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Thread: CNN: Can psychedelic drugs treat depression?

  1. #1

    Default CNN: Can psychedelic drugs treat depression?

    Well, yes, of course, just like they were used for in the early days before the War on Drugs.

    http://www.cnn.com/2010/HEALTH/08/24....html?hpt=Sbin

    (Health.com) -- Pamela Sakuda, 57, was anxious and depressed. After two years of intensive chemotherapy for late-stage colon cancer, and having outlived her prognosis by several months, she'd finally lost hope. She was living in fear and was worried how her impending death would affect her husband.

    Sakuda's doctor prescribed antidepressants, but they didn't do any good. So, at her wits' end and feeling that she had nothing to lose, Sakuda volunteered for an experimental depression treatment being studied at UCLA.

    In January 2005, with a pair of trained therapists at her side, Sakuda took a pill of psilocybin -- a hallucinogen better known as the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms."

    It may seem far-fetched that a psychedelic drug associated with muddy hippies at Woodstock would help a cancer patient at a university hospital. Yet it's an increasingly familiar scene.

    Although mind-bending drugs such as psilocybin are still used most often by people looking to get high, researchers around the country have begun to explore whether these and other illegal drugs can help treat intractable depression, anxiety, and other mental-health problems.

    Health.com: Should you take antidepressants?

    In the past month alone, studies have been published on the benefits of MDMA (better known as Ecstasy) in people with post-traumatic stress disorder and on the fast-acting antidepressive effects of the club drug ketamine (aka "Special K"). The study in which Sakuda took part is scheduled to appear in a major journal in early September. So far the studies have been small, but the results have been encouraging and bigger trials are on the horizon.

    Drugs such as psilocybin and Ecstasy can be dangerous in the wrong hands. But when taken under professional supervision and combined with therapy, researchers say, just one or two doses can help patients unlock the sources of their troubles and experience therapeutic breakthroughs that otherwise might take months or years.

    "It can be like psychotherapy sped up," says psychiatrist Stephen Ross, M.D., an addiction expert at New York University who is leading a study on psilocybin treatment in cancer patients with severe anxiety. "Their defenses are lowered, [and] they have enormous access to unconscious material."

    Psilocybin revitalized Sakuda. As the effects of the drug were wearing off, the therapists called in her husband, Norbert Litzinger, to see her.

    "There's my Pammy," Litzinger recalls thinking. "She's just beaming with light, and I haven't seen that joyousness for so long. She was just totally alive, she was totally happy."

    Health.com: 7 types of therapy that can help depression

    The return of the acid test

    Scientists have been investigating the therapeutic effects of hallucinogens, MDMA, and other synthetic drugs since the 1940s. In perhaps the most famous example, a team of researchers led by psychologist Timothy Leary explored the effects of psilocybin and LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide, or "acid") in a series of experiments conducted at Harvard University in the early 1960s.

    But research into the potential benefits of psychedelic drugs ground to a halt in the early 1970s, after the federal government criminalized LSD and psilocybin -- and after the drugs were eagerly adopted by college students and the hippie counterculture.

    "These studies had to be shut down because of the cultural reaction," says Charles Grob, M.D., a professor of psychiatry at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, in Torrance, California, and the lead researcher of the study that included Sakuda. "It kind of tarnished the image of the entire field."

    The new wave of research on psychedelics -- "version 2.0," as Ross calls it -- began in the early 1990s, when the Food and Drug Administration sanctioned a few preliminary studies on psilocybin and MDMA. (The latter had been used in psychotherapy beginning in the 1970s, without the FDA's blessing, and was ultimately outlawed in 1985.) The research has picked up dramatically in the past few years.

    Health.com: Supplements for depression: what works

    The researchers are "going at it in the right way this time," says Bruce Stadel, M.D., a retired FDA medical officer who has been following the new crop of studies. "These drugs in the 60s were just let loose without any proper study. [Now] they're going through the FDA, through the process of clinical trials."

    Researchers have not been able to get federal grants, however. While the FDA has signed off on the studies, they have all been privately funded, most notably by nonprofit organizations such as the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), in Santa Cruz, California, and the Heffter Research Institute, in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

    Don't try this at home

    The psilocybin study Ross is leading at NYU is typical of the new-generation research. On two separate occasions during the nine-month study, which is being funded by the Heffter Research Institute, patients are given a silver chalice containing either a psilocybin pill or a placebo.

    The patient then lies down on a brown sofa surrounded by artwork, sculptures of Buddha, and, on a nearby bookshelf, a little glass mushroom with a red cap. For the next six hours, the patient listens, with eyes shaded, to a combination of classical, Eastern, and tribal music.

    A pair of therapists -- who don't know whether the patient has taken an active drug or placebo -- stay in the room for support, though they encourage the patient to remain in a meditative state.

    This may sound a bit trippy. But the science behind the research is sound, says Franz Vollenweider, M.D., a psychiatrist at the University of Zurich, in Switzerland, and a member of the Heffter Research Institute's board of directors.

    According to Vollenweider, who has conducted brain-imaging studies on the effects of psychedelics and MDMA, these drugs appear to affect levels of serotonin and other chemicals in the body and brain that help regulate mood.

    Health.com: Could hallucinogenic drugs have healing properties?

    When everything goes well, the drugs induce a "peaceful and blissful" state of unity with oneself and the cosmos, resulting in a new level of self-awareness and knowledge that can make an individual more responsive to cognitive therapy and other forms of psychotherapy, Vollenweider says. (Ironically, the drugs show promise in the treatment of alcohol addiction, he adds.)

    In cancer patients such as Sakuda, "these spiritually oriented altered states...potentially allow patients to have an abrupt shift of consciousness from being scared about dying and feeling their life is over," says Grob. "It was quite remarkable to me to see changes in these people who were very anxious and in distress, and [to] see how they got better."

    But it's not always a smooth trip. Depending on the dose, as well as an individual's personality, the drugs can elicit fear, anxiety, paranoia, and, in some cases, a state akin to psychosis.

    "It's not so easy -- it can be excruciatingly painful," says Grob. "Those six hours that one is immersed in the experience can feel like the longest hours in a person's life."

    For this reason, the drugs should only be given in exact doses in a carefully controlled setting, researchers say. Moreover, months of follow-up therapy are recommended to sort through the insights gleaned during the session and to ensure that they are applied productively to everyday life.

    A prescription for psilocybin?

    The early results of the new research are promising. In the MDMA study published in July, for instance, 10 of the 12 people who took the drug no longer met the criteria for post-traumatic stress two months later. And all five of the patients that have enrolled in Ross's study so far -- eventually it will include a few dozen -- have shown significant decreases in anxiety and depression.

    Health.com: Can Ecstasy help ease post-traumatic stress?

    "They've all improved," Ross says. "There appears to be something there."

    Researchers hope that if the ongoing preliminary studies prove the safety and effectiveness of these drugs for certain treatments, the government will step in to fund larger trials.

    Rick Doblin, Ph.D., the founder and president of MAPS, says that this could happen in the next three years. But don't expect to get a prescription for magic mushrooms from your psychiatrist any time soon.

    It will likely be a decade before the FDA approves a psychedelic as medicine, if it does so at all, says Doblin. The most likely candidate is MDMA for post-traumatic stress, he adds.

    "What we're trying to move towards is this legitimization of this field of psychedelic medicine, but we have to do it through the FDA, one drug at a time."

    Petros Levounis, M.D., an addiction psychiatrist at the Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, in New York City, and a former chair of the American Psychiatric Association's committee on addiction treatment, emphasizes that psychedelics are far from being a mainstream treatment.

    "This is a line of research that does have some data that show a potential for some positive outcomes," he says. "But we are very, very far from recommending hallucinogens for the treatment of terminally ill patients."

    Still, the experiences of people like Sakuda hold out hope for people who have struggled to overcome depression and anxiety.

    Health.com: 10 things to say (and not say) to someone with depression

    Sakuda's depression gradually lifted after her psilocybin session, which her husband credits with bringing about an "epiphany" and a "revival." Her depression and anxiety had prevented her from being active and enjoying life, but before long she and her husband were going to concerts again and hiking the north rim of the Grand Canyon.

    Meanwhile, Sakuda's cancer had continued to spread. On November 10, 2006, she died at home in her husband's arms, just a few days after speaking at a fund-raiser for the Heffter Research Institute, which funded Grob's study.

    In a video on the institute's website, Sakuda described the surge of emotion and newfound perspective that she experienced on psilocybin, and which had such an impact on the final years of her life.

    "I don't think the drug is the cause of these things," she said. "I think it's a catalyst that allows you to release your own thoughts and feelings from some place [where] you've bound them very tightly."



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  3. #2

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    Mushrooms should be on that list. Taken responsibly and in a good environment (what ever your subjective meaning for that is), drugs can open up a world of positive growth.
    "Like an army falling, one by one by one" - Linkin Park

  4. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphim View Post
    Mushrooms should be on that list. Taken responsibly and in a good environment (what ever your subjective meaning for that is), drugs can open up a world of positive growth.
    Agreed. That's essentially what they used in the trials.

    In January 2005, with a pair of trained therapists at her side, Sakuda took a pill of psilocybin -- a hallucinogen better known as the active ingredient in "magic mushrooms."

  5. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Seraphim View Post
    Mushrooms should be on that list. Taken responsibly and in a good environment (what ever your subjective meaning for that is), drugs can open up a world of positive growth.
    I agree, and I really hate the high and mighty attitude in the article that it has to be done under the supervision of a physician with a lot of therapy in a controlled environment.. and the whole idea that people outside that environment only take them to get 'high' and don't receive the same positive benefits and don't take it for the same god damn reason... It's ridiculous..

    If you haven't done mushrooms out in the middle of nowhere in nature, WITHOUT any doctors or buildings around, you have been missing out, imo.
    Last edited by dannno; 08-24-2010 at 12:23 PM.
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  6. #5

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    This:

    Quote Originally Posted by dannno View Post
    I really hate the high and mighty attitude in the article that it has to be done under the supervision of a physician with a lot of therapy in a controlled environment.. and the whole idea that people outside that environment only take them to get 'high' and don't receive the same positive benefits and don't take it for the same god damn reason... It's ridiculous..
    Besides, shrooms and x are very mild psychedelics. You don't have to worry about bad trips until you start experimenting with big boy psychedelics like LSD and mescaline.

  7. #6

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    http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2010/...n6692174.shtml

    People suffering from the agony of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) may one day find relief with Ecstasy.

    A small clinical trial found that 80 percent of participants treated with a combination of methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) and psychotherapy no longer showed signs of PTSD, with no serious side effects.

  8. #7

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    MDMA was already used to treat PTSD by the likes of Alexander Shulgin before it was arbitrarily banned by the federal government.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by krazy kaju View Post
    This:



    Besides, shrooms and x are very mild psychedelics. You don't have to worry about bad trips until you start experimenting with big boy psychedelics like LSD and mescaline.
    I would not say you DON'T have to worry, but they would be less prevalent and less intense. I have seen a bad trip on shrooms. It has a lot to do with QUANTITY. If you eat 6 grams of mushrooms that are of normal to good quality- prepare to be in a different Universe, maybe for the good, maybe for the bad- likely the good though. Lol.
    "Like an army falling, one by one by one" - Linkin Park

  10. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by krazy kaju View Post
    MDMA was already used to treat PTSD by the likes of Alexander Shulgin before it was arbitrarily banned by the federal government.
    In relatively low dose, and not too often- MDMA is INCREDIBLE. Too much in one setting you will have a major neurotransmitter rebound for 1-4 days and feel down. But with very pure grade MDMA (NOT ECSTACY, that is cut with other $#@! and is pretty "messy") you don't need to take a lot. One, maybe two pills and you will be EXTREMELY clear thinking. A bit hyper- but it's like the cobwebs bogging your brain down are removed. Very cool sensation.
    "Like an army falling, one by one by one" - Linkin Park

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by krazy kaju View Post
    \Besides, shrooms and x are very mild psychedelics. You don't have to worry about bad trips until you start experimenting with big boy psychedelics like LSD and mescaline.
    This is why they will never be decriminalized. You are advocating their use, which is much different than getting rid of laws surrounding them. And yes, people can have bad trips on any hallucinogens, including marijuana and shrooms. That is the fact. Just because it hasn't happened to you doesn't mean it won't happen to others. Some people can't hold their liquor and turn into different people (in a bad way). Just because it doesn't happen to you doesn't change the well know side effects of alcohol, or any drugs.
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  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by krazy kaju View Post
    MDMA was already used to treat PTSD by the likes of Alexander Shulgin before it was arbitrarily banned by the federal government.
    I took MDMA a few times. It tended to make me paranoid among groups of strangers and produced a pretty bad hangover. LSD on the other hand...coming off a trip I never felt better in my life.

  13. #12

  14. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by krazy kaju View Post
    This:



    Besides, shrooms and x are very mild psychedelics. You don't have to worry about bad trips until you start experimenting with big boy psychedelics like LSD and mescaline.
    Hmmm. I would disagree vehemently, but I don’t want to imply any kind of first hand experience. Let’s just say that …..nope, can’t say that either.

  15. #14

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    Hallucinogens were probably **** sapiens’s original antidepressant. They are very miraculous but also mysterious. They are quite effective and non-toxic but quite susceptible to environmental factors. The same drug can produce a nightmarish experience intense enough to produce clinical PTSD or a spiritually ecstatic experience intense enough to completely cure depression for up to a couple years (and psychological benefits that last til death). By current pharmacological standards, the successful hallucinogenic experience is quite literally the perfect antidepressant. And who knows what else it can cure? Because along with these kinds of peak experiences of ecstasy comes lots of other health benefits; probably all related to the regenerative role of the REM state, a triggering of the body’s amazing healing mechanisms, and the placebo effect. Understanding and employing this knowledge will bring the next great leap in medicine.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian4Liberty View Post
    And yes, people can have bad trips on any hallucinogens, including marijuana and shrooms. That is the fact.
    No. I'm sorry, but you're just full of $#@!. If you can have a "bad trip" on marijuana, then you can have a "bad trip" from eating broccoli. You can't even trip from marijuana in the first place.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Ducker View Post
    I took MDMA a few times. It tended to make me paranoid among groups of strangers and produced a pretty bad hangover. LSD on the other hand...coming off a trip I never felt better in my life.
    Pure MDMA or street ecstasy? X is oftentimes mixed with various amphetamines and other drugs which could produce those effects.

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by krazy kaju View Post
    Pure MDMA or street ecstasy? X is oftentimes mixed with various amphetamines and other drugs which could produce those effects.

    Ya MDMA is very good, X is often "dirty" and cut with other sub par $#@!. Pure MDMA and you will have a wicked mind set.

    About your other post though- you can have bad trips on other $#@! like pot, shrooms...it's less likely, less severe...but you can- more so if your still new to the drug. I'm not talking like you smoke a joint and then u start seeing crows trying to poke your eyeballs out- but a kind of panic attack- it has happened to me early in my smoking life. No longer, but it can happen.
    "Like an army falling, one by one by one" - Linkin Park

  19. #18

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    You don't even "trip" on pot though. Not even close. If you have a bad experience with pot, then that's something different. For one, that doesn't mean that the pot CAUSED the bad experience, and for another, not every substance is for everyone, as everyone is different. But by the same measure, some people can't eat any simple carbs for fear of dying from hypoinsulinemia. That doesn't mean that the other 99% of us can't or shouldn't eat any simple carbs. In fact, simple carbs might even be good for the other 99% of us under certain circumstances (e.g. natural bodybuilders like to eat high-carb post workout meals in order to spike their insulin, which is considered an anabolic hormone).

    Anyway, nobody can look me in the face and tell me they've had a "bad trip" on pot. A bad trip is you laying naked on your bathroom floor, throwing up on yourself, and being sucked in through a rainbow colored wormhole into a dimension where time no longer exists.

    As for shrooms: can you have a bad experience? Not from what I understand. Most people can barely stomach a 1/4 of shrooms and they still won't trip hard. I wouldn't be surprised if the only way to legitimately trip from just shrooms would be to consume the active compound in a pure form.
    Last edited by krazy kaju; 08-28-2010 at 12:31 AM.

  20. #19

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    Quote Originally Posted by krazy kaju View Post
    You don't even "trip" on pot though. Not even close. If you have a bad experience with pot, then that's something different. For one, that doesn't mean that the pot CAUSED the bad experience, and for another, not every substance is for everyone, as everyone is different. But by the same measure, some people can't eat any simple carbs for fear of dying from hypoinsulinemia. That doesn't mean that the other 99% of us can't or shouldn't eat any simple carbs. In fact, simple carbs might even be good for the other 99% of us under certain circumstances.

    Anyway, nobody can look me in the face and tell me they've had a "bad trip" on pot. A bad trip is you laying naked on your bathroom floor, throwing up on yourself, and being sucked in through a rainbow colored wormhole into a dimension where time no longer exists.

    As for shrooms: can you have a bad experience? Not from what I understand. Most people can barely stomach a 1/4 of shrooms and they still won't trip hard. I wouldn't be surprised if the only way to legitimately trip from just shrooms would be to consume the active compound in a pure form.
    Lol at the bolded.
    "Like an army falling, one by one by one" - Linkin Park

  21. #20

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    Haha yeah. I have more from where that came from.

  22. #21

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    Mushrooms have always put a smile on my face.

    As to bad trips or flashbacks from LSD. I have never had either.
    And yes, in years past I have done large doses of Acid. Those that have bad reactions have either an underlying problem or someone deliberately $#@!ing with them.

    Most folks that talk $#@! about it have NO real experience with it.

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  23. #22

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    Science continues to say "Yes."

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddi.../#400eef036bf1

    The evidence supporting the use of psychedelic drugs to treat treatment-resistant depression continues to build. In the latest volley, a study finds that psilocybin, the psychoactive ingredient in magic mushrooms, may open an entirely new door to treating depression – by allowing deeply entrenched beliefs to become changeable.

    Depression is a complex disorder, but with time we’ve been able to narrow down many of its underlying structures. One of these is memory, another is belief. Of the two, belief is the less dynamic – beliefs tend to become entrenched over time with few possibilities for change. To the extent that a person’s depression hinges on their beliefs, an inability to change their perception makes depression all the harder to treat.
    Remarkably, treatment with psilocybin was associated with significant shifts in responses to the questions. For a series of nature-related questions, the researchers reported that the volunteers showed a shift toward more “connectedness to their environment.” For political and social questions, they evidenced a shift toward a more libertarian mindset. That was even true for those who'd originally answered with an authoritarian bent. A group of seven control participants, who didn't receive the drug, showed no changes in belief positions over the same time period.
    So all we need to do is microdose the whole world with 'shrooms.....

    Original study here: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full...69881117748902
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  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    Science continues to say "Yes."

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/daviddi.../#400eef036bf1





    So all we need to do is microdose the whole world with 'shrooms.....

    Original study here: http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full...69881117748902
    Like I Said..
    Quote Originally Posted by pcosmar View Post
    Mushrooms have always put a smile on my face.
    science agrees.
    Liberty is lost through complacency and a subservient mindset. When we accept or even welcome automobile checkpoints, random searches, mandatory identification cards, and paramilitary police in our streets, we have lost a vital part of our American heritage. America was born of protest, revolution, and mistrust of government. Subservient societies neither maintain nor deserve freedom for long.
    Ron Paul 2004

    Registered Ron Paul supporter # 2202
    It's all about Freedom

  25. #24

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    • Bruno hasn't been seen in many years. Folks, stay away from Shrooms.
    Do something donnay


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