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Dark Stranger
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Medicine hope for psychedelic drugs
    #3008144 - 08/16/04 06:11 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Is this one sign of the mainstream re-emergence of psychedelic shamanism?

Is this one of the sub-currents gently threatening to snub out the world's 'drug wars'?

The UK population (much like that of Holland) has recently been experiencing an extremely subtle revival of freely traded psilocybin mushrooms; now the medical authorities have turned their eye to these ancient healing organisms (and other psychedellics).

After the rebuff of governments to the psychedelic movement in the '60's, are the waves starting to lap up the beach again......?


Medicine hope for psychedelic drugs

Could illegal hallucinogenic drugs like LSD and psilocybin ever become credible prescription medicines?
It might sound far-fetched, but just a decade ago it seemed unlikely that the prohibited and mildly hallucinogenic drug cannabis would become a mainstream pain-killing medicine.

But it is happening: Cannabis pain-killing pills and sprays are being developed to help people with multiple sclerosis, cancer and Aids.

Now some scientists and psychotherapists think more powerful psychoactive drugs like psilocybin, found in 'magic mushrooms', could have a future as medicinal agents for a number of conditions.

In the US, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved, but not funded, a pilot study aiming to see if the euphoria and insight of a mild psychedelic 'trip' can ease the physical and emotional pain experienced by thousands of terminal cancer patients each year.

  A significant patient population may gain benefits from these treatments

Professor Charles Grob 
Charles Grob, Professor of Psychiatry and Paediatrics at the Harbor-UCLA Medical Centre, California, and lead scientist on the cancer-psilocybin trial, said: "There is great potential.

"A significant patient population may gain benefits from these treatments."

Professor Grob will be one of the first scientists in 25 years to administer psilocybin to a person in a therapeutic setting.

He wants to see if people's lives can be improved if psychoactive drugs are used under carefully controlled conditions.

Past success  

In the past it seemed to work: in the 60s, cancer sufferers reported less anxiety, a reduced fear of death, better moods, and surprisingly, even less pain in the weeks after treatment with LSD, which is similar in structure and effect to psilocybin.

  It is right that we look at these chemicals with the same stringent standards as we do for other drugs

Dr Kate Law 
So, what will happen during a 21st century psychedelic therapeutic session?

The subjects will lie down wearing an eye mask to screen out distractions and headphones pumping in gentle music to fully immerse them in their journey.

"We are going to let the patients guide their own experience by reacting only to their needs," said Professor Grob.

"We are there to hold their hands and talk if they feel the need, but we will not overtly attempt to take it in any spiritual or religious direction. It is up to them."

The rationale says it is better to let the drug gently lift the veil, divorce the association between mind and body and let the patient enjoy the full-on experience as they wish, than interfere in a way that may be incompatible with the patient's psyche.

UK perspective  

Could this ever cross the water? In the 50s, 60s and 70s, Britain and many European countries were active centres of psychoactive drug research.

Dr Kate Law, of the charity Cancer Research UK, said: "With full, informed consent, we have no problem with it in principle.

"These patients are adults and people make their own choices. It is right that we look at these chemicals with the same stringent standards as we do for other drugs.

"People shy away from the fact that other powerful drugs like heroin are used when caring for cancer patients, many of which have side-effects of their own."

However, Dr Law said Cancer Research UK will only support this type of research if there was an analgesic effect - and the preliminary results suggest the overall procedure did not confuse or harm the patient.

Could the drug experience provide the patient with a greater delusion and a more fantastical escape?

Would it allow patients, perhaps already in denial, to become even more withdrawn, hidden, aloof even?

Dr Ken Checinski is a member of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and senior lecturer at St Georges Medical School, London.


Although he does not represent the RCP, he says his opinions may be typical of many psychiatrists. He says it is a question of balancing the benefits and the risks.

"In terminal care the patient has a right to be pain free, but also has a right to go about their business in the usual way during the final weeks of their lives.

"It's unacceptable to be made psychologically unwell during this period.

"But most drugs also have a medical use - amphetamine and cocaine derivatives, opiates, tranquillisers and now the cannabinols - so there is no reason why we shouldn't consider using the serotonin agonists (hallucinogens).

"However, governments should provide funding for this type of research, not vested interest groups."

The scientific use of mind-altering drugs has often been controversial. But Professor Grob and his scientific allies have fought long and hard for a reconsideration of the hallucinogens as serious medicines.

A not-for-profit collective of like-minded scientists, groups like MAPS (the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies) believe outlawed drugs like MDMA (ecstasy) and psilocybin have a better chance than conventional treatments of successfully managing many conditions.

Credibility established  

A similar study involving psilocybin and the treatment of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) is nearing completion at the University of Arizona.

And an MDMA (ecstasy) trial for the counselling of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) victims is finally underway after a bureaucratic bad-trip with red tape.

"We are re-opening an area that has been shut down for 25 years," said Professor Grob.

"A couple of groups have established credibility through the formal channels. It may take time but it's possible."

Nevertheless, more state-tolerated than state-sponsored, MAPS and their academic friends know that the eyes of the authorities and a wider scientific community are upon them.

The study is funded by the Heffter Research Institute.



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It's the psychedelic movement!
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Re: Medicine hope for psychedelic drugs [Re: CJay]
    #3017416 - 08/18/04 10:50 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Our very own Pinky might be on the forefront of the medicial use of mushrooms with his cluster headache research.

For some reason I can?t find his old posts about it though.


Mp3 of the month: Hydro Pyro - Id

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Eggshell Walker

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Re: Medicine hope for psychedelic drugs [Re: Learyfan]
    #3017486 - 08/18/04 11:11 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

How many grams must I eat to ensure a cluster headache?


The proof is in the pudding.

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Re: Medicine hope for psychedelic drugs [Re: Learyfan]
    #3017566 - 08/18/04 11:47 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I would be interested to read about that.

- Hey u know I personally think that psychedelics (particularly psilocybin ~ but also DMT and to a far lesser extent LSD) can do a lot more then just comfort cancer patients. I know it didn't help McKenna in his plight, but I also know he had a different approach to tripping, and a different understanding and agenda. Plus we all gotta go sometime, and that we cannot stop.

I feel that timely concerted and precise effort within the extra dimensions can actually manifest situations in this temporal reality. This seems to me to be the essence of shamanism or magick.

It gets difficult to explain, but certain things seem to me able to be made so, and other things without the right motives or strength cannot.

The language of those dimensions can be thrown about and a result reached.

My thinking is that at least some of The Experience is the transition of one's consciousness 'down' to the level of DNA. DNA is after all the language of all biological life and I am of the persuasion that it is a local interface between spirit and matter.

DNA spelling mistakes can be corrected....cancer can be cured....if one has the understanding and talent necessary for tackling this dimension proper.

Of course the nature of the events manifested in temporal reality could have been about to happen anyway, and the insight just proves this to us. I suppose it depends what angle you look at it from. Having said this, the 'effort of doing' that produces a result in The Experience....what if that was not made, then The Experience would not have been the same. Would that then effect temporal reality differently?

It seems to me that viewed from the future, things were always going to go the way they went. However viewed from the moment within the saga, they can go either way. Often it looks far more likely they will go the other way.....something pushes us to play our part in the story and through the strain of doing, the things which were always going to be (when viewed from the futrure), then are.

Either way the vision matches up with the manifested events. And the necessary things turn up in temporal reality and in people's souls and minds to make things so. :sun: :mushroom2: :sun:

I probably don't explain too well, it goes beyond verbal language and I doubt many will understand or appreciate the nature of what I mean..........but it is known

Edited by CJay (08/18/04 11:53 AM)

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Re: Medicine hope for psychedelic drugs [Re: CJay]
    #3018985 - 08/18/04 05:11 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I think it's an important step for non-proprietary medicine.


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Fred's son

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Re: Medicine hope for psychedelic drugs [Re: Learyfan]
    #3019757 - 08/18/04 08:15 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

I've posted a few times about it, but I don't think I ever have in this forum. Here's the thread announcing the upcoming clinical study at MacLean Medical School at Harvard University:


M.A.P.S. has their contribution site up and running now for this study. If you wish to contribute, go to http://www.maps.org/support.html. If you wish your contribution to go strictly towards the cluster headache project rather than to the MAPS operating expenses in general, there is a way to specify this. Donations are tax-deductible.



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Dark Stranger
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Probably not clusterheadaches...but headaches non-the-less [Re: Phred]
    #3022269 - 08/19/04 08:01 AM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Wow thanks for that - extremely interesting.

Also a bit wierd for me....I've never heard of the term 'clusterheadache' until this forum......and I don't know if I get them, but strangely a lot of the info given tallies with much of my experience.

Certain 'little friends' have helped with so many other crucial disorders in and around me (hence my out-on-a-limb cancer cure post)....and you make me consider these headaches from a new point of view. I have always assumed it was a sinus issue,some kind of narrow channel blockage and pressure buildup. Probably is, I don't want to start reading the wrong thing into it, but you have given me excellent food for thought. Very interesting - thanks :mushroom2: :sun:

Especially interesting because although I first met my 'little friends' some years before 2000 it was then, about half way through my major headache episode, that I started regularly meeting them....perhaps one physical side effect of these meetings has been the abatement of my symptoms? The worst of these headaches did pale from that time when I became fully involved in intense meditation, that amongst other things attempted to face my pain, and hyperdimensional meetings that led onto so much. Although over time I have consciously applied 'myself' in the hyperdimensions to a great many things, I did not with the headaches. This I suppose may have been because it was unecessary since they naturally abated with my use.

MAGICK - hee hee

Edited by CJay (08/19/04 10:08 AM)

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Re: Probably not clusterheadaches...but headaches non-the-less [Re: CJay]
    #3022782 - 08/19/04 12:23 PM (13 years, 9 months ago)

Clusterheadaches are often misdiagnosed as sinus headaches. I fail to understand why that is the case, since the collection of symptoms associated with each syndrome is different and normally pretty easily distinguishable, but hey... that's medicine, I guess.

The real tipoff is whether or not one of your eyes was involved. Even though the common term on this side of the Atlantic is cluster "headaches", in reality the pain felt in the eyeball is almost always more severe than the pain felt in the cranium. If you never had your eyeball feel like someone was driving a white hot crochet hook through it and trying to yank it from its socket, then what you had wasn't cluster headaches.

Go to www.clusterheadaches.com if you're curious. There's a questionnaire you can fill out which will pin things down pretty well. On the other hand, if you partake on a semi-regular basis, the odds are that if you DID once have them, they are now under control and will likely stay that way until you give up the fungus, so it would be more to satisfy your curiosity than anything else.



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Re: Probably not clusterheadaches...but headaches non-the-less [Re: Phred]
    #3043787 - 08/24/04 12:54 PM (13 years, 8 months ago)

Nice one Pinky - thanks for all this info

Well I tried their quiz.....results inconclusive I would say. And that too was the result of the 30 question quiz linked to at headaches.com (or whatever it is)

A lot of my symptoms are exactly as stated for clusterheadaches....but some don't seem to fit.

What you say of the eye pain: If this is the crux, then it was not clusterheadaches. My pain is always above the eye and did feel like a white hot poker. My eye would hurt and get blackspots, I always thought that was sinus pressure on the eyeball. Certainly the pain centre is above the eye in the sinus area.

At any rate I am pleased that psilocybin is being treated sensibly and applied medically. An important breakthrough is occuring, the establishment is finally beginning to act like an adult in relation to this amazing substance. I am also intrigued by your information. Most of all perhaps, I am pleased you have found a way through the maze of pain you faced and that you are doing so much to help give that to others; as well as this I am pleased that for whatever reason my headaches abated and we are all moving forward.

The future is bright :sun:

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