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Mind-Altering Drugs News Articles
Excerpts of key news articles on mind-altering drugs


Below are key excerpts of little-known, yet highly revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from the major media. Links are provided to the full news articles for verification. If any link fails to function, read this webpage. These articles on mind-altering drugs are listed by order of importance. You can also explore them ordered by the date of the article or by the date posted. By choosing to educate ourselves, we can build a brighter future.


Note: Explore our full index to revealing excerpts of key major media news articles on dozens of engaging topics. And read excerpts from 20 of the most revealing news articles ever published.


Top medical experts say we should decriminalize all drugs and maybe go even further
2016-03-24, Washington Post
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.


Psychedelics Promise a ‘Paradigm Shift’ in Treating Mental Illness
2015-09-08, Newsweek
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.


Why I changed my mind on weed
2013-08-09, CNN
http://edition.cnn.com/2013/08/08/health/gupta-changed-mind-marijuana/index.html

Over the last year, I [CNN Chief Medical Correspondent Dr. Sanjay Gupta] have been working on a new documentary called "Weed." The title "Weed" may sound cavalier, but the content is not. I traveled around the world to interview medical leaders, experts, growers and patients. I spoke candidly to them, asking tough questions. What I found was stunning. Long before I began this project, I had steadily reviewed the scientific literature on medical marijuana from the United States and thought it was fairly unimpressive. Reading these papers five years ago, it was hard to make a case for medicinal marijuana. I even wrote about this in a TIME magazine article, back in 2009, titled "Why I would Vote No on Pot." Well, I am here to apologize. I apologize because I didn't look hard enough, until now. I didn't look far enough. I didn't review papers from smaller labs in other countries doing some remarkable research, and I was too dismissive of the loud chorus of legitimate patients whose symptoms improved on cannabis. I mistakenly believed the Drug Enforcement Agency listed marijuana as a schedule 1 substance because of sound scientific proof. Surely, they must have quality reasoning as to why marijuana is in the category of the most dangerous drugs that have "no accepted medicinal use and a high potential for abuse." They didn't have the science to support that claim, and I now know that when it comes to marijuana neither of those things are true. It doesn't have a high potential for abuse, and there are very legitimate medical applications. In fact, sometimes marijuana is the only thing that works.

Note: This article was authored by CNN's Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta. For more on the proven benefits from many mind-altering drugs, see the deeply revealing reports from reliable major media sources available here.


Oregon becomes first state to legalize magic mushrooms as more states ease drug laws in 'psychedelic renaissance'
2020-11-04, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2020/11/04/oregon-becomes-first-state-to-legalize-magic-...

Oregon on Wednesday became the first state to legalize the active ingredient in so-called magic mushrooms on an election night that saw more states ease restrictions on recreational drugs across the country. Oregon's Measure 109 will give legal access to psilocybin, the main active ingredient in "magic mushrooms," for mental health treatment in supervised settings. While some cities have moved to legalize and regulate access to the drug, Oregon will become the first state in the country to legalize it on a statewide basis. Supporters of the measure point to the medical benefits of the drug, which has been shown in some studies to benefit trauma survivors. Through Measure 110, which has captured more than 58% of the vote so far, Oregon would also decriminalize the possession of small amounts of some hard drugs, including heroin and LSD. Instead of criminal prosecution, people in possession would face a $100 fine, which can be waived if the person agrees to pursue treatment, according to the measure. Ronan Levy, the cofounder of Field Trip Health, a Toronto-based company that provides psychedelic-enhanced psychotherapy, said the ballot wins are "fantastic news" for what he called the psychedelic renaissance. Research is mounting that indicates the benefits of using psychedelic drugs to enhance therapy, Levy said, adding that ... the drug alone isn't necessarily helpful; it needs to be taken under supervision of trained personnel.

Note: Recent studies suggest psilocybin can be used to treat addiction and anxiety. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potential of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


Magic Mushrooms May Be the Biggest Advance in Treating Depression Since Prozac
2021-09-22, Newsweek
https://www.newsweek.com/2021/10/01/magic-mushrooms-may-biggest-advance-treat...

For most of his adult life, Aaron Presley, age 34, felt like a husk of a person, a piece of "garbage." Then, all at once, the soul-crushing, depressive fog started to lift, and the most meaningful experience of his life began. The turning point for Presley came as he lay on a psychiatrist's couch at Johns Hopkins University. He had consumed a large dose of psilocybin, the active ingredient in what's more commonly known as magic mushrooms, and entered a state that could best be described as lucid dreaming. Visions of family and childhood triggered overwhelming and long-lost feelings of love, he says. Presley was one of 24 volunteers taking part in a small study aimed at evaluating the effectiveness of a combination of psychotherapy and this powerful mind-altering drug to treat depression–an approach that, should it win approval, could be the biggest advance in mental health since Prozac in the 1990s. Depression ... affects 320 million people around the world. Roughly one-third of those who seek treatment won't respond to verbal or conventional drug therapies. Magic-mushroom therapy is offering some hope for these hopeless cases. In the Hopkins study, published last year in JAMA Psychiatry, the therapy was four times more effective than traditional antidepressants. Two-thirds of participants showed a more-than 50-percent reduction in depression symptoms after one week; a month later, more than half were considered in remission, meaning they no longer qualified as being depressed.

Note: Read more about the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs. Explore a treasure trove of concise summaries of incredibly inspiring news articles which will inspire you to make a difference.


Can Magic Mushrooms Heal Us?
2021-03-18, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/03/18/opinion/oregon-psychedelic-therapy.html

Gov. Kate Brown of Oregon announced the members of the state's newly formed Psilocybin Advisory Board this week. Oregon is about to become the first state in the country to try to build a support infrastructure through which psychedelic mushrooms can be woven into everyday life. This framework is different from what we've seen before: not legalization, not medicalization, but therapeutic use, in licensed facilities, under the guidance of professionals trained to guide psychedelic experiences. The ... pressing case for psilocybin comes from research out of Johns Hopkins, U.C.L.A., N.Y.U. and elsewhere that has shown it to be a potentially effective treatment for major depression, end-of-life anxiety and drug addiction. "One of the things I've come to is that addiction medicine in 2021 is in desperate need of transformative technologies," Todd Korthuis, a ... member of Oregon's Psilocybin Advisory Board, told me. Studies ... are "showing dramatic change in people's lives – that's what we need for cocaine use disorder, methamphetamine use disorder, even alcohol and tobacco." A recent study on major depressive disorder, published in JAMA Psychiatry, found more than half of the subjects in remission four weeks later, after just two treatments alongside psychotherapy. A study on tobacco addiction, out of Johns Hopkins, found two-thirds of the subjects who received psilocybin in combination with cognitive behavioral therapy abstinent a year later.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


Silicon Valley and Wall Street Elites Pour Money Into Psychedelic Research
2020-08-20, Wall Street Journal
https://www.wsj.com/articles/silicon-valley-and-wall-street-elites-pour-money...

A group of Silicon Valley and Wall Street executives has raised $30 million to speed the development of a closely watched psychedelic-drug therapy. The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a nonprofit advocating for psychedelic research since the 1980s, is conducting its last phase of clinical trials to research the efficacy of using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder. PTSD afflicts about eight million adults a year. MDMA is more commonly known as the main component of Ecstasy. Armed with the new funding, MAPS is aiming to finish the trials and seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration to commercialize the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy as soon as 2022. In 2017, the FDA designated MDMA as a breakthrough therapy for PTSD, meaning it would expedite review of the drug. MAPS said a recent interim analysis of its Phase 3 clinical trials ... showed a very high likelihood the therapy will be effective for treating PTSD. In phase 2 clinical trials, individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder received psychotherapy, some with the psychedelic drug MDMA. More of those who received the drug no longer received a PTSD diagnosis in the months after treatment, compared with those who received a placebo. Business leaders said their donations came from a personal connection to mental-health conditions. Among them is billionaire Bob Parsons, founder of GoDaddy and ... a Marine Corps Vietnam War veteran, who said he has continued to battle PTSD.

Note: To read the entire article free of charge, see this webpage. Note that as big Pharma won't make big profits from these therapies, they are not funding any of the major studies, while the nonprofit MAPS has stepped in to make this happen. And not mentioned in this article is that the results of these studies has been dramatic, with over 2/3 of patients showing no signs of PTSD a year after treatment. For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


A Balm for Psyches Scarred by War
2022-05-29, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2022/05/29/health/mdma-therapy-ptsd.html

Mr. McCourry, a former U.S. Marine, had been crippled by post-traumatic stress disorder ever since returning from Iraq in 2004. He could not sleep, pushed away friends and family and developed a drinking problem. The numbness he felt was broken only by bouts of rage and paranoia. He was contemplating suicide when his sister heard about a novel clinical trial using the psychedelic drug MDMA, paired with therapy, to treat PTSD. Desperate, he enrolled in 2012. PTSD is a major public health problem worldwide and is particularly associated with war. In the United States, an estimated 13 percent of combat veterans and up to 20 to 25 percent of those deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan are diagnosed with PTSD at some point in their lives, compared with seven percent of the general population. There is growing evidence that MDMA – the illegal drug known as Ecstasy or Molly – can significantly lessen or even eliminate symptoms of PTSD when the treatment is paired with talk therapy. Last year, scientists reported in Nature Medicine the most encouraging results to date. The 90 participants in the study had all suffered from severe PTSD for more than 14 years on average. Each received three therapy sessions with either MDMA or a placebo, spaced one month apart and overseen by a two-person therapist team. Two months after treatment, 67 percent of those who received MDMA no longer qualified for a PTSD diagnosis, compared with 32 percent who received the placebo. As in previous trials, MDMA caused no serious side effects.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


Veterans Have Become Unlikely Lobbyists in Push to Legalize Psychedelic Drugs
2021-11-11, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/11/health/veterans-psychedelics-ptsd-depressi...

Jose Martinez, a former Army gunner whose right arm and both legs were blown off by a roadside bomb in Afghanistan, has a new calling: He's become one of the most effective lobbyists in a campaign to legalize the therapeutic use of psychedelic drugs across the country. On a Zoom call ... with Connie Leyva, a Democratic legislator in California who has long opposed relaxing drug laws, Mr. Martinez told her how psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in "magic" mushrooms, had helped to finally quell the physical pain and suicidal thoughts that had tormented him. Ms. Leyva says she changed her mind even before the call ended, and she later voted yes on the bill, which is expected to become law early next year. In the two years since Oregon, Washington, D.C., and a half-dozen municipalities decriminalized psilocybin, vets have become leading advocates in the drive to legalize psychedelic medicine, which they credit with helping ease the post-traumatic stress, anxiety and depression that are often tied to their experiences in the military. The campaign has been propelled by the epidemic of suicides among veterans ... but also by the national reckoning over the mass incarceration of people on drug charges. More than 30,000 service members have taken their own lives in the years since Sept. 11 – four times the number of those who died on the battlefield. "I will not be told no on something that prevents human beings from killing themselves," Mr. Martinez said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


Psychedelic trips could soon be part of therapy – here's what those sessions will look like
2021-07-24, CNBC News
https://www.cnbc.com/2021/07/24/how-psychedelic-assisted-therapy-with-mdma-an...

Psychedelic drugs are substances that alter perception and mood and affect a number of cognitive processes. The classic psychedelics include MDMA aka "ecstasy" or "molly," LSD, psilocybin or "mushrooms," ayahuasca and ibogaine. Used in conjunction with therapists, research has shown that psychedelics can help treat historically difficult-to-treat conditions by essentially "reshaping" the way "parts of the brain talk to each other," says Jennifer Mitchell, a neuroscientist. "Psychedelics allow for processing in a way that enables subjects to let go of things that had previously plagued them," she says. As Mitchell explains it, when people are young, their brains go through critical periods of learning and development that then become closed off as they age. Researchers believe that psychedelics "open those closed critical periods for just a tiny window of time," she says. "When that critical period is open again, you want to make the most of it, and make that potential change as positive as possible," she says. With psilocybin, for instance, it is believed the drug boosts connectivity in the brain and increases "neuroplastic states," which are the brain's ability to reorganize and adapt, says Dr. Stephen Ross ... who has been conducting clinical trials on psilocybin-assisted therapy for the past 16 years. MDMA-assisted therapy could be approved by the FDA for medical use as early as 2023, while other psychedelics, notably psilocybin, are waiting in the wings for their turn to be evaluated for medical purposes.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


The Psychedelic Revolution Is Coming. Psychiatry May Never Be the Same.
2021-05-09, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/09/health/psychedelics-mdma-psilocybin-molly-...

It's been a long, strange trip in the four decades since Rick Doblin, a pioneering psychedelics researcher, dropped his first hit of acid in college and decided to dedicate his life to the healing powers of mind-altering compounds. Dr. Doblin's quest to win mainstream acceptance of psychedelics took a significant leap forward ... when the journal Nature Medicine published the results of his lab's study on MDMA, the club drug popularly known as Ecstasy and Molly. The study, the first Phase 3 clinical trial conducted with psychedelic-assisted therapy, found that MDMA paired with counseling brought marked relief to patients with severe post-traumatic stress disorder. The results, coming weeks after a New England Journal of Medicine study that highlighted the benefits of treating depression with psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, have excited scientists, psychotherapists and entrepreneurs. They say it is only a matter of time before the Food and Drug Administration grants approval for psychoactive compounds to be used therapeutically – for MDMA as soon as 2023, followed by psilocybin a year or two later. Last year, Oregon became the first state to legalize the therapeutic use of psilocybin. Denver, Oakland, Calif., and Washington, D.C., have decriminalized the drug, and several states, including California, are mulling similar legislation. Though the drugs remain illegal under federal law, the Justice Department has so far taken a hands-off approach to enforcement.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


A Psychedelic Drug Passes a Big Test for PTSD Treatment
2021-05-03, New York Times
https://www.nytimes.com/2021/05/03/health/mdma-approval.html

In an important step toward medical approval, MDMA, the illegal drug popularly known as Ecstasy or Molly, was shown to bring relief to those suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder when paired with talk therapy. Of the 90 people who took part in the new study, which is expected to be published later this month in Nature Medicine, those who received MDMA during therapy experienced a significantly greater reduction in the severity of their symptoms compared with those who received therapy and an inactive placebo. Two months after treatment, 67 percent of participants in the MDMA group no longer qualified for a diagnosis of PTSD, compared with 32 percent in the placebo group. MDMA produced no serious adverse side effects. Some participants temporarily experienced mild symptoms like nausea and loss of appetite. Unlike traditional pharmaceuticals, MDMA does not act as a band-aid that tries to blunt symptoms of PTSD. Instead, in people with PTSD, MDMA combined with therapy seems to allow the brain to process painful memories and heal itself. Scott Ostrom, who participated in the study, had suffered from PTSD since returning home from his second deployment in Iraq in 2007. For more than a decade, he experienced debilitating nightmares. Mr. Ostrom's days were punctuated by panic attacks, and he dropped out of college. Therapy and medication did not help. But after participating in the trial, he no longer has nightmares. "Literally, I'm a different person," he said.

Note: For more along these lines, see concise summaries of deeply revealing news articles on the healing potentials of mind-altering drugs from reliable major media sources.


MDMA, Or Ecstasy, Shows Promise As A PTSD Treatment
2019-08-04, NPR
https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2019/08/14/746614170/mdma-aka-ecsta...

MDMA is the main ingredient in club drugs ecstasy or molly. But [Lori] Tipton wasn't taking pills sold on the street to get high at a party. She was trying to treat her post-traumatic stress disorder, with the help of licensed therapists. Two specially-trained psychotherapists ... sat next to Tipton as she recalled some of her deepest traumas, like discovering her mother's body after a murder-suicide. "I was able to find such empathy for myself. I realized how much I was thinking this was my fault," she says. The synthetic psychoactive chemical MDMA is emerging as a promising — if unconventional — treatment for PTSD. Scientists are testing how pharmaceutical-grade MDMA can be used in combination with psychotherapy to help patients who have a severe form of PTSD that has not responded to other treatments. It's not yet available as a treatment for PTSD outside of clinical trials, but the success of early trials has proponents hopeful that the therapy could be available to more people in coming years. They're aiming for approval by the The Food and Drug Administration, which granted breakthrough therapy status to MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in 2017. After the Phase 2 trials of MDMA-assisted treatments concluded in 2017, researchers found 54% of the patients who took MDMA had improved to the point that they no longer fit the diagnosis for PTSD (compared to 23% in the control group). A year later, the number who no longer had PTSD had risen to 68% percent.

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


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.


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.


LSD's impact on the brain revealed in groundbreaking images
2016-04-11, The Guardian (One of the UK's leading newspapers)
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.


LSD could make you smarter, happier and healthier.
2016-04-01, Washington Post
https://www.washingtonpost.com/posteverything/wp/2016/04/01/lsd-could-make-yo...

In 1970, Congress dropped psychedelics into the war on drugs. The federal government declared that the drugs had no medical use - and high potential for abuse. Over the past decade, some scientists have begun to challenge that conclusion. Far from being harmful, they found, hallucinogens can help sick people: They helped alcoholics drink less; terminal patients eased more gently into death. And it’s not just the infirm who are helped by the drugs. They can help us solve problems more creatively and make us more open-minded and generous. Scientists think [that] when someone takes a psychedelic, there is a decrease in blood flow and electrical activity in the brain’s “default mode network,” [which] is primarily responsible for our ego or sense of self. When we trip, our default mode network slows down. With the ego out of commission, the boundaries between self and world, subject and object dissolve. Robin Carhart-Harris, a neuroscientist with Imperial College London, notes that the default mode network is responsible for a lot of our rigid, habitual thinking and obsessions. Psychedelics help relax the part of the brain that leads us to obsess. And they can help “loosen if not break” the entrenched physical circuits responsible for addictive behavior. Steve Jobs famously said that taking LSD “was one of the most important things in my life.” The entrepreneur Tim Ferriss said that “the billionaires I know, almost without exception, use hallucinogens on a regular basis.”

Note: 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.


Mind-Altering Drugs Could Cure PTSD
2015-12-22, Popular Science
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
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.

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