#008 The Week in Psychedelics: June 1st, 2019
The Stories, Articles and Utterances That Mattered This Week
This week MAPS published their spring bulletin (MAPS Bulletin Spring 2019: Vol 29, No. 1 ) which included a Code of Ethics for therapists working in MDMA assisted psychotherapy. This came in the wake of a Public Announcement of Ethical Violation by Former MAPS-Sponsored Investigators. This is obviously a big deal and could be used against the psychedelic community to derail the progress of the movement.
The International Forum on Consciousness was held in Madison Wisconsin (Go Badgers) last week with a theme that is of particular interest to Trip Report Readers: “Psychedelic Therapy in Society: Exploring the Mechanisms of Action and Delivery of Care”. All of the presentations are graciously available here.
News, Articles and interviews:
These Ontario police officers are using ayahuasca to treat their PTSD “Chorny’s embrace of the hallucinogenic brew, which is illegal in Canada, is a recent revelation. For many years, Chorny suffered from the trauma that came from his work, which frequently included responding to sexual assaults and other violent crimes.” “The worst is when people die in your arms,” Chorny told Global News. But he buried his feelings and carried on with the work. He started drinking more to cope.”
The Case for Taking Psychedelics Seriously “In defaulting to a libertarian case whenever the topic arises, conservatives turn the psychedelic conversation into a drug conversation. But “drug” is a loaded term for a category that has no basis in reality — there is a conservative case to be made for the role of psychedelics in society, and conservatives should be playing an active role in making it.”
Can you trip on music alone? This psychedelic startup thinks so “Inspired by psychedelic therapy, London-based Wavepaths aims to take your mind on a journey using just lights and music…Initially, Kaelen wanted to use music to support the small but growing community of psychedelic therapists, but the idea soon evolved beyond that niche. Instead, he wondered if it could be possible to create an environment that could have similar therapeutic effects – but without any drugs at all. He left Imperial in spring 2018 to work on Wavepaths.”
Psychedelics may be a powerful treatment for alcoholism “According to the study participants, the psychedelic experiences helped them overcome their addiction in four major ways. They believed that the psychedelic helped them to change their life values or priorities; that it changed their perspective on the future, such that they began valuing long-term benefits more; that it changed their own opinion of their ability to abstain; and that it reframed the task of quitting as a spiritual endeavor.”
Unpredictable MDMA: Here’s why it’s ‘impossible’ to know how the drug affects you “In a recent study by Queen Mary University and experts at St. George’s University in London, 650 ecstasy tablets that were seized by local authorities were tested for consistency, and the inconsistent results were extremely alarming. When testing different batches of the tablets, researchers discovered a fluctuation of the active drug varying by more than 250% in each batch. Additionally, they discovered the ecstasy tablets took different amounts of time to release the MDMA.”
The Inside Story of How Denver Decriminalized Magic Mushrooms “Kevin Matthews, an Army veteran who says the psychedelic effects of psilocybin mushrooms helped cure his depression, ran the campaign Decriminalize Denver, which was responsible for crafting the initiative and getting it on the ballot. Matthews spoke with Reason's Zach Weissmueller, who provided video coverage of the historic vote, about his reaction to the surprising come-from-behind win, why the campaign chose decriminalization over all-out legalization, what the likely effects of the change in Denver's law will be, and what he believes other drug decriminalization advocates might learn from his campaign strategy.”
Rick Doblin Spoke with Rob Reid on the After On podcast “What's objectively true is that the molecule Rick's group has submitted for approval has the rare and coveted status of breakthrough therapy designation from the FDA –– which is as much of a big deal as it sounds. That compound is Methylenedioxymethamphetamine. It often goes by the snappier nickname of MDMA. But it’s known to its biggest fans as Molly, or ecstasy. And thanks to Rick, it may soon become legal (or rather, partially legal) throughout much of the world.”
Psychedelic-assisted therapies: The past, and the need to move forward responsibly “In light of the complex history of psychedelics, we identify a number of pressing questions relating to the social and legal context that need to be addressed so that clinical studies can proceed.”
Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy for the treatment of Major Depressive Disorder: Preliminary results from a randomized controlled trial “The overall effect of this intervention across conditions is 3-4 times above the threshold considered a “large” effect (>0.80). Furthermore, the trend of changes in depression scores by condition suggests that these effects are not accounted for by the passage of time.”