mental health – Psychedelic Frontier http://psychedelicfrontier.com make the most of your dose Wed, 27 Jun 2018 16:01:18 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 48719013 First Peek at My New Book ‘Magic Medicine’ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/new-book-magic-medicine/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/new-book-magic-medicine/#respond Sun, 15 Apr 2018 13:00:35 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=4854 First Peek at My New Book ‘Magic Medicine’

It’s finally here! Two years ago I started researching and writing Magic Medicine: A Trip Through the Intoxicating History and Modern-Day Use of Psychedelic Plants & Substances. After much tweaking and editing, the first printed copy is here! (The public release date is June 5th.)

From the very beginning, I wanted the book to more than just fascinating in its subject matter — I wanted it to be a beautiful object, something you would be proud to have on your nightstand or bookshelf. I wanted a book that would demand your attention and spark conversations, a book you could not help but pick up and thumb through, one that would make the perfect gift for that consciousness-curious person in your life.

I’m not exaggerating when I say I could not be happier with how the printed book came out! 

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The Walls Come Tumbling Down http://psychedelicfrontier.com/walls-tumbling-mdma-psychotherapy/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/walls-tumbling-mdma-psychotherapy/#respond Tue, 16 May 2017 11:00:54 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3960 The Walls Come Tumbling Down

This story by Andy Gold first appeared in the MAPS Bulletin, Winter 2016 edition.

I went for my first MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session on November 30, 2015, the Monday after Thanksgiving. Was it really a coincidence that the colonoscopy which found a malignant tumor in my colon some years earlier had also taken place on the Monday after Thanksgiving? I think not. Full circle, indeed.

I arrived at the site in Marin County, Calif., where the session was to take place, at 9:30 in the morning. One of the study requirements is that you do the sessions while fasting. Someone also has to bring you to the site and pick you up. My adult son dropped me off and took a couple of minutes to meet Dr. Phil Wolfson and Julane Andries (the study co-therapists) and see their place. I think he was suitably impressed by the location, and comfortable with the idea of his father tripping in that environment, under the care of those people.

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Psilocybin Healing http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psilocybin-mushrooms-cured/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psilocybin-mushrooms-cured/#comments Thu, 11 Aug 2016 09:50:47 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3823 Psilocybin Healing

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 and to the eventual realization that all the doctors were ever going to be able to do for me was prescribe more medications or up the dosages of those I was already on.

In the years that followed the meningitis, information about psilocybin mushrooms kept coming across my radar.

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Fantastic New Trip-Sitting Guide: The Manual of Psychedelic Support http://psychedelicfrontier.com/trip-sitting-manual-psychedelic-support/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/trip-sitting-manual-psychedelic-support/#respond Mon, 16 Mar 2015 13:06:00 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3791 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 of Breaking Convention), and too many more to list. Featured artists include Alex and Allyson Grey, Fred Tomaselli, Luke Brown, Robert Venosa, and more.

This free guide is full of insight, and not just for festival organizers.

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Many people use drugs – but here’s why most don’t become addicts http://psychedelicfrontier.com/many-people-use-drugs/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/many-people-use-drugs/#comments Tue, 24 Feb 2015 14:04:00 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3641 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 will either pass unscathed through a short period of experimentation or learn to accommodate their drug use into their lifestyle, adjusting patterns of use to their social and domestic circumstances, as they do with alcohol.

Compared to the 3m currently using illegal drugs there are around 300,000 heroin and/or crack addicts while around 30,000 were successfully treated for dependency on drugs in England in 2011-12, typically cannabis, or powder cocaine.

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A Conversation with MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy Researchers http://psychedelicfrontier.com/conversation-mdma-psychotherapy-researchers/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/conversation-mdma-psychotherapy-researchers/#respond Tue, 10 Feb 2015 14:15:55 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3722 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 a co-therapist for MAPS’ study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with a life-threatening illness. Her clinical work has been with individuals and groups, of all ages, experiencing trauma, addiction, depression, and dual-diagnosis.

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Psilocybin may help treat alcoholism, according to new study http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psilocybin-alcoholism/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psilocybin-alcoholism/#comments Tue, 27 Jan 2015 14:04:46 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3650 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 effects of psilocybin in various populations,” the researchers write, “there have been no studies on the efficacy of psilocybin for alcohol dependence.” They set out to change that by dosing ten alcohol-dependent volunteers with psilocybin in supervised sessions. The ten subjects were also provided with ongoing Motivational Enhancement Therapy, as well as special therapy sessions aimed at preparing for and integrating the psychedelic experiences.

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Psychedelics linked to reductions in suicide and distress http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psychedelics-reductions-suicide/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/psychedelics-reductions-suicide/#comments Tue, 20 Jan 2015 14:17:11 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3663 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 respondents fell into this category (percentages have been weighted to correct for confounding variables).

Psychedelic users showed a significantly lower likelihood of recent psychological distress, as well as less suicidal thinking and fewer suicide attempts, than non-users. Users were 36% less likely to have attempted suicide in the past year.

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One Brain, Many Selves http://psychedelicfrontier.com/one-brain-many-selves-neurons-gone-wild/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/one-brain-many-selves-neurons-gone-wild/#comments Tue, 24 Jun 2014 11:51:44 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3147 One Brain, Many Selves

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 absolutely firm in our materialist convictions.

I don’t know how much of what I’m about to say is true. All I know is that it’s damn interesting.

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Accepting Deviant Minds http://psychedelicfrontier.com/accepting-deviant-minds-hallucinations-real-self/ http://psychedelicfrontier.com/accepting-deviant-minds-hallucinations-real-self/#comments Tue, 17 Jun 2014 11:32:47 +0000 http://psychedelicfrontier.com/?p=3152 Accepting Deviant Minds

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, but sometimes, with a delicate act of will, he could remain in the dream long enough to fly around for a bit — or whatever else 12-year-old boys are wont to do in the privacy of their minds.

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