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Psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, and mescaline were used experimentally for decades in psychiatry and other areas of medicine, until the counterculture's embrace of [and trafficking in] the agents in the 1960s led to their criminalization. With clinicians in need of more effective psychiatric therapies, hallucinogens are once again being explored for therapeutic value.                                                          source below the fold.
     Over the past near-decade, increasing discovery of pharmaceutical industry  data not previously available, and of data on adverse drug effects researched but not previously published, has stimulated overdue focus on adverse effects, lack of demonstrable therapeutic effects, mis-administration, mis-prescribing, the role of genetics in drug metabolism capacity, and related efficacy issues. An intense discussion is in progress, including about alternatives.

      In psychiatry, concern has been expressed that the pharmaceutical industry is not developing new drugs, (which implicitly underlines dissatisfaction with existing ones,) and that conventional psychotropics have a record of not quite "working" as hoped/expected/desired/advertised more often than was acknowledged previously, particularly when brain damage such as injury or dementia (including the dementias typical of advanced age) is part of the picture ~the patient may exhibit some change of behavior/action, but the change may be more related to sedation, for example, than to remediation of the psychological ailment~ and in connection with relatively new difficult-to-treat diagnoses such as post-traumatic stress syndrome (PTSD).

      In addition, straightforward relief for extreme mental or physical  distress, alone or as part of severe illness continually gains credence as objectively valuable adjunctive treatment, (e.g," "Light-up Nation: What Israel can teach America about medical marijuana: Israel sets a new standard for legal medical marijuana research, production and sales" ), even independently of unrealistic expectation of or demand for "correcting" or "curing" patient mood permanently and discontinuing the medication. Functionality is key.  Worldwide, patients are less and less accepting of adverse effects of conventional drugs, notably cognitive impairment, even if it's expected to be short-term, citing impact upon holding their jobs, taking care of their families, and aging with reasonable safety.

      These and other factors bring renewed interest to psychedelic drugs.

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     A recent Special Report from Medscape includes a slideshow, "Psychedelic Medicine: Worth the Trip?" (hover the mouse over the plus symbol to bring up the text for each image) and reasonably skimmable articles entitled:

~Psychedelic Drugs No Risk to Mental Health, Possibly Beneficial
~Ketamine's Efficacy Validated in Major Refractory Depression
~{Psilocybin} May Have a Role in Psychotherapy
~Ecstasy-Assisted Psychotherapy Effective, Durable for PTSD

      Another article, Tuning In to Psychedelics' Therapeutic Potential, covers some of the same ground at greater length.

      Basically, they all ask and try to answer what is really known about these substances that may tell us if they can serve along with conventional psychiatric drugs. (The elephant in the room ~the murder-fraught, society-wrecking, international illicit pleasure-trafficking created largely by customer demand in the wealthiest nations of the world upon some of the poorest~ is barely touched on and left to munch its hay quietly in the middle while the mice chat around the edges.)

      Sometime in the hopefully not too distant future, genomics bids fair to revolutionize the entire kaleidoscope into individualized medicine in every field, including psychiatry. Meanwhile, it makes good sense for us to return to some of the roots --botanical and otherwise-- of the world's pharmacopeia, to review sidelined drugs and re-discover what benefit they might be now, rather than rely solely on what the pharmaceutical industry devises next.

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
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Thu Mar 20, 2014 at 1:47 AM PT: LSD for Anxiety: Hallucinogen as Treatment Revisited

Originally posted to KosAbility on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:01 PM PST.

Also republished by Kitchen Table Kibitzing and Community Spotlight.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (42+ / 0-)

    Reply here for dates&topics you can write, or even just the date you'd like, if you haven't titled your draft diary yet.

    February 9  Kitsap River will bring & host a diary.

    All other Sundays are pretty much wide open.

  •  Having never taken any drugs of this class (6+ / 0-)

    or type, legal or illegal I don't really have a valid opinion on their use. However, your writing made me think of Sherlock Holmes and his self medication over the years in the stories and books concerning him.

    "Madness! Total and complete madness! This never would've happened if the humans hadn't started fighting one another!" Londo Mollari

    by FloridaSNMOM on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:52:19 PM PST

    •  yeah, Sherlock had that "2-pipe problem" ;) (5+ / 0-)

      or at least in the Basil Rathbone films, he'd say now and then when a mystery had him stymied, "this is a 2-pipe problem", and he'd sit down and smoke.  To the film audience i guess it was made to look like tobacco, as i recall.  Never having read any of the material, i was somewhat astonished years later to learn it was ... i bleeve... cocaine.

      I'm new to the info at the links, too - no personal experience of any illicits but marijuana (involuntary), which isn't actually discussed in Medscape's 'special report'.  

    •  The Doors Of Perception, Opened! (10+ / 0-)

      (h/t Aldous Huxley) I've taken LSD, psilocybin (in panaeolus foenisecii aka haymaker's panaeolus mushrooms), and mescaline.  

      I used to say LSD saved my life; it certainly opened the 'doors of perception' to this once very bound up by fear and paranoia mind. That was, BTW, about 35 years ago. The life-changing aspects haven't worn off, I still live a so-called alternative, committed-to-simplicity life.

      This may inform about psilocybin: 2006 Study by Johns Hopkins School of Medicine

      Some of the effects described below are similar to my experience with LSD, and to a lesser degree with psilocybin (which is less intense, and thus more fun).

      In 2006, the United States government funded a randomized and double-blinded study by Johns Hopkins University which studied the spiritual effects of psilocybin in particular.

      In the study, more than 60 percent of subjects described the effects of psilocybin in ways that met criteria for a “full mystical experience” as measured by established psychological scales. One third said the experience was the single most spiritually significant of their lifetimes; and more than two-thirds rated it among their five most meaningful and spiritually significant. Griffiths says subjects liken it to the importance of the birth of their first child or the death of a parent.

      Two months later, 79 percent of subjects reported moderately or greatly increased well-being or life satisfaction compared with those given a placebo at the same test session. A majority said their mood, attitudes and behaviors had changed for the better.  Structured interviews with family members, friends and co-workers generally confirmed the subjects’ remarks. Results of a year-long followup are being readied for publication.

      Psychological tests and subjects’ own reports showed no harm to study participants, though some admitted extreme anxiety or other unpleasant effects in the hours following the psilocybin capsule. The drug has not been observed to be addictive or physically toxic in animal studies or human populations. “In this regard,” says Griffiths, a psychopharmacologist, “it contrasts with MDMA (ecstasy), amphetamines or alcohol.”

      Not recommending psychedelics, as YMMV, but I never encountered any ruined lives from psychedelics.

      You meet them halfway with love, peace, and persuasion ~ And expect them to rise for the occasion...

      by paz3 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 09:22:45 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Tnx for input. Since this is a health/disabilities (0+ / 0-)

        community (KosAbility), let's not sidetrack into whether substances are "fun" or not.

        I'd suggest the same about non-scientific-method sampling of 3rd-person reports of impact: I have personal very firsthand decades-long witness of damage to an individual and that individual's family as a result in large part of psychedelic drug use in the '60s by that individual, but my experience of that is not genuine indication of how commonly nor how frequently damaged or harm occurred, or consequences or ramifictions in that era nor since.

        So let's stay on topic.


      •  Also, the link & exerpt much appreciated! n/t (0+ / 0-)
  •  An important, timely discussion. (15+ / 0-)

    What we can't ignore, is an American, Puritanical bias against altering consciousness. Might make people curious about cosmic explanations, outside of answers provided by conventional morality and religion. Might make people "question reality." Might lead to--gasp--pleasure, don'cha know. So altering your consciousness deliberately is somehow a suspect activity, as if alcohol weren't both widely regarded as harmless and perfectly reputable in moderation, as if it hadn't been a part of human culture for millennia.

    This Puritanical bias affects the kind of studies that get funded, and publicized, on "illegal drugs." I believe it also affects the culture of experimentation, leading to recklessness and wild excess, which, in fact, cause problems in society.

    Tipped and recommended. Thanks.

    It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

    by karmsy on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 04:53:27 PM PST

    •  SO many ideas involved in drastic restriction of (10+ / 0-)

      drugs that are used 'recreationally' do indeed smack of control-freaks and sadists getting off on stopping others from enjoying the pleasurable aspects of drugs like these.

      There are legitimate concerns as well, of course, as we see with abuse of legal drugs.  At times i get a sense that huge physical and emotional pain is the prevailing sensory experience in western nations.  And a desperation for relief, of course.

      •  Basis of confusion: non-medical use MUST BE (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        remembrance, mkor7, Minnesota Deb

        'recreational' as if that meant you were going to go freak out all the kids at Six Flags or something.  No conception of any other kind of use at all.  Just like all sex MUST BE procreative, all else is a waste of time and resource.

        IE, get back to work...

        (Lord, I LOVE your handle!)

        trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

        by chmood on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 08:39:32 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Since KosAbility is about medical & disability (0+ / 0-)

          issues, let's not venture into discussion of recreational substance use - it's way off-topic of this diary and probably a debate more suited for some other group.

          Thanks for your cooperation. I appreciate that you 'get' my handle.

    •  As evidence that you're totally right... (17+ / 0-)

      I present  datura stramonium, or Jimsonweed. Highly psychoactive, seriously dangerous. Legal status? Unscheduled. Why? Because it's actually dangerous and people don't trifle with it. We're not stupid and we're not children.

      We're servants, and we're to be at work on time.

      One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

      by Darwinian Detritus on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:17:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Out of curiosity, (8+ / 0-)

        I Googled "Jimsonweed" just now. Clearly, this is a potentially dangerous mind-altering substance. But many mind-altering substances are safer, used in moderation, in appropriate circumstances, and some would point to your one example as evidence "drugs shouldn't be legalized."

        This hysterical muddling drives me mad.  

        It's here they got the range/ and the machinery for change/ and it's here they got the spiritual thirst. --Leonard Cohen

        by karmsy on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:38:12 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I know, right? (13+ / 0-)

          My point was simply that these laws don't really seem to exist for our safety.

          One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

          by Darwinian Detritus on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:51:24 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  there's a lot in the plant kingdom w/huge pharma- (7+ / 0-)

          ceutical potential, of course, some good potential and some bad.  Most drugs back thru history originate in plants, i bleeve ('tho the kosak history group must know miles more about that than i do).  

          The productive medicines we might be losing through destruction of rainforests is pretty horrifying, but my general impression of most of the world's pharmaceutical industries is that that is just fine with them; their R&D centers largely on what they can do in vitro based on what they've already done.  Many recent drugs for allergy, for example, are essentially the human metabolites of earlier allergy drugs, and i seem to recall reading about some arthritis drugs developed by that same route.

          it does seem curious that no one has tried to separate out the toxins from the other compounds in jimson weed? or tried and just couldn't, i guess...

          •  It's in the belladonna family, and we use (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            karmsy, remembrance, mettle fatigue

            substances from that family to counteract nerve agents like VX.

            The deal with Datura, is that it's alkaloids can also cause hyperthermia and it attacks the part of the brain that perceives time (possible blood brain barrier issues) which may make it difficult to study on human subjects for ethical reasons.

            Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

            by GreenMother on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:15:09 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Thanks for that clarification! n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              •  Also the alkaloids in Datura do not degrade (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                mettle fatigue, vcmvo2

                with smoking, boiling, etc., so the potency of the doses would be very very strong, even if the dried plant material sat around for a long long time, before someone smoked it.

                It's a nasty customer. There might be some indigenous usages for this plant, however, I have no knowledge of those or how it might be prepared so that the user would live to tell the tale without damaging themselves.

                Really, nightshade and datura, are not good choices for recreational use, and medicinal preparations are best left to a genuine expert, someone who probably has some kind of degree in pharmacology or who was taught proper, proven preparation and dosages by an actual tribal elder.

                This stuff is quite a departure from other substances like shrooms, or LSD. The belladonna stuff can stay in your system a lot longer, and have an adverse effect on perceptions of time, and of the self, and of reality in a way that most people probably would not like at all, not even experienced psychonauts.

                Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

                by GreenMother on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 05:30:25 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Drug That'll Make You Cut Your Own Tongue Off (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mettle fatigue, karmsy

          And yet it's legal and grows in the wild.  I've seen quite a bit growing on sandbars.

          Men are so necessarily mad, that not to be mad would amount to another form of madness. -Pascal

          by bernardpliers on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:29:01 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Exquisite, thank you (0+ / 0-)

        trying to stay alive 'til I reach 65!

        by chmood on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 08:33:57 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I tried that crap in 1978 (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        I was a 16 year old runaway in SF at the time. Some punk sold me what he claimed was a "peyote apple". A few hours later I was seeing snakes that weren't there. That was the only bad trip I ever had and I did blotter numerous times back then without a problem. And the drug warriors freak out about acid. It sort of falls under the category of stuff no one would mess with if the real thing were legal.

        “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon Baines Johnson

        by spacecadet1 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:50:33 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  I am an unabashed child of the 60's (21+ / 0-)

    Certainly much of my substance (ab)use during that era was fueled by my own emotional discomfort. My sister's story was similar and continued on long after I'd given up on those things.

    It seems to have become the prevalent view among mental health care professionals that Timothy Leary, his intentions notwithstanding, did more than any other single individual to get in the way of continued research in the use of psychedelics to treat various issues. I believe my sister eventually came around to this view herself.

    My sister went on to become a mental health professional with an avid interest in the therapeutic use of mood-altering drugs; most of her attempts to run studies were thwarted by our society's irrational attitudes. She was diagnosed with ovarian cancer in 2002 and fought it for seven years before passing away in 2009. During her illness, after having (mostly) sworn off drugs as a matter of professional integrity (she also discovered back in the 90's that she had Hep-C and pretty much swore off alcohol other than the rare glass of wine with dinner) she of course began to avail herself of legally-obtainable medical marijuana. During the final year she was alive she participated in a study of the sort she was never successfully able to organize herself. The study involved people like herself, with terminal illnesses and looked at how the use of mood-altering substances, specifically psilocybin, could be used to manage the anxiety of her situation. In her view the experiment was highly successful. Apparently there is a documentary about the study, in which she appears (I may make a brief appearance in it myself though I'm not sure; I have not seen it).

    I can't be certain as to how much help or hurt my own drug use provided for me. I have assumed that as much as anything my repeated acid trips caused me to have to face the fact of my sexual orientation, though it's tough to say whether that would have happened anyway, either sooner or later.

    During one of our final conversations before she passed away my sister mentioned something that Alan Ginsburg apparently said apropos of the recreational use of psychedelic drugs: "When you get the message, hang up the phone." It's clear to me that I and others refused to hang up the phone until long after the message had been delivered.

    •  My condolences. (12+ / 0-)

      I'm glad your sister was in one of forerunner states that allows cannabis to be used, at least when an MD says so.

      One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

      by Darwinian Detritus on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:24:42 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  My user name (9+ / 0-)

        The SF part is short for San Francisco. And my sister lived in the East Bay. So yes we had what until recently would have been viewed as a forerunner state. Nowadays we're behind both Colorado and Washington.

        Just so you know, I am fully in support of legalizing all sorts of things. The fact that I can't use pot or other substances doesn't mean others shouldn't be permitted to make their own choices about them, even if those choices are not very wise, without fear being arrested simply because they decided to experiment. That doesn't mean people shouldn't be held responsible for their actions whether done under the influence or not, but creating criminals for the sake of having criminals does nobody any good.

    •  much appreciation for sharing those recollections. (7+ / 0-)

      They sound like pretty rough to have gone through and to look back on now.

      Your saying

      It's clear to me that I and others refused to hang up the phone until long after the message had been delivered.
      is, i believe, a valuable insight.  

      One of the difficulties people of our generation have in talking to later ones about the hazards and consequences of abusing any substance, is that the reply-argument, "Well, you did it so you're a hypocrit if you say we shouldn't", is not really valid, since most of us were their age ("young and dumb", as one of my grad school professors summarized it), and to a certain extent the prolonged indulgence in pleasure as the ultimate human value kind of prolongs adolescence and adolescent attitudes as well.  Irresponsibility and licentiousness become the half-aware definition of freedom, and freedom is then cited as the ultimate good.  kind of a case of a society that got a little too rich too young and too fast.

      so we face a lot of work to do to correct the direction of drug usage to the positive, i guess i think at this point.

      •  I must confess (3+ / 0-)

        that people should be permitted to draw their own conclusions. Although it's too bad that it took me a bit too much time to figure out I'd gotten the point but had become stuck there, that's really about me. To be honest, I generally don't regret most of the crap I did so it really would be hypocritical of me to issue anyone else a dire warning. I happen to have an addictive personality, which means that if I like something I will probably go overboard. Not everyone is put together the way I am. Most of my college friends though of course not all smoked pot once in a while, took stronger things once or twice (or maybe not even) and went about growing up. I doubt most of them even smoked pot once they got out of college.

        Not having kids it's not as though I am likely to be placed in the position of having to instruct a young person on what to do or not to do. In the unlikely event I had that responsibility I might simply advise caution. The fact is that virtually all of the things I did I did when I was over 18, though that is somewhat due to lack of opportunity. I'll note that at the time and place I grew up, the legal drinking age was 18; I had the occasional drink before that. Growing up Jewish with lots of Jewish friends means attending lots of bar mitzvahs, which means receptions where indulgent relatives will give you a drink or two or three; but I doubt I encountered alcohol more than a dozen times before I attained the legal age and certainly didn't have even so much as hangover. Not having a car makes it pretty easy not to drive drunk. When it comes to other drugs of course it doesn't matter what my age might have been; it was all completely illegal regardless. Still, It does put me in the position of being able to suggest to a young person that they hold off on the experimenting until they've reached a certain age without fear of being labeled a hypocrite.

        •  Human neurology doesn't fully myelinate til mid20s (7+ / 0-)

          according to something i read recently, which kind of astonished me with an "oohhh, that explains A LOT." The article held that immature myelination is like inadequate electrical insulation and allows excess signal to from powerful input to proliferate from 'proper wires' to others and the brain becomes 'changed' by bombardment of excess signal because there's not adequate blockage of input.  The change seems potentiate all kinds of input well into adult life as a result of excess input before the myelination matures. I don't have the formal background to fully grasp all this, but my tentative conclusion would be that customs & laws of the past that withheld full adult freedoms of action until at least age 21.  And age 30 has been an extremely common age for propertied people to legally receive full rights over their finances and and over their right to contract marriage by their own choice in many cultures before age 21 became sort of standard. As if millenia of social observation of behavior reached the same conclusions as neurology researchers now.

          My own view about the charge of hypocrisy is that it's clever on the part of kids to try to guilt their elders like that, but utterly invalid, since any substance compromising the judgement of an individual who has not yet fully developed reliable good judgement is a huge risk no matter what risks the individuals parents, aunts, uncles etc didn't or did take & what consequences to themselves or others did or didn't happen.  But i guess that's a different topic, akshully.

          I seem to have a background similar to yours. There's been occasional research to suggest that routine low-level exposure to mild alcohol (e.g., kiddush every friday night & saturday & holy days) predisposes against alcoholism, but i don't know how solid the methodology of the research really is.

        •  Something you might be interested in (0+ / 0-)

          Dr. James Fadiman is doing a study on how psychedelics have helped people come to terms with their sexuality. If you're interested in participating then definitely shoot him an email.

    •  Allen Ginsberg (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      mettle fatigue

      Doesn't detract from the substance of what you're saying. Just pointing out for record the correct spelling of the poet's name.

  •  I'm gonna put this right back on the Puritans. (16+ / 0-)

    These substances have always been revered and regarded as gifts. Whatever psychedelic a society had access to was surrounded by rituals governing its use. These rituals, these relationships between plants (or fungi) and the people who used them, were eradicated as thoroughly as possible by the invading Christians whenever they were found. If the puritan mindset vanished tomorrow it would still take generations to rebuild that sort of equilibrium.

    One good thing about music, when it hits you feel no pain -Bob Marley

    by Darwinian Detritus on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 05:44:49 PM PST

  •  I read an interesting article (11+ / 0-)

    about ingesting tiny amounts of LSD below the thresholds of its effects.

    For instance taking 10 micrograms when its effects aren't even supposed to begin until 25 micrograms.

    Supposedly these sub-effect doses produce beneficial experiences, mood elevation and greater ability to focus on a task.

    “The answer must be, I think, that beauty and grace are performed whether or not we will or sense them. The least we can do is try to be there.” ― Annie Dillard, Pilgrim at Tinker Creek

    by 6412093 on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:12:37 PM PST

    •  Interesting (5+ / 0-)

      I have read contrary reports that correlate too small dosages to engendering non-beneficial mind (thinking) loops that can impart bad effects: obsessive, claustrophobic tropes.

    •  Perhaps there is no threshold? (0+ / 0-)

      If the "sub-effects" dose is producing effects, then the science is wrong. Different people have different sensitivity levels. Assigning effects to the chemical and not the consciousness participating is also a place where the white-lab-coat crew gets utterly lost.

      Freak freely.

      "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

      by US Blues on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 03:58:05 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  "Micro-dosing" may be the more formal term. (0+ / 0-)

        In individuals with drug/chemical hypersensitivities, "normal" doses of medication can easily produce drastically harmful effects.

        Damaged liver, kidneys, intestines, skin, lungs, etc., are among the causes (and also the effects) of drug/chemical hypersensitivies, via impaired capacity to metabolize and/or excrete drugs/chemicals in amounts that fully healthy individuals can tolerate and/or benefit from.

        Pesticides (meaning both herbicides and "bug killers") are extensively implicated in drug/chemical hypersensitivities and involve ailments for which micro-dosing of medications makes the difference between efficacy and harm.

        Some drug response does involve a "threshhold", depending on the drug and the individual; others are entirely dose-size-dependent, and yet others fill something of a spectrum in between.

  •  as another unabashed child of the 60s (10+ / 0-)

    I almost never indulged in any substances to escape psychic pain; from the beginning and to this day it has been to enhance joy and wonder.

    I had the freedom to explore,  as far as I dared to go, which happened to be pretty damn far out,  and managed to get back alive and intact. I passed the Acid Test.  I am far richer a person for what I learned in those explorations.

    I have no doubt that properly administered psychedelics can have beneficial effects for some distressed patients.

    don't always believe what you think

    by claude on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 10:35:00 PM PST

    •  glad you were lucky. wish more had been. n.t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      •  Millions of us were "lucky" (8+ / 0-)

        Lucky to have had access to good LSD.

        The vast majority of people who tripped in the 60's, or who trip today, have experiences like claude describes. Unfortunately, it sounds like you have had more contact with the small minority who didn't, maybe because they didn't have the proper "set and setting" (mindset and safe physical setting) to have such a strong experience. If you start out in a bad "place", it can get much worse.

        You mentioned in a post above that you have had no personal experience with psychedelics. But you sure seem fascinated by them. I highly recommend them. I would suggest starting with mushrooms as they are less intense and have a shorter trip. If you are comfortable with that you would be fine with a full dose of LSD. I do suggest that you have a good guide and do it in a safe setting.

        "If you lose your sense of humor, it's just not funny anymore" Wavy Gravy

        by offgrid on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 04:25:31 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I only used LSD once; it was great. (5+ / 0-)

          I had a friend who knew Owsley Stanley. He had some LSD  from Owsley, and we went to the beach one morning and he babysat me while I took it. I had just been though a divorce and surgery and I felt horrid and clueless about what to do next.

          I really think it can be of use not just for clinical use, but because there is something about it that really ties the world together. :-)

        •  I didn't try in until 1978 (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          US Blues, offgrid

          I was 16 years old then. People old enough to remember the sixties told me that the blotter available in the seventies was weaker than what was available in the sixties. Does anyone know if that was true?

          “If you can convince the lowest white man he’s better than the best colored man, he won’t notice you’re picking his pocket. Hell, give him somebody to look down on, and he’ll empty his pockets for you.” Lyndon Baines Johnson

          by spacecadet1 on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 01:58:49 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Hard to say (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            It is all dependent upon the source, there was still plenty of good medicine in the 70's and 80's- and for sure methods of preparation of the medicine, and the preparation of delivery methods varied. It does seem likely that the standard amount of medicine in each dose was decreased by the late 70's, but there is no way of measuring this.

            "Political ends as sad remains will die." - YES 'And You and I' ; -8.88, -9.54

            by US Blues on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 04:03:04 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  Since KosAbility is a community of people with (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          disabilities and disabling health issues, many of us certainly are deeply concerned about the safety, efficacy, and effectiveness of drugs involved in our medical care.  "Concerned" and "fascinated" are not the same thing, as I'm sure you'll agree with a moment or two of consideration.  Also, a reread of the actual diary and the linked materials which provide the data, will clarify further. I write diaries based on research and criticism as a service to the KosAbility community, because I'm a member of this community and this is what my former professional background equips me to contribute.

          You're quite correct that I mentioned having no first-hand (meaning my own body) experience with any substances primarily psychedelic in nature, other than being involuntarily exposed to a fairly large dose of marijuana without my advance knowledge or consent, a fact which I'm fairly sure is in that same mention. The persons involved in doing that found it humorous until an emergency ambulance was necessary because of life-threatening effects.  

          Further above you'll find mention also that I do have first-hand witness close personal experience of many years' standing with an individual who did choose to indulge in risky unsafe "set and setting" use of illicit substances whose exact identities were not identified until he was hospitalized for head and body injuries following attempting to "fly" (his word at the time, according to his friends who failed to stop him) off a roof. Upon his release from the hospital, he chose to drive himself home against medical advice, offered a ride to an unsuspecting older woman, and crashed the vehicle a block and half from the hospital, sustaining additional minor injuries and his passenger suffering a ruptured spleen (among other injuries) requiring emergency surgery and prolonged hospitalization, during which she sustained loss of income from her job, and nearly catastrophic medical expenses.

          A year or two before this, an honors-student brilliant guy I knew from highschool (his younger sister and their parents were friends of mine) lost his full scholarship to Stanford University in California as a result of the health consequences of repeat illicit drug use as a recreation. The consequences apparently cascaded even after he stopped taking them (he had become too physically and mentally handicapped to hold a job to earn money to buy drugs, or even to leave the home of his parents under his own speed, to which he'd returned), and within about three or four years he lost capacity to put together a coherent sentence and could speak or write only in phrases, later stopped being able to recognize friends who came to visit him and became frightened of them, then stopped being able to recognize his sister and his parents, could not communicate his needs or perceptions on paper or verbally, and eventually had to be institutionalized after repeat instances of injuring his parents and sister during his fear reactions. His parents were bankrupted by their son's medical expenses and by the cost of making sure their son's living situation was humane and not a snake-pit. They lost their home and the business they had built together from the ground up, and had great difficulty finding employment due to being considered, as former entrepreneurs, "over-qualified". His sister (who was brilliant in her own right) had to increase her own work hours and decrease her college load in order to assist their parents financially, though she did eventually become an art therapist.

          The son of a close colleague of my dad died of a cocaine-induced heart attack in his late thirties.  A college friend of mine became pregnant while using illicit drugs, and has carried major financial and care-giving responsibilities for her daughter's resultant health problems ever since (that's nearly 40 years now, I've just realized).

          The safe metabolism of any substance depends upon the unique metabolic capacities of the individual. Little as I regard physicians or pharmacologists as gods or anything approaching that (they do, after all, have a vested interest in vaunting their own professions ... and something similar might be the case for individuals who have come safely through their use of recreational drugs), I have a high regard for the scientific method, definitely higher a regard for it than I have for "luck" or "faith".

          I have not chosen to use recreational drugs.  I have personally been significantly damaged in health by medically advised/prescribed drugs.  In view of my own health disabilities, I have no intentional of engaging in the use of any drug or pharmacologic substance that I haven't researched thoroughly and assured myself as to its authentic identity and high probability of efficacy in my own unique case.

          All things considered, I'd assess my professional and personal attitude toward unconventional drugs as open-minded, with hope for their safe and effective application to medical needs of individuals with health problems who can benefit from them.  Otherwise I wouldn't have written the diary, of course.

      •  never had a bad trip (6+ / 0-)

        on good acid. Because it was illegal (after 1967) and the penalties eventually became very harsh, production moved deep underground, doing it fast became very important and quality suffered. There was also a lot of mixing going on. What was commonly called 'mescaline' (A dose of pure mescaline sulfate - colorful crystals - is 1/3 - 1/2 a gram - not a little blue pill) was actually small doses of acid (50 mics) + angel dust..  Nevertheless, there were still a few true believers who did it well, God bless them

    •  in 1965, one could purchase pure Sandoz (0+ / 0-)

      manufactured LSD25 over-the-counter in farmacias in Tijuana.

      One night I helped a friend dilute a small glass tube of the powdered stuff (2 inches by the thickness of a pencil) with enough sodium bicarbonate to fill 500 small empty gelatin capsules we had gotten over-the-counter at the drug store down the street in LA.  We calculated this to be a 250 mmg dose, what was considered enough in those days.

      We did this with our bare fingers all night and I was high all the next day.

      don't always believe what you think

      by claude on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 08:41:31 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Please don't get into recreation in THIS GROUP. (0+ / 0-)

        That's a completely different discussion and persistence in continuing it here is in effect hijacking the diary.  Read our logo-block in the diary so you'll see what we're about and the fact that this group was formed to meet particulars needs which it is VERY UNFAIR to obstruct.

        Central DK principle. DBAD

        thank you for your cooperation.

        •  kindly don't presume to judge (0+ / 0-)

          my experiences as "recreation",  especially as you yourself have no such experiences by which to judge.

          don't always believe what you think

          by claude on Tue Jan 21, 2014 at 01:08:40 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  to use your phrase, this is KosAbility's lawn (0+ / 0-)

            you're camping on. KosAbility's logoblock in our diaries clearly states our purposes, needs, and determinations. As an editor here, as moderator of this discussion, and as researcher and writer of this diary, it's my responsibility to judge when comments take our discussion off-topic, per DK principles, and guide it back on, as you as a kog since 2003 surely know. That's not presumption but obligation. Guests are obligated to honor the 'home' they visit. The presumption is yours in mistaking my limited voluntary experience of drugs as "no such" - perhaps you missed reading the information at other comments.

            I was born in '47 on the far left and lived my life there, you & i have more in common that you might suppose, I have professional experience in medical lit research, and in none of those contexts is "high" or the manufacture of pills outside legal professional regulated venues consistent with medical therapeutic contexts.  But I'm always glad to be proven wrong and learn something new, so if your comment simply omitted mistakenly the details that would make it useful to a discussion in medical therapeutic context, I invite you to include them now.

            •  mettle, I appreciate that you are (0+ / 0-)

              trying to do a good thing.  It will serve no purpose to argue apples to oranges with you.

              Thank you for listening to my anecdotal evidence, FWIW.

              don't always believe what you think

              by claude on Wed Jan 22, 2014 at 08:53:24 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  MAPS... (4+ / 0-)

    My dear friend Rick Doblin founded and continues to do amazing work with this organization:

    Baby, where I come from...

    by ThatSinger on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 11:37:59 PM PST

  •  Only reason not to "like" on F'book is (0+ / 0-)

    knowledge that the Feds are watching.

    Great to see this diary here. Very timely.

    "Alcohol enables Congress to do things at eleven at night that no sane person would do at eleven in the morning." - George Bernard Shaw

    by Loose Fur on Sun Jan 19, 2014 at 11:41:18 PM PST

  •  Suggested Reading: (8+ / 0-)

    Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

    by GreenMother on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 02:10:39 AM PST

    •  and the works of shulgin (4+ / 0-)

      pioneered the development and use of MDMA

      Please don't dominate the rap, Jack, if you got nothin' new to say - Grateful Dead

      by Cedwyn on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 08:38:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I've only come across DMT once in my life, (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      GreenMother, DrFaustus

      back in the early 70's. When you smoke it, you hold your breath, you are immediately blown into an alternate reality.  Very psychedelic, something that you would only do a few times in your life, like most strong psychedelics. The effects are very short lived, not even 30 mins. I am surprised that it was never more available. I guess it was easier and more profitable to manufacture LSD or grow psylocybin mushrooms. I've only met a few people who have ever ingested it. There is an interesting documentary movie, "DMT: The Spirit Molecule" available on Netflix, regarding a group that was administered IV DMT in a clinical setting.

      "You can die for Freedom, you just can't exercise it"

      by shmuelman on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 04:31:45 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I personally thought the Netflix movie (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mettle fatigue

        stunk. It was preachy. The book is much better, but then I really enjoyed the science in that book, and the first hand accounts by the scientist as well as his subjects. But the netflix thing seemed to be selling something, which really turned me off.  I was kind of shocked that the author of the book allowed that movie to share the same name as his publication.

        Gentlemen, congratulations. You're everything we've come to expect from years of government training (Zed, MIB).

        by GreenMother on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 05:32:51 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Left out the most important of all - ibogaine (5+ / 0-)

    For especially opiates but other drugs, too, withdrawal-free detox, then no cravings. No other medicine like in the world, and all natural.Best primer on subject.

  •  Bill Wilson- one of the 2 founders of AA, tripped (8+ / 0-)

    on LSD on a number of occasions after he had been sober from alcohol for many years, and AA was already thriving and saving lives. At that  time, LSD was being used by doctors to help alcoholics break through that mental/spiritual barrier of denial- and was having some success. Bill Wilson clearly said that the spiritual experience he had on LSD was as profound as the one which he had experienced when he started AA; that spiritual experience which was the impetus to the AA 12 step program, (the model for all 12 step programs) which positively affected the lives of millions of people. Bill's experiences with LSD are documented in the AA approved literature: Pass it On.  

    The price of anything is the amount of life we are willing to exchange for it.

    by theslinger on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:27:26 AM PST

  •  I'd be happy to diary on ayahuasca (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    melo, DrFaustus

    Did it about a year ago and only recently have been able to cohesively write about it.

    by janosnation on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 06:32:49 PM PST

  •  really wish CBD was isolated more as a compound (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    mettle fatigue, DrFaustus

    and available for retail purposes.

    maybe even figure out if there's a third or 4th important cannabinoid in cannabis.

    many of us would love to skip the recreational high of THC and its side effects, and obtain the physical benefits alone.

    been here, left, and might come back.

    by BikingForKarma on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 07:50:20 PM PST

    •  Look into the Israeli medical research. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Israel seems to be doing about the most extensive scientific research worldwide for therapeutic applications, and I'm fairly certain that the long article about it which I linked in smallprint in the diary does discuss that many patients are interested in the physical therapeutic benefits and don't want to get stoned.

      (The article also mentions severe cases of psychological distress for which medical THC provides relief - one such case were the childhood Holocaust memories of a survivor now octogenarian.)

      Meanwhile, wikipedia mentions: There are at least 85 different cannabinoids.

      •  An interesting take on Israel (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        mettle fatigue

        I've only learned about the company in Israel in the last few days, as part of my personal research into CBD as an analgesic, anxiolytic, etc.  I'm personally interested in this for health reasons, despite being an abundantly cautious person who likes to do his homework.  So, thanks so much for the diary!

        This link further examines the strain in Israel, suggesting that the work there is not as groundbreaking as it might seem, or at least seems to argue that the high prices in North America for high-CBD medicine need not remain so, since growing or developing a high-CBD strain is not super high tech.

        In any event, I look forward to the coming political and social discourse.  What's the line between "unsafe for the average informed person" (to cultivate or buy from a farm or dispensary) and the traditional scientific medical arena.  It's not like people are allowed to brew up their own aspirin?  (Or are they?)

        If a CBD pill is developed and approved by the FDA after human trials, will that mean some man or woman in Idaho or wherever else will be blocked from consuming high-CBD organic matter (not produced in a lab) once (IF!) federal prohibition of cannabis is ever repealed?  Full legalization is not necessarily a done deal, I would argue.

        Interesting times ahead.

        •  Sorry, forgot link (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mettle fatigue
          •  interesting link, if not very rigorous & way too (0+ / 0-)

            encouraging of illegal behavior for my personal taste. I'm big on "fight to change the law".  most societies have rules meant to support social justice for all, and big societies often find those rules taken control of by persons for whom social justice doesn't matter one iota, but the rest of us do need social justice and the rules supporting it to matter a lot and to constantly advance.  in the instance of stealing seeds from farm fields, the owner of the fields might be held legally liable for unfortunate results, even 'tho the farmer was stolen from.  the statement that the farmer might not care is a self-interested self-indulgent rationalization for stealing, closely related to the kind of thinking by which american market demand has been the single greatest factor in the development and existence of substance trafficking and human trafficking that is a plague upon countries and communitives forced to produce and distribute to feed that appetite and allowed no other means of survival or potential route of escape from that life except to cooperate.  a lot of countries hate america because we insist on what we call democracy for ourselves but we don't export democracy, we make economic slaves out of everyone else that we can.  often, the cause of universal social justice and human rights means exercising some self-discipline, self-denial, and continual commitment.  skills like those are very useful when hard times hit us individually. it doesn't harm us in any way to develop and practice those skills, and it does help the rest of the world.  as in "live simply that others may simply live."  

            counterculture literature and thinking often claims to be for human rights for everyone, but in practical terms it's more often exploitive, so i hope my bit of rant on the topic is understandable.  thnx again.

        •  the 80-yr-old doctor who's led Israel's medical (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          research for decades is included in the article, and I've seen mention of his work in english language medical professional literature consistently if not frequently euer since i started using professional medical lit.

          Israel puts intense resources into science research & contributes more to world medical literature than probably any other country its size or 10 times bigger (a not-isolated case of american foreign aid to israel being actually more an investment in a proven producer than how our foreign aid functions in nearly every other country we give it to - sadly, the drought-prone areas of the U.S. have resisted using Israeli irrigation-conservation sci/tech for decades, 'tho an american NASA engineer once explained to me that we have a self-destructive view of anything Not Invented Here).

          The focus of the medical work there is not developing strains for "over-the-counter" unsupervised use but for identifying what compounds can treat which diseases within careful medical context with full ethical concern for the patient's choices. The heritage inevitably dictates that responsibility, meticulous science, & ethics prevail. Europe is far more likely to adapt the prescriptive protocols that result than is the U.S., if only because Israel has always had universal healthcare so there is far less $ motive/incentive of BigPharma shouldering in to grab as big a piece of profit from misery than the US has to grapple with.

          I'm not clear what you mean by

          I look forward to the coming political and social discourse
          if you'd like to clarify that.  I don't anticipate further discussion in this KosAbility group, 'tho it's of ongoing interest elsewhere in DK of course.    my reading in medical literature (which is at least 80% english-language medical journals, plus english translations or submissions from medical journals of other languages) suggests that the therapeutic applications of marijuana compounds are a low priority in the American professional medical community, besides being highly resisted in the political realm (which includes BigPharma lobbyist influence, of course).

          A segment of the american public seems to want unregulated access to weed, but in view of the kind of dangerous pesticides & chemical fertilizers often used in commercial cultivation (as throughout conventional agribusiness), over-the-counter purchase would still pose serious health risks even after legalization unless the patient were to grow it at home without chemicals of any kind.  (Yeh, i grow what tomatoes, beans, etc i can like that - a lot of fresh produce in american grocery stores is imported from countries using pesticides and fertilizers that are illegal in the U.S., which is awfully ironic, and a local ag inspector tells me that "organic"/natural pesticides and fertilizers are not harmless either, which of course is also true and ironic, 'tho in theory less harmful to the pollinator insects and birds necessary to keep high ag production at lowest possible cost .... which is not happening because commercial pesticides decimate and re-decimate those species every pollination season including the ones trucked around commercially for the purpose. "Honey" bees drastically hard hit for years now, and the growing price of food reflects it.)

          I don't know that it's illegal to make aspirin for personal use. The original plant source of aspirin is, I think, white willow bark, brewed or decocted for efficacy and safety by methods that are probably lost to time among all but very small traditional or tribal cultures now.  if you search wikipedia for aspirin, there's likely adequate info there.

          nice talking with you!

  •  If and when I am aware of my impending due-date (0+ / 0-)

    I hope to have a few mushrooms available.

    And giggle a bit.

    But that would be illegal..

    Dear future generations: Please accept our apologies, We were roaring drunk on petroleum -Kurt Vonnegut

    by Anthony Page aka SecondComing on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 09:38:02 PM PST

  •  Migraines (0+ / 0-)

    I had read somewhere about LSD being used for migraines.  As a migraine sufferer myself, I would welcome the chance to try it.

    •  LSD appears to perhaps induce migraine in some (0+ / 0-)

      users, according to a quick little wikipedia search I just did.  The phenomenon of conventional drugs causing effects the opposite of intended/expected is not rare, if somewhat unusual, it's called "paradoxical effect", and in some cases is the result of compensatory response in individual neurology, metabolism, or other system or function.

      Here's the wikipedia search link

      and here's the link to a Medscape search. See the final part of this diary your comment is "at" for a brief introduction to how to register and use Medscape free.

      Migraines are hell, but still I hope you'll research carefully and thoroughly before accepting prescription or administration of any potentially harmful medication. Your response to past medications of various kinds may trace a pattern somewhat reliable to predict your response to medications involving similar mechanisms or compounds. Physicians rarely do this kind of individualized medicine (tracing the individual patient's drug-response pattern) so it may be completely your own responsibiity to identify your pattern.

      I just use caffeine and 2 baby-aspirins (i can't have more aspirin than that, due to bleed problems) plus 2 acetaminophen( popularly called tylenol). Yes, acetaminophen can be taken with aspirin or ibuprofen, because it's painblocking mechanisms/pathways are very different from those of aspirin and NSAIDS (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) but overuse of tylenol is quite hazardous and there is great concern about this worldwide due to decades of heavy admixture of acetaminophen in prescription pain drugs and excess encouragement of over-the-counter usage via advertising and popular press.

      In wikipedia, the external linked sources at the bottom of articles and/or the footnoted sources sometimes provide clearer and more authoritative information than the article itself, so do include reading at the sources in doing your 'homework'.  If you do a search for migraine in wikipedia, you'll notice that there are several articles related to migraine, so i didn't want to pick out just one to link here for you - you know yourself best so it's best that you do that.

      good luck.

    •  egotamine tartrate is used for migraines (0+ / 0-)

      ET is the primary precursor of lysergic acid. It has a vasoconstrictor effect: slows bolld flow to the brain. Transformed into LSD, the ergotamines constricts the pineal gland...

  •  Plant based medicines (0+ / 0-)

    It is very nice to see this information discussed openly these days:

    Mescaline from Peyote and San Pedro Cacti
    DMT from Ayahuasca
    Good old Marijuana

    I myself have been working with Ayahuasca(a brew of plants containing DMT) off and on since 2007 in Peru with local healers who use a wide variety of medicinal plants to treat and cure many ailments gently and effectively that our most advanced hospitals cannot treat or only treat for thousands of dollars.  

    Like any medicine, if one wishes to attain the benefits, they need to be administered by someone with experience in working with them to guide the process.

    "When people have nothing left to lose, they lose it." - Gerald Celente

    by DrFaustus on Mon Jan 20, 2014 at 11:40:44 PM PST

    •  Good to see plants being rigorously researched, (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      especially.    One of the obstructions to research is that BigPharma doesn't stand to profit as much from a potentially unpatentable natural compound, or from a compound derived from a natural plant, since the plant itself is not patentable ... unless it's genetically engineered.

      It's worth adding to your comment's final sentence about "someone with experience in working with [the substance]", not just experience but rigorous qualifications.  This doesn't always mean a mainstream medical doctor - there IS medicinal plant medicine being researched with the collaboration of traditional healers, shamans, and so on ... these are rigorous as well as experienced persons, altho' their "credentials" may be harder to verify, since persons who see profit in usurping traditional medicine may find that easier to do with desperate gullible patients than trying to impersonate a mainstream medical practitioner.

    •  DMT is not derived from ayahuasca, it comes (0+ / 0-)

      from several other plants (and toads), and is mixed with ayahuasca by shamans (and others).

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