Carrie Fisher’s Autopsy Reveals Cocktail of Drugs, Including Cocaine, Opiates and Ecstasy 

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Carrie Fisher had a drug cocktail in her system when she died in late December after going into cardiac arrest aboard an LAX-bound flight.

A Los Angeles County coroner’s report released on Monday revealed a mixture of drugs that were in actress Carrie Fisher’s system when she went into cardiac arrest on an L.A.-bound flight and later died.

Fisher’s toxicology review found evidence of cocaine, methadone, MDMA (better known as ecstasy), alcohol and opiates when she was rushed to Ronald Reagan UCLA Hospital on Dec. 23, a toxicology report showed.

The test results “suggests there was an exposure to heroin, but that the dose and time of exposure cannot be pinpointed.” Therefore we cannot establish the significance of heroin regarding the cause of death in this case.”

The tests revealed that the cocaine would have been consumed within the previous 72 hours, according to the autopsy.

Four days later on Dec. 27, Fisher went into cardiac arrest. After 90 minutes of attempting to revive her, officials declared the “Star Wars” actress dead just before 9 a.m.

Her cause of death was listed as sleep apnea with other factors.

In addition to the listed cause of death, the coroner’s statement cited “other conditions: atherosclerotic heart disease, drug use.”

It also said: “How Injury Occurred: Multiple drug intake, significance not ascertained.”

At family’s request, medical examiners did not dissect the corpse. Instead, they conducted CT scans of the body. Read the rest of this entry »


New MDMA Trials Moving Forward To Test Ecstasy As Treatment For PTSD

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New research may have found a more efficient way of treating patients who suffer from PTSD: by using MDMA, which is ecstasy in its purest form. The assisted drug treatment could be approved by the FDA.

“The medicine allows them to look at things from a different place and reclassify them. Honestly, we don’t have to do much. Each person has an innate ability to heal. We just create the right conditions.” 

— Ann Mithoefer, psychiatric nurse

MDMA, the pure form of ecstasy, will be employed in treating . The drug is also tested for its properties when it comes to treating terminally ill patients.

[Read the full story here, at Tech Times]

The tests conducted for possible  have had positive outcomes and researchers consider the approval of MDMA as a prescription drug sometime in the near future.

However, more tests should be carried out before this. The Food and Drug Administration already approved a Phase III trial as part of the procedure.

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MDMA – Possible Medical Solution To PTSD

The first two studies treated patients for 12 weeks, in the form of psychotherapy sessions and MDMA sessions. The MDMA sessions lasted eight hours each, during which the . After being given the drug, the patients would sit in a relaxing environment, surrounded by chill music, flowers and candles in order to suggest a calm state of mind to balance the euphoric effects of the drug. Read the rest of this entry »


Silicon Valley Professionals are Taking LSD at Work to Increase Productivity

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An increasing number of twenty-somethings are reportedly ‘micro-dosing’ on psychedelic drugs – and they say it’s making them better workers.

Could taking LSD at work make your more productive?

“You’re doing a task you normally couldn’t stand for two hours, but you do it for three or four. You eat properly. Maybe you do one more set of reps. Just a good day. That seems to be what we’re discovering.”

— Dr James Fadiman, psychedelics researcher

Adam Boult reports: It seems unlikely, but that’s apparently what some Silicon Valley professionals have been doing – and reporting great results.

According to Rolling Stone, a growing number of people are experimenting with “microdoses” of psychedelics to help them work.

A microdose of LSD is around 10-15 micrograms, approximately a tenth of a “normal” dose.

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“You’re doing a task you normally couldn’t stand for two hours, but you do it for three or four. You eat properly. Maybe you do one more set of reps. Just a good day. That seems to be what we’re discovering.”

At that dosage, Rolling Stone describes the drug’s effects as “subperceptual”: ” ‘Enough, says Rick Doblin, founder and executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, ‘to feel a little bit of energy lift, a little bit of insight, but not so much that you are tripping.’”

Psychedelics researcher Dr James Fadiman discussed microdosing with Vice, saying: ‘People do it and they’re eating better, sleeping better, they’re often returning to exercise or yoga or meditation. It’s as if messages are passing through their body more easily.”

• LSD popular again, expert warns 

• Oliver Sacks’ most mind-bending experiment

“But what many people are reporting is, at the end of the day, they say, ‘That was a really good day.’ You know, that kind of day when things kind of work.” Read the rest of this entry »


Psychedelics: Ready for a Medical Comeback 

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In Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, Peru, Mexico and the United States, researchers with no evident countercultural tendencies are conducting research that is finding psychedelic drugs a valuable adjunct to psychotherapy in treating addiction, post-traumatic stress and the depression or anxiety that often comes with terminal illness.

Melissa Healy reports: New research on the use of psychedelic drugs as treatment for a range of mental disorders appears to be throwing open doors of perception long closed within the medical community, says a new analysis in the Canadian Medical Assn. Journal.

“Experimental therapeutic uses of psychedelic drugs have been tightly controlled, requiring extensive screening of prospective patients, close monitoring during medication use, and extended follow-up.”

For several decades, the North American medical establishment has classified psychedelic drugs — including lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin and methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) — as drugs of abuse with little to no medical purpose or means of safe use.

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“But for all of that, when psychedelics such as MDMA have been tested in conjunction with psychotherapy for PTSD, or psilocybin for alcohol dependence, ‘relatively time-limited interventions’ have been shown to have enduring benefits.”

That, four researchers argue, is changing.

[Also see – LSD, Reconsidered for Therapy]

[More – Psychedelics: Poised for a Comeback]

In Switzerland, Canada, Brazil, Peru, Mexico and the United States, researchers with no evident countercultural tendencies are conducting research that is finding psychedelic drugs a valuable adjunct to psychotherapy in treating addiction, post-traumatic stress and the depression or anxiety that often comes with terminal illness.

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“It’s been a cautious road, but one that’s data-driven. A big factor is really that enough time has passed for the sensationalism to kind of simmer down and for sober heads to say, ‘Hold on, let’s look at the evidence.'”

While most are small-scale pilot studies, larger trials are planned — and “more and more people are becoming interested and even jumping into the field to start trials themselves,” said senior author Matthew W. Johnson, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Johns Hopkins University. Read the rest of this entry »


Robot with $100 Bitcoin Buys Drugs, Gets Arrested

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The robot’s purchases included a Hungarian passport, Ecstasy pills, fake Diesel jeans, a Sprite can with a hole cut out in order to stash cash, Nikes, a baseball cap with a hidden camera, cigarettes and the ‘Lord of the Rings‘ e-book collection

Arjun Kharpal reports: This is the curious story of how a robot armed with a weekly budget of $100 in bitcoin managed to buy Ecstasy, a Hungarian passport and a baseball cap with a built-in camera—before getting arrested.

The “automated online shopping bot” was set up in October last year by Swiss art group, !Mediengruppe Bitnik, as an art installation to explore the “dark web”—the hidden, un-indexed part of the Internet.

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Each week, the robot was given $100 worth of Bitcoin— the major hard-to-trace cryptocurrency—and programmed to randomly purchase one item from Agora, an online marketplace on the dark web where shoppers can buy drugs and other illegal items. The items were automatically delivered to a Swiss art gallery called Kunst Halle St Gallen to form an exhibition.

“This is a great day for the ‘bot, for us and for freedom of art!”

—  !Mediengruppe Bitnik, in a blog post

The robot was christened “Random Darknet Shopper” and its purchases included a Hungarian passport, Ecstasy pills, fake Diesel jeans, a Sprite can with a hole cut out in order to stash cash, Nike trainers, a baseball cap with a hidden camera, cigarettes and the “Lord of the Rings” e-book collection.

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Perhaps unsurprisingly, the robot and his artistic creators had a run in with the law. In January 2015, the Swiss police confiscated the robot and its illegal purchases.

However, three months later, the Random Darknet Shopper was returned to the artists, along with all its purchases except the Ecstasy (also known as MDMA) tablets, which were destroyed by the Swiss authorities.

The artists behind the robot escaped without any charges. Read the rest of this entry »


Acid Test: Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies Pursues MDMA as Treatment for Psychological Disorders

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MAPS and PSTD: Scientific MDMA research works against the stigma associated with psychedelics

Known as “ecstasy” or “molly,” MDMA may soon be an effective treatment against post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).acid-test

[Order Tom Shroder’s book “Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal” from Amazon.com]

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is attempting to legalize MDMA as a prescription for certain illnesses. In a newsletter sent to their constituents on March 16, MAPS said it had received approval from the United States Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) on Friday, March 13 for a Schedule I license for Phil Wolfson, M.D., the principal investigator in a new MAPS study. This isn’t the only time the license has been awarded to MAPS — this is currently the seventh MDMA clinical trial with DEA approval.

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“MDMA reduces activity in the amygdala where fear is processed and it increases activity in the frontal cortex where people put things in association and context. So people are able to look at traumatic memories.”

“Obtaining DEA approval was the last step in the complex, arduous, and lengthy
process of getting approval for our study,” Dr. Wolfson said in the newsletter.

This was the final step before initiating experiments regarding the safety and effectiveness of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat anxiety associated with life-threatening illnesses. MAPS had already received approval from the Institutional Review Board, FDA and the Research Advisory Panel of California to conduct the phase-2 study.

“They’re able to separate out that it was happening then and not now. We’re saying that MDMA itself is not the medicine. It’s MDMA-assisted psychotherapy.”

— MAPS founder Rick Doblin, in an interview with CNN

Connor McKay, president of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter at Northeastern, said this type of scientific research works against the stigma associated with psychedelics. McKay will also be welcoming the founder of MAPS, Rick Doblin, and former Washington Post Editor Tom Shroder, author of “Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal,” to Northeastern on April 3 to discuss psychedelic research.

“I think studies like this play an important role…both medical and personal. It gives a personal story to these treatments. It gives medical legitimacy to these substances.”

— Connor McKay, president of the Students for Sensible Drug Policy chapter at Northeastern

“I think studies like this play an important role … both medical and personal. It gives a personal story to these treatments. It gives medical legitimacy to these substances,” McKay said. “I don’t think people are going to stop using MDMA recreationally. I think people will see it as abusing medicine … rather than ‘you’re just doing drugs.’ This will open the medical discussion about these substances.”

MDMA, chemically called 3,4-Methylenedioxy-methamphetamine, is typically sold as ecstasy or molly, but these can contain adulterants or other substances. In a 2006 study by Vanderbilt University, only 39 percent of tablets sold as ecstasy were pure and 46 percent had no MDMA at all. Read the rest of this entry »


Airport Carpet Attracts Curious Public Fixation

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 CBS Seattle


Psychedelics: Poised for a Comeback

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In an interview with The Daily Beast, author Tom Shroder explains why psychedelics are so important to veterans, and the roadblocks researchers face getting it to them.

Abby Haglage writes: LSD, an illicit drug with a serious stigma, was once the darling of the psychotherapy world.Synthesized by Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann in 1938, the two decades following its birth were populated with study after study showing positive effects. With its ability to reduce defensiveness, help users relive early experiences, and make unconscious material accessible, it proved tremendously successful in therapy.
Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, nearing retirement, is reportedly using LSD regularly. Pictured here is one of Reid's drug-inspired pause to study his own hand during a floor speech

Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, nearing retirement, is rumored to be using LSD regularly. Seen here is one of Reid’s characteristic pauses to observe chem trails from his undulating hand during a floor speech

In a plethora of studies from the 1950s, researchers found the drug, and other psychedelics in its family, to be successful in treating victims of psychosomatic illnesses ranging from depression to addiction. With fear and hesitation stripped away, psychologists could help their patients dive headfirst into a painful memory, feeling, or thought, and work through it. For some, it sped up a process of awakening that may have taken years. For others, it opened a door that mayacid test book never have been found otherwise.

[Check out Tom Shroder‘s book “Acid Test: LSD, Ecstasy, and the Power to Heal” at Amazon.com]

But with the widespread recreational use of LSD beginning the 1960s, came both fear from both the general public and the government. After 1970 (when LSD was put on the schedule 1 substance list) it wasn’t technically illegal to do research with psychedelics but rather virtually impossible, given the professional and regulatory hurdles.

More than 40 years later, the criminalization of Hofmann’s drug still persists. The means and approval to research the psychedelic on humans is few and far between. The freedom of sufferers who may benefit to access it is all but nonexistent.

Nowhere are the negative effects of psychedelics’ fate more pronounced than in the story of America’s veterans. Of the many illnesses for which the psychedelic-assisted therapy showed promise, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder was one of the most profound.

[Also see – LSD, Reconsidered for Therapy]
[More – New Drugs May Help Heal Old Psychological Traumas]

An estimated 500,000 Iraq-Afghanistan military veterans are suffering from PTSD, an excruciating illness that is believed to fuel the estimated 20 suicides that result from that demographic per day. In FDA sanctioned studies using MDMA-assisted therapy to treat veterans with PTSD, the success rate has been astounding. Why has no one noticed? Read the rest of this entry »


The Final Voyage: Godfather of Ecstasy Sasha Shulgin Dies After 4,000 Trips Aged 88

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For International Business Times  reports: Alexander “Sasha” Shulgin, the chemist, pharmacologist and author known for popularising the drug MDMA and creating and synthesizing hundreds of psychoactive drugs, has died aged 88.

Shulgin, dubbed the ‘Godfather of Ecstasy’, died at his home in California after being diagnosed with liver cancer. He had been suffering ill health over the past few years, including having suffered a stroke in 2010.

His wife, Ann Shulgin, confirmed his death via Facebook. She wrote: “Sasha died today [2 June], at exactly 5 o’clock in the afternoon. He was surrounded by family and caretakers and Buddhist meditation music, and his going was graceful, with almost no struggle at all.”

Shulgin was known for discovering, creating and personally testing hundreds of psychoactive chemicals and documenting the results, along with his wife, in his books and papers. Read the rest of this entry »