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Monthly Archives: October 2014

Points: The Blog of the Alcohol & Drugs History Society

The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is not your typical drug policy reform organization. Since 1986, MAPS has worked as a nonprofit pharmaceutical company to turn psychedelic drugs into prescription medicines to treat afflictions — including postraumatic stress disorder, pain, depression, and even addiction — for which conventional therapies offer little relief. The term “prescription psychedelics” may sound like something out of a 70s science fiction story — politically impossible and culturally strange — until you hear it explained in context by Rick Doblin, MAPS’ founder and executive director.

Points is pleased to have had the opportunity to speak with Doblin about his organization’s relationship to past psychedelic research efforts, its major goals and day-to-day operations (Part II), and the philosophy of addiction and recovery that informs its work (Part III). We proudly present below the first installment of a three-part interview we will showcase over the next week in celebration of MAPS’ 25th anniversary this year. Today, we’ll…

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Ayahuasca and Depression

What does a monkey typing aimlessly on a keyboard on the roof of a house have to do with curing depression?  I had no idea how to answer this question at first.  I was in the middle of my first ayahuasca ceremony and I suddenly was distracted by this typing monkey.  As if the strange physical sensations from the South American plant mixture were not enough to deal with, now I had to entertain this monkey!

After spending a few hours under the healing influence of the plant, I began to recognize that this monkey was certainly there for a reason.  He was trying to teach me something.  Our modern lives are full of distraction.  It often seems that distractions are inevitable and just part of the baggage that we accept with our busy lives, but choosing to focus our energy on distractions like television, negative stories on the news…

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