As 2015 draws to a close, we are quickly approaching the end of Phase 2 of our international MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) research program. Over the next few months, we’ll be collecting the final primary endpoint data from all participants, with all treatments complete by the first quarter of 2016.
This month, enrollment concluded in our Canadian study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, a small pilot study in six subjects that has given our Canadian therapist team experience conducting a Phase 2 clinical trial. Participants also continued to complete 12-month follow-up interviews in our South Carolina study for 24 U.S. veterans, firefighters, and police officers, which will be the largest study ever completed of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD.
In the November 2015 edition of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Email Newsletter, you’ll also learn:
- A participant reports on her experience in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness in Marin, Calif.
- The 10th participant is enrolled in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in autistic adults in Los Angeles, Calif.
- The protocol for our upcoming study of smoked marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in 76 U.S. veterans is submitted to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA)
- Psychedelic Science and Spirituality: How to Apply What We’re Learning to Your Life, our five-course online webinar series with Evolver Learning Lab, continues through December 16
The conversation is always expanding—follow us on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, reddit, Tumblr, Pinterest, Google+, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
Thanks to the support of our generous donors, by the time our pivotal Phase 3 trials begin in 2017, we will have treated 103 subjects and built a powerful evidence base for the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Together, we are erasing irrational stigmas, starting conversations, and opening doors for the beneficial uses of psychedelics and marijuana in science, medicine, personal growth, and spirituality.
MAPS Director of Communications and Marketing
- U.S Veterans: 18 of 24 Participants Complete Long-Term Follow-Up
- Canada: Enrollment Concluded
- Marin: Update on Study Progress; Participant Reports On Her Experience
- Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults: Tenth Participant Enrolled
- Medical Marijuana for PTSD: Protocol Submitted to DEA
- November Giving Report: Thank You for Your Generous Gifts This Fall
- CBC Radio, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, and more…
- The Psychedelic Policy Quagmire ed. by J. Harold Ellens and Thomas Roberts NEW ITEM
- Zig Zag Zen: Psychedelics and Buddhism ed. by Allan Badiner NEW EDITION
- Psychedelic Science and Spirituality: Now Through December 16, 2015 WEBINAR
- International Drug Policy Reform Conference: November 18-21, 2015, Washington, D.C.
- Psychedelic Science 2017: April 19-24, 2017, Oakland, CA
Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Therapy
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Anxiety Associated with Life-Threatening Illness
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults
Medical Marijuana for PTSD
MAPS volunteers educate attendees about psychedelic science during the Dead and Company concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City from October 31-November 1, 2015.
TREATING PTSD WITH MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
1. U.S Veterans: 18 of 24 Participants Complete Long-Term Follow-Up
As of October 29, 2015, 18 out of 24 subjects have completed 12-month follow-up interviews in our largest Phase 2 study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for U.S. veterans, firefighters, and police officers with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. Led by Principal Investigator Michael Mithoefer, M.D., and Co-Therapist Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N., the data from this study are now being prepared for analysis and publication in a peer-reviewed scientific journal. “After 10 years practicing emergency medicine followed by 25 years practicing psychiatry with a focus on PTSD, I am well versed in a range of existing treatments,” writes Dr. Mithoefer in his upcoming article for the Winter 2015 MAPS Bulletin. “However, millions of people with PTSD do not respond to existing treatments, and presently 26 veterans are committing suicide every day in the U.S. alone. I have not encountered any other treatment approach to helping these people that is nearly as promising and compelling as MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, using a medicine only a few times in an optimal set and setting to catalyze profoundly healing, often life-changing, experiences.” Learn more…
$1,429,000 estimated study cost • $1,429,000 raised • funding complete
Learn how you can help make psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines at maps.org.
2. Canada: Enrollment Concluded
On November 2, 2015, enrollment was concluded in our study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD from sexual assault, violent crime, military service, or any other cause, taking place in Vancouver, Canada. This small pilot study gave Canadian therapists experience with a MAPS-sponsored Phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD, with data collected from three women and three men. All participants have completed treatments and are in long-term follow-up. The final results will be prepared for publication in 2016 as a part of a global meta-analysis of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy results. Learn more…
$470,000 estimated study cost • $46,000 raised + $69,000 raised by partners • $355,000 still needed
Learn about our Funding Priorities.
MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR ANXIETY ASSOCIATED WITH LIFE-THREATENING ILLNESS
Read Brad Burge’s report on MAPS’ participation in the 2015 American Psychiatric Association Annual Meeting in Toronto, Canada, in the Summer 2015 MAPS Bulletin: Research Edition.
3. Marin: Update on Study Progress; Participant Reports On Her Experience
As of October 29, 2015, two subjects out of 18 have completed all treatments in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness. Five participants have been enrolled, and one has withdrawn due to their inability to discontinue their existing anxiety medications. Led by Principal Investigator Phil Wolfson, M.D., with co-therapist Julane Andries, LMFT, in Marin, Calif., this study will treat 18 subjects suffering from anxiety related to a life-threatening disease that is either ongoing or in remission with a possibility of recurrence. “One of our participants has completed her secondary endpoint this month, marking what is essentially a completion of her participation in the study,” reports study coordinator John Hartberg. “With her permission, we present an excerpt from the day after an experimental session as she reflects on an MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session:
It is very striking to me how clean and pure and easy this was, compared to so many things I have tried to do…Each time my therapist inquires about disturbances, I check and am astonished there are none…What I like about MDMA, this kind of approach, is I get to remain autonomous and still explore this stuff. It doesn’t seem to depend on some artificially created dependence or alliance that leaves me feeling exposed or needy or like a child when I am clearly not one. It feels really natural.”
We currently expect all ex
perimental sessions in this study will be completed in late 2016. Learn more…
$627,000 estimated study cost • $194,000 raised • $433,000 still needed
MDMA-ASSISTED THERAPY FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY IN AUTISTIC ADULTS
4. Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults: Tenth Participant Enrolled
On October 27, 2015, the 10th subject was enrolled in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in 12 adults on the autism spectrum. Sponsored by MAPS, this is a collaborative study between MAPS and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center, with blood plasma biomarker analysis being conducted by researchers at Stanford University. “The treatment is provided within the context of ongoing therapy over several months,” write Principal Investigator Charles Grob, M.D., and Co-Investigator Alicia Danforth, Ph.D., in their upcoming report for the Winter 2015 MAPS Bulletin. “Which means that study participants need to reside within a 30-mile radius of the study location, which has slowed the screening process a bit. However, the widespread interest is encouraging, and we anticipate completing enrollment by winter 2015.” Learn more at mdma-autism.org…
$336,000 estimated study cost • $13,000 raised + $15,000 raised by partners • $308,000 still needed
MEDICAL MARIJUANA FOR PTSD
5. Medical Marijuana for PTSD: Protocol Submitted to DEA
Co-Investigator Sue Sisley, M.D., with cannabinoid research pioneer Raphael Mechoulam, Ph.D., in Israel (March 2015).
On November 2, 2015, the protocol for our upcoming study of smoked marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in 76 U.S. military veterans was submitted for approval to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). This is the final approval needed for the study before we initiate the study and prepare for participant recruitment. Participants will be U.S. veterans, men or women, aged 18 or older with a diagnosis of PTSD that has not improved after trying either medication or psychotherapy. This study will take place in two locations, one at a private practice office in Phoenix, Ariz., led by Site Principal Investigator (PI) Sue Sisley, M.D., and the other at Johns Hopkins University, led by Site PI Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D. The Institutional Review Board at Johns Hopkins granted conditional approval for the study on September 22, pending final approval by the DEA. This study will be sponsored by MAPS and funded by a $2.1 million grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The Coordinating Investigator for this study is Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania. Learn more…
6. November Giving Report: Thank You for Your Generous Gifts This Fall
Read the Summer 2015 MAPS Bulletin: Research Edition online at maps.org.
In October 2015, 230 individuals gave $177,513 to support MAPS’ psychedelic research and education programs. Last month, we received many pledges and donations from our Raising the Bar dinner in New York City on October 19, which raised nearly $45,000. We also received a generous $40,000 match from Laura and Ed Littlefield, Jr., to be restricted to our planned study combining MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in couples therapy. We extend a special thanks to all those who made large strides this month in furthering psychedelic science:
- HeadCount ($27,633)
- William H. Donner Foundation ($15,000)
- Bernard von NotHaus (pledged $10,000)
- Devera & Michael Witkin ($7,750)
- Jeffrey Guss ($5,000)
- John Buchanan ($2,500)
- Brian Brown ($1,250)
- The Better World Fund ($1,000)
- Sheila Burgel ($1,000)
- Clifford Perlman ($1,000)
- Bob Eisenberg (pledged $1,000)
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD
- Khaliya and Thomas Ermacora (pledged $10,000)
Help make psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines—donate today!
Learn about including MAPS in your will or trust.
7. CBC Radio, Business Insider, The Huffington Post, and more…
FEATURED CBC Radio: High Culture | Part 1 | Part 2
Mary O’Connell | October 22, 2015
The Huffington Post: MDMA Psychotherapy Could Be Legal In Just Five Years | view
Carolyn Gregoire | October 20, 2015
Business Insider: There’s a Plan to Get the World’s Biggest Club Drug Approved for Medical Use by 2021 | view
Lydia Ramsey | October 20, 2015
Science for the People: Psychedelic Treatments | view
Rachelle Saunders | October 30, 2015
Smart Drug Smarts: Psychedelics: A New Perspective | view
Jesse Lawler | October 23, 2015
MintPress News: From Psilocybin To MDMA: Researchers are in the Throes of a Psychedelic Revival | view
Derrick Broze | October 22, 2015
The Wall Street Journal: LSD Archive Has Been on a Long, Strange Trip | view
John Letzing | October 18, 2015
Explore MAPS in the Media for more psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.
8. The Psychedelic Policy Quagmire edited by J. Harold Ellens and Thomas Roberts
NEW IN THE MAPS STORE
435 pages | Published by Praeger | 2015
This expansive text covers the history, law, social use, intellectual and sacramental practice, and current medical research of psychedelics, bringing the conversation up-to-date for the 21st century. Includes a chapter by MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., on the regulation of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy.
"This thorough, thoughtful review of the history of psychedelics…is a must read. An impressive gathering of scientific minds and experienced clinicians offer the most up-to-date and detailed insider analyses of whence we’ve come, where we are, and the path to be forged ahead."—Julie Holland, M.D.
Hardcover $73.00 | Now available
9. Zig Zag Zen: Psychedelics and Buddhism edited by Allan Badiner
304 pages | Published by Synergetic Press | 2015
Buddhism and psychedelic exploration share a common concern: the liberation of the mind. The new edition includes an expanded array of stunning art and six new contributions, including original essays by luminaries such as Ralph Metzner and Brad Warner; exciting interviews with James Fadiman, Kokyo Henkel, and Rick Doblin; and a discussion of ayahuasca’s unique influence on Zen Buddhism by David Coyote. Art edited by Alex Grey.
$26.95 | Now available
10. Psychedelic Science and Spirituality: How to Apply What We’re Learning to Your Life: Now Through December 16, 2015
In this unique course from MAPS and Evolver Learning Lab, you will explore the frontier of current knowledge about psychedelics and spirituality, learn how researchers are studying these fascinating compounds, and discover how you can help create contexts for the safe and beneficial use of psychedelics for healing, spirituality, and personal growth. Brad Burge of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) has invited a diverse and fascinating group of experts to help you understand, integrate, and learn to use insights from this transformative field. Learn more and register…
11. International Drug Policy Reform Conference: November 18-21, 2015, Washington, D.C.
The International Drug Policy Reform Conference is a biennial event that brings together people from around the world who believe that the war on drugs is doing more harm than good. It brings together over 1,000 attendees representing 30 different countries. This year attendees will have the opportunity to spend three days interacting with people committed to finding alternatives to the war on drugs while participating in sessions given by leading experts from around the world. In addition, MAPS has assisted in the creation of a drug war vigil and protest on the Washington Mall, to take place during and immediately after the conference. Register…
12. Psychedelic Science 2017: April 19-24, 2017, Oakland, CA
Mark your calendars! Psychedelic Science is coming back to the San Francisco Bay Area. The conference will return to the Oakland Marriott City Center in California from April 19-24, 2017. The conference will feature the latest findings in the psychedelic research community and is expected to sell out early. We are incredibly excited to start coordinating this monumental event. We will announce ticket sales, as well as opportunities to participate, closer to the date. For past conference information, speaker videos, and more from Psychedelic Science 2013, visit psychedelicscience.org.