In “Song of Our Scars,” physician Haider Warraich surveys the science and history of pain, and our many misconceptions. BY EMILY CATANEO IF YOU’VE VISITED a doctor’s office anytime in the past five decades, after you’ve had your blood pressure taken and your weight measured, you’ve probably been asked that seemingly innocuous question: “Are you in any pain?” “Are you in any pain,” and the 1-to-10 pain scale, have become part and parcel of American health care. But does it make sense to reduce pain to a yes-or-no binary, or a number on a scale? Haider Warraich, a physician and Harvard Medical … Continue reading Unlocking the Mysteries of Pain
The dropout was not just a hippy-trippy hedonist but a paranoid soul, who feared brainwashing and societal control Charlie Williams is a postdoctoral research fellow on the Wellcome Trust-funded Pathologies of Solitude project at Queen Mary, University of London. Edited by Marina Benjamin In November 1967, Robin Farquharson ‘dropped out’. After losing his job as a computer programmer along with the flat he’d been renting, he decided to forgo the dwindling funds in his bank account and live on London’s streets. In his short memoir Drop Out! (1968), Farquharson recounted his homeless wanderings and loose associations with London’s underground scene, moving from … Continue reading The dropout: a history
New research suggests just one trip can change parts of the brain related to mood. By B. David Zarley One ayahuasca experience may be all it takes to leave a lasting change on the brain, new research suggests. The study, published in the dopely-named Journal of Psychopharmacology, found lasting changes in parts of the brain that deal with higher-order cognitive functions, like creativity, concept learning, and decision making. Researchers took 50 subjects who had never had an ayahuasca experience before, giving some a low dose of the psychedelic and others a placebo. They took functional MRI scans — which show activity in the … Continue reading One ayahuasca experience could have lasting effects on the brain
Our moral attitudes about sex and drugs share a genetic basis, suggests a recent study that examined the attitudes of more than 5,000 twins. KEY TAKEAWAYS Studies have consistently found that people who invest heavily in long-term, committed relationships are more likely to morally condemn the use of drugs. One hypothesis says that this is because drug use is associated with social settings and incentives that encourage more promiscuous sexual behavior. A recent study aimed to find out the extent to which views on drugs and sex might have a genetic component. by Stephen Johnson Why would anyone morally condemn … Continue reading Sex, drugs, and genes: Why some people morally condemn drugs
by Kara Jillian Brown We turn to alcohol to lift our spirits, quell our anxieties, and make us feel more social. But, we also know that alcohol can have major negative impacts on your mood. When you stop drinking, the impact on your mood can be amazing, but you may have to work through some hurdles to get there, explains neuroscientist Kristen Willeumier, PhD. “People often choose to drink to modulate their mood, with the goal of temporarily reducing negative emotions and enhancing positive emotions. However, because alcohol impacts multiple neurotransmitter systems it can result in a range of emotions from … Continue reading What Happens to Your Mood When You Quit Drinking, According to a Neuroscientist
Tripping on mushrooms can make you feel at one with everything. Could that help heal mental illness? BY MELISSA PANDIKA While Kia Turner was tripping on shrooms about a month ago, she experienced something profound. Until then, she’d felt self-conscious about her appearance. Her eyes, which she’d considered too large, now looked beautiful as she gazed at them in the mirror in her dad’s living room. “Why am I having insecurities about my eyes?” she wondered. “They’re my eyes.” She no longer saw the point of wanting to look like anyone but herself. For the first time, she saw her … Continue reading COULD A PSYCHEDELIC EGO DEATH BRING YOU BACK TO LIFE?
Allowing doctors to also dispense drugs, some say, is cheaper and more convenient for patients. Critics aren’t so sure. BY MICHAEL SCHULSON SOMETIME AROUND 2007 or 2008, Samantha Jefferies came to her brother Trent with a request: Could he help figure out an easier way for doctors to sell prescription drugs to their patients? Typically, when doctors want their patients to take a drug, they write a prescription, and a pharmacist — generally at a local, unaffiliated pharmacy elsewhere in a patient’s community — dispenses the medication. But in the 1980s, a rising number of physicians in the United States began bypassing pharmacies and … Continue reading Dispensing Doctors: Should Physicians Sell Drugs to Patients?
by Dr. Tim Coles, New Dawn Waking Times The pharmaceutical industry is worth $1 trillion, half of which comes from US-based sales. The alternative health industry, by comparison, is worth just $59bn. Big Pharma bribes doctors, dominates advertising, and drives the anti-natural health narrative. The biggest, multibillion-dollar companies are Pfizer (US), Novartis (Switzerland), Roche (Switzerland), Johnson & Johnson (J&J US), Merck & Co. (US), Sanofi (France), GlaxoSmithKline (GSK UK), AbbVie (US), Takeda (Japan), and AstraZeneca (UK-Sweden). The bulk of their profits come from prescription drugs. Big Pharma kills people in two ways: 1) pricing life-saving drugs out of the market and … Continue reading THE SICKNESS INDUSTRY: HOW BIG PHARMA INVENTS CRISES & NORMALISES DEPENDENCY
Spacing out can be so therapeutic. BY ISABELLA SARLIJA When you hear the words psychedelic or hallucinogenic, your mind might gravitate to the following: that iconic scene in Bridget Jones: The Edge Of Reason where the titular character finds herself tripping on magic mushrooms on a beach in Thailand, arms outstretched in wonder as she waves at non-existent images in front her. And there’s no reason why your mind shouldn’t go to an image such as this — psilocybin mushrooms (also known as magic mushrooms) and lab-derived substances like ketamine and MDMA, have long existed in the mainstream as drugs reserved for intoxication and recreation. Lately, however, they’ve also … Continue reading Here’s How A Psychedelic Trip Can Help You Work Through The Root Of Your Trauma
Our inability to treat substance use disorders stems from a narrow-minded view that brains and genes are their real cause Judith Grisel is professor of psychology at Bucknell University in Pennsylvania. She is the author of Never Enough: The Neuroscience and Experience of Addiction (2019). Edited by Pam Weintraub By the time I realised that my drug use was killing me, I was institutionalised deep in the woods of Minnesota, at least a three-day drive from home, and without a car. My 1983 Corolla, including all my stuff, had been repossessed several months earlier. I was in a treatment centre at the … Continue reading The addiction trap