In the October 2012 edition of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) Email Newsletter, one thing is especially clear: psychedelic and medical marijuana research has come a long way.
MAPS created the world’s first Arabic translation of the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS), the gold standard measurement for symptoms of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), as part of our efforts to start MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD research in Jordan. Our Jordanian study protocol was rejected last year, so we decided we could make a difference now by donating the Arabic CAPS to the National Center for PTSD. Thanks to our efforts, treatment providers now have fewer roadblocks and better tools for helping those who are suffering from PTSD.
We may also be close to the end of our negotiations with Health Canada over the security requirements for the pharmacy where the MDMA will be stored for our planned study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. After spending thousands of dollars on bulletproof glass, additional alarms, reinforced doors, and other security upgrades, we may finally receive permission to import MDMA into Canada for the study.
In addition to the many individuals who gave to MAPS last month, we especially want thank Peter Lewis for his recent $100,000 gift to MAPS. It’s a gift both generous and inspiring, reminding us that while we’ve made great strides, we still need your support.
Here are some highlights from this month’s edition of the MAPS Email Newsletter:
- The local zoning office approves the study site for our upcoming study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder, Colorado
- The results of our completed Swiss study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD are accepted for publication
- The Boston Globe explains how the federal marijuana monopoly prevents MAPS from conducting the research necessary to inform voters about medical marijuana
- Over 2 million viewers tune in to UK Channel 4’s “Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial”
- MAPS volunteers provide successful psychedelic harm reduction services at Burning Man 2012
That’s not all—be sure to explore our two all-new books in the MAPS Store from leading psychiatrists about psychedelics in research and clinical practice.
Almost 70 speakers have now been confirmed for Psychedelic Science 2013, the next major international psychedelic research conference taking place from April 18-23, 2013, in Oakland, Calif. It’s never too soon to spread the word to help make this event a major success. Register before December 21 for Early Bird prices.
Whether you decide to donate, volunteer, or simply tell your friends about us, you can help make psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines.
MAPS Director of Communications
- Switzerland: Results Accepted for Publication in Journal of Psychopharmacology
- U.S. Boulder Study: Zoning Office Approves New Study Site
- U.S. Veterans Study: Local Firefighter Enrolled As Eleventh Subject
- National Institute of Mental Health to Consider Grant Proposal for MDMA/PTSD Research
- Marijuana for PTSD: Protocol Submitted for Third Time to IRB
- Ayahuasca-Assisted Treatment for Addiction: Researchers Present Findings
- MAPS Ibogaine Researcher Thomas Kingsley Brown, Ph.D., Presents at Global Ibogaine Therapist Alliance Conference
- New from MAPS: Healing with Entactogens by Torsten Passie, M.D.
- New in the MAPS Store: The Psychedelic Renaissance by Ben Sessa, M.D.
- The Boston Globe: Law, Policy Thwart Research on Marijuana
- The Telegraph: Review of Channel 4’s “Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial”
- Dr. Ben Sessa: Effects of Ecstasy and Clinical MDMA
- The Neuroethics Blog: The Army’s on Ecstasy: Marching Toward an Ethical Drug Policy
- The New Statesman: Not Raving but Drowning: Could MDMA Help Therapy?
- The Telegraph: Can LSD Cure Depression?
- Video: The Science of MDMA
- Video: The Medicine: Science & Psychedelics
- PSYCHEDELIC SCIENCE 2013: April 18-23, 2013, Oakland, CA
- Science and Nonduality Conference: October 24-28, 2012, San Rafael, CA
- Spirit Plant Medicine Conference: October 26-28, Vancouver, BC
- U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress: November 8-11, San Diego, CA
- MAPS Provides Psychedelic Harm Reduction Services at Burning Man 2012
- Something Fiction to Release New Album with 100% of Proceeds Benefiting MAPS
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD Research:
MDMA-Assisted Therapy for PTSD Research
Learn more about treating PTSD with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy on or at mdmaptsd.org.
Researchers prepare for our new study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD
in Boulder, Colorado, during a three-day initiation meeting in September.
1. Switzerland: Results Accepted for Publication in Journal of Psychopharmacology
On September 21, 2012, the paper describing the results of our completed Swiss Phase 2 pilot study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in 12 subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD was accepted for publication in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. The paper, co-authored by Clinical Investigator Peter Oehen, M.D., and Ulrich Schneider, M.D., former president of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies, describes clinically (and almost statistically) significant decreases in PTSD symptoms following MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. Learn more…
This study has been fully funded
Complying with local zoning regulations for our new study
of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in Boulder, Colorado.
2. U.S. Boulder Study: Zoning Office Approves New Study Site
On October 16, 2012, the zoning office for the city of Boulder, Colorado, approved the business license for the site for our upcoming study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy in Boulder. The local Drug Enforcement Administration field office required this approval before it would recommend that the DEA grant the study physician a Schedule I license, required before we can start screening subjects. Learn more…
$330,000 needed / $455,000 estimated study cost
3. U.S. Veterans Study: Local Firefighter Enrolled As Eleventh Subject
On October 11, 2012, the 11th of 24 subjects was enrolled in our ongoing study in U.S. veterans, firefighters, and police officers with PTSD in Charleston, South Carolina. This subject is a local firefighter with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD resulting from service. Preliminary results are promising. We are hoping that once completed, this study will allow the Veterans Administration/Department of Defense to justify funding their own studies into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for veterans and active duty service members with PTSD. View the timeline…
$407,000 needed / $1,245,000 estimated study cost
4. National Institute of Mental Health to Consider Grant Proposal for MDMA/PTSD Research
On October 16, 2012, MAPS Executive Director Rick Doblin, Ph.D., and the MAPS clinical team met via teleconference with a member of the grants administration staff at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in Washington, D.C. Earlier in October, Rick Doblin contacted NIMH Director Thomas Insel about whether NIMH would be willing to review a grant application from MAPS for research into MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Dr. Insel responded immediately and encouraged us to apply. The MAPS clinical team will continue working with NIMH staff to develop a grant proposal with the greatest chance of success. < b>Learn More…
Looking for more ways to get involved? Check out our Student Resources page!
5. Marijuana for PTSD: Protocol Submitted for Third Time to IRB
On October 12, 2012, MAPS and Principal Investigator Sue Sisley, M.D., resubmitted to the Institutional Review Board (IRB) at the University of Arizona the revised protocol, informed consent, and other documents for our study of marijuana for veterans with PTSD. The study aims to explore the safety and effectiveness of smoked or vaporized marijuana for symptoms of PTSD in 50 veterans with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD. Learn More…
$10,000 needed / $20,000 estimated cost of protocol development and approval
6. Ayahuasca-Assisted Treatment for Addiction: Researchers Present Findings
On September 27, 2012, researchers affiliated with MAPS Canada presented the findings from their now-completed MAPS-supported study of ayahuasca-assisted therapy for addiction and dependence to the Canadian First Nations Band involved in the study. Combining Western psychotherapeutic techniques with South American shamanic healing practices, this study gathered preliminary evidence about the safety and effectiveness of ayahuasca-assisted therapy. Treatment consisted of participation in a five-day retreat (facilitated by Gabor Maté, M.D.) in British Columbia, which included ayahuasca-assisted therapy.
The presentation was made in accordance with the First Nations Principles of OCAP (Ownership, Control, Access, and Possession) for research conducted involving First Nations communities. The Band was enthusiastic about the impact of the ayahuasca-assisted treatment on the subjects who participated and granted permission for the research team to present their findings to the scientific community. The research team is currently working on a paper for submission to a scientific journal, and will present the study results at our upcoming Psychedelic Science 2013 conference in Oakland in April 2013.
MAPS ibogaine researcher Thomas Kingsley
Brown, Ph.D., discusses our study of
ibogaine therapy for addiction.
7. MAPS Ibogaine Researcher Thomas Kingsley Brown, Ph.D., Presents at Global Ibogaine Therapist Alliance Conference
From October 2-6, 2012, the Global Ibogaine Therapist Alliance (GITA) conference in Vancouver, Canada, gathered international researchers and ibogaine treatment providers to discuss current science and policy surrounding the use of ibogaine in ritual and clinical practice. MAPS-sponsored researcher Thomas Kingsley Brown, Ph.D., was invited to present twice during the conference the results of our recently completed study of ibogaine treatment for opiate addiction in Mexico. Learn more…
All proceeds from the MAPS Store support psychedelic and medical marijuana research and education.
8. New from MAPS: Healing with Entactogens by Torsten Passie, M.D.
Healing with Entactogens:
by Torsten Passie, M.D.
With a foreword by Ralph Metzner, Ph.D.
The newest MAPS-published book from a leading expert on psychedelic compounds explores MDMA and other “entactogens” as pharmacological adjuncts to group psychotherapy.
This 90-page booklet presents insights into the actual experiences of clients participating in group psychotherapy sessions, and crucial background on the neurobiological and psychospiritual components of those experiences.
$12.95 / Now available
9. New in the MAPS Store: The Psychedelic Renaissance by Ben Sessa, M.D.
The Psychedelic Renaissance:
by Ben Sessa, M.D.
Psychiatrist Ben Sessa, M.D., makes a persuasive case for the re-evaluation of psychedelics as he explores their clinical potential for treating a range of conditions.
Based on a thorough review of the evidence, Dr. Sessa corrects common misconceptions about psychedelics and calls for their responsible therapeutic use, with appropriate set and setting, in psychotherapy, psychiatry, and personal growth.
$24.95 / Now available
Explore MAPS in the Media for more psychedelic and medical marijuana research news.
10.The Boston Globe: Law, Policy Thwart Research on Marijuana
Massachusetts voters prepare to vote on whether to allow medical marijuana for people suffering from PTSD, chronic pain, and other illnesses. A front-page article in The Boston Globe reveals how NIDA’s blockade of MAPS’ FDA-approved study of marijuana for veterans with PTSD makes it harder for patients to get the treatments they need. (October 19, 2012)
Almost 2 million viewers tuned in to UK Channel 4’s
“Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial.” What did we learn?
(image: Flashnick Visuals)
11. The Telegraph: Review of Channel 4’s “Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial”
The Telegraph reviews the new Channel 4-funded MDMA research documentary and its success in promoting a balanced, scientific approach and “stripping the drug of some of its tabloid-enhanced terrors.” (September 27, 2012)
12. Dr. Ben Sessa: Effects of Ecstasy and Clinical MDMA
Psychiatrist Ben Sessa, M.D. writes to The Telegraph to discuss the contributions made by Professor Andy Parrott about MDMA research on UK Channel 4’s “Drugs Live: The Ecstasy Trial.” (October 11, 2012)
13. The Neuroethics Blog: The Army’s on Ecstasy: Marching Toward an Ethical Drug Policy
The Neuroethics Blog shows how developing MDMA-assisted psychotherapy into a legal treatment for servicemen and women with PTSD goes hand in hand with creating ethical drug policies. (October 3, 2010)
14. The New Statesman: Not Raving but Drowning: Could MDMA Help Therapy?
The New Statesman writes about the public perception of MDMA’s use in therapy. “People who would benefit from this therapy are not raving, but drowning. It wouldn’t hurt anyone to throw them a lifeline.”
15. The Telegraph: Can LSD Cure Depression?
Citing research sponsored by MAPS and The Beckley Foundation, The Telegraph makes a strong case for the potential of psychedelics as alternative treatment methods for illnesses such as depression, cluster headaches, and PTSD. (September 25, 2012)
16. Video: The Science of MDMA
Robin Carhart-Harris, Ph.D., and David Erritzoe, M.D., Ph.D., of Imperial College London, two of the researchers behind the recent fMRI brain imaging study broadcast on UK Channel 4, discuss what we know about MDMA, what motivates them to do research on MDMA, and where the research might go next. Watch the video…
17. Video: The Medicine: Science & Psychedelics
The in-process feature documentary The Medicine: Science & Psychedelics shares the results of recent studies at NYU, UCLA, and Johns Hopkins University on the psychotherapeutic value of psilocybin to relieve existential anxiety in the terminally ill, as well as to provide therapeutic life enhancement in healthy, normal individuals. Addressing the controversial history of psychedelics and the misperceptions that arose regarding their risks and effects, this High Definition (HD) documentary explores current neuroscience findings and shows what a dedicated group of researchers and volunteers can accomplish. The producers are raising funds to finish editing, and are aiming for the widest release possible. Watch the trailer and learn how you can help.
See our Events Calendar for more!
18. PSYCHEDELIC SCIENCE 2013: April 18-23, 2013, Oakland, CA
Sixty-eight speakers from 11 countries have now been confirmed for Psychedelic Sci
ence 2013, the next major international psychedelic research conference hosted by The Beckley Foundation, the Council on Spiritual Practices (CSP), the Heffter Research Institute, and MAPS. Psychedelic Science 2013 will include three full days of multi-track conference programming as well as full-day pre- and post-conference workshops.
The Clinical Science track focuses on psychedelic research in humans being conducted around the world. The Call for Papers and Posters for the Interdisciplinary Research track is coming soon, so the list of confirmed speakers will keep growing—you may even be one of them!
The Ayahuasca Research track features the world’s leading researchers sharing a wide variety of topics, with an emphasis on ayahuasca in the treatment of addiction. Other topics include anthropological studies of the use of ayahuasca in religious communities in South and North America, observational studies of the healing and spiritual potentials of the drug, surveys of ayahuasca economics and treatment paradigms, as well as presentations on the risks and long-term effects of this fascinating substance. An all-day post-conference Ayahuasca Workshop will take participants deeper into this fascinating field.
Early Bird registration discounts are available until December 21. Register soon!
19. Science and Nonduality Conference: October 24-28, 2012, San Rafael, CA
Featuring a psychedelic research panel including MAPS Director of Development Virginia Wright, ibogaine researcher Thomas Kingsley Brown, Ph.D., and ayahuasca researcher Jessica Nielson, Ph.D. Enter coupon code MAPS for 15% off registration!
20. Spirit Plant Medicine Conference: October 26-28, Vancouver, BC
With presentations from psychedelic researcher James Fadiman, Ph.D., and ayahuasca researcher Bia Labate, Ph.D.
21. U.S. Psychiatric and Mental Health Congress: November 8-11, San Diego, CA
Michael Mithoefer, M.D., will share the latest results from our ongoing study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for U.S. veterans with PTSD, and MAPS will host an exhibit booth with additional information about our research program.
22. MAPS Provides Psychedelic Harm Reduction Services at Burning Man 2012
MAPS Executive & Clinical Research Assistant Linnae Ponté leads a training for 60 volunteers
to provide psychedelic harm reduction services at Burning Man 2012.
From August 29-September 3, 2012, volunteers provided 24-hour psychedelic harm reduction services at Burning Man 2012 in Black Rock City, Nevada. MAPS offered these services independently of the Burning Man organization in our Zendo facility located in Fractal Nation Village.
Trained and coordinated by MAPS, volunteers and medical professionals were available 24 hours a day to provide a tranquil space, water, and compassionate care for attendees undergoing difficult psychedelic experiences. On August 28, MAPS Executive and Clinical Research Assistant Linnae Ponté led a four-hour training for 60 volunteers, including 12 medical professionals, who dedicated their time in six-hour shifts from Tuesday through Monday, when the event ended.
Over the course of the week, 46 guests received assistance with difficult psychedelic experiences, primarily having taken LSD or psilocybin. Sixty-two additional guests came to integrate a previous psychedelic experience, in search of information about psychedelics, or simply to rest in a safe and supportive environment.
A special thanks goes to Kynthia Brunette, MAPS Operations Associate and co-coordinator of the Zendo Project; to Amanda Spielman, MAPS intern, who assisted in volunteer coordination; and to the coordinators of Fractal Nation 2012 for hosting the Zendo Project. Learn more about psychedelic harm reduction…
Help MAPS make psychedelics and medical marijuana legally available medicines—check out our current volunteer opportunities!
23. Something Fiction to Release New Album with 100% of Proceeds Benefiting MAPS
In late October, Alt/Electronic/Psychedelic collective Something Fiction will be releasing a five-track remix EP, titled “MYCOLOGY,” with every penny of every album sale going directly to support MAPS’ research and educational projects. “Botany”
was remixed by artists from across the U.S. including Gonjasufi (who has worked with Flying Lotus) and RUN DMT. Download Something Fiction’s first EP and a single from the upcoming “MYCOLOGY” album for free. Watch for the release in late October!