Monday, January 30, 2017

THE LEADING EDGE - 'Age of Aquarius' Back?

"Why psychedelic drugs are having a medical renaissance" PBS NewsHour 1/25/2017

Age of Aquarius: "The 1967 musical 'Hair,' with its opening song 'Aquarius' and the memorable line 'This is the dawning of the Age of Aquarius'" ushered in the Aquarian Age, which included use of psychedelic drugs.  Lets trip-out!


SUMMARY:  For C.J. Hardin, an Army veteran, dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder is an everyday feat.  After years of pills and therapy failed to help his disorder, Hardin knew he needed an alternative.  So he turned to a surprising substitute that's at the forefront of a revolution in neuroscience and medicine:  psychedelics like MDMA and psilocybin.  Science correspondent Miles O'Brien reports.

SGT. C.J. HARDIN (RET.), U.S. Army Veteran:  I was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in Fort Campbell.

MILES O'BRIEN (NewsHour):  C.j. Hardin is a former Army helicopter mechanic and machine gunner who faced imminent death in Iraq, and also after he got home.

C.J. HARDIN:  The way that my emotions ran, and how it felt uncontrollable, I didn't trust myself having a weapon around me, because I was suicidal, very suicidal at that point.

MILES O'BRIEN:  Years of pills and talk therapy failed to help his post-traumatic stress disorder.  So, he turned to a surprising alternative at the center of a revolution in neuroscience and medicine.

DR. MICHAEL MITHOEFER, Therapist:  So, this is the MDMA that we use for the current study.

MILES O'BRIEN:  Hardin took MDMA, more commonly known as Ecstasy, under the watchful eyes of therapists Michael and Annie Mithoefer, a husband-and-wife team based in Charleston, South Carolina.

DR. MICHAEL MITHOEFER:  This is where we do the MDMA sessions.

We don't know how this works, but we have ideas about it.

MILES O'BRIEN:  In one study of 19 subjects, more than 80 percent reported significant improvement, after carefully guided sessions like this.

SGT.  C.J.  HARDIN:  Which I knew was the PTSD.  I was never feeling comfortable at home.

I was still lucid, but it just felt like I had opened up a new avenue of thinking.

MILES O'BRIEN:  C.J. Hardin says the difference for him was like night and day.

SGT.  C.J. HARDIN:  I had three experiences at full dosage, but the effects after the first treatment were profound.  I would have said a 60 percent reduction in my symptoms immediately.  I felt a mighty change had occurred.

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