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Media > Newsletter: August 11, 2012

MAPS Email Newsletter:
Ethics Committee Rejects Planned Australian Study
of MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD
August 11, 2012

Dear MAPS Members and Friends,

Getting results: Could MDMA combined
with psychotherapy cure PTSD?
(image: Kosmicare)

If you've been following the latest news from the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), you know that designing and conducting legal, government-approved studies using controversial chemical tools isn't always easy.

This month, our MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD research program saw one delay due to zoning regulations, and one rejection from an Australian Ethics Committee. Neither of these obstacles is insurmountable, but getting approval to conduct psychedelic research is a byzantine process, and I'm reminded of the diligence and perseverance our work requires.

There's also plenty of good news in the August 2012 edition of the MAPS Email Newsletter—here are a few highlights:

We're making it even easier for you to connect and share this exciting news with others who support psychedelic and medical marijuana research through Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and YouTube.

Keep an eye out this month for a special announcement about Psychedelic Science 2013, our next major international collaborative psychedelic research conference taking place April 18-22, 2013, in Oakland, California. Psychedelic Science 2013 is presented by MAPS along with our colleagues the Heffter Research Institute, the Beckley Foundation, and the Council on Spiritual Practices.

With your support, psychedelic science has made tremendous strides—and I know that the best is yet to come.


With persistence and gratitude,

Brad Burge
MAPS Director of Communications

    MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD Research:

  1. U.S. Veterans Study: Tenth Subject Starts Treatment
  2. U.S. Boulder (Intern) Study: DEA Inspects Site, Delays Study Initiation
  3. Australia: Ethics Committee Confirms Rejection of Study Protocol
  4. More Research:

  5. Marijuana for PTSD: Protocol Submitted to Institutional Review Board
  6. LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety: Last Follow-Up Interviews Complete
  7. Ibogaine for Addiction: First Two Subjects Enrolled in New Zealand Study
  8. Support MAPS:

  9. New in the MAPS Store: What the Dormouse Said by John Markoff
  10. New in the MAPS Store: Smoke Signals by Martin Lee (releases August 14)
  11. Seeking Auction Items for Psychedelic Science 2013
  12. Seeking Business Support for Psychedelic Science 2013
  13. Media:

  14. The Guardian: MDMA on Trial in the UK
  15. The Lancet: Shaping the Renaissance of Psychedelic Research
  16. The Conversation: Human Testing of Illicit Drugs: The Highs and Lows
  17. Boom Festival 2012: A Safe Place for Difficult Experiences
  18. Events:

  19. PSYCHEDELIC SCIENCE 2013: April 18-22, 2013, Oakland, CA
  20. Palenque Norte Speaker Series at Burning Man 2012: August 28-31, Black Rock City, NV
  21. Psychedemia: September 27-30, Philadelphia, PA
  22. Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research: October 6-7, Amsterdam
  23. Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics: October 12-14, New York City
  24. Science and Nonduality Conference: October 24-28, 2012, San Rafael, CA
  25. U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress: November 8-11, San Diego, CA
  26. More News:

  27. Study of Ecstasy (or MDMA) Experiences of Adults on the Autism/Asperger's Spectrum
  28. MAPS Welcomes New Communications and Clinical Staff

MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for PTSD Research

Learn more about treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on or at mdmaptsd.org.


MAPS Director of Clinical Research Amy Emerson
with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy researchers
Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N.

1. U.S. Veterans Study: Tenth Subject Starts Treatment

On July 27, 2012, the tenth of 24 subjects received her first MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session in our ongoing study in U.S. veterans, firefighters, and police officers with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. Preliminary results are promising. We're hoping that once completed, this study will allow the Veterans Administration/Department of Defense to justify funding their own studies into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for veterans and active duty service members with PTSD. View the timeline...
$320,000 needed / $925,000 raised

2. U.S. Boulder (Intern) Study: DEA Inspects Site, Delays Study Initiation

On July 31, 2012, an inspector from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration conducted the scheduled inspection of the site for our planned study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder, Colorado. The inspection is required before the DEA will grant a Schedule I license to the study physician,required before we can initiate the study. The DEA contacted the local zoning office, which informed lead study investigator Marcela Ot'alora, L.P.C., that a new business license is required for the building where the psychotherapy sessions will be conducted, delaying initiation by one or two months. View the timeline...
$330,000 needed / $125,000 raised

3. Australia: Ethics Committee Confirms Rejection of Study Protocol

On July 13, 2012, the Ethics Committee reviewed our responses to its initial rejection of the protocol for our proposed Australian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, to be co-sponsored by the Australian non-profit Psychedelic Research in Science and Medicine (PRISM) and MAPS. In their letter, the Ethics Committee reiterated their decision to reject the study. PRISM and MAPS will continue working to initiate MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research in Australia. Learn more...
$50,000 needed / additional funds provided by co-sponsor

Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out the non-MAPS sponsored studies on our Participate in Research page!

More Research

4. Marijuana for PTSD: Protocol Submitted to Institutional Review Board


UMass-Amherst professor Lyle Craker, Ph.D., and
MAPS founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., discuss strategy
for Craker's federal lawsuit against the DEA for
blocking medical marijuana research
.

On July 30, 2012, MAPS and Sue Sisley, M.D., submitted the FDA-cleared protocol for our planned study of marijuana for veterans with PTSD for review by the University of Arizona Institutional Review Board (IRB). The IRB review is scheduled for August 28. MAPS also submitted a detailed cover letter explaining our rationale for various elements of the protocol design. View the timeline...
$10,000 needed for protocol development / $10,000 raised

5. LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety: Last Follow-Up Interviews Complete

On August 8, 2012, the last long-term follow-up interview was conducted in our recently completed study of LSD-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with advanced-stage illness in Switzerland. All twelve subjects have now completed the follow-up portion of this study, and the results are being prepared for publication. MAPS Lead Clinical Research Associate Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., will visit Switzerland in September for the final monitoring visit. Learn more...
This study has been fully funded

6. Ibogaine for Addiction: First Two Subjects Enrolled in New Zealand Study

On July 16, 2012, the first two participants were enrolled in our recently initiated observational study of ibogaine treatment for addiction in New Zealand. Both of these individuals are suffering from methadone dependence and are receiving treatment at independent ibogaine clinics in New Zealand. This study is the second in our international series of observational studies of the safety and efficacy of ibogaine treatment for addiction, building on our nearly completed study in Mexico, where the final one-year follow-up evaluation will happen in September 2012. Learn more...
Mexico: : $7,000 needed / $34,000 raised
New Zealand: $15,000 raised / additional funds provided by co-sponsor

Support MAPS

All purchases made through the MAPS Store support psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education.

7. New in the MAPS Store

What the Dormouse Said
by John Markoff
Smoke Signals (releases August 14)
by Martin Lee
The New York Times journalist John Markoff's landmark book uncovers the culture and consciousness behind the first PCs.

What the Dormouse Said tells the story of the birth of the personal computer, a history where military hardware, anti-military software, and psychedelics are tangled together in the Northern California counterculture.
Martin Lee, bestselling author of Acid Dreams, tells a panoramic, character-driven saga examining the medical, recreational, scientific, and economic dimensions of the world's most controversial plant.

"A ripping read, thoroughly researched, Smoke Signals will help inform the current debate and hopefully hasten the demise of prohibition."
- David Bronner, CEO, Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

8. Seeking Auction Items for Psychedelic Science 2013

We're in full planning mode for our Psychedelic Science 2013 conference this coming April with our partners the Heffter Research Institute, the Beckley Foundation, and the Council on Spiritual Practices. We will auction just a few one-of-a-kind items to the highest bidders, with all proceeds helping to bring the world's leading psychedelic researchers together in Oakland in April 2013. Past auction experiences have included dinners with celebrities, stays in homes in resort areas, psychedelic artworks or historic artifacts, or travel to unique and unexpected places. If you have items like these that you would like to donate to the auction, please contact Virginia Wright (MAPS Director of Development) at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (831) 429-6362 x7. She will be happy to hear from you!

9. Seeking Business Support for Psychedelic Science 2013

Do you have a business and would like to reach out to our extended community of opt-in email list subscribers, Facebook followers, and attendees at our Psychedelic Science 2013 conference this April? You may want consider a Business Sponsorship and help support the most important gathering of psychedelic researchers in North America. We have a number of ways you can show your product or service to our well-educated, progressive and creative community. Prices range from $500 to $5,000 for a full Conference Sponsorship. For more information, please contact Virginia Wright (MAPS Director of Development) at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) or (831) 429-6362 x7.

Media

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


UK psychiatrist Ben Sessa writes for The Lancet
about the promise of psychedelic research

10. The Guardian: MDMA on Trial in the UK

Professor David Nutt, M.D., of Imperial College London writes for The Guardian about his current research using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure the effects of MDMA on the brain activity of healthy volunteers. (July 19, 2012)

11. The Lancet: Shaping the Renaissance of Psychedelic Research

Psychiatrist Ben Sessa, M.D. writes for the prominent medical journal The Lancet (pdf) about the promising future of psychedelics in the field of mental health treatment. (July 21, 2012)

12. The Conversation: Human Testing of Illicit Drugs: The Highs and Lows


MAPS supports psychedelic harm reduction
services at Boom Festival 2012 in Portugal

The Conversation reports on past and current research into the safety and effects of drugs such as LSD, MDMA, psilocybin, and marijuana in human subjects. The article addresses the political, scientific, and ethical challenges involved in the science of controversial compounds. (August 3, 2012)

13. Boom Festival 2012: A Safe Place for Difficult Experiences

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.

Events

14. PSYCHEDELIC SCIENCE 2013: April 18-22, Oakland, CA

MAPS, together with our partners the Heffter Research Institute, The Beckley Foundation, and the Council on Spiritual Practices, invites you to take part in Psychedelic Science 2013, an international psychedelic research conference taking place April 18-22, 2013 at the Oakland Marriott City Center and Oakland Convention Center in Oakland, CA.

These four leading psychedelic research organizations 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 field has grown tremendously since our 2010 Psychedelic Science conference, and Psychedelic Science 2013 will offer even more chances to connect and learn.

See maps.org/conference for more information.

15. Palenque Norte Speaker Series at Burning Man 2012: August 28-31, Black Rock City, NV

MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., will be a featured presenter at the Palenque Norte Speaker Series at Burning Man 2012, focusing on psychedelic medicines and altered states of consciousness. Other presenters include Alex Grey, Daniel Pinchbeck, Paul Stamets, and more.

16. Psychedemia: September 27-30, Philadelphia, PA

17. Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research: October 6-7, Amsterdam

18. Horizons: Perspectives on Psychedelics: October 12-14, New York City

19. Science and Nonduality Conference: October 24-28, 2012, San Rafael, CA


Enter coupon code MAPS for 15% off registration!

20. U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress: November 8-11, San Diego, CA

Michael Mithoefer, M.D., will share the latest results from our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for U.S. veterans with PTSD, and MAPS will host an exhibit booth with additional information about our research program.

More News

21. Study of Ecstasy (or MDMA) Experiences of Adults on the Autism/Asperger's Spectrum

Alicia Danforth, a Clinical Psychology student at the Institute of Transpersonal Psychology is conducting dissertation research to document the experiences of autistic or Aspergian adults who have tried the drug Ecstasy (or MDMA). You are invited to participate in a confidential online survey if you are on the autism spectrum, whether or not you have ever tried Ecstasy. The estimated time to complete the five surveys is 45 minutes-1 hour. Some participants may be invited to participate in an optional anonymous interview. You also have the option to enroll as a non-participant if you are curious to see the study materials. All participants who complete the surveys will receive a summary report of the key research findings next year. For more information about the study requirements, enrollment, and researcher contact information, please visit the study website: www.danforthresearch.com.

22. MAPS Welcomes New Communications and Clinical Staff

Our team is growing to meet the expanding needs of our psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education programs. We are excited to welcome Sarah Jordan as our new Publications Associate. Sarah comes to MAPS with a combination of experience in graphic design, production, and marketing from City on a Hill Press, Connections Magazine, the Santa Cruz Homeless Garden Project, and the Firelight Foundation. She is also a yoga instructor with an interest in physiology, neuroscience, and spirituality. Sarah will be joining the Communications Department to manage our various print publications, from the triannual MAPS Bulletin to educational brochures. We are also happy to announce the addition of Colin Hennigan as our new Clinical Study Assistant. Colin will be using his significant research and technical writing experience to support our clinical staff with data management, developing and maintaining quality control of clinical documents.

Give Our Veterans Hope
1 in 7 Iraq and Afghanistan veterans suffer from PTSD, in many cases leading to suicide. We owe it to our veterans to stop this epidemic.

Tell the Pentagon to fund MAPS' groundbreaking work to treat PTSD.