Does Cannabis Use Cause Schizophrenia?

Cannabis plants in a lab at Niagara College in Niagara-On-The-Lake, Ontario. As marijuana use becomes more widespread and varied, some people worry that its more potent versions can cause or exacerbate mental illness.CreditCreditCarlos Osorio/Reuters By Benedict Carey As the drug becomes more popular, concerns have been raised that its use can lead to psychotic disorders. Here’s what scientists know for sure, and what they don’t. Nearly a century after the film “Reefer Madness” alarmed the nation, some policymakers and doctors are again becoming concerned about the dangers of marijuana, although the reefers are long gone. Experts now distinguish between the “new … Continue reading Does Cannabis Use Cause Schizophrenia?

IS ADDICTION THE RESULT OF A LACK OF A SENSE OF PURPOSE IN LIFE?

by Steve Taylor Ph.D., Guest Waking Times As you are no doubt aware, presently the United States is experiencing an opioid epidemic. There are many reasons for this—one of the most obvious being the reckless over-subscription of opiate-based painkillers by doctors, leading to dependency. But on a psychological level, we have to take into account the strong relationship between addiction and the lack of a sense of purpose. To some extent, addiction is the result of a lack of purpose. It’s partly the consequence of experiencing what the psychologist Viktor Frankl called the ‘existential vacuum’—feeling as though there is no purpose or meaning … Continue reading IS ADDICTION THE RESULT OF A LACK OF A SENSE OF PURPOSE IN LIFE?

7 of the best psychedelic books ever written

Turn on, tune in, and drop out and into a good psychedelic book. by MIKE COLAGROSSI Psychedelic literature contains some of the richest prose and musings on the human condition. A great deal of these books hail from the 20th century. These are gateway books to a rich and other worldly adventure Much has been said about the psychedelic experience and its rich and thrilling history. Luckily for us, some of the greatest pioneers who pushed forward into the choppy waters of the mind wrote it all down. Packed with governmental intrigue, freak-out trips and the loving grace of human … Continue reading 7 of the best psychedelic books ever written

Can party drug MDMA help treat alcoholism?

A pioneering new study in Bristol is using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to help alcoholics break the cycle of addiction. By Russell Deeks Alcohol is dangerous. Its abuse accounts for around 8,000 deaths in the UK every year, while the societal cost – in terms of the strain on the NHS and the police – is enormous. It costs £3.5bn a year for the NHS to treat alcohol-related illnesses and injuries, while 70 per cent of violent incidents occurring during the evenings, nights and weekends involve alcohol. Many people are, of course, able to enjoy a drink without coming to any harm, or … Continue reading Can party drug MDMA help treat alcoholism?

SCIENTISTS JOURNEY INTO THE DARK SIDE OF CANNABIS

STUART DEE by ATT SIMON CANNABIS IS A hell of a drug. It can treat inflammation, pain, nausea, and anxiety, just to name a few ailments. But like any drug, cannabis comes with risks, chief among them something called cannabis use disorder, or CUD. Studies show that an estimated 9 percent of cannabis users will develop a dependence on the drug. Think of CUD as a matter of the Three C’s, “which is loss of control over use, compulsivity of use, and harmful consequences of use,” says Itai Danovitch, chair of the department of psychiatry and behavioral neurosciences at Cedars-Sinai. A growing tolerance … Continue reading SCIENTISTS JOURNEY INTO THE DARK SIDE OF CANNABIS

Can a party drug stop the increasing rate of suicide?

Ketamine is showing promise in alleviating suicidal thoughts. by Derek Beres The popular party drug has shown promise in stopping suicidal thoughts in a number of small clinical studies. First synthesized in 1962, the anesthetic was used to treat Vietnam War soldiers in the early seventies. Though the accompanying hallucinations are a roadblock to widespread therapy, innovations in psychiatry are necessary. The dirtiest drug I ever tried was ketamine. Besides having a general aversion to snorting powder, I vividly recall one evening in 1995 when, after ingesting a hearty dose of the anesthetic, I could no longer tell the difference … Continue reading Can a party drug stop the increasing rate of suicide?

Rolling Under the Sea: Scientists Gave Octopuses Ecstasy to Study Social Behavior  

Two-spot octopus.  Credit: Mark Conlin Getty Images Cephalopods on the recreational drug behave much like humans do, even touching and hugging their peers By Rachel Nuwer | Scientific American  Several octopuses might have recently become the happiest individuals in their species’ history when researchers gave them MDMA—the party drug often called Molly or Ecstasy. This may sound like a contender for an “Ig Nobel Prize,” but the scientists behind the study, published in October in Current Biology, say tripping cephalopods can help us better understand the roots of sociability throughout the animal kingdom—including in people. “As human beings, we like to know where we came … Continue reading Rolling Under the Sea: Scientists Gave Octopuses Ecstasy to Study Social Behavior