalysts conference. The following Sunday, from 2-7 p.m., MAPS will host Catalysts: The Impact of Psychedelics from Culture to Creativity (day two of the mini-conference), also at Temple of Visions. Tickets for these events are on sale now.



MAPS 1215 Mission Street,  Santa Cruz, CA 95060-9989 tel: 831-429-MDMA (6362) fax: 831-429-6370
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