1. Dear Drugs-Forum readers: We are a small non-profit that runs one of the most read drug information & addiction help websites in the world. We serve over 4 million readers per month, and have costs like all popular websites: servers, hosting, licenses and software. To protect our independence we do not run ads. We take no government funds. We run on donations which average $25. If everyone reading this would donate $5 then this fund raiser would be done in an hour. If Drugs-Forum is useful to you, take one minute to keep it online another year by donating whatever you can today. Donations are currently not sufficient to pay our bills and keep the site up. Your help is most welcome. Thank you.
    PLEASE HELP

MAPS completes first new therapeutic LSD study in 40 years

By Phungushead, Jan 18, 2014 | | |
Rating:
5/5,
  1. Phungushead
    View attachment 36736 Rick Doblin, the founder and president of MAPS, said this in a recent “Ask Me Anything” interview on Reddit:

    We’ve just completed the world’s first study of the therapeutic use of LSD in over 40 years, in Switzerland to treat anxiety associated with end-of-life issues. Eleven of the 12 subjects had never done LSD before and there were no serious adverse events, even in people facing death.

    This recently completed Swiss study is truly momentous — it’s the first “double-blind, placebo-controlled investigation of LSD-assisted psychotherapy since the early 1970s.” This pilot study found that two LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions successfully reduced anxiety in end-of-life patients. The study was led by Peter Gasser, M.D., who wrote a letter (PDF) to friends and colleagues at its completion. In it he writes that “all the 12 participants reported a benefit from the treatment.” He continues:

    I am proud to say that we had in 30 sessions (22 with full dose 200 μg LSD and 8 with placebo dose 20 μg LSD) no severe side effects such as psychotic experiences or suicidal crisis or flashbacks or severe anxieties (bad trips)…That means that we can show that LSD treatment can be safe when it is done in a carefully controlled clinical setting.

    The paper, which was completed in August and accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease in December, makes these conclusions:

    • This pilot study found positive trends in the reduction of anxiety following two LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions.
    • Anxiety remained at reduced levels at 12-month follow-up sessions, implying durability of effects.
    • LSD-assisted psychotherapy can be safely administered in these subjects.
    • The results of this small pilot study are promising, and should be pursued in larger samples.
    You can read the full results of the study in this clinical report. After a long hiatus, this promising study should pave the way to continued interest and research regarding psychedelic-assisted therapy. If you want to support this kind of research, consider donating to MAPS.


    13 January 2014

    Psychedelic Frontier
    http://psychedelicfrontier.com/2014/01/maps-completes-first-new-therapeutic-lsd-study-in-40-years/


    The clinical report is attached below, if anyone is interested.

Comments

  1. Phungushead
    LSD Study Breaks 40 Years of Research Taboo

    [IMGL="white"]http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/attachment.php?attachmentid=37606&stc=1&d=1394015363[/IMGL] On March 4, 2014, the results of the first study of the therapeutic use of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in humans in over 40 years were published online in the peer-reviewed Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease. Sponsored by the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), the double-blind, placebo-controlled pilot study in 12 subjects found statistically significant reductions in anxiety following two LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions.

    The results also indicate that LSD-assisted psychotherapy can be safely administered in these subjects, and justify further research.

    “The study was a success in the sense that we did not have any noteworthy adverse effects,” reports Principal Investigator Peter Gasser, M.D., a private practice psychiatrist in Solothurn, Switzerland. “All participants reported a personal benefit from the treatment, and the effects were stable over time.”

    There is considerable previous human experience using LSD in the context of psychotherapy. From the 1950s through the early 1970s, psychiatrists, therapists, and researchers administered LSD to thousands of people as a treatment for alcoholism, as well as for anxiety and depression in people with advanced stage cancer.

    “My LSD experience brought back some lost emotions and ability to trust, lots of psychological insights, and a timeless moment when the universe didn’t seem like a trap, but like a revelation of utter beauty,” says Peter, an Austrian subject who participated in the study.

    The study was approved by SwissMedic in December 2007. The first subject was enrolled on April 23, 2008, and the last long-term follow-up interview was conducted on August 8, 2012. Eleven of the 12 subjects had not taken LSD prior to participating in the study.

    “This study is historic and marks a rebirth of investigation into LSD-assisted psychotherapy,” says Rick Doblin, Ph.D., MAPS Executive Director. “The positive results and evidence of safety clearly show why additional, larger studies are needed.”

    Founded in 1986, MAPS is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

    Paper uploaded to the file archive here: http://www.drugs-forum.com/forum/local_links.php?action=jump&catid=32&id=13258
    Clinical study protocol can be read here: http://www.maps.org/research/lsd/swisslsd/LDA1010707.pdf


    March 4, 2014

    MAPS
    http://www.maps.org/media/view/press_release_lsd_study_breaks_40_years_of_research_taboo/
  2. Rob Cypher
    LSD, Reconsidered for Therapy

    He heard about the drug trial from a friend in Switzerland and decided it was worth volunteering, even if it meant long, painful train journeys from his native Austria and the real possibility of a mental meltdown. He didn’t have much time, after all, and traditional medicine had done nothing to relieve his degenerative spine condition.

    “I’d never taken the drug before, so I was feeling — well, I think the proper word for it, in English, is dread,” said Peter, 50, an Austrian social worker, in a telephone interview; he asked that his last name be omitted to protect his identity. “There was this fear that it could all go wrong, that it could turn into a bad trip.”

    On Tuesday, The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease is posting online results from the first controlled trial of LSD in more than 40 years. The study, conducted in the office of a Swiss psychiatrist near Bern, tested the effects of the drug as a complement to talk therapy for 12 people nearing the end of life, including Peter.

    Most of the subjects had terminal cancer, and several died within a year after the trial — but not before having a mental adventure that appeared to have eased the existential gloom of their last days.

    “Their anxiety went down and stayed down,” said Dr. Peter Gasser, who conducted the therapy and followed up with his patients a year after the trial concluded.

    The new publication marks the latest in a series of baby steps by a loose coalition of researchers and fund-raisers who are working to bring hallucinogens back into the fold of mainstream psychiatry. Before research was banned in 1966 in the United States, doctors tested LSD’s effect for a variety of conditions, including end-of-life anxiety.

    But in the past few years, psychiatrists in the United States and abroad — working with state regulators as well as ethics boards — have tested Ecstasy-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress; and other trials with hallucinogens are in the works.

    “The effort is both political and scientific,” said Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a foundation that has financed many of the studies. “We want to break these substances out of the mold of the counterculture and bring them back to the lab as part of a psychedelic renaissance.”

    Before taking LSD, the 12 patients in the Swiss study met with Dr. Gasser in his office for two or more sessions to get acquainted. The trial called for two drug-assisted courses of therapy, separated by a couple of weeks.

    The drug’s effects would last up to 10 hours, after which the patient would sleep on a couch in the office, attended at all times by the therapist or an assistant. “I told them that each session would be right here, in a safe environment, and I am part of it,’” Dr. Gasser said. “I said, ‘I can’t guarantee you won’t have intense distress, but I can tell you that if you do, it will pass.’ ”

    And so they did — and indeed it passed, though not always easily. Many wept, most squirmed; one 67-year-old man said he met his long-dead, estranged father somewhere out in the cosmos, nodding in approval.

    All talked for periods with Dr. Gasser, who acted as an anchor in the storm and a fellow explorer, tracking the sources of those emotions. In the jargon of the profession, the therapy was patient-centered, open-ended and “integrative,” in that it focused on current habits of thought as well as on long-ago childhood scenes.

    “I had what you would call a mystical experience, I guess, lasting for some time, and the major part was pure distress at all these memories I had successfully forgotten for decades,” Peter said. “These painful feelings, regrets, this fear of death. I remember feeling very cold for a long time. I was shivering, even though I was sweating. It was a mental coldness, I think, a memory of neglect.”

    He was also doing something with those sensations, something he had almost never done before. He was talking about them. “It surprised me,” Peter said. “I didn’t know I was talking away until Dr. Gasser made me notice.”

    After about two months of weekly therapy, the eight participants who received full doses of LSD improved by about 20 percent on standard measures of anxiety, and the four subjects who took a much weaker dose got worse. (After the trial, those patients were allowed to “cross over” and try the full dose.) Those findings held up for a year in those who have survived.

    The trial was far too small to be conclusive, said Dr. Gasser, whose co-authors include Dr. Doblin, Dominique Holstein of UniversityHospital Zurich and Rudolf Brenneisen of the University of Bern. But the researchers see the results as a beginning. The drug caused no serious side effects, other than temporary — and therapeutically valuable — periods of distress.

    The participants, by and large, considered the therapy worthwhile. “It’s a proof of concept,” Dr. Doblin said. “It shows that this kind of trial can be done safely, and that it’s very much worth doing.”

    Peter, the social worker, agreed. “I will say I have been more emotional since the study ended, and I don’t mean always cheerful,” he said. “But I think it’s better to feel things strongly — better to be alive than to merely function.”

    Benedict Carey
    New York Times
    March 3, 2014

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/04/health/lsd-reconsidered-for-therapy.html
  3. Pondlife
    LSD Can Help Terminal Patients Face Death Study Shows

    The first controlled LSD study in more than 40 years reveals the drug could be used to help people with terminal illnesses deal better with death.

    The study, published in the Journal of nervous and Mental Disease, showed that 12 people who agreed to take the banned hallucinogenic drug during therapy sessions felt "significant reductions in anxiety" about their lives ending.

    Most of the subjects involved in the study suffered from terminal cancer, and many died within a year of the trial. However, researchers said those who took LSD as a complement to talk therapy felt more at ease about death and continued to feel less anxiety about for a year after the trial ended.

    "The study was a success in the sense that we did not have any noteworthy adverse effects," said Peter Gasser, a private practice psychiatrist in Solothurn, Switzerland. "All participants reported a personal benefit from the treatment, and the effects were stable over time."

    "Their anxiety went down and stayed down," he told the New York Times.

    The study was the first into the psychological effects of LSD since research into the drug was banned in 1966. Tests have previously examined if LSD could help tackle alcoholism, as well as anxiety and depression in people with advanced stage cancer.

    During the study, eight subjects received a full 200-microgram of LSD before two talk sessions, while the remaining four received around one tenth of this amount. Eleven of the 12 subjects had not taken LSD prior to participating in the study.

    During the 10-hour "trips", the patients who took the full amount were asked to talk about their terminal illnesses as well as childhood experiences.

    One of those who took part in the study, named only as Peter, said: "My LSD experience brought back some lost emotions and ability to trust, lots of psychological insights, and a timeless moment when the universe didn't seem like a trap, but like a revelation of utter beauty."

    He added: "I had what you would call a mystical experience, I guess, lasting for some time, and the major part was pure distress at all these memories I had successfully forgotten for decades.

    "I remember feeling very cold for a long time. I was shivering, even though I was sweating. It was a mental coldness, I think, a memory of neglect."

    Peter added it "surprised" him that he was describing these feelings to Gasser as he had never done so to anyone before.

    "I didn't know I was talking away until Dr Gasser made me notice," he added.

    After two months of weekly sessions, those who took the full dose of LSD saw an improvement of 20% on standard measures of anxiety, while those who took the smaller amount got worse. When those who had the lower dose switched to the full amount, their anxiety levels went down too and continued for stay lower for a year.

    While the researchers admitted the size of the study is too small to be conclusive, they believe it shows the ability to conduct LSD-based trials in a safe environment should be continued.

    "This study is historic and marks a rebirth of investigation into LSD-assisted psychotherapy," says Rick Doblin, executive director of Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) , who sponsored the study.

    "The positive results and evidence of safety clearly show why additional, larger studies are needed."

    http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/lsd-can-help-terminal-patients-face-death-study-shows-1439009
To make a comment simply sign up and become a member!