Posts tagged "mental health"
Psilocybin Healing: How Mushrooms Cured an Artist's Depression and Anxiety

Psilocybin Healing: How Mushrooms Cured an Artist’s Depression and Anxiety

While traveling in Italy and Greece in 2006 I developed a sinus infection that got so bad that once back in the US it ruptured the lining of my sinuses and allowed a strep infection to travel unchecked into my brain and spinal column. Bacterial meningitis ravaged my brain as a 107° fever raged out of control. I spent a week in the hospital unconscious and on life support before my folks whisked me off to their farm for lots of rest and lots of organic food from their gardens. Years of challenging recovery led to more and more medications...
Fantastic New Trip-Sitting Guide: The Manual of Psychedelic Support

Fantastic New Trip-Sitting Guide: The Manual of Psychedelic Support

Even the hardiest, most vocal psychedelic enthusiasts recognize that trip experiences can be intense and sometimes difficult. Especially when taken in unfamiliar surroundings — such as crowded music festivals or in the desert heat of Black Rock City — psychedelics can cause untimely emotional meltdowns. Now there’s an excellent guide for handling psychedelic crises, produced by some of foremost experts on harm reduction techniques. It’s called “The Manual of Psychedelic Support,” and its laundry list of contributors includes the Erowids, Rick Doblin, Jon Hanna (the founder of Mind States), Linnae Ponté (who runs MAPS’ excellent Zendo harm reduction tent), five members of Kosmicare UK, Dave King (co-director...
Many people use drugs – but here’s why most don’t become addicts

Many people use drugs – but here’s why most don’t become addicts

Today’s post is by Paul Hayes, Hon. Professor Drug Policy at London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. It was originally published on The Conversation. Drug use is common, drug addiction is rare. About one adult in three will use an illegal drug in their lifetime and just under 3m people will do so this year in England and Wales alone. Most will suffer no long-term harm. There are immediate risks from overdose and intoxication, and longer-term health risks associated with heavy or prolonged use; damage to lungs from smoking cannabis or the bladder from ketamine for example. However most people...
A Conversation with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Researchers

A Conversation with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Researchers

This interview originally appeared in the MAPS Bulletin Winter 2014 Vol. 24, No. 3 – Annual Report. Featuring Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., Shannon Clare Petitt, I.M.F., Saj Razvi, L.P.C., Ben Shechet, and Will Van Derveer, M.D, it sheds a great deal of light on MDMA-assisted therapy and the people behind MAPS.   Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., is a co-investigator for MAPS’ study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for service-related PTSD in U.S. veterans, police officers, and firefighters in Charleston, SC. She is also a Registered Nurse, Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork Practitioner and is trained in Hakomi Therapy and can be reached at amithoefer@me.com. Shannon Clare Petitt, I.M.F., is...
Psilocybin may help treat alcoholism, according to new study

Psilocybin may help treat alcoholism, according to new study

According to a new study published in Psychopharmacology, psilocybin may be useful in treating alcohol dependence. The research was conducted at the University of New Mexico by a research team including lead author Dr. Michael Bogenschutz, and Dr. Rick Strassman. Yes, that Rick Strassman — the one who performed pioneering DMT research in the 1990s and authored DMT: The Spirit Molecule. With only ten human subjects, this was a “proof of concept” study — the researchers aimed to show that the drug is effective for treating alcohol dependence, and to provide a baseline for further studies. “Although recent studies have investigated the...
Psychedelics linked to reductions in suicide and distress

Psychedelics linked to reductions in suicide and distress

People who have used psychedelic drugs are less likely to suffer from depression, psychological distress, or suicidal thinking, according to a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The research was led by Peter Hendricks, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Survey responses from over 190,000 adults were analyzed and the respondents were divided into two groups — lifetime psychedelic users and non-users. Lifetime users were defined as those who had ever, even once, tried DMT, ayahuasca, mescaline, psilocybin mushrooms, or LSD. 13.6% of survey...
One Brain, Many Selves: Demons, Tulpas, and Neurons Gone Wild

One Brain, Many Selves: Demons, Tulpas, and Neurons Gone Wild

This is a guest post by Kevin Simler, originally published on his website, Melting Asphalt. If you missed his previous piece, Accepting Deviant Minds, don’t worry — this essay stands on its own. Prepare to rethink your whole concept of “self” — just how many selves can take root in one brain? To reject gods and spirits is easy: just bully them away in the name of science. But to accept them, or at least our experiences of thuem, and yet give them a scientific explanation: there’s a task worthy of our art. It demands that we look them in the eye and take them seriously, while standing...
Accepting Deviant Minds: Why 'Hallucinations' Are as Real as the Self

Accepting Deviant Minds: Why ‘Hallucinations’ Are as Real as the Self

This week’s guest post is by Kevin Simler. Kevin is a philosopher and blogger who believes in (pan)critical rationalism, keeping his identity small, and writing as an aid to thinking. This post was first published on his website, Melting Asphalt — one of my favorite sources for fresh critical perspectives on the mind, society, and everything in between. At a sleepover when I was 12, a friend told me that he could control his dreams. It didn’t happen every night, he said, but every so often he’d become aware of being in the middle of a dream. Usually at that point he’d wake up,...
8 Tips for Using Recreational Drugs Responsibly

8 Tips for Using Recreational Drugs Responsibly

This week’s guest post is by Aaron Moritz. Aaron is an independent writer, researcher, video editor, and co-host of the Srsly Wrong podcast. Find more of his articles at his blog and check out the Srsly Wrong website.   The ‘War on Drugs’ and ‘Just Say No!’ campaigns have been colossal failures, and one of the main reasons — a reason people don’t like to talk about — is that taking drugs is fun, and not everybody who does it has a problem. We don’t like to admit that, but it’s true. I am not advocating that anybody use recreational drugs. However, some...
Moving Into the Sacred World of DMT, by Nick Sand

Moving Into the Sacred World of DMT, by Nick Sand

Nick Sand is one of the most prolific and well-known underground chemists in history. From 1966 to 1996, he produced huge amounts of LSD, as well as MDMA, synthetic mescaline, DMT, and other psychedelics that were distributed around the globe. Along with Tim Scully, Nick Sand was responsible for producing over 3 million hits of Orange Sunshine, a brand of LSD that was renowned for its quality and purity in the Sixties. Sand has a particular fondness for DMT. In fact, it was a DMT vision quest in the 60s that convinced Sand to dedicate his life to producing and...
"Ask Me Anything" Reddit Interview with Rick Doblin & MAPS

“Ask Me Anything” Reddit Interview with Rick Doblin & MAPS

Yesterday, Rick Doblin and ten other MAPS staff members engaged in an online “Ask Me Anything” session on Reddit. The turnout was phenomenal. Questions ran the gamut from personal (“Have you ever tried psychedelics?”) to political (“Will the legalization of psychedelics will come next after marijuana?”) and much more. Several posters asked about minimizing the risk of MDMA toxicity, while others were curious about treatments for cluster headaches, depression, autism, and other conditions. A couple people even asked if MAPS accepts Bitcoin (as of yesterday, they do). As you might expect, the answers from MAPS staff were incredibly informative and...
Help Heal Trauma Survivors by Supporting MDMA Research

Help Heal Trauma Survivors by Supporting MDMA Research

MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, has been an instrumental force in psychedelic research and advocacy since its formation in 1986. In my opinion, this non-profit organization has done more to establish psychedelics as legitimate medicines than anyone else in the world. Their biggest project is proving the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy as a treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). They have performed a number of studies around the world indicating its effectiveness — even with the one-third of PTSD patients who do not respond adequately to other treatments. As you can imagine, MAPS does not have...