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Erowid. 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. There's also this episode of The Nature of Things (a Canadian science documentary program) that talks about it: [] [] Apparently there's a genetic marker that can cause an otherwise healthy, if sensitive person, to undergo a psychotic break with the overuse of marijuana. Ok, out of the millions upon millions of people who have used marijuana, how many do you know in a psych ward?

If you are referring to folks who overuse, like alcoholics, drug addicts, quadruple espresso drinkers, pack of smokes a day smokers, or 10 hr internet surfers, then you are referring to individuals with problems....not a problematic substance. I agree genetically altering marijuana to be over stuffed with THC is bad, but a natural, untampered plant with it's original levels of THC is fine. I just ask, please stop blaming the marijuana. Pot Smokers Might Not Turn Into Dopes After All. 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. For example, poorer people have reduced access to schooling, irrespective of cannabis use. Is this a case of correlation versus causation?

Do other studies show a drop in IQ with cannabis use? What do the original paper's authors make of Røgeberg's analysis? So who is right? What do other scientists think? '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. After a dose of ketamine, Stephens says, "I actually wanted to do things. I wanted to live life. " A club drug called "Special K" is generating a lot of buzz among researchers who study depression. That's because "Special K," which is actually an FDA-approved anesthetic named ketamine, can relieve even suicidal depression in a matter of hours.

Those traditional drugs, which act on the brain's serotonin system, can take more than a month to kick in, and don't work for up to 40 percent of people with major depression. Drugs For Depression, Without Success "My first prescription was for Paxil," he says. 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. Duman and George K. PTSD and MDMA Therapy - Medical Uses of Ecstasy. Pure Ecstasy Is Safe, Canadian Doctor Says, But Don't Buy 'E' On The Street : Shots - Health Blog. Hide captionAn ecstasy pill with a rocket shop imprint. An ecstasy pill with a rocket shop imprint.

As far as recreational drugs that could have health benefits go, ecstasy doesn't exactly have a lot of champions. Instead, the drug, so often associated with raves, has been fingered as responsible for fatal overdoses, depression and problems in fetal development. So it comes as a bit of a surprise that the chief health officer of British Columbia said today that ecstasy, or MDMA, is safe for consumption and may not have negative long-term health effects. In other words, don't go running out onto the street in search of "E.

" "Unless you are getting it from a psychiatrist in a legitimate clinical trial, at the present time, you can't guarantee what's in it, how much there is, or its safety, so I would say, as we have said in the past: Don't take it," Kendall told CBC News. As you might have inferred, ecstasy is indeed being given to volunteers in clinical settings. Ecstasy to be used in Canadian study into post-traumatic stress disorder | Canada. 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.” It means you are in a present, fearless state “It brings you into the present,” Mr. David P. Mr. Ideally, Dr. 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. A loose-knit underground community of psychologists, counselors and healers has been administering the drug to patients — an act that could cost them their careers. "I do what is morally right," said the therapist, who lives in Northern California and did not want to be identified. One of the key studies focuses on MDMA's effect on military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder. LSD 'helps alcoholics to give up drinking' 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.

A study, presented in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, looked at data from six trials and more than 500 patients. It said there was a "significant beneficial effect" on alcohol abuse, which lasted several months after the drug was taken. An expert said this was "as good as anything we've got". LSD is a class A drug in the UK and is one of the most powerful hallucinogens ever identified. Benefit Researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology analysed earlier studies on the drug between 1966 and 1970. Patients were all taking part in alcohol treatment programmes, but some were given a single dose of LSD of between 210 and 800 micrograms. Continue reading the main story Dangers of LSD They suggested that more regular doses might lead to a sustained benefit. How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death. Single dose of 'magic mushrooms' hallucinogen may create lasting personality change, study suggests.

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. Griffiths says he believes psilocybin may have therapeutic uses. Marijuana Compound Treats Schizophrenia with Few Side Effects: Clinical Trial. 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.

Neither the patients nor the scientists knew who was getting which drug. (MORE: The Complex Link Between Marijuana and Schizophrenia) Mind-altering drug could offer life free of heroin - life - 22 August 2013. 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. Now I am at a small clinic in Baja California, Mexico, where I am taking part in the first trial to investigate the effectiveness of treating heroin addiction with a single dose of ibogaine – a psychoactive substance derived from the rainforest shrub Tabernanthe iboga.

"Ibogaine can take you many places, causing you to experience a range of emotions, memories and visions. Several clinical trials have shown that low doses of ibogaine taken over the course of a few weeks can greatly reduce cravings for heroin and other drugs. At the clinic, I and 29 other heroin addicts get our dose of ibogaine. More From New Scientist. IS ALCOHOL A GATEWAY DRUG? Giving Up The Green Bitch: Graham Hancock at TEDxWhitechapel. Are Psychiatric Medications Making Us Sicker? - The Chronicle Review. 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. I drove him to a local hospital, where an orthopedic surgeon on duty immediately diagnosed the injury: dislocated elbow. He gave Mac an oral and local anesthetic and put him in a portable X-ray machine that showed Mac's elbow joint on a screen, in real time.

Overcome with gratitude to the doctor, I was leading my groggy son out of the hospital when my cellphone rang. I first took a close look at treatments for mental illness 15 years ago while researching an article for Scientific American. Clinical trials told a different story. In retrospect, my critique of modern psychiatry was probably too mild. This epidemic has coincided, paradoxically, with a surge in prescriptions for psychiatric drugs. So what happened to Phil's son? Heroes of Uncertainty. We’re living in an empirical age. The most impressive intellectual feats have been achieved by physicists and biologists, and these fields have established a distinctive model of credibility. 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. The recent editions of this manual exude an impressive aura of scientific authority. Photo The problem is that the behavorial sciences like psychiatry are not really sciences; they are semi-sciences.

Mental diseases are not really understood the way, say, liver diseases are understood, as a pathology of the body and its tissues and cells. Psychiatry Now Admits It's Been Wrong in Big Ways - But Can It Change? (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. For Anatomy of an Epidemic, Whitaker won the 2010 Investigative Reporters and Editors Book Award for best investigative journalism. Robert Whitaker: Shortly before Thomas Insel wrote that blog, I had posted my own on, related to a recent study by Lex Wunderink from the Netherlands. Dr. McMaster University Researchers: Anti-Depressants Likely Do More Harm Than Good. Source: McMaster Daily News Commonly prescribed anti-depressants appear to be doing patients more harm than good, say researchers who have published a paper examining the impact of the medications on the entire body.

“We need to be much more cautious about the widespread use of these drugs,” said Paul Andrews, an evolutionary biologist at McMaster and lead author of the article, published in the online journal Frontiers in Psychology. “It’s important because millions of people are prescribed anti-depressants each year, and the conventional wisdom about these drugs is that they’re safe and effective.” Andrews and his colleagues examined previous patient studies into the effects of anti- depressants and determined that the benefits of most anti-depressants, even taken at their best, compare poorly to the risks, which include premature death in elderly patients. What the researchers found is that anti-depressants have negative health effects on all processes normally regulated by serotonin. Would We Have Drugged Up Einstein? How Anti-Authoritarianism Is Deemed a Mental Health Problem | Personal Health.

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