Tag Archives | MDMA

In The Neurosoup with Krystle Cole

I’ve been a fan of Krystle Cole for a while now. She’s well known for her numerous informational videos about psychedelics. Her website, Neurosoup.com, provides information for a broad spectrum of entheogens, entactogens, and other little helpers to the human pursuit for greater understanding in the bigger picture of life. We spoke about her perspective on psychedelics and life in general.

Roberts: You’re a person who has experienced a broad spectrum of psychedelics. You’re probably one of the most encyclopedic reference points for the breadth of the psychedelic experience. How has your perspective on psychedelics changed since the first time you did it?

Cole: When I started using entheogens, the first I used was MDMA — which is more of an entactogen than an entheogen — but that’s the first time I delved into the psychedelic experience. My level of understanding has really grown since then. It’s not just from the amount of other substances I’ve done that are stronger than MDMA, but also from life in general, and everything I do that doesn’t relate to psychedelics.

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Ecstasy Is New Drug Of Choice For PTSD

Rick Doblin has been one of the few medical doctors in the United States, or actually make that more or less anywhere in the developed world, willing to stick his neck out and conduct clinical trials of psychedelic drugs.

His work has been variously profiled by the alternative press (including, of course, Under The Influence: The Disinformation Guide to Drugs), but it seems that his time may finally have come for some mainstream acceptance. Benedict Carey profiles the work of Doblin’s Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) organization for the New York Times:

Hundreds of Iraq and Afghanistan veterans with post-traumatic stress have recently contacted a husband-and-wife team who work in suburban South Carolina to seek help. Many are desperate, pleading for treatment and willing to travel to get it.

The soldiers have no interest in traditional talking cures or prescription drugs that have given them little relief. They are lining up to try an alternative: MDMA, better known as Ecstasy, a party drug that surfaced in the 1980s and ’90s that can induce pulses of euphoria and a radiating affection.

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Ketamine Eyed as a Potential Treatment for Tough Depression

Picture: USDOJ (PD)

NPR: Scientists with the National Institute of Mental Health and Harvard may have succeeded in unlocking the mechanisms that allow some people to feel near-immediate relief from depression after taking popular club drug, ketamine. Animal studies seem to indicates that the drug encourages new synaptic growth between neurons, and the same thing may be occurring in depressed humans who take the drug.

Researchers are ecstatic – as are the big drug companies. One company, Naurex, is already testing a drug that works like ketamine, only without the hallucinations.

Ketamine isn’t the only “party drug” that has been cited as a possible depression cure. Just weeks ago an article in the Guardian reported similar research regarding MDMA, also known as Ecstasy, and psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms.

More at NPR.

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Scientific Study Reveals That Ecstasy Damages Memory

Via LiveScience:

A study conducted by German scientists has revealed that using the popular party drug Ecstasy (MDMA) can cause deterioration of memory:

Among Ecstasy users, the researchers found a deterioration in a memory task called paired associates learning, in which people memorize pairs of words or objects so that the presentation of one triggers the recall of the other. None of the other cognitive tasks showed significant differences between users and nonusers, Wagner said. The specificity of the deficit suggests damage to the hippocampus, he said, the part of the brain that is crucial for memory formation and recall.

(Another point of interest from the study: it’s apparently difficult to find MDMA users who don’t also smoke marijuana.)

Read More at LiveScience.

 

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How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death

Psychedelic dingbatsThe return of psychedelics to the medical arsenal seems to be well under way. Lauren Slater writes for the New York Times Magazine about Charles Grob, “a psychiatrist and researcher at Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center who was administering psilocybin — an active component of magic mushrooms — to end-stage cancer patients to see if it could reduce their fear of death”:

…When the research was completed in 2008 — (and published in the Archives of General Psychiatry last year) — the results showed that administering psilocybin to terminally ill subjects could be done safely while reducing the subjects’ anxiety and depression about their impending deaths.

Grob’s interest in the power of psychedelics to mitigate mortality’s sting is not just the obsession of one lone researcher. Dr. John Halpern, head of the Laboratory for Integrative Psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont Mass., a psychiatric training hospital for Harvard Medical School, used MDMA — also known as ecstasy — in an effort to ease end-of-life anxieties in two patients with Stage 4 cancer.

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The Incredible Krystle Cole Trip

Vice presents the wild trip of Krystle Cole as part of its Hamilton's Pharmacopoeia series:
There is no facile synthesis of the events that transpired at the Wamego missile silo between October 1 and November 4, 2000. The available information is a viscous solution of truths, half-lies, three-quarter truths, and outright lies, the fractionation of which yields no pure product. The dramatis personae are many and varied. The chemicals in question often obscure and untested...
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O Magazine Touts The Wonders Of Ecstasy

468019_0b823646bfThe Oprah Magazine comes out in favor of MDMA as a therapeutic wonder drug, attempting to dispel hysterical, ‘rave’-related media cliches (propagated by Oprah herself, among others) along the way. Writer Jessica Winter tried MDMA for the first time for the sake of the article, and describes the enormous personal benefit she gained in the weeks after:

To a layperson, the notion of using a drug like Ecstasy as a therapeutic tool for healing trauma might make as much sense as adding cocaine to a diabetic’s weight loss regimen. Ecstasy was the signature stimulant fueling a worldwide party culture in the 1980s and ’90s, epitomized by massive all-night dance “raves” crammed with blissed-out revelers and pulsating with electronic music at festivals and exurban warehouses across North America and Europe.

Yet MDMA’s beginnings were innocent, even banal. In 1912 it was included as an intermediate chemical in a patent that the German pharmaceutical company Merck filed for an antibleeding medication.

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Using Psychedelics To Treat Depression

Ecstasy (MDMA)

Ecstasy (MDMA)

It’s been a long struggle, more or less since the days of Timothy Leary and Albert Hofmann in the ’60s, but doctors and scientists are finally being allowed to treat depression with some of the most effective drugs known to them: psychedelics. Anne Harding reports for CNN/Health.com:

Pamela Sakuda, 57, was anxious and depressed. After two years of intensive chemotherapy for late-stage colon cancer, and having outlived her prognosis by several months, she’d finally lost hope. She was living in fear and was worried how her impending death would affect her husband.

Sakuda’s doctor prescribed antidepressants, but they didn’t do any good. So, at her wits’ end and feeling that she had nothing to lose, Sakuda volunteered for an experimental depression treatment being studied at UCLA.

In January 2005, with a pair of trained therapists at her side, Sakuda took a pill of psilocybin — a hallucinogen better known as the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms.”

It may seem far-fetched that a psychedelic drug associated with muddy hippies at Woodstock would help a cancer patient at a university hospital.

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Can Mind-Altering Drugs have Mental Health Benefits?

From the Telegraph:

New studies are testing whether psychedelic drugs such as LSD and MDMA can treat OCD, post traumatic stress and cancer related anxiety.

On September 19 this year, 12 people gathered in the suburban Hermsdorf district of Berlin for a group psychotherapy session that allegedly involved illegal drugs. A day later, two of the participants were dead and another in a coma. The substances used and exact cause of death have yet to be confirmed. Local newspaper reports have claimed that heroin and MDMA (ecstasy) were taken, but other drugs may have been in circulation.

Garri Rober, the therapist who led the session which included his wife, Elke, is facing possible charges in connection with the deaths and on suspicion of supplying illegal drugs. The other nine participants were released from hospital the next day.

This tragedy, which received international coverage, threatens to derail a fledgling renaissance in legitimate research using psychedelic drugs in the management of common disorders from migraines to obsessive compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety associated with life-threatening illness.

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