Medicinal benefit of psychoactive drugs

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This thread has https://www.physicsforums.com/showpost.php?p=3591985&postcount=5" that must be complied with. All posters must familiarise themselves before posting. Ryan_m_b

Browsing this forum I haven't found a single discussion about psychedelic drugs... Which I consider a sad fact because of the nearly miraculous effects these drugs can have when properly used.

Some introductory reading can be done on wikipedia.

Somebody who isn't me regularly uses LSD and these experiences have had a profound positive effect on this person's life. Half a year ago this person suffered from childhood trauma, depression, a troubled relationship with just about anybody he knew and addiction to mephedrone, an experimental drug that is extremely addictive and mentally destructive.

Now he finds himself in harmony with himself and the outside world, constantly happy, succesful in life and in a healthy lifestyle that doesn't include the use of any other drugs than LSD and occasionally marijuana.

Have you had any personal experience with psychedelics, or do you have an opinion about them? I'd love to know.
 
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Answers and Replies

  • #2
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If a discussion on illegal substances is requested, it must be on scientific grounds. Not based on opinion or personal experience. I will recommend you link to some studies and post a specific question about information found from within.
 
  • #3
bobze
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Browsing this forum I haven't found a single discussion about psychedelic drugs... Which I consider a sad fact because of the nearly miraculous effects these drugs can have when properly used.

Some introductory reading can be done on wikipedia.

Somebody who isn't me regularly uses LSD and these experiences have had a profound positive effect on this person's life. Half a year ago this person suffered from childhood trauma, depression, a troubled relationship with just about anybody he knew and addiction to mephedrone, an experimental drug that is extremely addictive and mentally destructive.

Now he finds himself in harmony with himself and the outside world, constantly happy, succesful in life and in a healthy lifestyle that doesn't include the use of any other drugs than LSD and occasionally marijuana.

Have you had any personal experience with psychedelics, or do you have an opinion about them? I'd love to know.
Are you advocating that people with psychiatric problems self-medicate with hallucinogenic, illegal drugs?
 
  • #4
Ryan_m_b
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  • #5
Ryan_m_b
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This thread concerns an illegal activity that is highly controversial in the public sphere with many competing propaganda campaigns. As such strict rules are in place.

Participants may only link to and discuss peer-reviewed papers. No personal beliefs, opinions or anecdotes are allowed. Furthermore what is linked must be the original source i.e. not a news report of a study. Posts that do not comply with this will be deleted. If the thread cannot abide by these rules it will be closed.

Let's have a productive, academic discussion people. Not a pro/anti drugs flame war.
 
  • #6
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Here's a few references citing a link between LSD and psilocybin induced psychosis and schizophrenia:

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6870484

"The findings supported a model of LSD psychosis as a drug-induced schizophreniform reaction in persons vulnerable to both substance abuse and psychosis."

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/746371

"LSD was found to produce psychophysiological effects virtually identical to those observed occurring naturally in acute psychotic patients and in normal subjects high in "psychotic" personality traits."

http://journals.lww.com/neuroreport/Abstract/1998/12010/Psilocybin_induces_schizophrenia_like_psychosis_in.24.aspx

"PSILOCYBIN, an indoleamine hallucinogen, produces a psychosis-like syndrome in humans that resembles first episodes of schizophrenia"

http://journals.cambridge.org/action/displayAbstract?fromPage=online&aid=5207176

" Schizophrenics who had used drugs experienced the onset of symptoms on average four years earlier than non-users and were also admitted to hospital four years earlier, on average . . . These results are indicative of some precipitating role of drug abuse in the onset of schizophrenia."

http://archpsyc.ama-assn.org/cgi/content/summary/23/2/97

"In recent years we have noted increasingly that psychotic patients come to our attention where no clearly defined acute episode can be specified, but who have allegedly used large doses of psychotomimetic substances over extended periods of time."

In that one "psychotomimetidc" means drugs which cause psychosis symptoms.
 
  • #7
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While I do not agree that regular LSD has pros that outweigh cons, I will say that our OP might have a point even if he didn't feel like supporting it.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21956378
"A large body of evidence, including longitudinal analyses of personality change, suggests that core personality traits are predominantly stable after age 30. To our knowledge, no study has demonstrated changes in personality in healthy adults after an experimentally manipulated discrete event. Intriguingly, double-blind controlled studies have shown that the classic hallucinogen psilocybin occasions personally and spiritually significant mystical experiences that predict long-term changes in behaviors, attitudes and values. In the present report we assessed the effect of psilocybin on changes in the five broad domains of personality - Neuroticism, Extroversion, Openness, Agreeableness, and Conscientiousness. Consistent with participant claims of hallucinogen-occasioned increases in aesthetic appreciation, imagination, and creativity, we found significant increases in Openness following a high-dose psilocybin session. In participants who had mystical experiences during their psilocybin session, Openness remained significantly higher than baseline more than 1 year after the session. The findings suggest a specific role for psilocybin and mystical-type experiences in adult personality change."

While this study does not explicitly state that "shrooms" are good for you, it does outline possible benefits.
 
  • #8
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http://journals.lww.com/neuroreport/Abstract/1998/12010/Psilocybin_induces_schizophrenia_like_psychosis_in.24.aspx

"PSILOCYBIN, an indoleamine hallucinogen, produces a psychosis-like syndrome in humans that resembles first episodes of schizophrenia"
That paper you cited is actually a study on schizophrenia not psilocybin. Does temporary schizophrenia constitute as a danger to you? Keeping in mind that the label schizophrenia covers a wide range of psychological experiences. One symptom of schizophrenia is a detachment from reality (http://www.schizophrenia.com/diag.php), which I would say in a temporary setting is not necessarily an intrinsically negative experience.
 
  • #9
Evo
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That paper you cited is actually a study on schizophrenia not psilocybin. Does temporary schizophrenia constitute as a danger to you? Keeping in mind that the label schizophrenia covers a wide range of psychological experiences. One symptom of schizophrenia is a detachment from reality (http://www.schizophrenia.com/diag.php), which I would say in a temporary setting is not necessarily an intrinsically negative experience.
Please post peer reviewed evidence that hallucinogens do not pose any danger, since that seems to be what you are proposing. The OP is about LSD.
 
  • #10
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Please post peer reviewed evidence that hallucinogens do not pose any danger, since that seems to be what you are proposing. The OP is about LSD.
Haha why would you put words in my mouth and then tell me to support it with evidence?

Alcohol poses dangers, and drinking it can cause serious side effects, but it also has benefits.
Walking down the street poses dangers too, but it is up to the person walking to decide if the risks outweigh the benefits, or vice versa.

I never once said that the benefits outweigh the risks for doing psychedelics, with that being said, I don't see a reason to blindly ignore a possible benefit. If you a proposing that hallucinogens do indeed cause serious harm, then isn't it up to you to support that?

Jackmell posted a link to a paper that he read the first sentence of the abstract to. I checked it out and the study isn't actually making any claims related to our discussion. I simply pointed out that nothing related to that link provided explicit proof of the point he was trying to make.
 
  • #11
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Jackmell posted a link to a paper that he read the first sentence of the abstract to. I checked it out and the study isn't actually making any claims related to our discussion. I simply pointed out that nothing related to that link provided explicit proof of the point he was trying to make.
Yeah you right. I don't have the time or desire to go into these papers and read about something that I've already known for over 20 years. I keep adding references though. Perhaps some of those will better support my claim about the hazards of LSD.
 
  • #12
Evo
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Haha why would you put words in my mouth and then tell me to support it with evidence?

Alcohol poses dangers, and drinking it can cause serious side effects, but it also has benefits.
Walking down the street poses dangers too, but it is up to the person walking to decide if the risks outweigh the benefits, or vice versa.

I never once said that the benefits outweigh the risks for doing psychedelics, with that being said, I don't see a reason to blindly ignore a possible benefit. If you a proposing that hallucinogens do indeed cause serious harm, then isn't it up to you to support that?

Jackmell posted a link to a paper that he read the first sentence of the abstract to. I checked it out and the study isn't actually making any claims related to our discussion. I simply pointed out that nothing related to that link provided explicit proof of the point he was trying to make.
If I misunderstood this post of yours
dacruick said:
Does temporary schizophrenia constitute as a danger to you?
then I apologize. But to me the gist of your post was that it was of no consequence.
dacruick said:
One symptom of schizophrenia is a detachment from reality (http://www.schizophrenia.com/diag.php), which I would say in a temporary setting is not necessarily an intrinsically negative experience.
I read the abstract and it does support what jackmell said. I do not have the entire paper, but it would seem odd that it would contradict the abstract.

Here is a study.

There is, however, evidence that abnormalities in 5-HT2A receptor-dependent neurotransmission may also play a role in some symptoms and cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. Some of this evidence comes from the observation that indoleamine hallucinogens such as LSD or psilocybin can induce—among a wide array of behavioral effects—psychotic symptoms that resemble symptoms of schizophrenia (Vollenweider, 1998; Vollenweider et al, 1998).

A recent study demonstrated that psilocybin not only induced psychotic symptoms, but also impaired spatial working memory in a similar fashion as observed in schizophrenia (Geyer, 1998; Park and Holzman, 1992; Vollenweider et al, 1997, 1998).
http://www.nature.com/npp/journal/v28/n1/full/1300005a.html
 
  • #13
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Yeah you right. I keep adding references though. Perhaps some of those will better support my claim about the hazards of LSD.
I am partially playing Devil's Advocate here as I do not in any way shape or form recommend the use of LSD. To my knowledge no one has even posted any reliable source that can support a beneficial use of LSD. The link that came under fire was a "Mushroom" link, not LSD. My claim was that there has been at least one study done where controlled use of Psilocybin has shown potentially beneficial effects. I'd be interested in seeing a counter argument outlining how negative psilocybin can be.
 
  • #14
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I can see how my post may have been misinterpreted, but I'd like to again address the ambiguity of the lone term schizophrenia.

"Schizophrenia is often described in terms of positive and negative (or deficit) symptoms.[18] Positive symptoms are those that most individuals do not normally experience but are present in people with schizophrenia"
[18]Sims A. Symptoms in the mind: an introduction to descriptive psychopathology. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders; 2002. ISBN 0-7020-2627-1.

A friend of mine has Schizophrenia, it is mild, and you would never even know that he had it. My point, that i will repeat, is that saying Psilocybin can induce schizophrenic effects does not mean that those effects are dangerous. If you'd like to make the point that they are dangerous then I'd like you to state specifically which of the symptoms Psilocybin induces, and why (in a temporary and controlled setting) they are harmful.
 
  • #15
Evo
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If you'd like to make the point that they are dangerous then I'd like you to state specifically which of the symptoms Psilocybin induces, and why (in a temporary and controlled setting) they are harmful.
Now you are putting words into my mouth, I never said that

However, anything that can change a person's perceptions could be a potential danger. Why do you keep saying (in a temporary and controlled setting)? People that do recreational drugs are unlikely to be in such a setting. I knew people that ate psilocybin and then drove cars and they admitted they didn't know how they managed to avoid crashing.

From the study above
A recent study demonstrated that psilocybin not only induced psychotic symptoms, but also impaired spatial working memory in a similar fashion as observed in schizophrenia
 
  • #16
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I keep saying "in a temporary and controlled setting" because no psychedelic is safe in a permanent and/or uncontrolled setting. No one is arguing that recreational uses of psychedelics are safe or beneficial (in a general context). I'm saying that they might have medical uses. For example, the person you know was not in a controlled setting while driving a car...not safe. I don't think it should be legal to use psychedelics outside of a medical facility.
 
  • #17
Evo
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I keep saying "in a temporary and controlled setting" because no psychedelic is safe in a permanent and/or uncontrolled setting. I am not arguing in the least that psychedelics are safe in most situations, I'm saying that they might have medical uses. For example, the person you know was not in a controlled setting while driving a car...not safe. I don't think it should be legal to use psychedelics outside of a medical facility.
Well, then we're in complete agreement.
 
  • #18
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Well, then we're in complete agreement.
Good to hear
 
  • #19
Monique
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I think it is an interesting subject, LSD is indeed subject to clinical investigation for treatment of psychiatric disorders. I'm sure the compound would be chemically modified before it reaches approved-drug status, to achieve the most specific effects (as said, in the current form it can induce psychosis). The zebrafish can be used as a model to dissect those effects http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=20561961

This kind of approach would be similar as the use of methamphetamine as a treatment for ADHD. Ritalin (methylphenidate) and Adderall (dexamphetamine) share the mechanism of action and are now approved drugs. The approved drugs lack the high that is associated with methamphetamine.
 
  • #20
Monique
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To add to my comments about the application of psychedelic drugs for psychiatric disorders, here is a review published in Nature Neuroscience last year:
Nature Reviews Neuroscience said:
After a pause of nearly 40 years in research into the effects of psychedelic drugs, recent advances in our understanding of the neurobiology of psychedelics, such as lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin and ketamine have led to renewed interest in the clinical potential of psychedelics in the treatment of various psychiatric disorders. Recent behavioural and neuroimaging data show that psychedelics modulate neural circuits that have been implicated in mood and affective disorders, and can reduce the clinical symptoms of these disorders. These findings raise the possibility that research into psychedelics might identify novel therapeutic mechanisms and approaches that are based on glutamate-driven neuroplasticity.

paper: http://www.nature.com/nrn/journal/v11/n9/full/nrn2884.html
 
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  • #21
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I can see how my post may have been misinterpreted, but I'd like to again address the ambiguity of the lone term schizophrenia.

"Schizophrenia is often described in terms of positive and negative (or deficit) symptoms.[18] Positive symptoms are those that most individuals do not normally experience but are present in people with schizophrenia"
[18]Sims A. Symptoms in the mind: an introduction to descriptive psychopathology. Philadelphia: W. B. Saunders; 2002. ISBN 0-7020-2627-1.
Just to be clear, you understand that the term "positive" doesn't mean "it's a good thing" here, right? :

Positive symptoms are those that most individuals do not normally experience but are present in people with schizophrenia. They can include delusions, disordered thoughts and speech, and tactile, auditory, visual, olfactory and gustatory hallucinations, typically regarded as manifestations of psychosis.[19] Hallucinations are also typically related to the content of the delusional theme.[20]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schizophrenia
 
  • #22
Ryan_m_b
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This thread is a fresh start from a recent one concerning illegal drugs that had to be closed. Its purpose is to discuss the role of psychoactive drugs in medical treatment.

Discussion may be related to illegal recreational drug use, an obviously highly controversial subject in the public sphere with many competing propaganda campaigns. As such strict rules are in place.

Participants may only link to and discuss peer-reviewed papers. No personal beliefs, opinions or anecdotes are allowed. Furthermore what is linked must be the original source i.e. not a news report of a study. Posts that do not comply with this will be deleted. If the thread cannot abide by these rules it will be closed.

This is to encourage a productive, academic discussion people. Not a pro/anti drugs flame war.
 

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