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  1. #1
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    How Psychedelic Drugs can Help Terminal Patients face Death

    4 page article, cool stuff. I gave a portion of my shroom collection to a family friend about to die from cancer. His wife said it helped tremendously. This was 6 years ago.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/22/ma...ace-death.html

    Pam Sakuda was 55 when she found out she was dying. Shortly after having a tumor removed from her colon, she heard the doctor’s dreaded words: Stage 4; metastatic. Sakuda was given 6 to 14 months to live. Determined to slow her disease’s insidious course, she ran several miles every day, even during her grueling treatment regimens. By nature upbeat, articulate and dignified, Sakuda — who died in November 2006, outlasting everyone’s expectations by living for four years — was alarmed when anxiety and depression came to claim her after she passed the 14-month mark, her days darkening as she grew closer to her biological demise. Norbert Litzinger, Sakuda’s husband, explained it this way: “When you pass your own death sentence by, you start to wonder: When? When? It got to the point where we couldn’t make even the most mundane plans, because we didn’t know if Pam would still be alive at that time — a concert, dinner with friends; would she still be here for that?” When came to claim the couple’s life completely, their anxiety building as they waited for the final day.


    As her fears intensified, Sakuda learned of a study being conducted by Charles Grob, a psychiatrist and researcher at Harbor-U.C.L.A. Medical Center who was administering psilocybin — an active component of magic mushrooms — to end-stage cancer patients to see if it could reduce their fear of death. Twenty-two months before she died, Sakuda became one of Grob’s 12 subjects. When the research was completed in 2008 — (and published in the Archives of General Psychiatry last year) — the results showed that administering psilocybin to terminally ill subjects could be done safely while reducing the subjects’ anxiety and depression about their impending deaths.

    Grob’s interest in the power of psychedelics to mitigate mortality’s sting is not just the obsession of one lone researcher. Dr. John Halpern, head of the Laboratory for Integrative Psychiatry at McLean Hospital in Belmont Mass., a psychiatric training hospital for Harvard Medical School, used MDMA — also known as ecstasy — in an effort to ease end-of-life anxieties in two patients with Stage 4 cancer. And there are two ongoing studies using psilocybin with terminal patients, one at New York University’s medical school, led by Stephen Ross, and another at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center, where Roland Griffiths has administered psilocybin to 22 cancer patients and is aiming for a sample size of 44. “This research is in its very early stages,” Grob told me earlier this month, “but we’re getting consistently good results.”

    Grob and his colleagues are part of a resurgence of scientific interest in the healing power of psychedelics. Michael Mithoefer, for instance, has shown that MDMA is an effective treatment for severe P.T.S.D. Halpern has examined case studies of people with cluster headaches who took LSD and reported their symptoms greatly diminished. And psychedelics have been recently examined as treatment for alcoholism and other addictions.

    Despite the promise of these investigations, Grob and other end-of-life researchers are careful about the image they cultivate, distancing themselves as much as possible from the 1960s, when psychedelics were embraced by many and used in a host of controversial studies, most famously the psilocybin project run by Timothy Leary. Grob described the rampant drug use that characterized the ’60s as “out of control” and said of his and others’ current research, “We are trying to stay under the radar. We want to be anti-Leary.” Halpern agreed. “We are serious sober scientists,” he told me.

    Sakuda’s terminal diagnosis, combined with her otherwise perfect health, made her an ideal subject for Grob’s study. Beginning in January 2005, Grob and his research team gave Sakuda various psychological tests, including the Beck Depression Inventory and the Stai-Y anxiety scale to establish baseline measures of Sakuda’s psychological state and to rule out any severe psychiatric illness. “We wanted psychologically healthy people,” Grob says, “people whose depressions and anxieties are not the result of mental illness” but rather, he explained, a response to a devastating disease.

    Sakuda would take part in two sessions, one with psilocybin, one with niacin, an active placebo that can cause some flushing in the face. The study was double blind, which meant that neither the researchers nor the subjects knew what was in the capsules being administered. On the day of her first session, Sakuda was led into a room that researchers had transformed with flowing fabrics and fresh flowers to help create a soothing environment in an otherwise cold hospital setting. Sakuda swallowed a capsule and lay back on the bed to wait. Grob had invited her — as researchers do with all their subjects — to bring objects from home that had special significance. “These objects often personalize the session room for the volunteer and often prompt the patient to think about loved ones or important life events,” Roland Griffiths, of Johns Hopkins, says.

    “I think it’s kind of goofy,” Halpern says, “but the thinking is that with the aid of the psychedelic, you may come to see the object in a different light. It may help bring back memories; it promotes introspection, it can be a touchstone, it can be grounding.”
    Terje was right.

    "We're all kooks to somebody else." -Shelby Menzel

  2. #2
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    Just keep the morphine drip going and keep the booze flowing. Fuck that hippie shit.

    Let's do some livin'
    After, we die

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Fuck that hippie shit.
    This stupid comment is emblematic of the problem the researchers in this area have faced in having their studies taken seriously, (not to mention the problem in getting research done at all) and also shows you didn't read the article. I read it this weekend and it resonated with me. Recommended.

  4. #4
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    Having recently experienced DMT, I can say I couldn't think of a cooler thing to be engulfed in on the way out...

    Benny, wanting to be incapacitated from the spiritual realm is your choice. But you're going there anyways.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Just keep the morphine drip going and keep the booze flowing. Fuck that hippie shit.
    Actually, when you die, you release a shit ton of a DMT like substance to ease the body's pain of death. Drugging up on all those opiates will suppress the "god experience".

    Hippies? You are kidding right? Read the article retard.
    Terje was right.

    "We're all kooks to somebody else." -Shelby Menzel

  6. #6
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    so, helps them deal with death doesn't = makes them suicidal or lose the drive to live?

    The research is cool and I can see how it could help those who are clearly going down the death road. But if someone is really gonna die, why wouldn't they want to just do less stressful drugs? Like xannies or opiates, I'd rather be chillin to death than freaking out to death..

    and don't take this as an anti-hippy post, or a junky post. i'm seriously, guys

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by jahoney View Post
    But if someone is really gonna die, why wouldn't they want to just do less stressful drugs? Like xannies or opiates, I'd rather be chillin to death than freaking out to death..
    s
    In the studies mentioned in the article, they're taking smaller doses than I think you're thinking about, in controlled environments. So there's no freakouts.

  8. #8
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    yeah... I am not seeing how any sort of psychedelic drugs could make me feel better about dying... Seems like it could give me some vivid images of good or scary things, and I think if I was dying and having a hard time accepting it the images would be scary things...

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtngirl79 View Post
    yeah... I am not seeing how any sort of psychedelic drugs could make me feel better about dying... Seems like it could give me some vivid images of good or scary things, and I think if I was dying and having a hard time accepting it the images would be scary things...
    Read. The. Article.

  10. #10
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    Read Aldous Huxley and his wife's accounts of dying and you will sign up too
    picador

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by DasBlunt View Post
    Actually, when you die, you release a shit ton of a DMT like substance to ease the body's pain of death.
    uh, yah. When I die, I really hope I'm passing into a pain free realm.

    Quote Originally Posted by DasBlunt View Post
    Drugging up on all those opiates will suppress the "god experience".
    I've suppressed the "god experience" most of my life, and I'm not going to use the excuse of my impending death to go searching for one.

    Quote Originally Posted by DasBlunt View Post
    Hippies? You are kidding right? Read the article retard.
    Yeah, shows you what a schoolboy you are. Like this shit is anything new. As somebody said above, go read Huxley. Or Leary's rambling lectures. Or Ram Dass. Or Alpert. Personally, I prefer Kesey. You go through the door, and live your life, then you die.

    Now go get someone else fired. Dumbass.

    Let's do some livin'
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  12. #12
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    Check out the Tibetan Book of the Dead if you're into looking at the self contemplatively. Tibetan's read the book to the individual as they are dying, through last breath, and continue reading as the body exhales. Sort of walking them into the next cycle. Its a good tool if you've got a buddy whose really high freaking out. I've been talked down from a few very high moments when I got deep.

  13. #13
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    As Benny Shitstain already stated, this info is about 50 years old. Still true tho and still worth looking into for the kids.

    Anybody who thinks a psychedelic experience isn't about death (or more specifically death of the ego) has obviously wasted whatever experiences they've had.

    Believe me - I fucking hate hippies (part of the reason for my hippie hatred is that they are the ones who pretty much ruined psychedelic research, at least in this country), but LSD and other psychedelics are valuable tools for understanding life. I'd rather see people undergoing psychedelic therapy than being turned into zombies with anti-depressants and such.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by jahoney View Post
    so, helps them deal with death doesn't = makes them suicidal or lose the drive to live?

    The research is cool and I can see how it could help those who are clearly going down the death road. But if someone is really gonna die, why wouldn't they want to just do less stressful drugs? Like xannies or opiates, I'd rather be chillin to death than freaking out to death..

    and don't take this as an anti-hippy post, or a junky post. i'm seriously, guys
    Now you say youd just want to chill out, but when you're looking at the end of things, eternity, the desire is not to chill out, but to experience as much meaning in life as possible before you go. An intense, meaningful, grounding experience (especially one that is fairly brief), is far more enticing than just chilling till your die. I haven't been there myself but I do know someone who is going through this with cancer and that seems to be the case.
    __________________________________________________ __________________________________________________ ________________
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by splat View Post
    Having recently experienced DMT, I can say I couldn't think of a cooler thing to be engulfed in on the way out...
    Write up a TR. good summer time fun.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jer View Post
    As Benny Shitstain already stated, this info is about 50 years old. Still true tho and still worth looking into for the kids.

    Anybody who thinks a psychedelic experience isn't about death (or more specifically death of the ego) has obviously wasted whatever experiences they've had.

    Believe me - I fucking hate hippies (part of the reason for my hippie hatred is that they are the ones who pretty much ruined psychedelic research, at least in this country), but LSD and other psychedelics are valuable tools for understanding life. I'd rather see people undergoing psychedelic therapy than being turned into zombies with anti-depressants and such.
    You sound like that guy. The one who's not fun to trip with because he has an agenda.

  17. #17
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    ^ ^ ^ that. Tripping with a hippie hater would be a surefire bummer trip.

    Gimme some of that hippie shit when I'm in hospice.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jer View Post
    . . . part of the reason for my hippie hatred is that they are the ones who pretty much ruined psychedelic research, at least in this country. . .
    Nope. The blame goes to Congress, 50 state legislatures and the Nancy Reagan just say no crowd. See, e.g., 21 USC § 801, et. seq.

  18. #18
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    See this is what I'm talking about - hedonist morons.

    Congress made it illegal, hedonist morons provided them with a reason to.

  19. #19
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    Originally Posted by splat<br />
    Having recently experienced DMT, I can say I couldn't think of a cooler thing to be engulfed in on the way out...
    <br />
    <br />
    Write up a TR. good summer time fun.
    DMT is indescribable no tr would do it justice. Deeply introspective and profound.
    But Ellen kicks ass - if she had a beard it would be much more haggard. -Jer

  20. #20
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    That's a good read. The fact that I just recently experienced my first acid trip made the article even more interesting.
    Make skin tracks steep again.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jer View Post
    See this is what I'm talking about - hedonist morons.

    Congress made it illegal, hedonist morons provided them with a reason to.
    So you view it as a tool, and anyone who just goes with the flow and doesn't contemplate Life/Death/the meaning of the Universe is wasting the opportunity?

    Bitch please.

    You know Casteneda made up Don Juan, right?

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Benny Profane View Post
    Just keep the morphine drip going and keep the booze flowing. Fuck that hippie shit.
    Let the fucktards like our friend Benny, with all kinds of suppressed problems die in a state of supreme sedation. I can't think of a better time than on death's door for me to ingest hallucinogens/MDMA. They're both conducive to some of the most positive, loving experiences of my life and I think it'd be a cathartic way to go, to say the least.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jer View Post
    See this is what I'm talking about - hedonist morons.

    Congress made it illegal, hedonist morons provided them with a reason to.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tippster View Post
    So you view it as a tool, and anyone who just goes with the flow and doesn't contemplate Life/Death/the meaning of the Universe is wasting the opportunity?

    Bitch please.

    You know Casteneda made up Don Juan, right?

    I laughed out loud at the Don Juan reference....classic.

    The agenda dude is no more than a fundamentalist preacher. Guidance is very different than any stated ideological agenda.

    What did not happen with the trials in the early 60s was control. They made the initial headway, but control and guidance was on the extreme end of being able to show data.

    Giving a wide population a dose with no knowledge has not been carried out with proper documentation I believe. A good thing too, and I bet agenda dude would not hesitate to try to medicate the masses.
    Terje was right.

    "We're all kooks to somebody else." -Shelby Menzel

  24. #24
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    Anyone (bennyprofane I'm looking at you) who thinks morphine drips, booze, sedatives etc. are the same fun, calming, peaceful, pleasure filled experience when you're on death's door as they are when you're doing them recreationally is ignorant in the truest sense.

    I don't do hallucinogens/psychedelic drugs but when my time comes, if I'm in some way suffering, I'll definitely be riding the spirit horse out.
    Quote Originally Posted by commonlaw View Post
    If I took a principled stand on every aspect of my life, I'd be too busy to live it.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by leroy jenkins View Post
    Now you say youd just want to chill out, but when you're looking at the end of things, eternity, the desire is not to chill out, but to experience as much meaning in life as possible before you go. An intense, meaningful, grounding experience (especially one that is fairly brief), is far more enticing than just chilling till your die. I haven't been there myself but I do know someone who is going through this with cancer and that seems to be the case.
    I can see that.. it all changes when you're the one facing it.

    unfortunately some of us don't get the luxury to know when we're gonna die

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