“For Matthew Irving, the 21-year-old former North Providence honor student, who has become the focus of so many prayers these days, tonight’s flight from Boston to Germany will be far from routine.

He has reached the point, family members say, where the pain racing up from the base of his spine has been relentless. He has become so sensitive to light, sound and touch, they say, that even the sound of light music is painful to his ears, requiring him to lie motionless in a darkened room.

An experimental treatment in Germany may lead to a cure. The treatment is not allowed in this country, the parents say, because the FDA does not allow patients to be deliberately placed in comas for more than two days. The treatment in Saarbrueken, Germany, involves putting the patient in a coma for five to seven days, during which the body is filled with massive amount of ketamine in an attempt to “reboot” the body system.

Dr. Schwartzman has written that of the 41 patients he has sent to Germany, 14 came back pain free and have remained free for five years, while others have come back with their pain reduced.”

Read on

…earth to explode.

Sunday, April19, 10pm ET/PT

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, April 2 /PRNewswire/ — From Amazon jungles to the American Plains, British mental wards, Swiss labs, New York mansions and Grateful Dead shows, the history of hallucinogenic drugs is as fantastic as the visions the drugs produce. Wade Davis, is a modern-day anthropologist, author (“The Serpent and the Rainbow”) and protege of one of psychedelia’s most intrepid forefathers — Richard Evans Schultes. Davis traces Schultes’ life’s work as one of the greatest botanist-explorers of
the 20th century and reveals an illustrated history of the world’s most mind-altering plants and substances in: PEYOTE TO LSD: A PSYCHEDELIC ODYSSEY.

Winner of the prestigious 2008 CINE Golden Eagle Award, the documentary follows the career of Schultes, who journeyed into far-flung areas in search of ritualistic healing medicines known to produce powerful visions: Peyote, mushrooms, Ayahuasca. Davis, a former student of Schultes at Harvard and author of Schultes’ biography (“One River”), travels to the exotic locations Schultes once voyaged to, seeking the same experiences. Along the way, set to the music of the Grateful Dead and featuring input from experts such as Dead co-founder Bob Weir, plus Dr. Andrew Weil, and LSD inventor Dr. Albert Hofmann, the documentary reveals how hallucinogens got from jungle shamans to the hippie generation. Questions arise about the attitude toward psychedelics: their great potential benefits versus perceived harmful side effects. Why is it that so many ancient cultures consider hallucinogenic plants — a medicine given from God, while in today’s culture they are outlawed, and even reviled. PEYOTE TO LSD: A PSYCHEDELIC ODYSSEY is a long, strange trip that began decades ago, but is probably nowhere near its end. Even now, new uses for hallucinogens are being sought and tested by leading universities and medical institutions.

PEYOTE TO LSD: A PSYCHEDELIC ODYSSEY is produced and directed by Peter von Puttkamer of Gryphon Productions Inc. along with producer Sheera von Puttkamer and co-producer Wade Davis. Executive Producer for The History Channel is Michael Stiller.

An exhibit of Richard Evans Schultes’ photographs will run at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural Historyin Washington, DC, April 16 – November, 2008.

bestnaturalhealing.jpgMind-altering psychedelics are back—but this time they are being explored in labs for their therapeutic applications rather than being used illegally. Studies are looking at these hallucinogens to treat a number of otherwise intractable psychiatric disorders, including chronic depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and drug or alcohol dependency.

The past 15 years have seen a quiet resurgence of psychedelic drug research as scientists have come to recognize the long-underappreciated potential of these drugs. In the past few years, a growing number of studies using human volunteers have begun to explore the possible therapeutic benefits of drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, DMT, MDMA, ibogaine and ketamine.

Much remains unclear about the precise neural mechanisms governing how these drugs produce their mind-bending results, but they often produce somewhat similar psychoactive effects that make them potential therapeutic tools. Though still in their preliminary stages, studies in humans suggest that the day when people can schedule a psychedelic session with their therapist to overcome a serious psychiatric problem may not be that far off.

Scientific American via Dose Nation

Tom Shroder has written an excellent comprehensive article titled ‘The Peace Drug‘. Published in the Washington Post it focuses on MDMA therapy for PTSD.

Donna Kilgore laughs, a high-pitched sound that contains both thrill and anxiety. That she feels anything at all, anything other than the weighty, oppressive numbness that has filled her for 11 years, is enough in itself to make her giddy.

But there is something more at work inside her, something growing from the little white capsule she swallowed just minutes ago. She’s subject No. 1 in a historic experiment, the first U.S. government-sanctioned research in two decades into the potential of psychedelic drugs to treat psychiatric disorders. This 2004 session in the office of a Charleston, S.C., psychiatrist is being recorded on audio cassettes, which Donna will later hand to a journalist.

The tape reveals her reaction as she listens to the gentle piano music playing in her headphones. Behind her eyelids, movies begin to unreel. She tries to say what she sees: Cars careening down the wrong side of the road. Vivid images of her oldest daughter, then all three of her children. She’s overcome with an all-consuming love, a love she thought she’d lost forever.

“Now I feel all warm and fuzzy,” she announces. “I’m not nervous anymore.”

“What level of distress do you feel right now?” a deeply mellow voice beside her asks.

Donna answers with a giggle. “I don’t think I got the placebo,” she says.

Fourteen years ago, Donna Kilgore was raped.

Read The Peace Drug

UPDATE: Tom Shroder, the editor of the magazine will be fielding questions and comments about this article Monday at noon here.

wpf_large.jpgHere’s an article about the Rising Researches panel to be presented at the Basel World Psychedelic Forum in March 2008. The focus is on the resurgence of psychedelic research occurring around the world and the new crop of academic researchers their work. Included is an interview with Tom Roberts who has taught the ‘Foundations of Psychedelic Studies’ course at Northern Illinois University for 25 years.

Can you describe the Rising Researchers as a group? What is the range of topics and disciplines that they cover?

Whooo-eee! They are all over the map. There are 26 accepted proposals, though some have more than one author. In this list I am considering only the first authors – 21 males. There’s a cluster of five Ayahuasca studies; two or more on biological-medical, salvia, drug policy, biology-pharmacology, end-of-life psychotherapy, addiction and misuse, and clinical uses; along with a scattering of other topics from language to law. The research spans many countries, including Canada; the United States; Mexico; Brazil; England; Czech Republic; Finland; and Spain.

Via Teleomorph

Top Genius “The top 100 living geniuses was compiled by a panel of six experts in creativity and innovation from Creators Synectics, a global consultants firm. The company emailed 4,000 Britons this summer and asked them to nominate up to 10 living people who they considered geniuses.”

Albert Hofmann, the chemist who first synthesized LSD ranked highest in the criteria which included paradigm shifting, popular acclaim, intellectual power, achievement and cultural importance. He is now 101 years of age.

Link: Top 100 living geniuses

mushroom-use.jpgCalls for a re-evaluation of the drug grew after a 17-year-old French girl jumped from a building after eating magic mushrooms during a school trip to Amsterdam in March.

Other incidents involving the drug have included an Icelandic tourist jumping from a balcony and breaking both legs and a Danish tourist driving his car wildly through a camping ground, narrowly missing sleeping campers.

“It’s a shame, the media really blew this up into a big issue,” said Chloe Collette, owner of the FullMoon shop, which sells magic mushrooms in Amsterdam.

BBC LINK

Doblin

Chemistry World magazine recently published a comprehensive feature-length article about the “resurgence of medical hallucinogens.” MAPS President Rick Doblin, PhD, is quoted throughout the article.

‘Psychedelics are an amazing category of substances,’ says Feilding. ‘Only by understanding the scientific neural and physiological correlates of what is happening underneath the experience will we more easily be able to explain why they could be therapeutic.’ Research is already altering the perception of psychedelics – enabling them to come out of the underground and be viewed as possible treatments. In less than 10 years time, patients with a series of distressing disorders for which current treatments fall far short, could be receiving psychedelics on prescription.

Read more in the article ‘Taking a medical trip‘ found here.

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