Psychedelic medicine back in the news WTF!! I thought as I was sitting in a south Berkeley restaurant. I was happy to hear that doctors haven’t given up on these forms of drugs to help people cope with their illnesses. This is an interesting new article on the subject and gives some examples from test subjects of today….
April 23, 2010|By Malcolm Ritter, Associated Press
New York – — The big white pill was brought to her in an earthenware chalice. She’d already held hands with her two therapists and expressed her wishes for what it would help her do.
She swallowed it, lay on the couch with her eyes covered, and waited. And then it came.
“The world was made up of jewels and I was in a dome,” she recalled. Surrounded by brilliant, kaleidoscopic colors, she saw the dome open up to admit “this most incredible luminescence that made everything even more beautiful.”
Tears trickled down her face as she saw “how beautiful the world could actually be.”
That’s how Nicky Edlich, 67, began her first-ever trip on a psychedelic drug last year.
She says it has greatly helped her psychotherapeutic treatment for anxiety from her advanced ovarian cancer.
For researchers, it was another small step toward showing that hallucinogenic drugs, famous but condemned in the 1960s, can one day help doctors treat conditions like cancer anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder.
The New York University study Edlich participated in is among a handful now going on in the United States and elsewhere with drugs like LSD, MDMA (Ecstasy) and psilocybin, the main ingredient of “magic mushrooms.”
The work follows lines of research choked off four decades ago by the war on drugs. The research is still preliminary.
“There is more psychedelic research taking place in the world than at any time in the last 40 years,” said Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, which funds some of the work. “We’re at the end of the beginning of the renaissance.”
He said that more than 1,200 people attended a conference in California last weekend on psychedelic science.
But doing the research is not easy, Doblin and others say, with government funders still leery and drug companies not interested in the compounds they can’t patent. That pretty much leaves private donors.
Edlich, whose cancer forced her to retire from teaching French at a private school, said recurrences of her ovarian cancer had provoked fears about suffering and dying and how her death would affect her family. She felt “profound sadness that my life was going to be cut short.”
The homey NYU room where Edlich had been getting psychotherapy was the setting for her drug experiences. She had brought along photos of her son, grandchildren and partner. She met with two therapists she’d come to trust, knowing they would stay with her through her hours under the influence.
After swallowing the white pill, Edlich perused an art book for about a half-hour while waiting for the psilocybin to take effect. Then she lay on the couch with headphones and listened to music with eyeshades over her eyes.
Did the drug experience help?
“I think it made me more aware of what was so important and what was making me either sad or depressed. I think it was revelatory.”
Experts emphasize people shouldn’t try psilocybin on their own because it can be harmful, sometimes causing bouts of anxiety and paranoia.
This is a video from the great Timothy Leary.