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 »


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 »


LSD, Reconsidered for Therapy

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An LSD molecule. Credit Ben Mills

 writes:  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.

“The effort is both political and scientific…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.”

“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. Read the rest of this entry »