We are the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization founded in 1986 that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. For an introduction to our work, we invite you to watch MAPS Founder Rick Doblin, Ph.D., present the first official TED Talk about psychedelics, filmed on the main stage at TED2019.

Our highest priority project is funding clinical trials of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA) as a tool to assist psychotherapy for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Preliminary studies have shown that MDMA-assisted psychotherapy can help people overcome PTSD, and possibly other disorders such as anxiety associated with life-threatening illness and social anxiety in autistic adults. In MDMA-assisted psychotherapy, MDMA is only administered a few times, unlike most medications for mental illnesses which are often taken daily for years, and sometimes forever. We also study the therapeutic potential of LSD, ayahuasca, ibogaine, and medical marijuana.

On July 28, 2017, MAPS and the FDA reached agreement on the Special Protocol Assessment for Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. Participants will be randomized to receive three day-long sessions of either MDMA or placebo in conjunction with psychotherapy over a 12-week treatment period, along with 12 associated 90-minute non-drug preparatory and integration sessions. On August 16, 2017, the FDA granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to MDMA for the treatment of PTSD. We are currently seeking research volunteers for Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD. For more information on study participation, please visit our website: mdmaptsd.org.

In addition to clinical research, we also sponsor the Zendo Project, a non-profit psychedelic peer support and harm reduction service that provides a supportive space with compassionate care for people undergoing difficult psychedelic experiences at festivals, concerts, and community events.

Now is a great time to become involved in supporting our work—Donations to MAPS are currently being doubled $1-for-$1! You can also sign up for our monthly email newsletter, or follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube.

Ask us anything!

Previous AMAS: 1 / 2 / 3

Proof: 1 / 2 / 3

Comments: 320 • Responses: 46  • Date: 

bingdingla50 karma

Can I volunteer as a test subject?

MAPSPsychedelic58 karma

Yes! MAPS conducts clinical trials under the guidance and regulations of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in collaboration with all federal regulators, including the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA). To learn more about our clinical trials or apply to be a study participant, visit our recruitment website: mdmaptsd.org

—Amy Mastrine, Web and Email Marketing Associate

FtheBULLSHT48 karma

Is there any way to get involved in psychedelic assisted therapy without a background in psychology?

The work y'all are doing is amazing, thanks for being here today.

MAPSPsychedelic19 karma

Yes, you can definitely support the expansion of psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy without a background in psychology. The MDMA Therapy Training Program focuses on training therapists, though the MAPS Student Resources page has many helpful references that support your intention, including;

—Bryce Montgomery, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing

PsiloSighGuy40 karma

As an undergraduate psychology major striving to become involved in entheogenic research, I struggle with how to market myself with a fear of being ostracized or exiled. I recall reading Andrew Sewell’s article from 2006, “So You Want to be a Psychedelic Researcher?” on your website and he speaks of laying low and hiding in the shadows. I’m curious as to if the conversation has changed since then and if those within academia have stepped out of the psychedelic closet.

Additionally, how would you recommend bridging the gap between psychopharmacological research and entheogenic research? One of my worst fears is going through all this schooling to end up doing research for a pharmaceutical company. >_<“

Thank you for taking your time to do this and best of luck with phase 3!

MAPSPsychedelic46 karma

The era of hiding in the shadows is over. Academic programs now have to offer training education on psychedelics to be relevant to the current generation of students. Andrew Sewell wrote his article in 2006, though now that it is 13 years later, the world has completely changed. Andrew’s article is important for historical purposes, though it’s no longer the case that psychedelic research will hurt someone’s career.

Yesterday, I was at the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology conference with senior leaders in the field of science, various representatives from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and the National Institute on Mental Health, plus academic researchers from around the world. This year, there were more educational talks about psychedelics than ever before, which were all very well-received.

There are two approaches to selecting an academic focus within the field of psychedelic research: mechanism of action (psychopharmacology) or therapeutic applications. You can decide which you are interested in (perhaps it’s both). To make a drug into a medicine, you have to prove safety and efficacy, but you don’t have to have a theory for the mechanism of action. It’s really a question of what you learn and want to contribute.

MAPS is a non-profit pharmaceutical organization, and other psychedelic research companies are forming. You have a valid concern relating to for-profit pharmaceutical companies. For example, the approval of esketamine (a nasal version of ketamine) shows how a psychoactive substance can be approved for medical purposes without offering direct therapeutic support, which may allow for a substantial amount of sales of ketamine, though it may not be as effective as ketamine-assisted psychotherapy.

Maybe one day, with proper studies, you can start your own non-profit psychedelic research organization.

—Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director

dazed2amused16 karma

How can I become a part of your organization? What fields are you looking for applicants to be from?

MAPSPsychedelic18 karma

Thank you for your interest in being a part of MAPS! Our Participate webpage includes information on internships, careers, and volunteer opportunities. MAPS Public Benefit Corporation (MAPS PBC) and MAPS Europe, wholly-owned subsidiaries of MAPS, are currently accepting applications across disciplines for open positions.

—Amy Mastrine, Web and Email Marketing Associate

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The field of psychedelic medicine includes therapists, doctors, pharmacists, chemists, accountants, administrators, statisticians, authors, anthropologists, shamans, philanthropists, information techs, audio visual techs, artists, musicians and the list goes on! The exciting part of being in a blossoming field like this is that the opportunities are endless! The scary part for some people is that there are few cookie cutter positions, it takes self-discovery and motivation to find your path. Learn more about how to participate on our website.

—Merete Christiansen, Associate Director of Development

shaokim12 karma

What do you think the therapeutic place for Ibogaine could be, given the high rate of serious cardiac events?

MAPSPsychedelic15 karma

Human trials of ibogaine will be conducted in Spain soon, which will generate controlled data on the safety of ibogaine with some support (but not sponsorship) from MAPS.

MAPS has completed two observational studies of the long-term effects of ibogaine treatment on patients undergoing therapy at independent ibogaine treatment centers in Mexico and New Zealand. Our website provides access to the published results from these two studies.

—Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Director of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs

FindTheOthers62311 karma

I am currently an undergraduate pharmacology/toxicology student interested in further researching psychedelics and their effects. What educational path would be most beneficial? Is a dual MD/PhD recommended (or needed)? What advice do you have for students like me whose future field is still predominantly illegal? Thank you for blazing the trail and bringing awareness to these life altering medicines.  🍄🌵🌿

MAPSPsychedelic4 karma

A dual MD/PhD is not needed to work as a pharmacologist/toxicologist on clinical trials. The same work can be done with a PharmD for example. Per the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology, a clinical toxicologist has an earned doctoral degree in a biomedical discipline (other than medicine or veterinary science) or a baccalaureate degree in a health science discipline (such as pharmacy or nursing), in addition to the requisite experience in applied clinical toxicology.

—Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Director of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs

This previous response may also help.

c1oudwa1ker10 karma

What is the estimated timeline for when MDMA assisted therapy will be accessible to the general public, assuming the trial research is a success? Will legality be varied on the state level?

Thanks for all that you do!

MAPSPsychedelic12 karma

MAPS' goal is to develop MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD into an FDA-approved prescription treatment by the end of 2021 or in 2022.

FDA approval is an acknowledgment of a drug’s medical use by the US federal government. So, when the FDA approves a new drug - including a psychedelic - the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) has 90 days to reschedule the substance under the federal Controlled Substances Act. However, 23 states and Washington, D.C., do not automatically reschedule the drug under their state regulatory framework. Schedule I substances, by definition, are not permitted to be dispensed in the relevant jurisdiction. So, in these states, if a drug is currently in Schedule I, it will remain so even after FDA approval until sponsors proactively engage in preparing for rescheduling in all states that don’t automatically reschedule when DEA does. Additionally, the process is different in different states. MAPS will prioritize this rescheduling work, but it will be an expensive and time-consuming process.

—Leslie Booher, J.D., M.B.A., Policy and Advocacy Fellow

davelovescoconuts10 karma

Does maps have any plans to do a true drug discovery campaign into any analogs of “classic” psychoactive compounds for increased potency/selectivity? Or is that something left to other groups to pursue and your focus is on existing compounds?

MAPSPsychedelic5 karma

At present, MAPS is focused on addressing existing compounds.

—Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Medical Coder and Data Analyst

FuckYouNotHappening9 karma

Is the MDMA used in the Phase 3 trials racemic MDMA, or are the isomers separated?

Are there any plans to determine if one isomer has more therapeutic benefit than the other?

Thank you so much for all you do!

MAPSPsychedelic7 karma

All MAPS clinical trials use MDMA. MAPS does not have plans to determine if one isomer has more therapeutic benefit than the other. Emory University has done research on one isomer in rodents and monkeys.

—Alli Feduccia, Ph.D., Senior Clinical Data Scientist

davelovescoconuts5 karma

Was this decision made because the enantiomers showed no difference in potency or due to financial constraints of the med chem/development to explore enantiomers?

MAPSPsychedelic6 karma

All clinical trials and nonclinical studies sponsored by MAPS have used racemic MDMA since 1985. MAPS is developing the anhydrous form of the hydrochloride salt for future marketing after FDA approval. In order to use all our data that donors have paid for since 1985, we need to stick with the racemic form.

—Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Director of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs

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Racemic MDMA has been most extensively researched and has different properties than the individual isomers. The individual isoforms affect dopamine and serotonin release differently.

—Alli Feduccia, Ph.D., Senior Clinical Data Scientist

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An initial report [Shulgin or Anderson, 1978] suggests that racemate effects requires both enantiomers.

—Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Medical Coder and Data Analyst

Bagellegal7 karma

Thanks for doing this! My question is what are your thoughts on doing further testing with Ayahuasca? What are the risks and benefits of working with the drug?

MAPSPsychedelic7 karma

Ayahuasca has been used for hundreds of years by indigenous people in the Amazon. When used with attention to set and setting, and without contraindicated medications or medical histories, it is considered safe. Developing ayahuasca through a drug development program presents several logistical challenges, including sourcing of plant material. Beyond this, many people who currently use ayahuasca in ceremonial practices do not believe these plants will have the same effects if removed from cultural lineages where they come from. Several naturalistic studies have already reported the benefits and potential risks when taken as part of a community with facilitation by trained leaders.

—Alli Feduccia, Ph.D., Senior Clinical Data Scientist

Kaybeets6 karma

Where is the US in terms of utilizing psylocibes for treatment-refractory depression? (Ballpark timeline)

MAPSPsychedelic6 karma

There are many promising studies investigating the therapeutic use of psilocybin as a treatment for depression. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to psilocybin for the treatment of major depressive disorder (Usona Institute) and treatment-resistant depression (Compass Pathways).

The current list of ongoing clinical trials utilizing psilocybin can be found on clinicaltrials.gov, and this collection of entities studying psilocybin may also be of interest:

Thank you!

—Bryce Montgomery, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing

sleipnirgt6 karma

MDMA neurtoxicity.

What are your current thoughts on it?

MAPSPsychedelic11 karma

Rodent studies that use large and repeated doses of MDMA have reported neurotoxic effects. Meta-analysis across several neuroimaging studies in heavy Ecstasy users, most of whom were poly drug users, found evidence of changes in serotonin activity. There was an association with time since last use, suggesting the changes in the serotonin transporter levels may be reversible over time. As with any drug, at some given dose the substance will become toxic to the body. MAPS’ studies employ active doses (75-125 mg) spaced a month apart, which have no evidence for neurotoxic effects in animals or humans.

—Alli Feduccia, Ph.D., Senior Clinical Data Scientist

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Rather than treating any drug - or any treatment in general - as either "safe" or "dangerous", we should consider the tradeoffs of risk and benefit. Short answer would be that concerns remain but that current research does not suggest that these risks, if present, overshadow the benefits received in therapy.

—Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Medical Coder and Data Analys

wandelf5 karma

How do I join a study?

MAPSPsychedelic1 karma

We appreciate your question! You can learn more here.

Havamal795 karma

Do you see the possibility of MDMA and psilocybin decriminalization in the USA in the next 10 years?

MAPSPsychedelic12 karma

Yes! We are hopeful we will see the United States move to end its failed war on drugs, which has been a war on marginalized people who use drugs. Ending this failed policy would mean decriminalizing all drugs, in a Portugal-inspired model. We believe this is possible in the next 10-20 years, and are hopeful the exciting movements for entheogenic plant and fungi decriminalization will join forces with broader bipartisan movements for drug decriminalization to make progress as quickly and comprehensively as possible. We appreciate you asking about MDMA decriminalization, as most decriminalization conversations in the psychedelic community center around psilocybin or “nature,” but we believe it is actually much more urgent to decriminalize MDMA. Some reasons include 1. MDMA is far likelier to be adulterated than plants and fungi, and decriminalization allows for drug purity analysis 2. Far more people use MDMA 3. And most importantly, far more people are arrested for MDMA than for psilocybin and other psychedelic plants. Here is a link to our statement: Considerations for the Regulation and Decriminalization of Psychedelic Substances

—Natalie Lyla Ginsberg, M.S.W., Director of Policy and Advocacy

HydraAu4 karma

My question is: Will there be conferences that orient more around hard science (neuroscience, biology, chemistry) in the near future?

For one, I am very impressed by the energy that MAPS presented in early November during the Austin conference. That truly changed my life, so thank you all. Additionally, allowing panels where the audience could ask questions was also very nice as I was able to hear a response to my question about consciousness from Rick Doblin, Betty Aldworth, Paul Stamets, and Natalie Ginsberg.

The only downside I perceived was that the even though the event was Psychedelic SCIENCE Summit there was less hard science than I was expecting. Dr. George Greer‘s work was amongst the most comprehensive, and that is more towards what I am personally oriented to. Overall, the energy, presentations, and atmosphere of understanding were inspiring.

MAPSPsychedelic3 karma

Thank you for joining us in Austin for the Psychedelic Science Summit! Psychedelic science is often approached from many different disciplines, including social sciences, such as anthropology and sociology, in addition to empirical science. From data-driven clinical studies to cultural and indigenous perspectives, many find it necessary to present a well-rounded and diverse collection of topics, using a multidisciplinary approach to highlight the work of experts in all areas. We are developing new events and educational opportunities and knowing what our audience wants to hear is important to us. If you wish to receive announcements for future events, you can stay connected through the MAPS Email Newsletter or check out the MAPS Event Calendar.

—Jenni Vierra, Manager of Events and Community Engagement

themooniverse4 karma

Thank you for your time!

What is the next step for an undergraduate in the United States seeking to become a psychedelic assisted therapist? I have been looking for programs, degree plans, and so forth, but I'm not even sure if i am looking in the right places. What questions should I be asking myself at this point in time?

MAPSPsychedelic1 karma

Great question! Here are a few posted responses that address your question: 1 / 2 / 3

all-the-time4 karma

Has MAPS differentiated between treatment for PTSD versus CPTSD? Or is it all considered PTSD since CPTSD isn’t in the DSM V?

Enormous fan of MAPS and Rick Doblin. Thank you guys so much for what you do.

MAPSPsychedelic3 karma

Thanks for your support! Our studies enroll people with chronic, severe PTSD. Many participants have complex PTSD, however we do not distinguish between PTSD or CPTSD in our enrollment or data analyses.

—Alli Feduccia, Ph.D., Senior Clinical Data Scientist

inrcp3 karma

I've done literally hundreds of hits of acid, but I never get flashbacks. Are flashbacks normal, or are they rarer than previously thought?

MAPSPsychedelic2 karma

Psychedelics can imprint on memories in a strong way, though psychedelic “flashbacks” are much rarer than previously thought. The scare tactic about someone driving a car and then experiencing a flashback that leads to dangerous situations is not accurate and the stigma is majorly exaggerated. However, material that emerged during a psychedelic experience can resurface if it wasn’t fully processed initially, but involuntary tripping does not happen. Additionally, some people may experience positive flashbacks when they remember beautiful or pleasant aspects from their prior experiences.

—Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director

perfecttly3 karma

Hello....I'm wondering when the results for your marijuana for PTSD study will be published?

MAPSPsychedelic5 karma

We’re just at the stage of finalizing the paper with results for our clinical trial of medical marijuana as a treatment for PTSD symptoms in 76 U.S. veterans. We hope is that the paper will be peer-reviewed in the next 2-3 months. Our intention is to pay for what’s called “open access” so the results get published online before the paper appears in the journal.

—Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director

kylelyk3 karma

What are your thoughts on substituting research chemical analogues that can be obtained legally in some locals for their counterparts that have been around far longer but cannot be obtained legally? Substituting 1P-LSD for LSD25 for example.

MAPSPsychedelic4 karma

First off, it’s harder to do research with psychedelic analogs because there is not enough known about them— many safety studies must still be completed.

Researchers are already able to conduct research with LSD, mescaline, psilocybin, and other established psychedelics because barriers to research have gone down.

Analogs are more complicated to take through the drug development process because we need more information and they have not been used for decades or by millions of people like other psychedelics. What we need is more than research with psychedelic analogues is an expansion of social and legal contexts for psychedelics and their analog counterparts.

I have yet to find any analog that are fundamentally different from the substances we already know. On another note, if anyone finds a new analogue that is more remarkable than a classic psychedelic, I’d be interested to learn more.

—Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director

CanIbeAnonymousplsz3 karma

Any plans for studies on micro dosing or the psychedelic properties of marijuana edibles in large amounts?

MAPSPsychedelic3 karma

Thanks for your question! We do not currently have plans for studies on microdosing or the psychedelic properties of marijuana edibles in large amounts.

—Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Director of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs

bencrosseyed3 karma

What advice do you have for current medical students interested in furthering the understanding of psychedelics with opportunities to design research projects?

MAPSPsychedelic2 karma

My advice: Start learning and begin forging your path! We need as many motivated people as possible to contribute to the field of psychedelic science.

Our Resources for Students webpage is one of the best places to start your exploration (along with the rest of our website), and these other responses may also support your intention: 1 / 2 / 3

—Bryce Montgomery, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing

AllThisPaperwork3 karma

Before research was banned in the late 60's, which early study/experiment was the most intriguing to your and your colleagues in regards to hope for productive uses of the substances?

MAPSPsychedelic1 karma

I believe there is one study wherein people were given LSD while asleep, it was so strange. And of course, another intriguing study is the one where LSD was given to blind people, but that's definitely personal bias.

Regarding "productive uses of the substances," I guess I'm not all that pragmatic. It's the odd studies that intrigue me. This is why I'm a scientist and not a therapist, I guess.

—Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Medical Coder and Data Analyst

maleorderbride3 karma

Do you have any plan for preventing abuse of the drugs you're studying if they were to be prescribed?

The work you're doing is very necessary and I stand behind it fully, but I also don't want another opioid crisis.

MAPSPsychedelic2 karma

We do plan to have a Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) program as a part of our FDA approval submission package. In the proposed REMS program, MDMA would be distributed to treatment providers for administration after marketing authorization. Drug administration is only conducted under direct observation at medical offices, with no take-home doses permitted. We would not market directly to consumers.

—Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., Director of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs

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Outside of use in medicine/healing, abuse of psychedelics and other compounds is not well addressed by prohibition. There are a multitude of models for addressing abuse from creating licenses to supportive communities, but I guess that's not "MAPS" specifically, so we stick with research design and plans for after approval.

—Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Medical Coder and Data Analyst

PsiloSighGuy3 karma

Are there any internships opening up on the near future?

And if not internships, how would you recommend one get involved further than just volunteer work?

MAPSPsychedelic1 karma

Thank you for your questions! We answered a similar question here.

originalmythology3 karma

First off - thank you for all the work you are doing to bring actual, effective treatment to those who need it most.

Regarding the MDMA-assisted psychotherapy; the requirements for the Expanded Access Therapy Team say: "The second provider in a Therapy Pair does not necessarily need to be licensed to conduct psychotherapy but must display training in therapeutic relationship, ethics, and trauma."

Is there any guidance as to what is needed to "display training therapeutic relationship, ethics, and trauma"? Would that be something like a certification in (for example) Somatic Experiencing?

Who makes the final decision if a 2nd provider meets the threshold to apply? Is that MAPS or the FDA?

MAPSPsychedelic2 karma

At this time, qualified MDMA Therapy Practitioner Applicants must meet the following prerequisites (although this may change as the process progresses):

  • Graduated from a degree program with a major in the Mental Health or Medicine fields of study, or the equivalent of three or more years of rigorous study within the field of Mental Health or Medicine
  • Holds an active license or registration to conduct psychotherapy or counseling as part of a health profession in the jurisdiction they plan to work, or alternatively, meet all other qualifying criteria and have a plan to pair only with a fully licensed psychotherapist who is trained and qualified to work on a MAPS protocol
  • Has conducted at least 1,000 hours of psychotherapy or counseling, or alternatively, has provided 1,000 hours of another therapeutic service such as coaching, spiritual guidance, hospice
  • At least 20% of those hours were spent working with adults
  • Has worked with trauma populations for at least two years
  • Has received at least 30 hours of personal psychotherapy or counseling
  • Are working with an eligible site that has submitted a Site Questionnaire

To learn more, please visit this link.

—Charleen Justice, Executive Assistant

Max23463 karma

Why do you think people are so passionate about this issue? I tend to agree with all that you say and that psychedelics can be valuable tools but where do you think this passion arises from? Why is there so much funding from very wealthy individuals?

MAPSPsychedelic7 karma

Everyone knows somebody who has been affected by mental health. People who tend to give large amounts to psychedelic research care deeply about providing real solutions to those suffering from mental health issues. Some major donors are personally motivated through their own direct experience of healing or increasing their own wellbeing through the safe and effective uses of psychedelics, or through stories of loved ones experiencing such benefits. They can attest to the efficacy of psychedelic-assisted therapy, and seek to ensure that as many people as possible gain access to these modalities for healing.

—Liana Sananda Gillooly, Development Officer

PopnCop2 karma

Does MAPS currently or plan to study the effects of psilocybin on blood brain flow structure, synapse stimulation/growth, and possible cognitive enhancement for neurological conditions?

If not, is there a source of information worth looking into regarding these topics?

expresidentmasks2 karma

Is there a medically proven way to enhance the effects of marijuana?

MAPSPsychedelic3 karma

Use higher potencies.

While we are beginning to understand which cannabinoids and terpenes can selectively alter experiences with marijuana, there are not yet any medically proven ways to enhance the effects of marijuana.

Additionally, you may experience different effects if you use marijuana less frequently.

—Rick Doblin, Ph.D., Founder and Executive Director

N1xDred2 karma

Hello! As a recreative user of MDMA I'm really excited about all the research you've been doing. Would you have any advice for us (recreative users) related to dose, frequency and lifetime uses?

MAPSPsychedelic1 karma

MAPS can not advise on the recreational use of any substance. You may find interesting articles/resources through groups focused on education and harm reduction, such as Erowid and DanceSafe.

fluidmind232 karma

Are there studies planned for microdosing things like lsd and mushrooms? I've read some interesting books on it.

MAPSPsychedelic1 karma

Thanks for asking! Check out this response.

treslechescheesecake2 karma

I’m a sophomore in college who is planning to get an MSW and become a psychedelic therapist. What steps should I take now to get me there?

MAPSPsychedelic2 karma

Thank you for your interest in becoming a psychedelic therapist! We invite you to look into the MDMA Therapy Training Program, which offers in-depth training into the practice of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy. The curriculum based on decades of clinical experience. Trainees learn the theoretical approach of the modality, developed from the fundamental notion that every person has within them an incredible source of wisdom and an innate ability to heal.

To learn more and stay up-to-date on opportunities, you may wish to subscribe to email updates on this webpage.

—Bryce Montgomery, Associate Director of Communications and Marketing

Englandboy122 karma

One of the biggest fears that I and I think others have about taking psychedelics, even in a controlled study setting is this idea that somehow, if you are very unlucky, it could bring to light latent schizophrenia. Hamilton Morris has said that he has a friend who had some kind of psychotic break on a high dose of "psilocin esters" from which he never recovered.

My question is: are there any well documented cases of this ever happening?

Also how real are flashbacks? I have done quite a lot of Psilocybe Mushrooms and I think that I get them. Sometimes I feel, only for a few seconds, as if I am in a trip when I haven't taken any in a long time. Are there any known treatments for this? How concerned are you about this idea? Because it has had quite a negative impact on me in the years since I took a psychedelic.

MAPSPsychedelic2 karma

There are risks with taking any substance, and ways to reduce the likely hood of negative effects. For our clinical trials, we screen people out who have psychotic disorders, including schizophrenia, because not enough research has been done to understand the safety in this population. If people have these disorders or a family history, they should consult a doctor about risks involved in taking psychedelics. Drugs have different neurological mechanisms of actions, therefore each substance carry different potential risks for individuals with mental health disorders. There have been reports of psychotic episodes after psychedelics and cannabis, but if the symptoms last long-term generally there is an association with a predisposition to have a mental health disorder. Hallucinogen-persisting perception disorder (HPPD) describes symptoms of flashbacks and changes in sensory perceptions after psychedelic drugs are no longer in the body. It is not well characterized what type of substances or frequency of use induce this disorder, or if there are other characteristics of individuals that would predict this occurring. The prevalence HPPD is unknown, but is considered rare. To date, there have not been any reports in published literature of HPPD occurring in research participants.

—Alli Feduccia, Ph.D., Senior Clinical Data Scientist

thisistheredditname2 karma

Thanks so much for the work you do. The potential positive impact of this research is immeasurable, considering the mental health crisis experienced by so many different groups in our society these days.

How can members of the general public - those not directly involved in psychology/therapy/research - get involved and help further the progress that MAPS is trying to make in this space?

MAPSPsychedelic1 karma

You may find opportunities to engage with the community through local networking groups like a Psychedelic Society. You can find a map with many other psychedelic network groups and harm reduction groups around the world at psychedelic.community.

Additionally, there are other opportunities to participate by joining a Psychedelic Club or the Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP), plus you can volunteer for groups with a specific focus such as NORML, ICEERS, or a local harm reduction group. You can also apply to volunteer with MAPS and the Zendo Project!

—Jenni Vierra, Manager of Events and Community Engagement

mythseeker72 karma

Have you guys ever considered using less Neurotoxic alternatives to MDMA such as 6-APB or 5-MAPB?

MAPSPsychedelic7 karma

At this time, we are focused on completing our research program with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy and fostering research with other existing and established psychedelics. New compounds such as 6-APB would first need to undergo a bank of research studies in cells and animals before regulatory agencies will permit administration in humans.

—Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Medical Coder and Data Analyst

Benjaminep2 karma

What's your take on the saying "there's no such thing as a bad trip" ? Thank you for doing this!

MAPSPsychedelic10 karma

We believe there are definitely “bad trips.” What we would consider bad trips can include: being non-consensually dosed with a substance, taking an unknown substance (something you believe to be one thing but is in fact another), having an adverse medical or mental health reaction after ingesting a substance, experiencing or witnessing a traumatic event while altered. These are just a few examples of what would constitute a bad trip. The Zendo Project principle, "Difficult is not the same as bad," is not based on a philosophy that bad trips do not happen. Rather, this principle helps provide a re-frame to the assumption that difficult thoughts and emotions experienced on psychedelics are inherently "bad."

—Sara Gael, M.A., Director of Harm Reduction, Zendo Project

Jumlee771 karma

Can I become a test subject?

MAPSPsychedelic1 karma

Thanks for your question! We answered a similar question here.

mythseeker71 karma

Do you guys plan to work with Mescaline at all? Interesting that you work with the other classical Psychedelics and MDMA but not Mescaline. I feel like Mescaline could also have great potential with treating PTSD.

MAPSPsychedelic5 karma

Yes, we are interested in conducting research on mescaline but currently do not have bandwidth to do so.

—Alli Feduccia, Ph.D., Senior Clinical Data Scientist

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For reasons unknown, mescaline has not received the same attention given psilocybin or LSD; possibly this relates to its duration of action and the relatively large doses needed for active doses (but I don't now). There are a few modern clinical trials (one published in the 1990s.) This is in part what makes it difficult to have the bandwidth to deal with; it is not lack of interest but lack of resources and lack of having the same structure available for conducting human trials that exists for other compounds.

—Ilsa Jerome, Ph.D., Medical Coder and Data Analyst

little_black_bird_1 karma

Will these studies be coming to Canada anytime soon? I volunteer as tribute.

MAPSPsychedelic3 karma

Will these studies be coming to Canada anytime soon? I volunteer as tribute.

Phase 3 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD are currently taking place in Montreal, Canada and Vancouver, Canada. To apply, please visit mdmaptsd.org

—Renee Rosky, Multimedia Marketing Associate