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Mind-Altering Drugs News Stories
Excerpts of Key Mind-Altering Drugs News Stories in Major Media


Below are highly revealing excerpts of important mind-altering drugs news stories reported in the media that suggest a major cover-up. Links are provided to the full stories on their major media websites. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These mind-altering drugs news stories are listed by date posted to this webpage. You can explore the same articles listed by order of importance or by article date. By choosing to educate ourselves on these important issues and to spread the word, we can and will build a brighter future.

Note: This comprehensive list of mind-altering drugs news stories is usually updated once a week. Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news stories on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


How LSD Makes Your Brain One With The Universe
2016-04-13, NPR
Posted: 2016-04-24 23:07:34
http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/04/13/474071268/how-lsd-makes-y...

Some users of LSD say one of the most profound parts of the experience is a deep oneness with the universe. The sensation ... correlates to changes in brain connectivity while on LSD, according to a study published Wednesday in Current Biology. An MRI scanner [showed that] the brains of people on acid looked markedly different than those on the placebo. Their sensory cortices, which process sensations like sight and touch, became far more connected than usual to the frontal parietal network, which is involved with our sense of self. "The stronger that communication, the stronger the experience of the dissolution (of self)," says Enzo Tagliazucchi, the [study's] lead author. Researchers also measured the volunteers' brain electrical activity with another device. Our brains normally generate a regular rhythm of electrical activity called the alpha rhythm, which links to our brain's ability to suppress irrelevant activity. But in a different paper published on Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, he and several co-authors show that LSD weakens the alpha rhythm. He thinks this weakening could make the hallucinations seem more real. The idea is intriguing ... says Dr. Charles Grob, a psychiatrist at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. "They may genuinely be on to something. This should really further our understanding of the brain and consciousness." And, he says, the work highlights hallucinogens' powerful therapeutic potential.

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", studies like this suggest the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more scientifically.


LSD's impact on the brain revealed in groundbreaking images
2016-04-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2016-04-18 08:29:32
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2016/apr/11/lsd-impact-brain-revealed-gro...

The profound impact of LSD on the brain has been laid bare by the first modern scans of people high on the drug. The images, taken from volunteers ... revealed that trippers experienced images through information drawn from many parts of their brains. Under the drug, regions once segregated spoke to one another. Further images showed that other brain regions that usually form a network became more separated in a change that accompanied users’ feelings of oneness with the world, a loss of personal identity called “ego dissolution”. David Nutt, the government’s former drugs advisor ... and senior researcher on the study, said, “This is to neuroscience what the Higgs boson was to particle physics.” [Study co-author Robin] Carhart-Harris said, “We saw many more areas of the brain than normal were contributing to visual processing under LSD, even though volunteers’ eyes were closed.” The more prominent the effect, the more intense people rated their dreamlike visions. Under the influence, brain networks that deal with vision, attention, movement and hearing became far more connected. But at the same time, other networks broke down. The drug can be seen as reversing the more restricted thinking we develop from infancy to adulthood. The study could pave the way for LSD or related chemicals to be used to treat psychiatric disorders. Nutt said the drug could pull the brain out of thought patterns seen in depression and addiction through its effects on brain networks.

Note: For more, see an NPR article titled "How LSD Makes Your Brain One With The Universe". This ground-breaking study appears in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", studies like this suggest the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more scientifically.


Top medical experts say we should decriminalize all drugs and maybe go even further
2016-03-24, Washington Post
Posted: 2016-03-27 20:38:50
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/03/24/top-medical-experts-sa...

A group of 22 medical experts convened by Johns Hopkins University and The Lancet have called today for the decriminalization of all nonviolent drug use and possession. The experts further encourage countries and U.S. states to "move gradually toward regulated drug markets and apply the scientific method to their assessment." Their report comes ahead of a special UN General Assembly Session on drugs to be held next month. In a lengthy review of the state of global drug policy, the Hopkins-Lancet experts conclude that the prohibitionist anti-drug policies of the past 50 years "directly and indirectly contribute to lethal violence, disease, discrimination, forced displacement, injustice and the undermining of people’s right to health. "The goal of prohibiting all use, possession, production and trafficking of illicit drugs is the basis of many of our national drug laws, but these policies are based on ideas about drug use and drug dependence that are not scientifically grounded," said Commissioner Dr. Chris Beyrer. "The idea that all drug use is necessarily 'abuse' means that immediate and complete abstinence has been seen as the only acceptable approach," commissioner Adeeba Kamarulzaman ... said. But, she added, "continued criminalization of drug use fuels HIV, hepatitis C and tuberculosis transmission within prisons and the community at large. There is another way. Programmes and policies aimed at reducing harm should be central to future drug policies."

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more openly, there remains powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade.


War on drugs harmed public health: report
2016-03-24, CBC (Canada's public broadcasting system)
Posted: 2016-03-27 20:37:05
http://www.cbc.ca/news/health/drug-war-public-health-1.3504843

The war on drugs has failed, fuelling higher rates of infection and harming public health and human rights to such a degree that it's time to decriminalize non-violent minor drug offences, according to a new global report. The authors of the Johns Hopkins-Lancet Commission on Public Health and International Drug Policy call for minor use, possession and petty use to be decriminalized following measurably worsened human health. "We've had three decades of the war on drugs, we've had decades of zero-tolerance policy," said Dr. Chris Beyrer, a professor of infectious disease epidemiology at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore and the senior author of the report published Thursday in The Lancet. "It has had no measurable impact on supply or use, and so as a policy to control substance use it has arguably failed. It has evidently failed." Given that the goal of prohibiting all use, possession, production and trafficking of illicit drugs was to protect societies, the researchers evaluated the health effects and found they were overwhelmingly negative. For a role model, the authors point to Portugal, which decriminalized not only cannabis but also possession of heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine. HIV transmission, hepatitis C and incarcerations all decreased, Beyrer said, and there was about a 15 per cent decline in substance use by young people in Portugal.

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more openly, there remains powerful evidence that the CIA and US military are directly involved in the drug trade.


Patients Legally Take Ecstasy While Receiving Therapy In Marin County
2016-02-26, KPIX TV (CBS San Francisco affiliate)
Posted: 2016-03-14 19:16:32
http://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2016/02/26/patients-legally-take-ecstasy-whi...

Decades after the U.S. Federal Government banned the drug ecstasy — which in turn went underground, gaining notoriety as a party drug — a Bay Area medical team got special permission to study its therapeutic use. The goal of the trial is to see whether a pure dose of the compound MDMA, also known as ecstasy, can be pure medicine: could it ease the crippling anxiety, fear, or depression felt by those suffering from a life-threatening disease? The lead investigator for this study is psychiatrist Phil Wolfson. The medical doctor has permission from the U.S. FDA to conduct the study, and legally administer the drug. “The FDA approved so the DEA had to follow suit,” explained Wolfson. Before the DEA declared MDMA illegal in 1985, Doctor Wolfson used it medicinally in his own practice and saw a tremendous benefit for patients. In the study, MDMA is not used alone. The use of the compound is combined with psychotherapy sessions that can last five hours or longer. “It’s not this 50 minutes in and out, it’s these extended periods of real interactive exchange, “ explained [study participant Andy] Gold. “With the MDMA, everything opened up,” recalled [study participant Wendy] Donner. “You start seeing things very, very clearly and at a nice slow pace, truths in your life are bubbling up. And revealed to you piece by piece,” explained [study participant John] Saul. The participants all say they’ve changed and are better able to face the future. Wolfson hopes the drug may one day be available to other patients as a legally accepted remedy.

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more openly.


Mind-Altering Drugs Could Cure PTSD
2015-12-22, Popular Science
Posted: 2016-01-17 15:44:27
http://www.popsci.com/mind-altering-drugs-can-cure-ptsd

About 8 percent of Americans experience PTSD; for veterans, that number is 30 percent. Treatment is notoriously difficult, but people could find relief in an unusual form: psychedelic drugs. MDMA - found in molly and ecstasy - earned a bad rap in the 1990s as ravers’ drug of choice. But psychotherapists are coming to value the way it increases empathy while decreasing fear and defensiveness. “MDMA gives people the ability to revisit an event that’s still painful without being overwhelmed,” says psychiatrist Michael Mithoefer. Following a recent MDMA trial, 83 percent of his treatment-resistant participants no longer showed symptoms of PTSD. In one study, Mithoefer worked with a New York City firefighter post-9/11. The subject had tried treatment before. While undergoing a popular method that uses eye movement to reprocess a trauma, he’d been so overcome that he ripped a sink off the wall. MDMA, however, worked. “It wasn’t easy for him,” Mithoefer says. “But our sink is still attached.” MDMA isn’t a one-trick pony either; it can treat end-of-life anxiety and alcoholism, and it’s not addictive. “We’re talking about the rise of a whole field of medicine,” says Rick Doblin, founder of the nonprofit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which is running a handful of MDMA trials, including Mithoefer’s. Doblin thinks the FDA will greenlight the drug for mainstream use by 2021.

Note: While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more openly.


Psychedelic drugs may be ready for a medical comeback
2015-09-08, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2015-09-27 18:31:13
http://www.latimes.com/science/sciencenow/la-sci-sn-psychedelic-drugs-medical...

New research on the use of psychedelic drugs as treatment for a range of mental disorders appears to be throwing open doors of perception long closed within the medical community, says a new analysis in the Canadian Medical Assn. Journal. For several decades, the North American medical establishment has classified psychedelic drugs – including LSD, psilocybin and [MDMA, better known as ecstasy] – as drugs of abuse with little to no medical purpose or means of safe use. That, four researchers argue, is changing. In Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, Peru, Mexico and the United States, researchers with no evident countercultural tendencies are conducting research that is finding psychedelic drugs a valuable adjunct to psychotherapy in treating addiction, post-traumatic stress and the depression or anxiety that often comes with terminal illness. Clinical investigators are demonstrating that such research "can conform to the rigorous scientific, ethical and safety standards expected of contemporary medical research," the authors write in the new analysis, titled "Psychedelic medicine: a re-emerging therapeutic paradigm." And the body of research they are generating is demonstrating that such drugs as MDMA, LSD and psilocybin can be effective in treating well-chosen patients. Two other factors - cost and time - also appear to be opening minds about the potential therapeutic uses of psychedelic drugs.

Note: For more about the therapeutic uses of psychedelic drugs, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles from reliable sources.


Psychedelics Promise a ‘Paradigm Shift’ in Treating Mental Illness
2015-09-08, Newsweek
Posted: 2015-09-27 18:29:36
http://www.newsweek.com/psychedelics-promise-paradigm-shift-treating-mental-i...

In the 1950s through the early ’70s, research began to show that psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, could be quite effective at treating mental health disorders like addiction. Then ... the so-called “war on drugs” began. For nearly a generation, science on these substances shut down. But that’s changing. In the past 20 years or so, a small amount of research has once again begun to focus on these chemicals, showing that they have promise for treating a range of conditions, from addiction to depression and anxiety, says Evan Wood, a psychiatric researcher at the University of British Columbia. In 2006, researchers at the University of Arizona published a study showing obsessive-compulsive patients who ingested psilocybin had immediate and lasting reductions in problematic symptoms. The same year, Johns Hopkins University physician and researcher Roland Griffiths showed that in healthy volunteers, psilocybin produced lasting benefits like improved mood and peacefulness six months after ingestion. Similar work has shown psilocybin can help treat anxiety associated with cancer, at UCLA and New York University. And a study in late 2014 found that LSD permanently reduced anxiety in a small number of patients. Wood says he’s most excited about research into using psychedelics to treat addiction. He published a review on September 8 in the Canadian Medical Association Journal covering recent work in this field.

Note: For more about the therapeutic uses of psychedelic drugs, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles from reliable sources.


Congress quietly ends federal government's ban on medical marijuana
2014-12-16, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2015-08-23 20:48:36
http://www.latimes.com/nation/la-na-medical-pot-20141216-story.html

Tucked deep inside the 1,603-page federal spending measure is a provision that effectively ends the federal government's prohibition on medical marijuana and signals a major shift in drug policy. The bill's passage ... marks the first time Congress has approved nationally significant legislation backed by legalization advocates. It brings almost to a close two decades of tension between the states and Washington over medical use of marijuana. Under the provision, states where medical pot is legal would no longer need to worry about federal drug agents raiding retail operations. Agents would be prohibited from doing so. Congress for years had resisted calls to allow states to chart their own path on pot. The marijuana measure, which forbids the federal government from using any of its resources to impede state medical marijuana laws, was previously rejected half a dozen times. Even as Congress has shifted ground on medical marijuana, lawmakers remain uneasy about full legalization. Marijuana proponents nonetheless said they felt more confident than ever that Congress was drifting toward their point of view. Approval of the pot measure comes after the Obama administration directed federal prosecutors last year to stop enforcing drug laws that contradict state marijuana policies.

Note: The war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure". The healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be openly investigated.


Could Pot Help Veterans With PTSD?
2015-08-02, Newsweek
Posted: 2015-08-16 23:31:01
http://www.newsweek.com/pot-and-ptsd-358139

Marijuana and the Veterans Affairs Hospital system’s relationship is complicated. On the one hand, 23 states plus the District of Columbia say marijuana is legal for sanctioned medical use, and veterans are clamoring for it for their post-combat symptoms. On the other, marijuana is classified a Schedule I drug. Veterans [have] been stuck in the middle. As many as 20 percent of veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder. Antidepressants like Zoloft and Paxil, along with other heavy-duty pills, have been the traditional mainstays in VA doctors’ arsenals. Non-FDA approved options, marijuana among them, haven’t been options at all. But that has started to change. The Veterans Equal Access Act ... aims to open the entire VA system to judicious prescription of medical cannabis. Prior to its introduction, VA doctors couldn’t even discuss cannabis with their patients, much less prescribe it. Arizona psychiatrist Sue Sisley [has] spent two decades treating patients with PTSD. “All we have now is Zoloft and Paxil. And if you know much about those meds, you know there are many side effects, and they often don’t work. If they are effective, then patients are dealing with these side effects,” Sisley adds. “Vets come home from service, and they just want to reintegrate into their family. And we make them fat and impotent and mired in a bunch of disabling side effects.” When asked why marijuana might be better than other options, Sisley’s quick to answer: “A single plant can provide monotherapy for this whole constellation of symptoms.”

Note: The war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure". The healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be openly investigated.


The Likely Cause of Addiction Has Been Discovered, and It Is Not What You Think
2015-01-20, Huffington Post
Posted: 2015-07-26 17:05:12
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/johann-hari/the-real-cause-of-addicti_b_6506936...

It is now one hundred years since drugs were first banned. Through this long century of waging war on drugs, we have been told a story about addiction by our teachers and by our governments. Almost everything we have been told about addiction is wrong. Nearly fifteen years ago, Portugal had one of the worst drug problems in Europe, with 1 percent of the population addicted to heroin. They had tried a drug war, and the problem just kept getting worse. So they decided to do something radically different. They resolved to decriminalize all drugs, and transfer all the money they used to spend on arresting and jailing drug addicts, and spend it instead on reconnecting them - to their own feelings, and to the wider society ... so they have a purpose in life, and something to get out of bed for. They are helped, in warm and welcoming clinics, to learn how to reconnect with their feelings, after years of trauma and stunning them into silence with drugs. The results of all this are now in. An independent study by the British Journal of Criminology found that since total decriminalization, addiction has fallen, and injecting drug use is down by 50 percent. For too long, we have talked exclusively about individual recovery from addiction. We need now to talk about social recovery - how we all recover, together, from the sickness of isolation. But this new evidence isn't just a challenge to us politically. It doesn't just force us to change our minds. It forces us to change our hearts.

Note: The above was written by Johann Hari, bestselling author of Chasing The Scream: The First and Last Days of the War on Drugs. Read more about Portugal's stunning success in curbing drug addiction by ending its drug war and cultivating human connection. For more, read about how the science behind the bonding theory of addiction has been suppressed since the 1970's by drug war profiteers.


How Medical Marijuana’s Chemicals May Protect Cells
2015-01-20, Scientific American
Posted: 2015-07-26 17:02:28
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/how-medical-marijuana-s-chemicals-m...

Edward Maa did not plan to become a marijuana researcher. But a few years ago, when the neurologist and epilepsy specialist surveyed his patients about their use of alternative medicines, he discovered that more than a third had turned to marijuana to try to control their seizures. According to the Epilepsy Foundation of Colorado, the widely reported case of Charlotte Figi, a child whose nearly constant seizures were dramatically curtailed with cannabidiol, a marijuana ingredient, has helped trigger an influx of families from around the U.S. [into Colorado] seeking similar treatment for their children with seizure disorders. Maa wants to move beyond anecdote and into data. He is monitoring 150 epilepsy patients who all take a product derived from the same strain of marijuana that Figi used, provided by the same source. Although the federal government still lists marijuana as a Schedule I drug, a class “with no currently accepted medical use,” a body of recent research suggests that cannabinoids, which are the active ingredients in marijuana, may have medicinal uses even beyond the approved ones. They might protect the brain from the effects of trauma, ease the spasms of multiple sclerosis and reduce epileptic seizures. Further preliminary work indicates that the chemicals may slow the growth of tumors and reduce brain damage in Alzheimer's disease. Before World War II, marijuana was listed as a medicine in the country's encyclopedia of drugs, the United States Pharmacopeia.

Note: Read a summary of a CNN News story that describes how marijuana helped stem the seizures of 6 year old Jayden. Colorado has become the first U.S. state to directly fund medical marijuana research.


The War on Drugs: 'A Trillion-Dollar Failure'
2015-06-25, Rolling Stone
Posted: 2015-07-03 22:33:53
http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/features/the-war-on-drugs-a-trillion-doll...

Don Winslow['s book] The Cartel, a sequel to 2005's The Power of the Dog [is] a sort of Game of Thrones of the Mexican drug wars, a multipart, intricately plotted, blood-soaked epic that tells the story of how America's unquenchable appetite for illegal drugs has brought chaos to our southern neighbors and darkened our own political and criminal culture. Dog ... traces the rise of the narcotraficantes who split Mexico into territories and smuggled cocaine across the U.S. border by the ton. The violence ... spills out into Mexican society, turning cities like Juarez into Fallujah-like battle zones. But the most shocking thing about these books is that almost all the horror stories Winslow tells ... are largely true – from the narcotrafficker who threw children off a bridge to ... countless murders, kidnappings and tortures. The War on Drugs is a trillion-dollar failure. We spend billions of dollars pursuing drugs and billions imprisoning people that probably shouldn't be in prison. This war has killed a hundred thousand people in Mexico. These ISIS beheadings that we're seeing [are] a direct copy of what the cartels were doing in 2007 and 2008. The Zetas had imported Special Forces veterans from the Guatemalan army – and one of their things was to cut off heads. [There's] a direct line between events in Ferguson and Baltimore and Cleveland to the War on Drugs. The fruits that we're reaping now are seeds that were planted back in 1971, when Nixon declared war on drugs. The War on Drugs is more of a problem to the United States than drugs are.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on drugs from reliable major media sources on little-known facts about mind-altering drugs. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our War Information Center.


Ayahuasca Psychedelic Tested for Depression
2015-04-08, Scientific American
Posted: 2015-04-12 19:43:02
http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/ayahuasca-psychedelic-tested-for-de...

A psychedelic drink used for centuries in healing ceremonies is now attracting the attention of biomedical scientists as a possible treatment for depression. Researchers from Brazil last month published results from the first clinical test of a potential therapeutic benefit for ayahuasca, a South American plant-based brew. The work forms part of a renaissance in studying the potential therapeutic benefits of psychedelic or recreational drugs — research that was largely banned or restricted worldwide half a century ago. Ketamine, which is used medically as an anaesthetic, has shown promise as a fast-acting antidepressant; psilocybin, a hallucinogen found in ‘magic mushrooms’, can help to alleviate anxiety in patients with advanced-stage cancer; MDMA (ecstasy) can alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder; and patients who experience debilitating cluster headaches have reported that LSD eases their symptoms. Ayahuasca, a sacramental drink traditionally brewed from the bark of a jungle vine (Banisteriopsis caapi) and the leaves of a shrub (Psychotria viridis) ... has been studied by anthropologists, social scientists and theologians, but clinical research on ayahuasca has been limited to observation of its effects in mice and rats, and in healthy human volunteers, including brain-imaging studies and retrospective surveys of past use. Further trials are under way.

Note: Are the healing potentials of mind altering drugs finally starting to receive honest mainstream attention?


This is your brain on LSD? Scientists want to find out
2015-03-06, CBS News
Posted: 2015-03-23 15:53:55
http://www.cbsnews.com/news/lsd-scientists-crowdfunding-research-on-psychedel...

A group of British scientists started a crowdfunding campaign to raise the remaining 25,000 pounds (about $37,600) needed to complete the first scientific study ever to image the brains of people "tripping" on the psychedelic drug LSD. Led by neuroscientists at Imperial College London, the study seeks to use MRI and MEG imaging to show how LSD affects brain processes. It is part of a research project that the scientists say could revolutionize the understanding of the human brain. Researchers hope the images will begin to reveal the way the drug could work to heal many debilitating conditions such as obsessive compulsive disorder, alcohol addiction, depression and anxiety. The public's response to the crowdfunding appeal was overwhelming. Within the first 24 hours after its request was posted online, the Beckley Foundation/Imperial College [exceeded] its goal. "We went into it tenuously and have been delighted by the response," said [Beckley Foundation Psychedelic Research Foundation director Amanda] Fielding. "It's an incredibly important area. LSD is something that can expand certain areas of the human personality: openness, spirituality, and creativity. Fielding's team is working hard to provide substantial scientific research to help eliminate the taboo of LSD and other hallucinogenic substances and loosen regulations on scientific testing. "There are many millions of people who have experienced the benefits of psychedelics, and there are millions of people who are suffering with illnesses that want to see if these drugs can help," said Fielding.

Note: It took just 24 hours for the public to fund this study directly. Are the healing potentials of mind altering drugs finally starting to receive honest mainstream attention?


The '60s Are Gone, But Psychedelic Research Trip Continues
2014-03-09, NPR
Posted: 2015-03-02 11:32:55
http://www.npr.org/2014/03/09/288285764/the-60s-are-gone-but-psychedelic-rese...

Psychedelic drug research is coming back. But the research still faces stigma, and funding is hard to get. Stanislav Grof was one of the leading researchers on the therapeutic applications of LSD in the 1950s and '60s. He studied the effect of hallucinogens on mental disorders, including addiction. Grof tells NPR's Arun Rath, "This was a tremendous deepening and acceleration of the psychotherapeutic process. Compared with the therapy in general, which mostly focuses on suppression of symptoms, here we had something that could actually get to the core of the problems." The Schedule 1 classification of LSD and other hallucinogenic substances in 1970 was a huge blow to research. But by the '90s, attitudes had begun to change. By the 2000s, a small but growing research community was picking up where Grof and others had left off. One area that showed promise was using hallucinogens to ease anxiety and depression in patients with cancer, like Erica Rex. "I was diagnosed with breast cancer, stage 2, in 2009," Rex says. "I went through the treatment, and then there are some drugs that have terrible side effects." She says she became obsessed with the possibility of her death, and it was crippling. Then Rex [was approved] for a study on the experimental drug psilocybin, an active compound in psychedelic mushrooms. In the end, she says, it helped her depression.

Note: Food justice champion Michael Pollan recently wrote a fascinating article prominently featured in the venerable magazine The New Yorker about the amazing power of psilocybin mushrooms to create profound healing in carefully controlled environments. It is subtitled "Research into psychedelics, shut down for decades, is now yielding exciting results." Are the healing potentials of mind altering drugs finally starting to receive honest mainstream attention?


When Silicon Valley takes LSD
2015-01-25, CNN
Posted: 2015-02-23 15:27:03
http://money.cnn.com/2015/01/25/technology/lsd-psychedelics-silicon-valley

In Silicon Valley, there is a premium on creativity, and tools thought to induce or enhance it are avidly sought. Some view psychedelics as ... a way to approach problems differently. There's no definitive scientific evidence that LSD or other hallucinogens improve creativity, and the DEA classifies LSD as a highly addictive, Schedule I drug. But the belief that they might work as a creative tool is enough to fuel some technologists' hope for professional epiphanies. Tim Ferriss, a Silicon Valley investor and author of "The 4-Hour Workweek," says he knows many successful entrepreneurs who dabble in psychedelics. "The billionaires I know, almost without exception, use hallucinogens on a regular basis," Ferriss said. "[They're] trying to be very disruptive and look at the problems in the world ... and ask completely new questions." The phenomenon was satirized on HBO's Silicon Valley when psychedelic mushrooms guide one of the show's main characters in the hunt for a new name for their startup. A recent study at Imperial College London provides a possible explanation. Twenty participants ingested LSD and then had their brain activity monitored in an fMRI machine. The drug [allowed] new patterns of communication to form. "Psychedelics dismantle 'well-worn' networks, and this allows novel communication patterns to occur. Modules that don't usually talk to each other are talking to each other more," explained Dr. Robin Carhart-Harris, the researcher who conducted the study.

Note: Food justice champion Michael Pollan recently wrote a fascinating article prominently featured in the venerable magazine The New Yorker about the amazing power of psilocybin mushrooms to create profound healing in carefully controlled environments. It is subtitled "Research into psychedelics, shut down for decades, is now yielding exciting results." Are the healing potentials of mind altering drugs finally starting to receive honest mainstream attention?


Special K, a Hallucinogen, Raises Hopes and Concerns as a Treatment for Depression
2014-12-09, New York Times
Posted: 2015-01-04 21:46:37
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/12/10/business/special-k-a-hallucinogen-raises-ho...

While [Ketamine] has been used as an anesthetic for decades, small studies at prestigious medical centers like Yale, Mount Sinai and the National Institute of Mental Health suggest it can relieve depression in many people who are not helped by widely used conventional antidepressants like Prozac or Lexapro. And the depression seems to melt away within hours, rather than the weeks typically required for a conventional antidepressant. Pharmaceutical companies hope to [develop] drugs that work like ketamine but without the side effects, which are often described as out-of-body experiences. Some doctors and patients are not waiting for the pharmaceutical industry. Because ketamine has long been approved for anesthesia, doctors are allowed to use it off-label to treat depression. ”There is clearly a need for new drugs. “Almost half of depressed patients are not being treated adequately by existing drugs,” said Dr. Sheldon H. Preskorn, a professor of psychiatry at the University of Kansas School of Medicine-Wichita. That, he said, is because virtually all the antidepressants used in the last 60 years work essentially the same way. Ketamine would represent a new mechanism of action. “Synaptic connections that help us to cope seem to grow back,” said Dr. John H. Krystal, chairman of psychiatry at Yale and a pioneer in the study of ketamine for depression.

Note: A 2012 NPR story provides more detail about the ketamine research done at Yale to treat depression. Could this put a stop to the thousands of horror stories involving conventional antidepressants?


Colorado Funds Medical Marijuana Research, a First
2014-12-17, New York Times
Posted: 2015-01-04 21:44:13
http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2014/12/17/us/ap-us-marijuana-research.html?_r=0

Colorado will spend more than $8 million researching marijuana's medical potential. The grants awarded by the Colorado Board of Health will go to studies on whether marijuana helps treat epilepsy, brain tumors, Parkinson's disease and post-traumatic stress disorder. Some of the studies still need federal approval. Though the awards are relatively small, researchers say they're a big step forward. While several other federal studies currently in the works look at marijuana's health effects, all the Colorado studies are focused on whether marijuana actually helps. "This is the first time we've had government money to look at the efficacy of marijuana, not the harms of marijuana," said Dr. Suzanne Sisley, a Scottsdale, Arizona, psychiatrist who will help run a study on marijuana for veterans with PTSD. Federal approval to study marijuana's medical potential requires permission of the Food and Drug Administration, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and either the National Institutes of Health or the Department of Health and Human Services. Twenty-three states and Washington, D.C., allow marijuana use by people with various medical conditions. But under federal law, pot is considered a drug with no medical use and doctors cannot prescribe it. Dr. Larry Wolk, Colorado's Chief Medical Officer, says the lack of research on marijuana's medical value leaves sick people guessing about how pot may help them and what doses to take.

Note: For more on the proven benefits from many mind-altering drugs, see these deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources.


How 'magic mushroom' chemical could free the mind of depression, addictions
2014-09-17, CNN
Posted: 2014-12-07 23:04:25
http://www.cnn.com/2014/09/17/health/magic-mushroom-chemical-depression

"People try and run away from things and to forget, but with psychedelic drugs they're forced to confront and really look at themselves," explains Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, from Imperial College London. The drugs Carhart-Harris is referring to are hallucinogens such as magic mushrooms -- specifically the active chemical inside them, psilocybin. Carhart-Harris scanned the brains of 30 healthy volunteers after they had been injected with psilocybin and found the more primitive regions of the brain associated with emotional thinking became more active and the brain's "default mode network," associated with high-level thinking, self-consciousness and introspection, was disjointed and less active. "We know that a number of mental illnesses, such as OCD and depression, are associated with excessive connectivity of the brain, and the default mode network becomes over-connected," says David Nutt, professor of neuropsychopharmacology, who leads the Imperial College team. The over-connectivity Nutt describes causes depressed people to become locked into rumination and concentrate excessively on negative thoughts about themselves. Depression is estimated to affect more than 350 million people around the world. The current pharmaceutical approach to treatment is with selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors (SSRIs), such as Prozac. But SSRIs ... are generally prescribed for long periods of time to maintain their effect. Nutt thinks psilocybin could be a game-changer, used as part of a therapeutic package ... to treat people within just one or two doses of treatment.

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