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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.

Psychedelic drugs may be ready for a medical comeback
2015-09-08, Los Angeles Times
Posted: 2015-09-27 18:31:13

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"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.

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

Could this be the next medicinal marijuana?
2014-10-31, CNN News
Posted: 2014-11-16 21:33:42

Imagine discovering a plant that has the potential to help alleviate post-traumatic stress disorder, suicidal thoughts and paralyzing anxiety. That's what some believe ayahuasca can do, and this psychedelic drink is attracting more and more tourists to the Amazon. War vets are seeking it for PTSD. Former Marine Lance Cpl. Ryan LeCompte organizes trips to Peru for war veterans, like himself, who are seeking ayahuasca as a possible treatment for PTSD and other emotional and mental trauma suffered after multiple combat deployments. "Ayahuasca is a way to give relief to those who are suffering," says LeCompte, who says many veterans are not satisfied with the PTSD treatment they receive when they return from combat. Libby ... is one of the veterans who accompanied LeCompte to Peru to try ayahuasca for her PTSD diagnosis, which includes sexual trauma while on active duty. She says antidepressants made her more suicidal. "I would like to wish not to die all the time," she said, when asked why she was seeking ayahuasca. "I want that to go away." Those of have tried ayahuasca say that any benefits - like with other drugs or medicine - must be combined with therapy. There are efforts to study the medicinal benefits of ayahuasca, explains Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies. "At a time when drug policy is being reevaluated ... how ayahuasca should be handled in a regulatory context is really up in the air," Doblin said.

Note: Watch the full CNN documentary on an ayahuasca ceremony in Peru. For more along these lines, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles about mind altering drugs from reliable sources.

Controversial Drugs Get Another Look
2014-09-14, CNN
Posted: 2014-10-27 20:46:50

Dr Sanjay Gupta: There's a group of outlawed drugs out there that are generating new interest among a growing number of doctors. Some of these drugs include things like MDMA also known as ecstasy, also LSD. Psychiatrists have (long) been fascinated by the properties of psychedelics. The U.S. military's efforts in the 1950s ... tested LSD as a potential weapon. But the interests in these drugs didn't stay in the lab. They trickled on to the black market and were soon outlawed. The pattern repeated itself with MDMA. Therapists tried it with patients. Millions tried it on their own. And in 1985, it was banned under federal law. Over the last decade, a small band of researchers wrangled permission to try again. This time giving MDMA during therapy sessions with patients who were suffering post-traumatic stress. DR. MICHAEL MITHOEFER, TESTING MDMA AS TREATMENT FOR PTSD PATIENTS: It was revisiting the trauma that was painful. The MDMA seemed to make it possible for them to do it effectively. GUPTA: Dr. Mithoefer has treated nearly 50 patients. He's currently working with veterans. RICK DOBLIN, MULTIDISCIPLINARY ASSOCIATION FOR PSYCHEDELIC STUDIES: People are able to look at traumatic memories, the fear is reduced, and then they're able to separate out it was happening then and not now. GUPTA: So, if they're going through counselling, for example, it could make that counselling more effective, they're not as paralyzed if you will by the memories that are being brought up? DOBLIN: We're saying that MDMA itself is not the medicine, it's MDMA assisted psychotherapy.

Note: Watch this CNN news clip and decide for yourself. For more about how the CIA secretly experimented on people with LSD and other drugs, read this deeply revealing information about a project called MK ULTRA. For more about the legitimate therapeutic uses of these drugs, and how investigation into these is suppressed, see these concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles from reliable sources.

'Absurd' drug laws 'hinder research' - Prof David Nutt
2013-04-06, BBC News
Posted: 2014-10-08 20:43:23

'Absurd' laws dealing with magic mushrooms, ecstasy and cannabis are hindering medical research, according to a former government drugs adviser. Prof David Nutt says he has funding to research the use of the chemical psilocybin - found in fungi known as "magic mushrooms" to treat depression. But he says "insane" regulations mean he cannot get hold of the drug. The Home Office said there was "no evidence" that regulations were a barrier to research. It is not the first time Prof Nutt has been at odds with government policy. He was sacked as an adviser over views that ecstasy and LSD were less harmful than alcohol. Earlier research at Imperial College London showed that injections of psilocybin could calm a region of the brain which is overactive in depression. The UK's Medical Research Council has given the lab a Ł550,000 grant to test the idea - in 30 patients who have not responded to at least two other therapies. They have also been given ethical approval. However, there are more stringent regulations for testing the drug as a treatment than in earlier experiments. As a potential medicine it must meet Good Manufacturing Practice requirements set out by the EU. "It hasn't started yet because the big problem is getting hold of the drug," said Prof Nutt. He said finding a company to provide a clinical-grade psilocybin had "yet proved impossible" as none was prepared to "go through the regulatory hoops". He told the BBC: "We have regulations which are 50 years old, have never been reviewed and they are holding us back, they're stopping us doing the science and I think it's a disgrace actually."

Note: Watch an informative three-minute BBC news clip of an interview with Prof. Nutt. Another good five-minute BBC interview is available here. For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources. See also the website of MAPS, and excellent organization supporting scientific study of the healing powers of these drugs.

A brief history of psychedelic psychiatry
2014-09-02, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:25:53

On 5th May, 1953, the novelist Aldous Huxley dissolved four-tenths of a gram of mescaline in a glass of water, drank it, then sat back and waited for the drug to take effect. Huxley took the drug in his California home under the direct supervision of psychiatrist Humphry Osmond, to whom Huxley had volunteered himself as “a willing and eager guinea pig”. Osmond was one of a small group of psychiatrists who pioneered the use of LSD as a treatment for alcoholism and various mental disorders in the early 1950s. He coined the term psychedelic, meaning ‘mind manifesting’ and although his research into the therapeutic potential of LSD produced promising initial results, it was halted during the 1960s for social and political reasons. While at St. George’s [Hospital after WWII], Osmond and his colleague John Smythies learned about Albert Hoffman’s discovery of LSD at the Sandoz Pharmaceutical Company in Bazel, Switzerland. Osmond and Smythies started their own investigation into the properties of hallucinogens. Osmond tried LSD himself and concluded that the drug could produce profound changes in consciousness. Osmond and [Abram] Hoffer also recruited volunteers to take LSD and theorised that the drug was capable of inducing a new level of self-awareness which may have enormous therapeutic potential. In 1953, they began giving LSD to their patients, starting with some of those diagnosed with alcoholism. Their first study involved two alcoholic patients, each of whom was given a single 200-microgram dose of the drug. One of them stopped drinking immediately after the experiment. The other stopped 6 months later. Osmond and Hoffer were encouraged, and continued to administer the drug to alcoholics. Their studies seemed to show that a single, large dose of LSD could be an effective treatment for alcoholism, and reported that between 40 and 45% of their patients given the drug had not experienced a relapse after a year.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind-altering drugs news articles from reliable major media sources.

Book review: ‘Acid Test,’ on psychedelic drug therapy for PTSD
2014-09-11, Washington Post
Posted: 2014-09-23 19:24:03

LSD, ecstasy (MDMA) and other psychedelics are powerful, mind-altering drugs that, as described by former Washington Post Magazine editor Tom Shroder, “intrinsically [challenge] the rationalist, materialist underpinnings of Western culture.” For most of a century, our society has struggled to come to grips with these “profoundly threatening drugs,” largely without success. They’ve all been made illegal. For decades, the Food and Drug Administration and the Drug Enforcement Administration have strictly banned scientific investigations into their potential benefits — which is unfortunate, since these psychoactive drugs also seem able to do incredible good, particularly in the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Every year, as many as 5 million Americans suffer from its effects. Frequent consequences include depression, drug and alcohol abuse, and a host of associated health problems. In “both humanitarian and economic terms,” the costs are staggering. And PTSD stubbornly resists treatment. Psychoactive drugs such as LSD and MDMA seem to bring powerful healing energies to bear on the underlying issues. But despite a growing mountain of evidence supporting the therapeutic benefits delivered by these drugs, government authorities have blocked scientific and therapeutic explorations of their potential. Fortunately, the government’s prohibitions may be loosening, thanks to a cadre of psychedelic advocates who have steadfastly refused to surrender to the taboos. The story of those people and their efforts to win scientific and therapeutic approval for psychedelic drugs is the central thrust of Shroder’s strangely wonderful new book, Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal.

Note: For more on this, see concise summaries of deeply revealing mind-altering drugs news articles from reliable major media sources.

Prescription painkiller deaths fall in medical marijuana states
2014-08-25, Chicago Tribune/Reuters
Posted: 2014-09-15 07:04:08

Researchers aren't sure why, but in the 23 U.S. states where medical marijuana has been legalized, deaths from opioid overdoses have decreased by almost 25 percent, according to a new analysis. "Most of the discussion on medical marijuana has been about its effect on individuals in terms of reducing pain or other symptoms," said lead author Dr. Marcus Bachhuber. "The unique contribution of our study is the finding that medical marijuana laws and policies may have a broader impact on public health." California, Oregon and Washington first legalized medical marijuana before 1999, with 10 more following suit between then and 2010, the time period of the analysis. Another 10 states and Washington, D.C. adopted similar laws since 2010. For the study, Bachhuber, of the Philadelphia Veterans Affairs Medical Center and the University of Pennsylvania, and his colleagues used state-level death certificate data for all 50 states between 1999 and 2010. In states with a medical marijuana law, overdose deaths from opioids like morphine, oxycodone and heroin decreased by an average of 20 percent after one year, 25 percent by two years and up to 33 percent by years five and six compared to what would have been expected, according to results in JAMA Internal Medicine. Meanwhile, opioid overdose deaths across the country increased dramatically, from 4,030 in 1999 to 16,651 in 2010, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Three of every four of those deaths involved prescription pain medications.

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