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Mind-Altering Drugs Media Articles
Excerpts of Key Mind-Altering Drugs Media Articles in Major Media


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

Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on several dozen engaging topics. And don't miss amazing excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Portugal’s radical drugs policy is working. Why hasn’t the world copied it?
2017-12-05, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/dec/05/portugals-radical-drugs-policy-i...

When the drugs came, they hit all at once. It was the 80s, and by the time one in 10 people had slipped into the depths of heroin use - bankers, university students, carpenters, socialites, miners - Portugal was in a state of panic. In 2001 ... Portugal became the first country to decriminalise the possession and consumption of all illicit substances. Rather than being arrested, those caught with a personal supply might be given a warning, a small fine, or told to appear before a local commission – a doctor, a lawyer and a social worker – about treatment, harm reduction, and the support services that were available to them. The opioid crisis soon stabilised, and the ensuing years saw dramatic drops in problematic drug use, HIV and hepatitis infection rates, overdose deaths, drug-related crime and incarceration rates. HIV infection plummeted from an all-time high in 2000 of 104.2 new cases per million to 4.2 cases per million in 2015. Portugal’s remarkable recovery ... could not have happened without an enormous cultural shift, and a change in how the country viewed drugs. Portugal’s policy rests on three pillars: one, that there’s no such thing as a soft or hard drug, only healthy and unhealthy relationships with drugs; two, that an individual’s unhealthy relationship with drugs often conceals frayed relationships with loved ones, with the world around them, and with themselves; and three, that the eradication of all drugs is an impossible goal. In spite of Portugal’s tangible results, other countries have been reluctant to follow.

Note: Portugal's successful policy has contributed to public health outcomes that starkly contrast US trends.


Veterans, grappling with PTSD, are helping to boost public support for medical marijuana
2017-11-26, CNBC News/Associated Press
https://www.cnbc.com/2017/11/26/veterans-grappling-with-ptsd-are-helping-to-b...

Against the backdrop of the nation's largest Veterans Day parade, Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced this month he'd sign legislation making New York the latest in a fast-rising tide of states to OK therapeutic pot as a PTSD treatment, though it's illegal under federal law. Twenty-eight states plus the District of Columbia now include PTSD in their medical marijuana programs, a tally that has more than doubled in the last two years. The increase has come amid increasingly visible advocacy from veterans' groups. Retired Marine staff sergeant Mark DiPasquale says the drug freed him from the 17 opioids, anti-anxiety pills and other medications that were prescribed to him for migraines, post-traumatic stress and other injuries from service that included a hard helicopter landing in Iraq in 2005. In a sign of how much the issue has taken hold among veterans, the 2.2-million-member American Legion began pressing the federal government this summer to let Department of Veterans Affairs doctors recommend medical marijuana where it's legal. The Legion started advocating last year for easing federal constraints on medical pot research, a departure into drug policy for the nearly century-old organization. "People ask, `Aren't you the law-and-order group?' Why, yes, we are," Executive Director Verna Jones said at a Legion-arranged news conference early this month at the U.S. Capitol. But "when veterans come to us and say a particular treatment is working for them, we owe it to them to listen and to do scientific research required."

Note: This Associated Press article no longer appears on CNBC's website. Here's an alternate link for the complete article. The illegal drug MDMA was recently fast tracked for FDA approval after preliminary studies found it to be effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. While police in the US arrest more people for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined, articles like these suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream credibility.


The Promise of Ecstasy for PTSD
2017-11-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/11/03/opinion/ecstasy-ptsd.html

In July, the Food and Drug Administration took the important step of approving two final-phase clinical trials to determine whether a party drug that has long been on the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Schedule I list of banned substances could be used to treat a psychiatric condition that afflicts millions. The drug is MDMA, a psychedelic commonly known as Ecstasy. The trials aim to determine whether the drug is, as earlier trials have suggested, a safe and effective treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder. The F.D.A. approval is a beacon of hope for the roughly eight million Americans believed to suffer from PTSD, a group that includes victims of abuse, refugees and combat veterans. The shortcomings in the way we have typically treated PTSD mean that many are condemned to suffer from the condition for years, even decades, with little relief. Less than 20 percent of patients are estimated to get effective treatment through prescription psychiatric drugs ... which, along with psychotherapy, have been the global standard of mental health care since the 1990s. This could change with the F.D.A.’s decision, which has given MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of PTSD the status of a potential “breakthrough therapy.” This designation permits the fast-tracking of trials in hopes of proving the drug, which has psychedelic and stimulant effects, to be safe and capable of doing what no other drug on the market can.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found to be highly effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


How MDMA Went From Club Drug to ‘Breakthrough Therapy’
2017-10-18, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/how-mdma-went-from-club-drug-to-breakthrough-the...

Stephen Ross spends most of his time helping people quit drugs. But early next year, he will begin administering MDMA in his ... medical research lab. MDMA, aka ecstasy, will still be an illegal drug. But it’s emerging as one of the most promising treatments for intractable post-traumatic stress disorder. Rick Doblin ... encountered MDMA for the first time [in 1982]. Two years later, he watched a patient suffering from PTSD undergo MDMA-assisted therapy. “That completely persuaded me of its therapeutic potential,” Doblin says. In 1985, Doblin learned that the DEA was moving to ban the drug ... and founded a nonprofit - the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies - to fight the prohibition. In 2000 [Doblin] met Michael Mithoefer, a therapist specializing in PTSD. Mithoefer had grown frustrated by the available treatments. Mithoefer and his wife and co-therapist, Annie, conducted the first MAPS-funded Phase II trial in 2004, which used MDMA to treat PTSD in victims of rape and childhood sexual abuse. These were patients with chronic cases that had proved resistant to other treatment methods. A second group, made up of veterans, firefighters and police officers, followed. Therapists refer to MDMA as an empathogen - something that enables patients to feel empathy not just for others but also for themselves. Of the 90 people who completed the 12-month follow-up after Phase II, 68% of them “did not meet PTSD criteria,” according to the study results MAPS submitted to the FDA. Of the remaining third, many had some reduction in symptoms.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


Lucy in the sky with doctors
2017-10-14, Boston Globe
http://www.bostonglobe.com/ideas/2017/10/14/lucy-sky-with-doctors/On92CQWm0YC...

A nascent movement of activists working to reframe psilocybin as both a medicine and as a tool for personal or spiritual growth [thinks] researchers and policy makers should be able to discuss, in a dispassionate way, the medical or recreational use of hallucinogenic drugs — a subject that not long ago was unthinkable. The Boston Entheogenic Network (BEN) ... formed last year. Instead of the more familiar, more polarizing adjective “psychedelic,” BEN uses the term “entheogenic” - meaning “generating the divine within” - to describe multiple methods of achieving altered states of consciousness. Proof of medical usefulness was the first step toward marijuana’s legalization. Could it be the same for hallucinogens? In fact, medical applications for psilocybin abound. Recent studies have found that MDMA seems to be a remarkably useful tool in treating post-traumatic stress disorder, when combined with psychotherapy. In August, the FDA designated the drug as a “breakthrough therapy,” meaning that it may have substantial advantages over existing PTSD treatments. Other studies suggest psilocybin has promise as a treatment for anxiety and depression. Meanwhile, “microdosing” - the regular use of tiny amounts of LSD or other psychedelics not to hallucinate but to improve creativity and mood - has become a Silicon Valley trend. Advocates for psychedelics have come a long way from Leary’s indiscriminate call for young people to “turn on, tune in, and drop out,” but many still believe these drugs could change the world.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


Will Psychedelic Therapy Transform Mental Health Care?
2017-10-06, NBC News
https://www.nbcnews.com/mach/science/will-psychedelic-therapy-transform-menta...

In the mid-1950s, LSD and other psychedelic drugs took the medical world by storm. Studies at the time suggested that the hallucinogens were effective against a variety of difficult-to-treat mental health problems. The research stalled in the early 1970s ... but [it] is picking up again. If the drugs prove to be as safe and effective as recent research suggests, we may be on the brink of what some are calling a revolution in mental health care. People with mood disorders, including those who are unresponsive to conventional therapies, might be able to ditch their antidepressants and antianxiety medications. Those with terminal illness could enjoy their remaining days without the fear of death looming over them, while people with PTSD could return to a normal life unobstructed by paralyzing flashbacks. We’re not at this point yet. But such is the promise of psychedelic medicine. What makes psychedelic therapy so powerful? Experts say it may be because the drugs work on a deep emotional as well as biological level, with patients experiencing a transformative sense of positivity, benevolence, and unity. "Unlike almost all other psychiatric medications ... these drugs seem to work through biology to open up a psychological opportunity," says Matthew Johnson, a Johns Hopkins University psychiatrist. And the drugs’ benefits may go beyond simply treating specific disorders. In 2011, Johnson and his colleagues showed that a single psilocybin session can give people a more "open" personality, as well as a greater appreciation of new experiences.

Note: Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


Ecstasy could be ‘breakthrough’ therapy for soldiers, others suffering from PTSD
2017-08-26, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/ecstasy-could-be-break...

For Jon Lubecky, the scars on his wrists are a reminder of the years he spent in mental purgatory. He returned from an Army deployment in Iraq a broken man. He got every treatment offered by Veterans Affairs for post-traumatic stress disorder. But they didn’t stop him from trying to kill himself - five times. Finally, he signed up for an experimental therapy and was given a little green capsule. The anguish stopped. Inside that pill was the compound MDMA, better known ... as ecstasy. That street drug is emerging as the most promising tool in years for the military’s escalating PTSD epidemic. The MDMA program was created by a small group of psychedelic researchers who had toiled for years in the face of ridicule, funding shortages and skepticism. But the results have been so positive that this month the Food and Drug Administration deemed it a “breakthrough therapy” - setting it on a fast track for review and potential approval. Only two drugs are approved for treating PTSD: Zoloft and Paxil. Both have proved largely ineffective. By giving doses of MDMA at the beginning of three, eight-hour therapy sessions, researchers say they have helped chronic PTSD patients process and move past their traumas. In clinical trials with 107 patients closely monitored by the FDA, 61 percent reported major reductions in symptoms - to the point where they no longer fit the criteria for PTSD. Follow-up studies a year later found 67 percent no longer had PTSD.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


Can Psychedelics Be Therapy? Allow Research to Find Out
2017-07-17, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/07/17/upshot/can-psychedelics-be-therapy-allow-r...

In the last few years, calls for marijuana to be researched as a medical therapy have increased. It may be time for us to consider the same for psychedelic drugs. Two general classes of such drugs exist, and they include LSD, psilocybin, mescaline and ecstasy (MDMA). All are illegal in the United States, [and can] cause harm. The best-known adverse event is persistent flashbacks, though these are believed to be rare. More common are symptoms like increased heart rate and blood pressure, anxiety and panic. Some people have pointed to ... positive effects. People with life-threatening illnesses can also suffer from anxiety, which is hard to treat. In 2014, a small randomized controlled trial was published that examined if LSD could be used to improve this anxiety. Anxiety was significantly reduced in the intervention group for up to a year. More common are studies of the use of psychedelics to treat abuse or addiction to other substances. [One study] exploring LSD’s potential to treat alcoholism [found that] alcohol use and misuse were significantly reduced in the LSD group for six months. Similar studies using psilocybin have also shown promising results. Researchers [have also] examined the potential for MDMA in the treatment of chronic and treatment-resistant post-traumatic stress disorder. At two months after therapy, more than 80 percent of those in the treatment group saw a clinical improvement versus only 25 percent of those in the placebo group. The beneficial effects lasted for at least four years, even with no further treatment.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are beginning to gain mainstream scientific credibility.


Religious leaders get high on magic mushrooms ingredient – for science
2017-07-08, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/science/2017/jul/08/religious-leaders-get-high-on...

Scientists at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore have enlisted two dozen religious leaders from a wide range of denominations, to participate in a study in which they will be given two powerful doses of psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms. Dr William Richards ... who is involved in the work, said: “With psilocybin these profound mystical experiences are quite common. It seemed like a no-brainer that they might be of interest, if not valuable, to clergy.” The experiment, which is currently under way, aims to assess whether a transcendental experience makes the leaders more effective and confident in their work and how it alters their religious thinking. Despite most organised religions frowning on the use of illicit substances, Catholic, Orthodox and Presbyterian priests, a Zen Buddhist and several rabbis were recruited. The team has yet to persuade a Muslim imam or Hindu priest to take part, but “just about all the other bases are covered,” according to Richards. The participants have been given two powerful doses of psilocybin in two sessions, one month apart. “Their instruction is to go within and collect experiences,” Richards said. “So far everyone incredibly values their experience. No one has been confused or upset or regrets doing it.” A full analysis of the outcomes will take place after a one-year follow-up with the participants, whose identities are being kept anonymous. “It is too early to talk about results, but generally people seem to be getting a deeper appreciation of their own religious heritage,” he said.

Note: In 1962, a similar experiment was conducted called the "Good Friday Experiment." Almost all of the members of the experimental group reported experiencing profound religious experiences. In 2002, a similar experiment at Johns Hopkins University yielded similar results. Learn about both of these in this Wikipedia article. Read more about the potentials of mind altering drugs now being explored by the scientific community.


Marijuana may be a miracle treatment for children with autism
2017-04-25, USA Today
https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/world/2017/04/25/marijuana-pot-treatment-...

When Noa Shulman came home from school, her mother, Yael, sat her down to eat, then spoon-fed her mashed sweet potatoes - mixed with cannabis oil. Noa is part of the first clinical trial in the world to test the benefits of medicinal marijuana for young people with autism, a potential breakthrough. There is anecdotal evidence that marijuana’s main non-psychoactive compound - cannabidiol or CBD - helps children in ways no other medication has. Now this first-of-its-kind scientific study is trying to determine if the link is real. Israel is ...one of just three countries with a government-sponsored medical cannabis program, along with Canada and the Netherlands. Conducting cannabis research is also less expensive here and easier under Israeli laws, particularly compared to the United States. Autism is one of the fastest-growing developmental disorders, affecting 1 in 68 children in the United States. Only two medications have been approved in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration to treat the symptoms of autism. Both are antipsychotic drugs that are not always effective and carry serious side effects. Adi Aran, the pediatric neurologist leading the study, said nearly all the participants previously took antipsychotics and nearly half responded negatively. Anecdotal reports of autistic children who benefited from cannabis ... led Aran to pursue more scientific testing. After seeing positive results in 70 of his autistic patients in an observational study, Aran said, “OK we need to do a clinical trial."

Note: Dozens of studies have found evidence that CBD can treat epilepsy as well as a range of other illnesses. While more people are arrested in the US for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined and the US federal government continues to regard non-psychoactive CBD as a dangerous drug, the UK government recently announced it will regulate CBD as medicine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


The definitive guide to what experts know about the effects of marijuana use
2017-01-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2017/01/13/the-definitive-guide-t...

As eight states plus the District of Columbia have moved to fully legalize recreational marijuana, debates on the merits of legalization have focused on the effects of marijuana use on individuals and society. The National Academies of Sciences, Medicine and Engineering have brought a great deal of clarity to the situation with an encyclopedic report summarizing pretty much everything researchers know (and don't know) about the health effects of marijuana use. For the 395-page report, a team of dozens of drug policy experts at some of the nation's most prestigious universities analyzed 24,000 scientific papers to arrive at more than 100 conclusions regarding the effects of marijuana use. The committee found strong evidence showing marijuana is effective at treating chronic pain in adults. Given the current public health crisis involving tens of thousands of deaths annually because of painkiller overdoses, this is a potentially significant finding. The report also turned up strong evidence that marijuana is effective at treating nausea and vomiting, [as well as] muscle spasticity. The literature shows limited evidence that marijuana use is linked to the use of other substances. The report does not address the implications of these findings for current legalization debates. The researchers do, however, state emphatically that the current designation of marijuana as a Schedule 1 controlled substance ... is one of the chief barriers to conducting more badly needed research.

Note: Big Pharma has been caught systematically bribing doctors to over-prescribe deadly painkillers, and an ex-DEA official has publicly accused Congress of helping drug makers avoid responsibility for their role in the US opioid epidemic. Meanwhile, more people are arrested in the US for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on government corruption and health.


A powerful new form of medical marijuana, without the high
2016-12-31, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/a-powerful-new-form-of...

Jackson Leyden had always been a healthy kid. But in 2011, a few months after his eighth birthday, he began having seizures several times a day. His parents took him to more than 20 doctors. He tried more than a dozen medications. Nothing worked. Two years ago, the Leydens ... decided to see whether marijuana might help. “Within a few days, he was having hardly any seizures,” says his mother, Lisa. “I was shocked.” Over the next few months, he stopped taking other medications. Not only did the medicine help, it did so without making him high. The strain of marijuana that Jackson takes is unusual: It contains high levels of cannabidiol, or CBD, one of the two main molecules in marijuana; the other is tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC. While THC is famously mind-altering, CBD is not. Over decades, researchers have found that THC may help treat pain, nausea, loss of appetite and other problems, while CBD was thought to be biologically inactive. But in the past 10 years ... dozens of studies have found evidence that the compound can treat epilepsy as well as a range of other illnesses, including anxiety, schizophrenia, heart disease and cancer. Now 13, Jackson ... continues to use marijuana every day. He still has seizures, but they are less severe and they occur once every week or two, down from around 200 a month before he started using cannabis. Although it doesn’t make users high, CBD ... is classified by the federal government as a Schedule 1 drug [with] no accepted medical use.

Note: While more people are arrested in the US for marijuana use than for all violent crimes combined and the US federal government continues to regard non-psychoactive CBD as a dangerous drug, the UK government recently announced it will regulate CBD as medicine. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources.


A Dose of a Hallucinogen From a ‘Magic Mushroom,’ and Then Lasting Peace
2016-12-01, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/01/health/hallucinogenic-mushrooms-psilocybin-...

On a summer morning in 2013, Octavian Mihai entered a softly lit room. He swallowed a capsule of psilocybin, an ingredient found in hallucinogenic mushrooms. Then he put on an eye mask and headphones and lay down on a couch. Mr. Mihai, who had just finished treatment for Stage 3 Hodgkin’s lymphoma, was participating in a study looking at whether the drug can reduce anxiety and depression in cancer patients. Throughout that eight-hour session, a psychiatrist and a social worker ... stayed by his side. The results from that study, and a similar small, controlled trial, were striking. About 80 percent of cancer patients showed clinically significant reductions in both psychological disorders, a response sustained some seven months after the single dose. Side effects were minimal. In both trials, the intensity of the mystical experience described by patients correlated with the degree to which their depression and anxiety decreased. Although cancer patients will not have access to therapeutically administered psilocybin anytime soon, the findings add vigor to applications to expand research in a multicenter trial with hundreds of participants. Psilocybin trials are underway in the United States and Europe for alcoholism, tobacco addiction and treatment-resistant depression. Other hallucinogens are also being studied for clinical application. This week, the Food and Drug Administration approved a large-scale trial investigating MDMA, the illegal party drug better known as Ecstasy, for post-traumatic stress disorder.

Note: See another article in the UK's Independent showing remarkable results from these studies. Learn more about the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs now being explored by the scientific community.


F.D.A. Agrees to New Trials for Ecstasy as Relief for PTSD Patients
2016-11-29, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/11/29/us/ptsd-mdma-ecstasy.html?_r=0

After three tours in Iraq and Afghanistan, C. J. Hardin wound up hiding from the world. He had tried almost all the accepted treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder. “Nothing worked for me,” said Mr. Hardin. Then, in 2013, he joined a small drug trial testing whether PTSD could be treated with MDMA, the illegal party drug better known as Ecstasy. “It changed my life,” he said. “It allowed me to see my trauma without fear or hesitation and finally process things and move forward.” Based on promising results like Mr. Hardin’s, the Food and Drug Administration gave permission Tuesday for large-scale, Phase 3 clinical trials of the drug - a final step before the possible approval of Ecstasy as a prescription drug. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a small nonprofit created in 1985 ... sponsored six Phase 2 studies treating a total of 130 PTSD patients. Two trials ... focused on treating combat veterans, sexual assault victims, and police and firefighters with PTSD who had not responded to traditional prescription drugs or psychotherapy. Patients had, on average, struggled with symptoms for 17 years. After three doses of MDMA administered under a psychiatrist’s guidance, the patients reported a 56 percent decrease of severity of symptoms on average, one study found. By the end of the study, two-thirds no longer met the criteria for having PTSD. Follow-up examinations found that improvements lasted more than a year after therapy.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. This FDA approval to begin Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA suggests that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are gaining mainstream scientific credibility.


Can Ecstasy Help Relieve Social Anxiety Epidemic Among Autistic People?
2016-10-29, NPR
https://ww2.kqed.org/futureofyou/2016/10/24/ecstasy-party-drug-offers-hope-fo...

For a long time, Daniel Au Valencia got the message that she was wrong, wrong, wrong. “There’s a lot of shame around autism,” she says. Last year Valencia heard about an unusual experimental study ... exploring a treatment specifically for social anxiety in autistic adults. Many traditional therapies don’t work for autistic people, says Nick Walker, [a] consultant on the new study, because they reinforce stigma around autism. He sees this new research as a uniquely “culturally appropriate” approach to addressing the “epidemic” of social anxiety in autistic adults. The treatment is MDMA, known more commonly as Ecstacy or Molly. Early studies ... show it can ease or erase symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. In one study, 83 percent of study participants treated with MDMA and psychotherapy were cured of their PTSD. Psychologist Alicia Danforth [is] conducting the social anxiety study at UCLA’s Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute, along with psychiatrist Charles Grob. Valencia is one of just 12 autistic adults participating in the pilot study. It’s impossible to draw a direct line between the treatment and how Valencia is doing right now, but she says she’s doing great. She’s got a steady full-time job, her own apartment, and she just got married. She says her biggest takeaway ... is more about emotions than social anxiety. She says she’s learned that there’s no such thing as good emotions or bad emotions. “All emotions deserve to exist,” she says.

Note: Learn more about the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs now being explored by the scientific community.


‘My therapist gave me a pill’: can MDMA help cure trauma?
2016-09-26, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/society/2016/sep/16/mdma-ptsd-therapy-trauma-maps...

For as long as Alice, now 32, can remember, her father, “a major drug dealer with freezers full of cocaine”, was physically abusive towards her and her mother. Alice’s post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) ... went misdiagnosed for many years. She tried [many therapies]. Nothing worked. Then, two and a half years ago, Alice enrolled in a clinical trial for a treatment combining psychotherapy with MDMA. Her “trips” were accompanied by eight-hour therapy sessions. During the session[s], her psychiatrist guided the conversation according to goals she had set with Alice beforehand. Alice’s recovery was astonishing. The clinician-administered PTSD scale, or Caps ... uses a lengthy questionnaire to determine the severity of a patient’s symptoms. Any score over 60 is “severe”. Alice’s score went from 106 to two. It’s now at zero. In other words, her PTSD is gone. Alice is one of 136 patients who have undergone MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in trials run by the not-for-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (Maps), based in Santa Cruz, California. [In] one South Carolina study ... 83% of those given the MDMA no longer met the criteria for PTSD following treatment, compared with 25% of those who were not given the drug. Best of all? The results have held for several years. MDMA is not a silver bullet: treatment is heavily reliant on the accompanying therapy, and there is a lot of therapy: three monthly sessions with the drug, lasting eight hours each, punctuated by nine weekly 90-minute sessions without it.

Note: Read more about how MDMA has been found effective for treating PTSD in a therapeutic context. Articles like this suggest that the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs are beginning to gain mainstream scientific credibility.


High Hitler: how Nazi drug abuse steered the course of history
2016-09-25, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/sep/25/blitzed-norman-ohler-adolf-hitl...

The German writer Norman Ohler['s] book ... "The Total Rush" – or, to use its superior English title, "Blitzed" – reveals the astonishing and hitherto largely untold story of the Third Reich’s relationship with drugs, including cocaine, heroin, morphine and, above all, methamphetamines (aka crystal meth). The story Ohler tells begins in the days of the Weimar Republic, when ... Hitler’s inner circle established an image of him as an unassailable figure who was willing to work tirelessly on behalf of his country, and who would permit no toxins – not even coffee – to enter his body. When the Nazis seized power in 1933, “seductive poisons” were immediately outlawed. Some drugs, however, had their uses. A substance that could “integrate shirkers, malingerers, defeatists and whiners” into the labour market might even be sanctioned. Ohler describes [the methyl-amphetamine Pervitin] as National Socialism in pill form. In 1940, as plans were made to invade France through the Ardennes mountains, a “stimulant decree” was sent out to army doctors, recommending that soldiers take [Pervitin]. The invasion of France was made possible by the drugs. In Berlin, Hitler was [prescribed injections of] a designer opiate. He would combine it with twice daily doses of the high grade cocaine. The effect of the drugs could appear to onlookers to be little short of miraculous. One minute the Führer was so frail he could barely stand up. The next, he would be ranting unstoppably at Mussolini.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on corruption in government and the manipulation of public perception.


One striking chart shows why pharma companies are fighting legal marijuana
2016-07-13, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/wonk/wp/2016/07/13/one-striking-chart-sho...

Painkiller abuse and overdose are lower in states with medical marijuana laws. When medical marijuana is available, pain patients are increasingly choosing pot over powerful and deadly prescription narcotics. Now a new study [provides] clear evidence of a missing link in the causal chain running from medical marijuana to falling overdoses. Researchers at the University of Georgia scoured the database of all prescription drugs paid for under Medicare Part D from 2010 to 2013. In the 17 states with a medical-marijuana law in place by 2013, prescriptions for painkillers and other classes of drugs fell sharply compared with states that did not have a medical-marijuana law. They found that, in medical-marijuana states, the average doctor prescribed 265 fewer doses of antidepressants each year, 486 fewer doses of seizure medication, 541 fewer anti-nausea doses and 562 fewer doses of anti-anxiety medication. But most strikingly, the typical physician in a medical-marijuana state prescribed 1,826 fewer doses of painkillers in a given year. Estimating the cost savings to Medicare from the decreased prescribing, [the study] found that about $165 million was saved in the 17 medical marijuana states in 2013. The estimated annual Medicare prescription savings would be nearly half a billion dollars if all 50 states were to implement similar programs.

Note: The war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", and an increasing number of deaths are caused by prescription opioid overdose in the US each year. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing health news articles from reliable major media sources. Then explore the excellent, reliable resources provided in our Health Information Center.


LSD-Like Drugs Are Out of the Haze and Back in the Labs
2016-05-15, New York Times
http://www.nytimes.com/2016/05/16/us/lsd-like-drugs-are-out-of-the-haze-and-b...

In recent years, researchers have sought to rescue hallucinogens from exile by examining their efficacy in treating certain disorders of the mind. Psychoactive substances, often derived from mushrooms, have been part of human cultures ... for thousands of years. In the 1950s and ’60s, researchers assiduously explored LSD as a tool for treating mental illness and various addictions. The Central Intelligence Agency tested the drug’s possibilities as a truth serum or perhaps a vehicle for mind control. Prohibitions against LSD and brethren hallucinogens, like psilocybin and mescaline, were codified in the Controlled Substances Act of 1970. Soon enough, serious scientific exploration of psychedelics dried up. In recent years, though, mind-bending drugs have begun tiptoeing back into the research mainstream. Modern scientists are ... studying hallucinogens’ potential to help smokers kick the habit, to undo addictions to drugs and alcohol, to cope with cluster headaches and depression, and to deal with obsessive-compulsive and post-traumatic stress disorders. Institutions where such work is underway include New York University; Johns Hopkins University; the University of California, Los Angeles; Psychiatric University Hospital in Zurich; and Imperial College in London. Hallucinogens, while not addictive, remain officially taboo everywhere. Nonetheless ... if carefully administered, [some researchers] say, hallucinogens can reorient patients’ perceptions of their place in the universe and pull them out of ruts of negative thinking.

Note: Watch a 13-minute New York Times video on the return of psychedelics as a powerful healing modality. While the war on drugs has been called a "trillion dollar failure", articles like this suggest the healing potentials of mind altering drugs are starting to be investigated more scientifically.


How LSD Makes Your Brain One With The Universe
2016-04-13, NPR
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.


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