• Studies of the molecular effects of psychedelics on gene expression in the brain, as well as their powerful anti-inflammatory properties (Dr. Charles Nichols at Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, New Orleans)
• Effects of psilocybin on behavior, psychology, and brain function in long-term meditators (Dr. Roland Griffiths at Johns Hopkins University)
• Qualitative interview study of patient experiences of psilocybin treatment and psycho-educational sessions (Dr. Stephen Ross and Dr. Alex Belser at New York University)
The Heffter Institute is a non-profit organization that was founded by a leading group of brain scientists, and remains the only neuroscience institute dedicated to supporting research with psychedelic substances in order to contribute to a greater understanding of the mind, improvement of the human condition, and the alleviation of suffering.
For more information, please contact: Cibele Ruas, firstname.lastname@example.org.
The classical serotonergic psychedelics LSD, psilocybin, mescaline are not known to cause brain damage and are regarded as non-addictive. Clinical studies do not suggest that psychedelics cause long-term mental health problems. Psychedelics have been used in the Americas for thousands of years. Over 30 million people currently living in the US have used LSD, psilocybin, or mescaline.
To evaluate the association between the lifetime use of psychedelics and current mental health in the adult population.
Data drawn from years 2001 to 2004 of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health consisted of 130,152 respondents, randomly selected to be representative of the adult population in the United States. Standardized screening measures for past year mental health included serious psychological distress (K6 scale), mental health treatment (inpatient, outpatient, medication, needed but did not receive), symptoms of eight psychiatric disorders (panic disorder, major depressive episode, mania, social phobia, general anxiety disorder, agoraphobia, posttraumatic stress disorder, and non-affective psychosis), and seven specific symptoms of non-affective psychosis. We calculated weighted odds ratios by multivariate logistic regression controlling for a range of sociodemographic variables, use of illicit drugs, risk taking behavior, and exposure to traumatic events.
21,967 respondents (13.4% weighted) reported lifetime psychedelic use. There were no significant associations between lifetime use of any psychedelics, lifetime use of specific psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, peyote), or past year use of LSD and increased rate of any of the mental health outcomes. Rather, in several cases psychedelic use was associated with lower rate of mental health problems.
We did not find use of psychedelics to be an independent risk factor for mental health problems.
Citation: Krebs TS, Johansen P-Ø (2013) Psychedelics and Mental Health: A Population Study. PLoS ONE 8(8): e63972. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0063972
How risky are psychedelic drugs to mental health? Not nearly as much as you might have imagined.
People who had taken LSD, psilocybin (the brain-bending chemical in magic mushrooms) or mescaline at any time in their lives were no more likely than those who hadn’t to wind up in mental health treatment or to have symptoms of mental illness, according to an analysis by some Norwegian researchers.
And there was some evidence that people who had taken the drugs at some point were less likely to have had recent mental health treatment.
ST. PAUL, Minn. — To the untrained eye, a certain greenhouse of plants at the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus may seem like nothing special. But Dennis McKenna, an ethno-pharmacologist, sees much more than that.
Some can cure disease, like the Madagascar periwinkle.
“It is the source of two really important drugs to treat childhood leukemia,” McKenna said.
Other plants in the greenhouse are the source of psychedelic drugs that some scientists say could be therapeutic.
McKenna, who teaches at the university’s Center for Spirituality and Healing, is an authority on hallucinogens derived from plants such as ayahuasca, a tea brewed in South America’s Amazon basin and used as part of religious ceremonies.
Research into mind-altering drugs is back. By Zoë Corbyn
You don’t have to spend much time at the six-day second international Psychedelic Science conference in downtown Oakland to learn that not all its 1,900 attendees are academic scientists, and that few are strangers to the power of mind-bending drugs.
Once taboo, psychedelics are making an enlightening medical comeback by Jennifer Bleyer / GSAS ’12
On a spring day in 2010, “Sandra,” then a 63-year-old ice-skating instructor with short graying hair and an impish smile, received her diagnosis: ovarian cancer, stage 1C. The rock-hard tumor growing inside her abdomen was surgically removed almost immediately. She spent the next several months soldiering through exhausting rounds of chemotherapy. Oddly, it was only once she was in remission that the worst began.
April 25-26, 2013
BioPharmaceutical Technology Center
5445 East Cheryl Parkway
Fitchburg/Madison, WI 53711
Coordinated by Promega Corporation and the BTC Institute, the 2013 Bioethics Forum offers two days of thoughtful information-sharing and discussion. Continuing with the theme of human consciousness, our topic this year is: Creative Insight: Further Studies in Human Consciousness.
Creativity can be defined as a process or consciousness state resulting in new insights leading to ideas, products, processes, and artistic expressions. Creative ideas have transformed society; new products and processes have brought convenience, safety, and capabilities; artistic expression opens us to the richness of human experience.
Designed for the general public and bringing together a diverse group of renowned presenters, the Forum focuses on the sharing of scientific research and the consideration of related social and ethical issues. Many questions related to creativity will be explored, including:
From the perspectives of neuroscience, psychology, the arts and other disciplines, what do we know about the creative process and the state of human consciousness?
Are there techniques and environments that effectively develop and nourish creativity in all of us?
What is the impact of science and technology on the creative process?
Lynda Barry (Cartoonist, Artist, Author and Speaker, Rock County, WI)
Erik Davis (Cultural Critic, Freelance Journalist and Lecturer, San Francisco, CA)
James Fadiman, Ph.D. (Adjunct Full Professor, Sofia University (formerly Institute of Transpersonal Psychology), Palo Alto, CA)
Rex E. Jung, Ph.D. (Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM)
Scott Barry Kaufman, Ph.D. (Adjunct Assistant Professor of Psychology, New York University, New York, NY)
David Krakauer, D. Phil. (Director, Wisconsin Institute for Discovery, Madison, WI)
William Linton (Chairman & CEO, Promega Corporation)
Alfonso Montuori, Ph.D. (Professor and Department Chair, Transformative Studies Ph.D. and Transformative Leadership M.A., California Institute of Integral Studies, San Francisco, CA)
Steve Paulson (Executive Producer, To The Best of Our Knowledge, Wisconsin Public Radio and Public Radio International) (Moderator)
To The Best of Our Knowledge Presents: Meet Your Mind – A User’s Guide to the Science of Consciousness
Matthieu Ricard (Monk, Shechen Tennyi Dargyeling Monastery, near Kathmandu, Nepal)