The relative dangers of drugs: What the science says Photo by h.koppdelaney Humans indulge in activities that alter both the content and the experience of their own consciousness. Drugs are a means for achieving a number of particular, often recreational, changes in conscious experience. However, drugs are also a large contributor to, and facilitator of, human suffering and health problems. The best health advice anyone can give to most people most of the time regarding recreational drug use is this: “Do not use drugs”. The relative dangers of drugs: What the science says
What cannabis actually does to your brain Like with all herbal remedies, they are just as serious as man-made meds but weed won't put a rational person in a psych ward. Yes, it can. I've seen it happen.
Cannabis rots your brain — or does it? Last year, a paper published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) suggested that people who used cannabis heavily as teenagers saw their IQs fall by middle age. But a study published today — also in PNAS — says that factors unrelated to cannabis use are to blame for the effect. Nature explores the competing claims. What other factors might cause the decline in IQ? Ole Røgeberg, a labor economist at the Ragnar Frisch Centre for Economic Research in Oslo and the author of the latest paper, ran simulations which showed that confounding factors associated with socioeconomic status could explain the earlier result. Pot Smokers Might Not Turn Into Dopes After All
'I Wanted To Live': New Depression Drugs Offer Hope For Toughest Cases : Shots - Health Blog hide captionChris Stephens, 28, who has been battling depression all of his life, plays with his dogs at home in Concord, Calif., on Friday. After a dose of ketamine, Stephens says, "I actually wanted to do things. I wanted to live life." Lianne Milton for NPR Chris Stephens, 28, who has been battling depression all of his life, plays with his dogs at home in Concord, Calif., on Friday.
scientists explain how ketamine vanquishes depression within hours Many chronically depressed and treatment-resistant patients experience immediate relief from symptoms after taking small amounts of the drug ketamine. For a decade, scientists have been trying to explain the observation first made at Yale University. Today, current evidence suggests that the pediatric anesthetic helps regenerate synaptic connections between brain cells damaged by stress and depression, according to a review of scientific research written by Yale School of Medicine researchers and published in the Oct. 5 issue of the journal Science. Ketamine works on an entirely different type of neurotransmitter system than current antidepressants, which can take months to improve symptoms of depression and do not work at all for one out of every three patients. Understanding how ketamine works in the brain could lead to the development of an entirely new class of antidepressants, offering relief for tens of millions of people suffering from chronic depression.
PTSD and MDMA Therapy - Medical Uses of Ecstasy
hide captionAn ecstasy pill with a rocket shop imprint. iStockphoto.com An ecstasy pill with a rocket shop imprint. Pure Ecstasy Is Safe, Canadian Doctor Says, But Don't Buy 'E' On The Street : Shots - Health Blog
Exactly a century after ecstasy was first patented, Health Canada has approved the drug’s import for the first Canadian study using the illegal substance in trauma survivors’ therapy. The decision to allow two Vancouver therapists to import nine grams of MDMA from a laboratory in Switzerland — one of only two such permitted facilities worldwide — will kickstart the first experiment with the euphoria-and-empathy-producing drug in B.C. on Jan. 1, according to a Health Canada email obtained by the National Post, dated Nov. 23. “I don’t know if we’ll have to wait until the MDMA is actually in our hands, but we’ve got a whole list of people who want to come to do it,” Dr. Ingrid Pacey, one of the researchers, told the Post. “There’s a part of me that still doesn’t quite believe it. When the MDMA arrives from Switzerland … when it finally lands on Canadian soil, then I’ll be certain.” Ecstasy to be used in Canadian study into post-traumatic stress disorder | Canada
Exploring therapeutic effects of MDMA on post-traumatic stress It costs about $2,000 to buy an ounce of the illegal drug, the therapist said — enough for roughly 150 doses. She pays her longtime dealer in cash; he gives her a Ziploc bag of white powder. Back home, she scoops the contents into clear capsules. She calls it "the medicine"; others know it as MDMA, the active ingredient in the party drug Ecstasy. MDMA has been banned by the federal government since 1985 as a dangerous recreational drug with no medical value. But interest is rising in its potential to help people suffering from psychiatric or emotional problems.
8 March 2012Last updated at 21:44 ET Could LSD be used to treat alcoholism? One dose of the hallucinogenic drug LSD could help alcoholics give up drinking, according to an analysis of studies performed in the 1960s. LSD 'helps alcoholics to give up drinking'
How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death
Single dose of 'magic mushrooms' hallucinogen may create lasting personality change, study suggests Sep. 29, 2011 — A single high dose of the hallucinogen psilocybin, the active ingredient in so-called "magic mushrooms," was enough to bring about a measurable personality change lasting at least a year in nearly 60 percent of the 51 participants in a new study, according to the Johns Hopkins researchers who conducted it. Lasting change was found in the part of the personality known as openness, which includes traits related to imagination, aesthetics, feelings, abstract ideas and general broad-mindedness. Changes in these traits, measured on a widely used and scientifically validated personality inventory, were larger in magnitude than changes typically observed in healthy adults over decades of life experiences, the scientists say. Researchers in the field say that after the age of 30, personality doesn't usually change significantly. "Normally, if anything, openness tends to decrease as people get older," says study leader Roland R.
A compound found in marijuana can treat schizophrenia as effectively as antipsychotic medications, with far fewer side effects, according to a preliminary clinical trial. Researchers led by Markus Leweke of the University of Cologne in Germany studied 39 people with schizophrenia who were hospitalized for a psychotic episode. Nineteen patients were treated with amisulpride, an antipsychotic medication that is not approved in the U.S., but is comparable to other medications that are. The rest of the patients were given cannabidiol (CBD), a substance found in marijuana that is thought to be responsible for some of its mellowing or anxiety-reducing effects. Unlike the main ingredient in marijuana, THC, which can produce psychotic reactions and may worsen schizophrenia, CBD has antipsychotic effects, according to previous research in both animals and humans. Marijuana Compound Treats Schizophrenia with Few Side Effects: Clinical Trial
Read full article Continue reading page |1|2 I HAVE been struggling with an addiction to opiates for the past three years. It started with prescription painkillers and progressed to full-blown heroin dependence. In an attempt to kick the habit I signed up for a traditional 30-step inpatient treatment that involved individual and group counselling, and which cost about $30,000. That was a year ago, and it didn't work. Mind-altering drug could offer life free of heroin - life - 22 August 2013
IS ALCOHOL A GATEWAY DRUG?
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By John Horgan Three years ago, I was reminded in dramatic fashion of the chasm between psychiatry and more-effective branches of medicine. My 14-year-old son, Mac, while playing lacrosse, emerged from a collision with his right arm askew. Are Psychiatric Medications Making Us Sicker? - The Chronicle Review
Heroes of Uncertainty To be an authoritative figure, you want to be coolly scientific. You want to possess an arcane body of technical expertise. You want your mind to be a neutral instrument capable of processing complex quantifiable data. The people in the human sciences have tried to piggyback on this authority model. For example, the American Psychiatric Association has just released the fifth edition of the Diagnostic Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders.
(Photo: Steve Snodgrass / Flickr)When I interviewed investigative reporter Robert Whitaker in 2010 after the publication of his book Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America, he was not exactly a beloved figure within the psychiatry establishment. Whitaker had documented evidence that standard drug treatments were making many patients worse over the long term, and he detailed the lack of science behind these treatments. Whitaker's sincerity about seeking better treatment options, his command of the facts, and his lack of anti-drug dogma compelled all but the most dogmatic psychiatrists to take him seriously. Psychiatry Now Admits It's Been Wrong in Big Ways - But Can It Change?
McMaster University Researchers: Anti-Depressants Likely Do More Harm Than Good
Would We Have Drugged Up Einstein? How Anti-Authoritarianism Is Deemed a Mental Health Problem | Personal Health