John Hopkins to World: Shrooms...can be good

Medicine men to John Hopkins: no shit.

It’s old news by the report date, but it just bubbled up on reddit and it’s the first I’ve seen of it.

Here’s the study.

The researchers’ message isn’t just that psilocybin can produce mystical experiences. “I had a healthy skepticism going into this,” says Griffiths, “and that finding alone was a surprise.” But, as important, he says, “is that, under very defined conditions, with careful preparation, you can safely and fairly reliably occasion what’s called a primary mystical experience that may lead to positive changes in a person. It’s an early step in what we hope will be a large body of scientific work that will ultimately help people.”
That stuns me. John effing Hopkins coming out with reports like this. It also tickles me pink.

Hmm… The conditions under which this test were conducted make positive responses to the drugs pretty much inevitable. They gave it to a group of apparently very stable people, with “active spiritual practices” in tightly controlled conditions designed to remove any kind of possible anxiety they might feel. They felt good. Wow!

Still, it’s good that research is being done into hallucinogens. It’s just amazing that the researchers are amazed by the results of their research.

(cross posted from the best forum ever, as bob as declared it)

This is the quote

In the present work, 36 healthy, well-educated volunteers-most of them middle-aged-with no family history of psychosis or bipolar disorder were selected. All had active spiritual practices. “We thought a familiarity with spiritual practice would give them a framework for interpreting their experiences and that they’d be less likely to be confused or troubled by them,” Griffiths says. All gave informed consent to the study approved by Hopkins’ institutional review board.

They took people that they felt wouldn’t be too freaked out by the experience. Active spiritual practices doesn’t mean they were all new agey and expecting to have mushrooms have effects on them, it means they believed in some sort of spiritualness and practiced it. I read that as they were religious people, in one way or another.

In designing the study, researchers had to overcome or at least, greatly minimize two hurdles: the risk of adverse side-effects and the likelihood that the expectations of getting the test drug or the placebo would influence subjects’ perceptions.

To lessen the former, each subject met several times, before drug sessions began, with a reassuring “monitor,” a medical professional experienced in observing drug study participants. Monitors stayed with them during the capsule-taking sessions. Actual trials took place in a room outfitted like a comfortable, slightly upscale living room, with soft music and indirect, non-laboratory lighting. Heart rate and blood pressure were measured throughout.

The researchers countered “expectancy” by having both monitors and subjects “blinded” to what substance would be given. For ethical reasons, subjects were told about hallucinogens’ possible effects, butalso learned they could, instead, get other substances-weak or strong-that might change perception or consciousness. Most important, a third “red herring” group of six subjects had two blinded placebo sessions, then were told they’d receive psilocybin at a third. This tactic-questionnaires later verified-kept participants and monitors in the dark at the first two sessions about each capsule’s contents.

They created a good place to trip, that’s all. The people there to help them didn’t know they whether they were being given the drugs or not.

Then again, to be fair, I’m predisposed to believe this sort of thing because too much history has shown otherwise (i.e. - thousands of years of medicine men).

Matt - I’m not writing it off in the least, I’m just saying that this description of the study’s findings doesn’t really come up with anything groundbreaking. The spirituality or whatever of the subjects just goes to show that they were selected, as the article explicitly states, so that the adverse results of the drugs would be minimised. What’s that prove? That drugs make people feel good? I am totally baffled by the scientist who claims to be sceptical that drugs might offer “spiritual experiences”. What kind of silly cunt is he? Of course they fucking can.

The long term positivity is the really, really interesting part of that experiment, but the article barely elaborates on that.

My experiment, if I can get those pussies on the IRB to sign off on it, involves giving large doses of hallucinogens to unstable people and then, two hours into their trip, start strobing the lights in the room while a burly guy wearing a hockey mask bursts in and starts revving a chainsaw. Then James Earl Jones’ voice comes booming in over the PA chanting “IF YOU BUILD IT, HE WILL COME.” Meanwhile, the researchers present just stand around and act like nothing’s happening.

Still, it’s good that research is being done into hallucinogens. It’s just amazing that the researchers are amazed by the results of their research.
It’s called reporting their results. People get suspicious when they give you grants to buy lots of drugs “for research” and then nothing ever gets reported.

I thought the CIA had already more or less done just that. My favorite part’s the bit about unknowing subjects in brothels with one-way mirrors. Tax dollars have always been well at work!

Less mystically (the British had no imagination), the efficiency of rocket launcher teams is significantly impaired.

Another study that just came out, Psilocybin relieves OCD symptoms. As a pretty bad sufferer of OCD, I wouln’t mind getting in on a study like this. Other medications I’ve taken haven’t helped at all. :\

Alright, stop already.

I confess that I made the decision to become an attorney during a wild experience on magic mushrooms on 4-20-1999 and that I do not regret it.

I don’t care about mushrooms, other than the tasty kind, but I just want to correct a frequent error: It’s “Johns Hopkins” not “John Hopkins”.

While I’m at it: “Johnson Wax” not “Johnson’s Wax” and “Head-Up Display” not “Heads-Up Display”.

OK, I’m done.

Where’s bago?

that’s pretty much the demographic for frequent mushroom users in my experience. (I dont like them very much myself)