Experts point out that MDMA therapy may be legalized in as little as three years.
You gather around strangers and friends anticipating the effects of the psychedelics you just took to kick in. The effects begin to take effect and suddenly you are overcome with love. The crowd around you starts to yell out whatever comes to their mind and suddenly you follow.
Thousands of attendees are gathered around Lightning In a Bottle, music festival, and psychedelic culture living in tents. The crowd of people will participate in yoga, art, dancing, bodywork, swimming, roller skating, sound healing, and lectures like the one they are all gathered around for.
The Mainstream Needs Psychedelics
The lecture begins and Ismail Lourido Ali says,
You are the leader, the president and the people of your own internal country, what is the state of your union right now?
Ismail Lourido Ali, Shannon Clare Carlin, and many others preaching on the many benefits psychedelics have and the great potential for use in therapy. Ali begins by saying,
In terms of the state of our collective union, we know people are feeling a lot of isolation and separation from their communities, their families and from themselves. People are feeling meaninglessness, divisiveness and polarization.
With our modern world expanding and changing rapidly people today are feeling more anxious, depressed, lonely, addicted, and angry. Especially in the world we live in today and the pandemic affecting many worldwide people are now feeling isolated and everyone around them is an enemy.
Pharmaceuticals are profiting now more than ever but their side effects are unpleasant and many of these drugs do nothing long term.
Psychedelics have been growing in popularity and are needed more than ever. In these past recent years MDMA, psilocybin, ayahuasca, and ibogaine have been used to treat mental illnesses. The Wall Street and Stars and Stripes are on a psychedelic revolution.
Ayelet Waldman wrote a book, A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage, and My Life, detailing the beneficial experience she had with micro-dosing on LSD.
Michael Pollan’s new book, How to Change Your Mind: What the New Science of Psychedelics Teaches Us About Consciousness, Dying, Addiction, Depression, and Transcendence takes a look at the emerging science of psychedelics.
Psychedelics were considered dangerous and a threat to society but have now hit mainstream and many experts are starting to realize how beneficial they can be in therapy and our daily lives. Carlin and Lourido Ali and many MAPS researchers argue that the mainstream needs them desperately.
Carlin points out,
People are seeking meaning, purpose, personal growth, development, mindfulness and expansion, and there’s also a huge desire to heal. With psychedelics, we can sometimes borrow the courage to look at parts of ourselves we don’t want to consider because they’re not pretty. Psychedelics can also give us the inspiration to embody love and to celebrate. Humans need celebration.
The crowd at the music festival go wild as Carlin and Lourido Ali preaches about are desperate need of psychedelics today.
MDMA Could Treat Those With PTSD
Advances in psychedelic research are linked to the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS), founded by Dr. Rick Doblin in 1986, the research has focused on psychedelics as medicine and its benefits.
MAPS has solely focused on MDMA research in therapeutic settings and believes that it will be legalized by 2021. Lourido Ali works as MAPS’ policy and advocacy counsel and Carlin serves as the MDMA therapy training program manager.
As the crowd gathered around in a Shavasana pose for relaxation, Lourido Ali and Carlin tell them that their research is currently entering phase III clinical trials. In the United States, Canada, Israel, Brazil, The Netherlands, Colombia, Chile, Germany, the Czech Republic, and more, 200 patients will take part in these studies, and is one of the largest MDMA psychotherapy trials the world has ever seen.
MDMA assisted therapy has been used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder or PTSD. Phase III psychotherapy trials saw groundbreaking improvements in patients with PTSD through 65 hours of MDMA assisted therapy in a period of 4 months.
This therapy is conducted by a pair of male and female clinicians working with a patient that has ingested 120 mg of MDMA. Eight-hour sessions of talk therapy begin once the effects kick in.
Research has demonstrated that once the effects kick in, the amygdala, a region of the brain related to fear are deeply decreased allowing the patient to discuss their traumatic experience without experiencing the trauma of that experience. Many of these patients have pointed out that talking about their pain while on MDMA is revolutionary.
Some people have never had someone willing to sit with them, give them attention and not judge them. Even our placebo group improves by 20 percent.
The 110 participants in the Phase III trials included veterans, police officers, and firefighters, a group that experiences suicide and PTSD at a very high rate. MAPS wants to expand its research to areas that need it the most. Carlin points out that there are more than a thousand names on the waiting list and people with PTSD cannot simply wait until MDMA is legalized.
It does not help that many still stigmatize MDMA and not allowing those in need to experience its beneficial effects. However, the US government is finally acknowledging its potential to treat PTSD.
Lourido Ali says,
The FDA has essentially told us that what we’re doing is important and that the science is good. They’re really trying to expedite the process and help us through this.
MAPS is working alongside Dr. Monnica Williams, at the University of Connecticut. She has consulted on trial recruitments and those who are trained as therapists. Her goal is to make this treatment available to all people, not just rich white people. Adolescents ages 13 to 17 will also be included in the treatments.
Many fear that they will have a bad trip but psychedelic professionals at MAPS point out that there are no bad trips, only challenging experiences.
Psychedelics Can Change The World
As MDMA breaks stigmatizing barriers, other psychedelics are also coming to light and being researched.
Ibogaine is being researched to treat opioid addiction which is in grave need today. The CDC estimates that 115 people die from an opioid overdose every day in the United States.
Other scientists are working with psilocybin to treat anxiety and MAPS is beginning trials on smoking marijuana for US veterans with PTSD.
Medicine is just one way that psychedelics can shape our world today. Music, art, television, and film are also a point of entry for psychedelics to become mainstream.
The goal is to create feelings of satisfaction and belongingness in our world today like so many at the Lighting In a Bottle festival feel.
Our world can change for the better, psychedelics could be the breakthrough we need for this change to happen.