A new episode of Deep Dive, a series on HuffPost Live devoted to drugs and religion, features interviews with two Heffter researchers–Roland Griffiths and Franz Vollenweider. Among other topics, Dr. Griffiths describes his pioneering research on psilocybin and mystical experience. Dr. Vollenweider offers insights on the unique spiritual value of classic hallucinogens compared to other substances such as MDMA and ketamine. Both Heffter scientists, and the other guests on the program, discuss how psychedelics can help us better understand human spirituality.
An article in The ASCO Post, the online newsletter of the American Society of Clinical Oncology, discusses an important study sponsored by the Heffter Research Institute. Writer Ronald Piana describes the work of Heffter scientists Steven Ross, Anthony Bossis, and Jeffrey Guss, who are using psilocybin to treat cancer patients suffering from existential anxiety near the end of life. In the NYU Psilocybin Cancer Anxiety Study, volunteers received the psychedelic substance along with therapy sessions in a comfortable and supportive environment.
“’I like to think of the psilocybin-assisted therapy as chemotherapy for the fear of cancer. Just as chemotherapy shrinks the tumor, psilocybin helps shrink the preoccupation with cancer in a way that allows the person underneath the disease to emerge,’ said Dr. Guss.
“He continued, ‘We try to help our patients enter a mystical experience during which they move away from a biographical narrative, opening up to a different level of consciousness where they can reconnect with unseen and unknown resources. And hope does seem to emerge when the tight narrative of being a cancer patient is released. It’s wonderful to watch some of the amazing ways patients respond to the therapy.’”
The Journal of Psychopharmacology has published a meta-analysis of six trial studies from the 1960’sÂ concerning LSD therapy and its potential in treating alcoholism. The conclusions: “significant beneficial results” in treating alcohol abuse, or as noted expert Professor David Nutt states, “This is probably as good as anything we’ve got [for treating alcoholism].” One hopes this type of data will allow present studies to move forward and garner financialÂ support from governmental entities andÂ correspondingly engender a more receptiveÂ attitude for these experimental therapies by major researchÂ universities. The Heffter Research Institute supports these types of scientific inquiry.
Here is the link for the BBC article:Â http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17297714
Here are the links for the original article in The Journal of Psychopharmacology:
The links for the abstract and the full PDF article are also provided.
Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) for alcoholism: meta-analysis of randomized controlled trialsJ PsychopharmacolÂ 0269881112439253,Â first published onÂ March 8, 2012Â as doi:10.1177/0269881112439253
Dr. Cibele Ruas, Â in the January 6, 2012 issueÂ of Brazil’s, CIENCIA (SCIENCE), writes on Dr. Roland Griffiths ground-breaking studies on the long lasting positive affects of psilocybin on personality. She also addresses Dr. GriffithsÂ currentÂ study with psilocybin on the treatment of anxiety and depression in terminal cancer patients. It isÂ encouragingÂ that Heffter research is reaching anÂ internationalÂ audience. The Heffter Institute thanks Dr. Ruas for her interest. The full article can be enjoyed in the following attachment.