MAPS Email Newsletter:
NPR, CBS Explore Psychedelic Therapy;
MDMA Research Expands
October 21, 2014
Dear friends and supporters,
When it comes to reducing the risks and maximizing the benefits of psychedelics and marijuana, public education and careful scientific research go hand in hand. Thank you for reading and sharing the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Email Newsletter.
WATCH: Rachel Hope talks with The Doctors on CBS about how receiving MDMA-assisted psychotherapy helped her overcome PTSD.
As we work to make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy a legal treatment for posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) by 2021, we’re simultaneously expanding our research to explore new avenues for the use of MDMA in mental health treatment in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in autistic adults, and our upcoming study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness.
Psychedelic science and medicine are once again in the public spotlight. On October 2, The Diane Rehm Show on NPR took a close look at psychedelic therapy in an hour-long interview with Acid Test author Tom Shroder, neuroethicist Dr. James Giordano, researcher Dr. Michael Mithoefer, and study participant Nicholas Blackston. Then, on October 13, millions watched as Rachel Hope shared an intimate view inside her MDMA-assisted psychotherapy session on CBS’ The Doctors.
In the October 2014 edition of the MAPS Email Newsletter, you’ll also learn:
- MAPS submits a $2 million grant application to the state of Colorado for our planned study of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in U.S. veterans.
- Our new Silicon Valley satellite office opens this Thursday in Palo Alto, Calif., with a presentation and reception with MAPS founder Rick Doblin, researchers, and MAPS staff (presentation tickets still available)
- In just 60 days, our Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy campaign raises $141,888 for MDMA-assisted psychotherapy research from over 1,400 funders in more than 40 countries
- The video of the Zendo Project psychedelic harm reduction training at Burning Man 2014 is now online
Whether you’re a student, doctor, scientist, therapist, educator, activist, artist, or entrepreneur, everything we do—from clinical research to our monthly newsletter—is made possible only by your support. We’re doing this together.
MAPS Director of Communications and Marketing
Treating PTSD with MDMA-Assisted Therapy
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for Anxiety Associated with Life-Threatening Illness
Medical Marijuana Research
Psychedelic Harm Reduction
- Transforming Medicine: MDMA in Mental Health Care: October 23, Palo Alto, CA
- MDMA Therapy: Treating Social Anxiety in Autistic Adults: November 13, Los Angeles, CA
- Dinner and Reception: Understanding Psychedelic Therapy: November 15, West Hollywood, CA
- Science & Nonduality Conference: The Entanglement of Life: Oct 22-28 2014, San Jose, CA
- Expanding & Reenchanting the Psyche: Honoring Stan Grof: October 24-25, San Francisco, CA
- Spirit Plant Medicine Conference: October 24-26, Vancouver, Canada
- Shaman Women, Plant Medicine, and Psychedelics Salon: November 14-15, Vancouver, Canada
- ESC Launches Crowdfunding Campaign for the Ayahuasca Dialogues
- Transcripts from 2014 World Ayahuasca Conference Available Online
WATCH: NBC 6 Kentucky interviews retired Marine Nicholas Blackston about his struggle with PTSD and why he’s fighting to make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy available for people suffering from PTSD.
TREATING PTSD WITH MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY
On September 30, 2014, the 14th and 15th subjects were enrolled in our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD for 23 subjects with PTSD from sexual assault, violent crime, war, natural disasters, or any other cause, taking place in Boulder, Colorado. Our Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy crowdfunding campaign raised $141,888 minus the direct costs of the campaign, with the first $50,000 completing funding for our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in U.S. veterans, firefighters and police officers, and the remaining funds for costs associated with this study. These funds will pay for therapist training and supervision, MDMA storage and preparation, setting up the treatment room, and all remaining experimental sessions in the Boulder study. Learn more…
$711,000 estimated study cost • $290,000 raised • $421,000 still needed
Learn more about treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy at mdmaptsd.org.
MDMA-ASSISTED THERAPY FOR SOCIAL ANXIETY IN AUTISTIC ADULTS
On September 20, 2014, the third subject was treated in our new study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in adults on the autism spectrum. Comparative studies suggest that autistic adults are at greater risk for lifetime and current psychological disorders, especially social anxiety. This exploratory pilot study in 12 subjects is exploring whether MDMA combined with therapy can enhance functional skills and quality of life in autistic adults with social anxiety, and is being conducted in affiliation with Harbor-UCLA Medical Center and the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. Learn more… | Donate to this study
$320,000 estimated study cost • $1,000 raised + $15,000 raised by partners • $304,000 still needed
Learn more at mdma-autism.org.
MDMA-ASSISTED PSYCHOTHERAPY FOR ANXIETY
On October 7, 2014, the protocol for our new study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety associated with life-threatening illness was submitted to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for review. The FDA has 30 days (until November 7) to respond with comments, with no response indicating that the study may proceed. The Institutional Review Board approved the protocol on September 16. This randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled Phase 2 study, located in Marin, Calif., will gather preliminary data about the safety and efficacy of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for anxiety in 18 subjects diagnosed with a life-threatening illness. The study will be led by Principal Investigator Phil Wolfson, M.D. The study will also require approval from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration before we can begin screening subjects. The Research Advisory Panel of California (RAP-C) will review the protocol on November 19 (California is the only U.S. state with its own review panel for Schedule I drug research). Learn more…
$582,000 estimated study cost • $120,000 raised • $462,000 still needed
MEDICAL MARIJUANA RESEARCH
WATCH: Veterans from around the country encourage the Arizona Board of Regents to find a home for our study of marijuana for PTSD in Arizona.
On October 14, 2014, MAPS submitted a proposal to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment requesting $2 million for our planned study of marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in 76 U.S. veterans. The state of Colorado has $9 million available for marijuana research, and the response to our submission is expected in late November or December. The National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) estimates that they will be able to provide the marijuana for our study in January 2015. The study is the first randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test the therapeutic potential of smoked marijuana and its components as a treatment for PTSD.
This will be a two-site study led by Principal Investigator Sue Sisley, M.D., who will conduct her portion of the study in her private practice office in Arizona or at Arizona State University, and a second Principal Investigator, Ryan Vandrey, Ph.D., who will conduct his portion of the study at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, MD. On September 25, veterans and medical marijuana advocates spoke to the Arizona Board of Regents in favor of Dr. Sisley, encouraging ASU to host part of the study there. Dr. Sisley is currently in discussions with ASU about the possibility of hosting the study there. Arizona’s Channel 12 News reports…
Marcel Bonn-Miller, Ph.D., of the University of Pennsylvania will serve as Coordinating Principal Investigator, and Paula Riggs, M.D., of the University of Colorado, Denver will serve as Senior Scientific Advisor. Blood analysis will be conducted at the University of Colorado, Boulder. MAPS will be responsible for FDA approval, project and data management and monitoring, drug accountability, and ensuring Good Clinical Practice (GCP) guidelines are followed throughout the study. “It is a major triumph that we have built this outstanding team of top researchers, partnering with national experts at the VA, NIDA, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Colorado,” said MAPS executive director Rick Doblin, Ph.D. “The obstacles we’ve faced have ultimately strengthened the study.” Learn more… | Read the RFA
PSYCHEDELIC HARM REDUCTION
Zendo Project staff & volunteers at Burning Man 2014
From August 27-September 1, 2014, MAPS provided psychedelic harm reduction services through the Zendo Project at Burning Man 2014. During the week, 120 staff and volunteers provided rest, water, and compassionate support to 59 guests having difficult psychedelic experiences, or who wanted assistance integrating previous psychedelic or psychological experiences. On August 26, 100 individuals participated in the four-hour Zendo Project training, which included a range of topics including principles of psychedelic risk reduction, working with trauma, self-care for harm reduction volunteers, medical considerations, and triage procedure. Learn more…
From August 11 through October 9, 2014, over 1,400 funders from more than 40 countries donated $141,888 to our Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy crowdfunding campaign—over 2½ times our $50,000 goal! This includes an additional $11,000 in gifts not processed through Indiegogo. We reached our goal in just 16 days, completing funding our largest clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in U.S. veterans, firefighters, and police officers, and ending our 5-year, $1.38 million fundraising effort for the study. Our supporters then contributed an additional $91,888 to the campaign, all of which (minus campaign costs) will go towards our second-largest study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD from any cause, located in Boulder, Colorado.
During the campaign, we inspired and made the most of three $10,000 matching donations. We are immensely grateful to Max & Elena Talan, Neurons to Nirvana producer Mangu.TV, Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps, Sir Ivan and his Peaceman Foundation, Mr. René Ruiz and Dr. Susan Ruiz, MAPS Board Member Robert Barnhart, and an anonymous donor for their inspirational matching gifts. An anonymous funder also donated $10,000 on September 2, and during the campaign 45 donors contributed a total of 3.531 bitcoins (BTC) to MAPS, valued at $1,675.
Raising vital public awareness about our research, the campaign received over 66,000 views. Incredibly, over 75% of those who gave were first-time MAPS donors. Thank you to all who donated or spread the word for helping make MDMA-assisted psychotherapy a legal treatment for PTSD by 2021.
The MAPS Bulletin: Summer 2014 Research Edition is available online.
In September 2014, MAPS received $75,104 in cash donations, $5,238 for fiscally sponsored projects, and $17,500 in new pledges from a total of 637 people. • This month, we received a surprise $10,000 contribution to our Legalizing Psychedelic Therapy campaign from a new donor in Northern Europe, and a pledge fulfillment of $5,000 from Carey and Claudia Turnbull, both in support of our study in Boulder, Colorado. Kolin Lymworth fulfilled his $3,000 pledge to our Vancouver study through MAPS Canada, our sister charity that allows Canadian donors to receive a tax deduction on their gifts for psychedelic research in Canada. Our gratitude also goes to the Livingry Foundation for its grant of $2,500, to Paul Eastham for a $2,000 gift, and to Kip Greenleaf for $1,733, all for general support. Thank you to the Riverstyx Foundation for a $4,000 grant for our Vancouver study, our new study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for advanced-stage illness anxiety in Marin, California, and for our Zendo Project psychedelic harm reduction services. Thanks also to Max & Elena Talan, Julia Winiarski, and two anonymous donors, who all gave $1,000 to our crowdfunding campaign for our Boulder study. • Thank you to the 612 donors who gave under $1,000, totaling $39,371 for general operations, the Boulder study, and the Zendo Project. A special thanks goes to Robert Barnhart ($2,500), René Ruiz & Dr. Susan Ruiz ($5,000), Max & Elena Talan ($10,000), and an anonymous donor for their inspirational and very effective matches for our crowdfunding campaign. Finally, thanks to the seven donors who gave a total of $5,238 to the Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council, Bluelight, the Global Ibogaine Therapy Alliance, and Synthesis. • No gift is ever too small to make a difference when combined with others’ support. If you ever have a question about your donation, MAPS Director of Development Virginia Wright is happy to hear from you and thank you in person or over the phone at (831) 429-6362 x107.
Learn about our Funding Priorities.
FEATURED PRESS RELEASE: MAPS Opens Silicon Valley Office with Presentation and Reception | view
MAPS | October 10, 2014
FEATURED Sanjay Gupta, MD on CNN: Psychedelic Medicine Gets a Closer Look | view
Sanjay Gupta, M.D. | September 15, 2014
FEATURED The Diane Rehm Show on NPR: Using Psychedelic Drugs To Treat Mental Disorders | view
Diane Rehm | October 2, 2014
FEATURED The Doctors: MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD | view
The Doctors | October 13, 2014
WPSD (NBC 6 Kentucky): Local Marine Finds Healing From PTSD Using Con
troversial, Psychedelic Therapy | view
Briana Conner, Chad Darnall | October 14, 2014
Arizona Channel 12 News: Veterans Speak in Support of Medical Marijuana Researcher | view
Arizona Channel 12 News | September 25, 2014
Arizona Board of Regents: Veterans Speak in Favor of Marijuana for PTSD Research | view
Arizona Board of Regents | September 25, 2014
Newsweek: Ecstasy and Acid in Your Medicine Cabinet? Doctors Explore Psychedelics | view
Douglas Main | October 14, 2014
Drug Policy Alliance: Grieving Mother Launches Campaign to Make Music Events Safer | view
Stefanie Jones | October 2, 2014
Reality Sandwich: Rick Doblin: Hippie of the Year | view
Tom Shroder | September 24, 2014
Explore MAPS in the Media for more psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.
Softcover | 352 pages | Park Street Press
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—Julie Holland, M.D., editor of The Pot Book and Ecstasy: The Complete Guide
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“With scrupulous care, Neal Goldsmith explores the great promise of this reemerging field, while proposing a path forward that avoids the mistakes made a generation ago. This book is valuable reading for those who would like to see a crucial new chapter open in consciousness studies and the mental health field.”
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All purchases from the MAPS Store support psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education.
Join us for the opening of the new MAPS satellite office at Sofia University in Palo Alto! Bring a friend and enjoy a catered reception and presentations by MAPS founder and executive director Rick Doblin Ph.D., and MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD investigators Dr. Michael Mithoefer and Annie Mithoefer, B.S.N. Register online…
Learn about our new study investigating the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted therapy for the treatment of social anxiety in adults on the autism spectrum. The goal of this study is to determine if MDMA-assisted therapy can safely and effectively enhance functional skills in autistic adults. Join us for an evening with presentations from researchers Dr. Charles Grob and Alicia Danforth, Ph.D., followed by a catered reception with researchers, MAPS founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and MAPS staff. Register…
Join MAPS founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and researchers Charles Grob, M.D., and Alicia Danforth, Ph.D., and MAPS staff for a dinner and reception in the private rooftop garden and hummingbird sanctuary at Petit Ermitage in West Hollywood. Connect with the psychedelic research community while supporting our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted therapy for social anxiety in autistic adults conducted in association with the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute. Register…
SAND is a five-day immersive experience where leading scientists, spiritual teachers, philosophers, artists, and a thriving international community gather to explore a new paradigm in spirituality, one that is based on timeless wisdom traditions, informed by cutting-edge science, and grounded in direct experience. MAPS Clinical Research Associate Benjamin Shechet will present a poster on “The Entanglement of Trauma” on Friday, October 24, at 7PM. Learn more…
This fall, the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) and its Philosophy, Cosmology, and Consciousness Program is hosting a unique conference honoring the lifetime achievements of Stanislav Grof in the fields of consciousness research, psychiatry, psychology, psychedelic studies, religious studies, philosophy, and esotericism. Presenters include Stanislav Grof, Rick Doblin, Annie Mithoefer, Michael Mithoefer, Charles Grob, Thomas Roberts, Ralph Metzner, and more. The event is cosponsored by the CIIS Center for the Study of Psychedelic Medicine and MAPS. Continuing Education credits available. Register…
Now in its fourth year, the Spirit Plant Medicine Conference brings strong and clear voices to Vancouver to usher in effective and sustainable engagement with entheogens. Conference takes place at the University of British Columbia. MAPS Canada speakers include Mark Haden and Philippe Lucas. Register…
The Women’s Visionary Congress (WVC) will hold the 3rd Annual Shaman Women, Plant Medicine and Psychedelics Salon on November 14-15 at the Simon Fraser University Habourfront Campus in Vancouver, Canada. This event is supported by the Canadian Drug Policy Coalition, Canadian Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU). Register…
View our Event Calendar for more upcoming events.
The Ethnobotanical Stewardship Council (ESC) has launched a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds to develop safety and sustainability practices for the spiritual and therapeutic uses of ayahuasca. In addition to raising funds for the Ayahuasca Dialogues, ESC is also preparing the Ayahuasca Health Guide, which aims to be accessible source of up-to-date information on health and safety relating to ayahuasca. MAPS is the non-profit fiscal sponsor for ESC. All donations will be doubled until Sunday, October 26 (up to $3,800). Learn more…
Select transcripts from the 2014 World Ayahuasca Conference in Ibiza, Spain, are now available online. Available talks include “Introductory Remarks: Opening Session of the 2014 World Ayahuasca Conference” by Beatriz Labate, Ph.D., “Reflections On Spirituality, Gender, and Power in my Experience with Santo Daime” by Clancy Cavnar, Psy.D., and others. Special thanks to Beatriz Labate for collecting these transcripts. Learn more…
Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out our Student Resources page!