Ask MAPS Anything

Due to the high number of inquiries we receive, we ask that you review this FAQ. It is very likely that the answer you are searching for is provided below. If the information you are searching for is not included below, please send us a message. We thank you in advance for your patience in receiving a response.

If you are in a crisis or if you or any other person may be in danger or experiencing a medical or mental health emergency, immediately call 911 (USA) or your local emergency resources.

Content, materials, products or services described in this website is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.  

Clinical Trials

How do I apply to the clinical study for MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD?

The second, confirmatory Phase 3 trial of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD is now fully enrolled at 13 sites in the United States and Israel. Participants in MAPS trials represent people from diverse backgrounds with historical roots of PTSD originating from various traumas including, but not limited to, interpersonal or sexual harm, adverse childhood experiences, vehicular accidents, combat, and more. The Phase 3 trials are expected to be completed at the end of 2022, and if successful, will be submitted to the FDA for New Drug Approval in 2023.

MAPS PBC is no longer recruiting for the Phase 3 study. If you are seeking trials that investigate psychedelic-assisted therapy or alternative treatments, please visit:

Additionally, here is some information on emerging research and alternative treatments for PTSD from 

As we conduct trials to inform our application for approval from the FDA, we continue to train therapists, educate our community, and build the foundation for accessible treatments once they are approved. The best way to receive announcements and updates would be by subscribing to the MAPS Email Newsletter

My zip code is not within range of the MDMA-assisted therapy trials. Can you make an exception?

Please note: MAPS PBC is no longer recruiting for the second, confirmatory Phase 3 study.

Due to the length of the study and the number of visits required for participation, long-distance/international commuting is not an option for study participants. We recognize the magnitude of the need for PTSD treatment and hope that we will be able to include more participants in future studies. The Phase 3 trials are expected to be completed at the end of 2022, and if successful, will be submitted to the FDA for New Drug Approval in 2023. 

If you are interested in seeking trials that investigate psychedelic-assisted therapy or alternative treatments, please visit:

  1. Clinicaltrials.gov, which lists nearly all clinical trials in the U.S. and 200 countries, 
  2. MAPS Participate in Research Page, and 
  3. Psychedelic.Support’s article “How to Join a Psychedelic Clinical Trial” for more information. 

    

Can I have an update on my application to the Phase 3 trials?

The second, confirmatory Phase 3 trial of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD is now fully enrolled at 13 sites in the United States and Israel. If you would like to follow up about the status of your application, please email recruitment@mapsbcorp.com directly.

The Phase 3 trials are expected to be completed at the end of 2022, and if successful, will be submitted to the FDA for New Drug Approval in 2023. If you would like to receive updates about our work, please consider subscribing to the MAPS Email Newsletter.

Thank you for your interest in getting involved in our research.

 

How do I apply to the expanded access program?
Does MAPS say that 89% of participants in trials are cured of their PTSD?

Absolutely not. There is no known cure for PTSD and no reported clinical study has shown 89% of participants no longer having a PTSD diagnosis after MDMA-assisted therapy.

In MAPP1, 88% of participants had a “clinically significant reduction in symptom severity” as defined in our statistical analysis plan as a 10 point drop in CAPS which was reported in publications and media. We also report the 67% loss of diagnosis in MAPP1 in publications and media.

Getting Involved with MAPS

How can I apply to MAPS’ MDMA Therapy Training Program?

The MAPS MDMA Therapy Training Program is a clinical training program that facilitates learning in the theory, skills, and practice of MDMA-assisted therapy. The theoretical approach is based on a philosophy that every person has within them an intrinsic wisdom and ability to heal, and that this inner healing wisdom blossoms naturally in an environment of safety and support.

Please visit the MDMA Therapy Training Program‘s website to learn more. For any specific questions about the program, please email training@mapsbcorp.com directly.

How can I work for MAPS or MAPS PBC?

Thank you for your interest in employment at MAPS!  

You can view current job listings at MAPS, as well as the current research-related positions at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC). If you are interested in applying to a position, please complete the specified form on Bamboo and attach your resume and/or CV to the application. 

After you read the full job description, any follow-up questions can be directed to jobs@maps.org or jobs@mapsbcorp.com respectively.

Additionally, MAPS and Zendo Project offer volunteer opportunities for events, webinars, psychedelic harm reduction, and more. Please fill out the volunteer application form for more information on how to get engaged with the MAPS community. 

Do you have internships available?

You can view current internship opportunities at MAPS, as well as the current research-related positions at MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC).

Please check back regularly for new postings, and sign up for the Email Newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for announcements about new positions.

Thank you for your interest!

How do I request a media interview with a MAPS or MAPS PBC spokesperson?

To submit a media request, please review maps.org/newsroom and complete this quick form. If you are on a tight deadline, please submit the form then call 831-429-MDMA (6362) x 303; your message will be addressed as quickly as possible M-F 8am-6pm Pacific. 

Please understand that we receive a large number of media requests and are simply not able to accommodate all of them. We will, however, do our best to provide a response to every inquiry as soon as we can. If you are able to include your questions in the form, it is more likely that we can respond.  

How do I invite MAPS to participate in, partner with, or promote my event?

Thank you for your invitation for MAPS to participate in your event. All events are considered once submitted through http://maps.org/eventform. Once you submit the form, someone from our events team will get in contact with you directly.

Please note: Promotional requests require no less than 2 weeks notice. All other requests require more time to arrange and should be submitted with at least 4 weeks notice.

Can MAPS promote my work on your website or social media networks?

Please submit your request for promotional support at maps.org/request. Please note: MAPS appreciates the opportunity to learn more about our community and their projects, though we are unable to respond to all requests due to the high volume of inquiries, which occasionally contain content that does not align with our mission or propose expedited timelines that affect our ability to sustainability address our organization’s current priorities. 

Preparation, Integration, and Counseling

Can you refer me to a licensed professional for psychedelic integration services?

For these mental health provider directories, please note that these licensed professionals do not directly provide psychedelic therapy.

  • Psychedelic Support curates evidence-based educational courses on psychedelic science and a directory of licensed mental health providers. Their network of therapists, counselors, holistic doctors, MDs, and integration consultants offer online and in-person services for transformational preparation, psychedelic/plant medicine integration, psychological and physical health, and personal growth.

Policy & Advocacy

Medicalization, decriminalization, and legalization? What does it all mean?

MAPS has taken a novel and multi-pronged approach to its mission of developing and supporting medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

Medicalization describes the lengthy process of studying currently-illegal substances to determine if they hold benefit for specific conditions, then conducting clinical trials to determine safety and efficacy, then finally submitting a New Drug Application to the FDA. This is MAPS’ primary approach, but not its only one. 

Legalization affirmatively permits and regulates certain actions in a jurisdiction. Criminal sanctions may or may not be maintained by a legalizing jurisdiction for certain actions; other actions may be regulated or require licensing. Medicalization, over-the-counter oversight, state medical use, and state adult use are just some examples of legalization frameworks used for substances commonly ingested by people. 

Decriminalization removes some or all criminal penalties for an activity from the law of the jurisdiction. It is often used to describe situations in which some governments still decide to implement civil penalties (which would not be considered full decrim) or mandatory education/treatment as alternative (which then technically still is not full decrim because while helpful for very few, still punishment for most). 

 It may still allow for penalties such as fines, mandatory education, or (in the worst cases) forced treatment. Remember, a single jurisdiction is probably subject to multiple layers of law which may be quite different from one another (i.e. a U.S. city is governed by city, county, state and federal controlled substances laws).

Lowest Law Enforcement Priority policies maintain most prohibition laws but declare that law enforcement must deprioritize the enforcement of those laws. These policies are useful in U.S. cities where state or Federal law controls city law, and most of the city-wide psychedelic decriminalization measures adopted since 2019 fall into this category.

MAPS sponsors and guides the conduct of research, including clinical trials to develop psychedelics and marijuana into regulatorily approved medicines. MAPS has also supported holistic drug policy reform since its inception in 1986. As the pace of both psychedelic research and reform efforts in areas of social justice, criminalization, drug policy, and psychedelic regulation hasten, we recommend reading our 2019 Statement: Considerations for the Regulation and Decriminalization of Psychedelic Substances for more on these topics.

Does MAPS support the decriminalization of psychedelics?

Although MAPS is a public charity with limited ability to engage in political action, MAPS has worked toward ending the War on Drugs since our founding in 1986 including through supporting decriminalization of the personal possession and use of drugs. We work with fellow advocates to educate lawmakers, community members, and the public about sensible approaches to drug policy. We have responded to inquiries from legislators and advocates about a dozen bills across the United States; most recently, we have advised on California’s Senate Bill 519, the broadest psychedelic drug policy reform a state legislature has ever seriously considered.

Does MAPS support legalization of psychedelics?

MAPS-sponsored clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD is just one legalization approach for a single criminalized substance with an identifiable history of human use. As a general policy, MAPS is supportive of compassion over criminalization for people who use drugs, psychedelic or otherwise. Specific policy proposals are evaluated in context to determine our ability to support them. MAPS’ capacity for supporting implementation is greater than its capacity for supporting campaigns, both because of its status as a public charity as well as the small size of our team. For this reason, we focus on building coalition and resources with community organizations to make tangible policy changes in high-impact jurisdictions.

What is MAPS’ position on threshold limits as part of decriminalization efforts?

In short, threshold limits are a complicated and nuanced policy area and are more or less useful depending on how the law is written, the context in which laws are being enforced, and every individual drug user’s circumstances. For that reason, MAPS believes decriminalization without threshold limits is a good starting place and the next best option is a set of threshold limits that will provide decriminalization for the vast majority of people.

The downside of threshold limits is that they can lead to arrests for people possessing above the permissible amount of a drug. However, not having limits does not mean that people can possess unlimited amounts. Without specified limits, there is an unknown line (an implicit threshold limit) above which law enforcement, prosecutors, and/or courts could determine that the behavior was no longer “personal use and possession” and instead prosecute said possession as distribution, intent to distribute, or manufacturing. Without limits, people who grow, use, and share these substances would be left guessing about how law enforcement might classify them rather than having those numbers clarified in the law.

Is MAPS a non-profit or for-profit?

MAPS was founded in 1986 a non-profit organization governed by its board of directors, bylaws, mission, and principles. MAPS is qualified as exempt from federal income tax as a public charity under Sections 501(c)(3) and 501(a)(1) of the Internal Revenue Code. Since our founding, MAPS donors have given more than $110 million in support of psychedelic research, medical marijuana research, education, and advocacy. MAPS has earned the Guidestar Platinum Seal of Transparency.

Founded in 2014, MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of MAPS. MAPS PBC catalyzes healing and well-being through psychedelic drug development, therapist training programs, and sales of prescription psychedelics while prioritizing public benefit above profit. MAPS PBC does not have private investors, so any proceeds from this work will be reinvested in research, education, advocacy, and therapy access for historically marginalized people.

Questions related to psychedelic research on health conditions

Depression

MAPS’ research is currently focusing on the effects of MDMA and marijuana on posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Once the FDA approves the use of MDMA in therapy, the door will be opened to study more substances and their effects on many conditions like depression. However, research on the effects of psychedelic-assisted therapy as a treatment for depression has been conducted by other research institutions. I’ve included educational material and resources down below:

MAPS’ resources:

Additional resources:

Cluster Headaches

MAPS’ resources:

There is a longstanding and complex relationship between serotonergic drugs, especially ergot derivatives, and migraines, and also several authors, including the late Oliver Sacks, have noted similarities between migraine auras and psychedelic drug effects. Some of the first drugs used to treat migraines were ergolines. Triptans have replaced ergolines but historically Cafergot, a combination of caffeine and ergotamine tartrate, was historically used to treat migraine.    

Most of the research and work relating psychedelic compounds and migraine relate specifically to cluster headaches, an especially painful and rare form of migraine. It is less certain but possible that 5HT2A agonists can treat migraine for some people, though that is less studied. Interestingly, psychedelics (or at least psilocybin) may provoke mild headache as well.  You may try searching for clinical trials on psychedelics and cluster headaches at clinicaltrials.gov.    

There is an organization, ClusterBusters, formed by cluster headache sufferers and interested in supporting research into the use of psilocybin, psilocybin mushrooms, LSD and non-psychedelic 5HT2A compounds as treatment for cluster headaches. Back in the mid-2000s, they funded research conducted by the late R. Andrew Sewell and John Halpern on this topic – Sewell coauthored other papers on this topic as well.  

Questions related to Psychedelics

Psilocybin

MAPS’ resources: 

Additional resources: 

Ibogaine

Please note: MAPS cannot provide legal, medical, or mental health advice, nor do we advise on the use of any prohibited substance or on ibogaine treatment centers.

MAPS’ resources:

Additional resources:

  • Pubmed search results on “Ibogaine”
    • Once you click on a paper you are interested in, you can click on the link labeled “DOI” to be directed to the original publication, which is likely to include further links to news stories about the paper.
  • gov
    • Search for opportunities to be a participant in ibogaine research
  • Inner Vision Ibogaine Coaching
    • “Preparation and Integration for Iboga and Ibogaine treatment that supports individuals in creating a unique healing dynamic”
  • Pangea Biomedics
    • “Pangea is a team of therapists, caregivers, and medical professionals dedicated to the advancement of clinical research & holistic therapy utilising iboga and orthomolecular medicine”
  • The Chacruna Institute of Psychedelic Plant Medicines
    • “We provide public education and cultural understanding about psychedelic plant medicines and promote a bridge between the ceremonial use of sacred plants and psychedelic science.”
  • The International Center for Ethnobotanical Education, Research, and Service (ICEERS)
    • “ICEERS is dedicated to transforming society’s relationship with psychoactive plants. We do so by engaging with some of the fundamental issues resulting from the globalization of ayahuasca, iboga, and other ethnobotanicals”

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