Transcript for Episode 43 – Rick Doblin Ph.D

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calm what’s up folks it is so good to be

back we took a few weeks off and

everyone needed some time off and

by everyone I mean it’s great to be back

and we have an amazing episode for you

guys in this episode we spoke to dr.

Rick Doblin the very tenacious Rick

Doblin the founder of the

multidisciplinary Association for

psychedelic studies in this episode we

cover a vast range of topics from Rick’s

personal journey to the political

atmosphere of prohibition and the

medical use of these compounds to treat

PTSD and other ailments in mrs. so the

conversation is pretty far-reaching and

you should stick through it there is

something about Rick’s personality his

persona that just makes you believe that

this is possible this will happen and

it’s it’s really amazing the experience

and wisdom that that comes through in

this conversation

also in this conversation my friend

Damiano are helped me co-host and you’re

going to be hearing more from him it was

it was good because I noticed

damiana is war in the psychedelic field

and I really respect what he’s doing for

the community so he did great very proud

of him for his first co-host otherwise

there are some major changes coming

Podcast and some overhauls that were

we’re doing but they’re all good things

and necessary I think you guys will

enjoy them the DMT molecule spirit

molecule contest will go up I’m still

manicuring that and finishing touches on

that I’m actually setting up a

membership section for you guys where

you will have access to a whole other

level of content so that’s what I’ve

been working on we also picked up a

sponsor for this episode very happy

about that this is a company that I

personally vetted and I would never put

anything in front of you my listeners

that I didn’t feel comfortable using

myself these companies that that may

sponsor us are going to be companies

that we personally that you can rely on

that level of consistency from us and

we’re never gonna put something out

there that is questionable so thank you

guys so much for all the support the

Facebook messages telling us how amazing

the podcast is I love those send more of

them they definitely helped the ego

boost it helps but all joking aside and

without much further ado here’s our

episode with mr. Rick Doblin

thank you guys so much for listening the

human experience is in session

my guest tonight is mr. Rick Doblin

damiano our is going to be helping us

co-host for this conversation Rick my

good sir welcome to hxp

yeah thank you for inviting me I’m

really glad so Rick I mean you have

founded this institution can you tell up

we can you please tell the audience who

you are and what you do please okay well

dr. Rick Doblin you could say I got a

PhD from the Kennedy School of

Government at Harvard on the regulation

of the medical use of psychedelics in


so that was my dissertation the PhD is

in public policy so I have a

simultaneous training in

working as a therapist I’ve been trained

with Stan Grof and the holotropic

breathwork the hyperventilation for

producing experiences similar to LSD and

another of the classic psychedelics and

then my public policy training is about

helping our culture it’s had a bad trip

with psychedelics get over that

so I started maps in 1986 and the DEA

had previously criminalized MDMA in 1985

and before that I’ve had another

nonprofit in 1984 that we used with the

psychedelic therapy community to sue the

DEA to try to keep preserving the

therapeutic use of MDMA around half a

million doses had been used in

therapeutic settings personal growth

settings quietly under the name Adam and

so this was at the time of Nancy Reagan

and the just say no program and the

escalation of the drug war and the

culture wars and it felt like at the

time but the only way that there would

be possible to bring the therapeutic use

of MDMA and other psychedelics back was

through the FDA used science and

medicine for healing purposes and

particularly trying to do it for healing

purposes of people that the mainstream

had sympathy for and and so it’s now

been almost 30 years next year is the

30th year of maps and we’re we’re close

actually a lot closer than we’ve ever

been there’s to moving through the FDA

system we’re about to complete an

international series of Phase two pilot

studies with mdma-assisted psychotherapy

for post-traumatic stress disorder we

started these in 2000 the first one was

in Spain for two years and then it got

shut down by the Madrid anti-drug

Authority after there were some really

positive media and then we were able to

start our first study in the u.s. in

2004 and so we’re now anticipate

that we can make MDMA into a

prescription medicine by 2021 that’s our

your attitude towards this is pretty

remarkable considering the sort of

opposition that you are facing with the

American government and legislation that

you have to go through to get this type

of research regulated and done I mean

how did you find yourself in a position

to do this and how do you maintain this

great question well I first decided what

I wanted to do when I was 18 years old

in 1972 I didn’t know how but I knew

what what and over the last decades you

know now 61 I figured out a lot more

about how but what led me to that

decision when I was 18 part of it is

that I had decided to become a draft

resister to Vietnam and anticipated

going to prison for that and when I

shared this discussion they had a

discussion about this with my parents

their attitude was that you know I’d

never be able to get a normal job and

they weren’t opposed to what I was

saying they just pointed out that you

know with a criminal record you know I

couldn’t be a doctor or a lawyer or

things like that and so I thought well

if the price of having a normal

mainstream job is being willing to go

off to Vietnam and either kill people or

get killed it wasn’t worth it so I felt

like what am I going to do but what

really did it was the sense that in the

war in Vietnam that that there was a lot

of emotional calls to action by

politicians but that it was

fundamentally you know a terrible

mistake and previously growing up my

earliest influences in a political sense

about the wide world was when I was

pretty young you know 10 12 years old

and really learning about the

Holocaust and I’ve got distant relatives

that are killed in the Holocaust I’m I’m

Jewish I have Israeli relatives and they

were some of them involved in the the

war of 1948 and so I just was starting

to grapple with this idea of cultures

being basically insane and and you know

projecting out their shadows onto others

and trying to destroy and that those

that there were psychological factors

that were really crucial to survival and

so I grew up at a time where in America

was unquestionably the most powerful

country in the world you know my dad was

a doctor so we had more than enough to

eat and to travel and so the survival

needs were taken care of but I was

shaken by the possibility that you know

crazy cultures might want to come and

kill me and you know when you learn

about Jewish history it’s like over and

over and over different kind of people

want to kill the Jews then what

radicalized me even more or not even

more but especially was the Cuban

Missile Crisis and this concept of the

terrible terrible power of nuclear

weapons and how we were facing this

incredible escalation arms race with the

Soviet Union and we possessed weaponry

that could you know destroy everybody on

earth not just Jewish people but

everybody and that again that there was

this projecting the shadow outward not

to say that I would have preferred to

live in Russia which was you know

totalitarian state but that we ended up

I just felt like the the survival of the

human race is really unclear and it’s

based more on psychological factors than

on resource questions

I mean astonishing if you look at it

that you know seven eight billion people

and we have enough you know if we were

equitably distributing them we have

enough food and water we are destroying

the environmental

different ways which is another aspect

of people being blind to certain

externalities so it just felt like first

off the Holocaust secondly of the arms

race and then thirdly the Vietnam War

that that I got very interested in

psychological factors and then also I

started thinking about certain kind of

spiritual questions like you know are we

fundamentally different than people that

have a different color skin or a

different religion or a different

country you know the different ways that

we identify ourselves are usually ways

that we both have our own individual

identity but they also separate us from

other people and so I started thinking

about if we really could understand our

commonality that that would have

political implications and I was sort of

hearing that in the cultural around me

growing up in the late 60s and you kind

of hear about you know the Beatles and

Saoirse peppers lonely heart band and

the influence of LSD and all these

things but I was raised to believe that

LSD made you permanently crazy that if

you took it you know you were basically

gonna have a very difficult time as an

adult making your way in the world

because you’d be off-balance from LSD

and I was you know raised to be scared

of these substances until I read one

floor of the Cuckoo’s Nest by Ken Kesey

and the book was fantastic and a friend

of mine said that some of that book was

written while he was under the influence

of LSD so I really you know couldn’t

believe that and that made me start

questioning what I’d been told and then

as a college freshman in 1971 and then

early in 72 starting to take LSD for the

first time and seeing that what I’d been

taught was bunches of propaganda and

that there was this possibility of

feeling more connected and not just fee

thinking about it but feeling it in a

very deep and profound way

I sort of woke up to the value of

psychedelics as the backlash was coming

down backlash against the 60s and drugs

were criminalized and research was shut

down and I felt like here’s this tool

that does seem to help people have the

sense of connection and then it has

implications for everything you know for

the environmental movement for civil

rights movement for religious tolerance

for women’s rights it just felt like if

you can focus on consciousness change

towards opening towards spirituality I

mean even what you’re talking about the

human experience if we can understand

that the human experience is really of

life and death and growth and love and

children that the deaths transcends all

these other ways that we try to divide

ourselves and then you know the other

part was growing up at a time of going

to the moon and then eventually seeing

the Earth from moon those you know the

pictures of the whole earth it just felt

like there was something fundamentally

healing both individually and culturally

and on a planetary basis of that kind of

unit of experience and for me it didn’t

really come from my Burma spa it really

felt like the psychedelics were the way

for me and also for many people and so I

felt alright I’m probably gonna go to

jail for being a draft resister I can’t

have a normal job but these tools have

been demonized like you were right you

were ready you’re ready to go to jail

over the Maps Institute and you you were

ready to do what you had to do to I mean

is that is that an accurate yeah yeah I

mean this is even when I was 18 I mean I

didn’t start maps you know for another

14 years but the the idea was that

through my family I felt like I could

get survival support and that I was a

counterculture drug use

criminal that’s how at age 18 I

identified myself and I was willing to

go to jail and I thought that was

happening but you know sometimes you

project omnipotence on the system when

the system is just enormous ly complex

and incompetent and you know it turned

out 60,000 people never registered for

the draft and you know people would

shoot themselves in the foot or hurt

themselves in any number of different

ways or run away to Canada or do all

sorts of things to get out of going to

Vietnam and the most simple thing if you

just didn’t send in your postcard at the

very beginning to say hey I register for

the draft nothing happened it’s like you

know the emperor has no clothes in that

way and so that was a relief for me and

you know President Carter the first day

in office pardoned all the draft

resisters so I feel like the arc of my

life is trying to move from

counterculture drug using criminal to

being a mainstream drug using legal law

abiding citizen and so so dr. dr. dull

and it seems like if you’ve touched on a

lot on what psychedelics can offer the

society and you’re definitely an expert

and you have changed the face of

psychedelic research throughout your

career and given the current trajectory

of the research where would you see

psychedelic assisted psychotherapy in

five years or 10 years or 20 years down

the line what’s the future for this for

this type of research okay thank you for

that question – so we feel like right


20:21 is when we’ll have mdma-assisted

psychotherapy approved by FDA of course

we have to you know raise many many

millions of dollars and we have to train

more therapists and the results of our

studies have to turn out as we

anticipate but in around five years we

think that well six years we think that

we’ll have MDMA approved as a

prescription medicine and also the

heffter Research Institute will have


I’ve been approved for people with

anxiety related to cancer so once you

get some medical permission for use of

psychedelic assisted psychotherapy it’s

not going to be like a normal medicine

it’s going to be only people with

certain training are gonna be able to

prescribe it and then it may also be

limited at least initially to only

certain kind of clinics so like

methadone initially you had to go to

clinics to get it or kidney dialysis

centers because what we’re saying into

the FDA is that it’s not the drugs that

are the healing it’s the drug assisted

psychotherapy combination so we’re gonna

have to create contexts that are like

the research context that combine

pharmacology the drugs and the

psychotherapy so then I think starting

in 2021 we’re gonna be establishing a

network of psychedelic clinics and I

think other people will be able to start

their own clinics it’s not like we’re

gonna have a monopoly on these clinics

and they’ll eventually these clinics

will be not just an MDM a clinic or a

psilocybin clinic they’ll be people that

are cross trained in how to administer

MDMA or administer psilocybin and these

clinics the best model for that so far

in history for me is the hospice centers

so in 1974 was the first hospice where

people could have a different approach

towards dying outside of a hospital

where their pain is taken care of but

they’re now no longer being medicalized

trying to just extend their life one

more day they’re just being permitted to

die in a more graceful way so by 2024

but by excuse me 2004 30 years later

there was 3,500 hospice centers so I

think once we get psychedelics approved

as prescription medicines in 2021 then

there’ll be a period of 10 20 years of

the clinics spreading throughout America

and Europe and elsewhere in the world

and then I think we’re gonna have a

population that’s

really educated properly that

understands the risks and benefits and

then will start moving towards really

fully ending prohibition and ending this

whole concept that the government should

step in between you and whether you take

a certain so yeah I love this vision I

love what you’re talking about I agree

with it and there does seem to be the

sort of ayahuasca movement that I see

happening with psychedelics people who

are waking up to that but just to bounce

around cuz I I kind of want to explore

your journey and the battles and

internal things for you what do you

think in European was the hardest thing

that you had to overcome in this journey

that you’re on well in a way the hardest

is that I identified being a

counterculture drug using criminal and

so trying to think of myself as not

somebody on the outside you know raising

this issue that everything would be

better if psychedelics were just legal

and available to people but starting to

think of myself as part of the

mainstream because I care and that I see

that a lot now too as circumstances are

changing you know ayahuasca has spread

throughout the society a lot of its uses

technically not religious so it’s

technically not legal but still it’s

being used by people throughout the

culture and people’s attitudes are

changing dramatically and trying to

think about what is the goal I mean I

think part of the 60s was Timothy Leary

the whole counterculture that you know

that there was something essentially

radical about psychedelics and

psychedelic users challenging the status

quo and it could never really be

incorporated into society and so I

bought into that initially you know I

was gonna be an underground psychedelic

therapist and try to bring it back but I

didn’t know that that would be possible

so I think sort of letting go of that


rebellious idea that I’m the one on the

outside that knows the right thing to do

that’s been really difficult the the

other part for me that’s been difficult

is learning how to be patient that

there’s just so much resistance and and

has been for so long to sustain the

focus I’ve had to really do a

fundamental sort of mental trick I guess

to say which is that instead of I first

get really frustrated about things I

would do and I’d be shut down and you

know efforts I would try that would be

blocked and then I had to redefine

success and so success for me became

trying what I thought was most important

and trying my best and whether it worked

or not it’s beyond me it’s it’s a big

cultural issue and it’s dependent upon

so many other factors out of my control

but if my success was dependent upon

actually achieving what I was trying for

I would have been frustrated and burned

out a long time ago so figuring that out

that that just trying hard and trying as

best I could and not so much being

attached to the outcomes and just

thinking at least in my own little life

this is what I’m trying this is what I

value and that’s all I can do and at the

end of the day if I was happy of what I

did that day then whether the work was

on something that was being blocked or

not that it was still a successful day

that there was one time about 15 years

ago where I was so frustrated that I

just had to stop work for a week and

paint my house and I was just so glad

that I could do something that you know

I could see that I was actually making a

difference and you know I’d go to bed at

night I’d say yeah okay I painted this

wall or I did so after that week of

painting the house I kind of recovered

my mood and was able to go back and

start trying to get permission again for

psychedelic research dr. Delman around

the same around the same lines of what


just talking about about wanting to be

an underground psychedelic therapist

when you were younger I’m sure there are

a lot of people in their 20s now that

are also going through that phase with

this resurgence of psychedelic research

but it seems like now you have created

kind of a framework for those people to

be able to actually get careers in those

in the psychedelic research field so

what would you what would you like to

tell the the generation the next

generation of people that want to become

psychedelic researchers and what they

what they would have to do in a way to

to get into that that specific career

path that’s a yes well I think first

time n you realize this but that maybe a

lot of people don’t realize that there’s

been roughly 50 years of work since say

1965 to make it so that the young

generation you’re now the first

generation in 50 years that if you want

to have an aboveground career in

psychedelic research psychedelic

psychotherapy that you have that

possibility it’s incredible how long

it’s taken but that you are a generation

that really can imagine an aboveground

career in this field so then the second

thing to say is that in order to make

psychedelics into medicines it’s a very

narrow pathway and the FDA basically is

saying you need to prove safety and

efficacy but you don’t need to know how

it works

you don’t need mechanism of actions to

make a drug into a medicine so we’re

focusing mostly on studies in patients

and other groups as well but there is a

whole area of neuroscience and how these

drugs actually work and how

consciousness is structured so that

there’s many many different ways that

people could become involved if they

wanted to and one of the most important

I think is therapeutic because we have

so many billions of people that are

traumatized at just life itself the

even people that are you know born into

healthy loving families

you know my aunt died of cancer when I

was four years old

you know everybody is exposed to certain

kind of traumas and and then we all need

therapy in different ways so I think

trying to become a psychedelic therapist

is the kind of training you should get

is just learning how to do regular

psychotherapy and particularly psycho

therapies that involve emotional

expression rather than emotional

suppression and also so there’s a lot of

value in cognitive behavioral therapy

but and and parts of that are used in

psychedelic psychotherapy but it goes

beyond just changing your ideas so I

think that people who want careers in

psychedelic psychotherapy could look at

the holotropic breathwork

hyperventilation a technique developed

by stan grof Gestalt therapy there’s

there’s a whole range of ways for people

learn about psychotherapy but then

there’s the neuroscience so if people

want to really start piecing apart what

is consciousness and how does

psychedelics help us understand that

that’s a whole area of research there’s

an incredible study ring being done

right now in Switzerland that’s

combining science nurse psychotherapy

and Zen meditation so for people that

are interested in meditation techniques

there’s this research is being done now

where lifelong meditators are being

given brain scans at the University of

Zurich before and after receiving

participating in about a eight-day Zen

meditation retreat during which time

they’ll get psilocybin and then they’ll

be evaluated for compassion altruism how

it affects their meditation practice and

what it does to their brains so there’s

this enormous potential of science and

religion coming together science

religion meditation spirituality so

people who want to even like pastoral

counseling or want to focus on

meditation there’s opportunities to do


you know or

even from a business point of view how

do you run these psychedelic clinics you

know it’s not the same as a

bed-and-breakfast but we kind of joke

that our research is like psychedelic

bed-and-breakfast because you know we

have a tower psychedelics therapy

sessions with a male-female Kythera

pused team and then we require the

patients to spend the night in the

treatment facility and then that’s for

them to have time out to reflect to

integrate and then the next day we serve

them breakfast and but then there’s more

hours with the psychotherapist so try to

which should be done so yeah that’s

ideal that’s the way to get the most out

of it and and even if you people are

doing it in recreational contexts if you

can give yourself the next day to rest

and reflect and think it over it’s like

an enormous gift to yourself to focus

not just on the experience but on the

integration of the experience so there’s

going to be thousands eventually of

these psychedelic clinics and they’ll be

all sorts of opportunities for different

careers and and part of this

understanding that psychedelics is

bringing to us is about the mind-body

connection that it’s really not so

separate and that before MDMA was

illegal in the late 70s early 80s there

were people that were doing

MDMA massage and focusing on emotional

expression so they there’s these like

syncretic careers you could imagine of

people that learn about massage and a

lot of times during massage sessions you

know they’ll be tensions in the body

that that when you release them there’s

kind of an emotional aspect to it and

when you do a massage when people are

under the influence of MDMA or you know

medium dose LSD or things like that

people are sort of supported and

nurtured to get deep down into their

psyche and then let out these kind of

feelings so they’ll be that kind of

combination you know mind-body work

that I think there’s opportunities for

people to to get involved in doing that

and even you know people just in terms

of rituals to try to create when people

are under the influence and we’ve got a

lot of thousands of years right where we

are jumping around here and you you’re

you’re kind of a segue artist you kind

of move through with the conversation

this is good

but who would you say in your opinion

and we’re approaching the end so who

would you say in your opinion is the

most influential person for you in your

life well I would have to say my parents

and Stan Grof and why

well my parent well okay I’ll say why

first and Roffe so when I was standoff

for those who are not familiar with his

work stanislav grof is 84 years old now

he’s still alive

he was a born in the czechoslovakia now

the Czech Republic and he wanted to

become a psychiatrist and in the 50s he

was working as a psychiatric resident in

a clinic where Sandoz pharmaceuticals

from Switzerland sent a bunch of LSD and

said hey this is incredible stuff it

could be useful in the training of

therapists because they’ll get a

temporary sense of what it’s like to be


that’s how they saw LSD or it could

possibly have therapeutic applications

and so Stan ended up becoming the

world’s expert on the use of LSD

assisted psychotherapy and he helps

found transpersonal psychology which is

a field that’s an outgrowth of

humanistic psychology humanistic

psychology being about the human

potential and self-actualization and

then transpersonal psychology being

about self transcendence and the more

spiritual aspects and so when I was 17

years old at college and started trying

to do LSD and then I turned 18 and I

really didn’t have the emotional

capability to handle it properly I

wasn’t able to let my emotions flow I

had a lot of scary experiences I had an

intimation that this was really

helpful and useful and it was healing a

split that our society was way over

developed intellectually and

underdeveloped emotionally and

spiritually and so was I and so LSD was

kind of this tool of healing and but I

went to the guidance counselor at my

college and said I’m really having a

very difficult time with these trips and

I’m not sure if I want to stay in

college and he said here’s a book by

Stan Grof that I suggest you read and it

was a manuscript copy before it even

been published of a book called realms

of the human unconscious and when I read

that it all came together for me because

this was science this was healing this

was spirituality and it had the reality

testing of therapy our people actually

getting better and so I thought I would

reach out and I actually wrote a letter

to stand in 1972 and here even replied

back to me

and that’s kind of inspires me to try to

answer all my mail as well because Stan

said that there were no opportunities

the research was shut down I took a

workshop with stand in the summer of 72

a five-day workshop and just got really

inspired and then later in the 80s Stan

after the crackdown on LSD happened he

and his wife Christina were able to

develop a non drug technique through

hyperventilation to keep the work going

and to keep explaining about the use of

non-ordinary states of consciousness and

you know I just was with Stan I took him

to Israel for the first time in his life

they had a three-week tour through

Israel where he’s doing breath work

workshops and lectures and he’s just

been through China and through South

America so stan has been my sort of

intellectual spiritual mentor throughout

my life ever since I was 18

and I’d say my parents because when you

know I’m the oldest of four kids that

was the first one obviously to go to

college and then in my middle of my

first year I was like I want to drop out

and study LSD and I asked them to pay

for it and my dad was particularly

impressive because he said I think

making a mistake but I think if I don’t

help you you’re gonna stick with it

longer than you should just to prove to

me that it’s not a mistake and so if I

help you to do this you’re gonna realize

it’s a mistake sooner and then he said

you know and maybe just a shred of doubt

I have maybe you know what’s best for

you and so I found that I had this kind

of unconditional love from my parents

that even though I was going in a

complete different direction that they

didn’t want me to go in they still

helped me and so I feel like you know

both my father and Stan and my mother

you know really helped me forge this

whole direction of my life so it seems

like you’ve really given your life to a

psychedelic research now going back to

the data itself regarding the the

success rate of this type of therapy in

comparison to conventional therapy for

post-traumatic stress or or something

like that would you be able to tell us

what the data tells us about that

success rate yeah I’m psychedelic yeah

well the first thing to say is that we

only because for political and

scientific reasons the only people that

we have studied in our various research

projects around the world for

mdma-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD the

only people we’ve studied are those

people that have already failed to

achieve relief with currently legal

available options so they’re called

chronic treatment-resistant PTSD

patients we start with the hardest cases

because if you can show that you’re

helping the hardest cases that makes an

even stronger argument right so our

first study was 21 people mostly women

survivors of childhood sexual abuse and

adult rape and assault and they had had

PTSD for an average of over 19 and a

half years and they had failed on both

psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy and at

the end of our study over 80% of them no

longer had PTSD it was just remarkable

and people were astonished at

the results our current study now

another part is that the currently

available well we did a three and a half

year follow-up study after so the

question is do people just take

psychedelics the MDMA in particular they

have this beautiful experience and then

for a certain kind of time there’s an

afterglow and you know when that fades

and their problems come back or does

something fundamental happen while

they’re under the influence of MDMA that

really changes their brains and changes

their attitudes and the only way you can

really tell that is through a long term

follow-up so once we completed the study

we did a long-term follow-up and it was

an average of three and a half years

after the last MDMA session and only one

of these people had gone on to do MDMA

on their own and said to us that she

would never do that again because it was

not the safe supportive contact she had

experienced during the therapy and what

we found is that after three half years

on average the PTSD symptoms had even

declined a tiny bit more now some of

those people had relapsed meaning a few

of them had had trauma in their life

that caused them to re-establish these

unhealthy patterns of PTSD which meant

that the rest of the group got even

better and so we’ve gone back to the FDA

and we said could you give us permission

to give an extra MDMA session of these

people that were traumatized and they

said yes and 200 OHS three got better

again without having PTSD so that’s the

results from our first study and the

normal treatments for PTSD but the non

drug therapies cognitive behavioral


prolonged exposure cognitive

reprocessing therapy there’s there’s a

series of non drug psychotherapies and

they have a pretty good success rate of

40 50 percent or so but they have very

high dropout rate to a large number of

people again somewhere in the

neighborhood of 44 50 percent can’t do

the therapy because when you start

talking about the trauma it’s just reach

it’s too painful so we’ve now just

finished a new study the first study as

I mentioned mostly in women this study

now mostly in men it’s 24 subjects and

it’s veterans firefighters and police

officers with chronic

treatment-resistant PTSD we didn’t think

that we would actually get any

firefighters or police officers we knew

he could get veterans because there were

so many veterans coming back from Iraq

and Afghanistan with PTSD but for

political reasons we said okay we’re

gonna say it’s also for first responders

firefighters and police officers in the

end we did get 20 veterans three

firefighters including one who was from

New York who was involved in 9/11 and

one police officer and we only had two

people drop out of the study and so

that’s a much much lower dropout rate

but the reason that one of them dropped

out is that after one session and this

was even 75 milligrams they felt so much

better they didn’t need to be in the

rest of the study so they dropped that

because they were cured and then the

other person that dropped out was

somebody who got the low dose so we’re

comparing high dose medium dose and low

dose and this person got the low dose

and what we found is 25 or 30 milligrams

has an anti therapeutic effect you kind

of get activated a little bit but your

fear of difficult emotions is not

reduced so we have a tremendously low

dropout rate and more and more what

people are using scientists and

statisticians are using a measure called

effect size and so that’s the because if

you have a very small effect but a very

large number of subjects you can get

statistically significant results so

statistical significance has been the

measure that has been mostly used and a

lot of people know about

oh this was statistically significant or

not but that doesn’t tell you the the

depth of the experience of the

therapeutic benefits when effect size is

a new measure so we’ve looked at all of

our studies and now we we’ve come

studies in Switzerland – in the US we’ve

got two more going in or one more going

in the US and Canada and Israel and our

effect size is over one which means it’s

a very large effect size so the

statistics are great and we’re we’re

about to in early 2016 go to FDA and say

we would like you to consider this a

breakthrough therapy and breakthrough

therapies are for serious or

life-threatening diseases for which

there’s a patient population that other

available techniques have not helped so

that’ll be both science and politics

whether we’ll get breakthrough therapy

but the the the clinical results that

we’re getting justify in our view

breakthrough therapy and the effect

sizes are large and the safety profile

is great so I should add that you know

we hear stories about people overheating

at raves they take MDMA they overheat

and they die and sadly that does happen

and it’s fundamentally different though

the risk profile in a clinical setting

so doctor Dublin around those lines you

know there are people that you know

hearing about this research will go out

and try to engage with these experiences

in a non clinical setting what would you

say is the best way to equip those

people to better engage with those

experiences using psychedelics in a non

clinical setting well we have what’s

called the treatment manual that

describes our therapeutic approach and

tries to standardize it and that’s

posted for free on the maps website so I

think if people can understand how these

drugs are used in therapy that will be

really effective the other thing sadly

to say is that our our government

approach our system of prohibition which

is falling apart but it’s still in

existence is a harm maximization system

the design the the purpose of these war

on drugs is to make life worse for the

drug users so people won’t want to do it

and one of the main ways is that people

no longer can have any

that if something is sold as MDMA or

ecstasy or Molly it may have no MDMA in

it at all and so I think that people

have to be equipped with a healthy

degree of skepticism and doubt about

what it is that they’re actually getting

and what they think they’re getting may

be completely different so ecstasy data

org is a project run by erowid yarrow wi

d org and dan safe Maps help start it so

there’s a way to send in pills to be


so I think that’s a big part but the

other part to equip people is to really

recognize that what your attitude is

makes a big difference so that if you

look at these experiences as just a

party drug just for fun the same is you

know whether it’s MDMA or LSD or

anything like that that part of the

psyche is working through difficult

issues that it’s not like when people

have what’s called people sometimes

called a bad trip you know and think

they just got unlucky it’s inevitable

and people that are working with their

psyche with psychedelics you will

inevitably have challenging difficult

things and that’s actually to be welcome

that’s instead of suppressed now it’s

coming to the surface but if your

attitude is I only want to have a good

time I’m only doing this for fun when

something difficult comes if you try to

suppress it it makes it worse that’s

very much the difference between a bad

trip and a hard trip right that’s

exactly one of the things that we say

about our so we have a zendo project

that works at Burning Man and other

festivals around the world to try to

help people who have difficult

experiences with psychedelics and we

said one of our principles is difficult

is not the same as bad right and so if

you go to our website and look at the

zendo project of the psychedelic harm

reduction there’s a lot of principles

there that apply to therapy but also to

taking these out of therapeutic settings

yeah Rick I think sincerely appreciate

your time sir you are a very cool person

where can where can people find more

about maps and and find find you well

one of the ways is through our website

maps org and you know what’s pretty

hilarious is around nineteen ninety-four

maps was about I think it was like

number six six hundred website in the

whole world

and this this fella called me up and he

said that he’d had this tragic situation

of his son dying in a motorcycle crash

and the only way he could work through

that he found MDMA pretty helpful and he

wanted to donate and give back and he

wanted to give maps a website and my

first response was once a website so so

we’ve been accumulating information on

our website you know for more than

twenty years so we have an enormous

wealth of information on maps org and I

suggest to people go to that there’s

also a list of conferences and events

that are taking place we’ve had large

international conferences that we call

psychedelic science in 2010 and 2013

we’re gonna have another big one in

April of 2017 where we bring psychedelic

researchers from all over the world and

this will be in Oakland California and

you know I make various public talks

around the country and around the world

and all of that people could learn about

on the maps website and we also have a

free email newsletter that comes out

about once a month that you could sign

up for or our Facebook page and we have

an incredibly talented social media team

so there’s all sorts of information

available on our Facebook page and our

Twitter and you know we try to really

recognize that while the therapy is

crucial and we’re trying to you know

make MDMA and other psychedelics in

marijuana into prescription medicines

the public education part is really the

most crucial because the attitude of the

public either will produce support for

politicians who want to suppress this or

support for politicians and regulators

who want to open the door and I think

that there’s just as an example though

Marie Claire the women’s magazine we’re

particularly reaching out to women and


and Families because they have a lot of

fears about their children and this

September issue with Miley Cyrus on the

cover it’s just starting to hit

newsstands it has a terrific article

about our MDMA PTSD reasons amazing yeah

yeah I think you know we’re breaking

into these sort of mainstream media

outlets and they’re actually saying

positive things instead of you know

let’s suppress all of this so the

culture is changing but I really think

it’s in the hands of young people as to

whether this is really going to produce

a society where we’ve integrated

psychedelics and the experiences that

they produce because really it’s not

about psychedelics it’s about ourselves

and psychedelics are just doorways into

ourselves and into our deeper spiritual

selves and the world is coming together

it’s a time of globalization it’s a time

where we need global spirituality we

need to replace fundamentalism with

mysticism and if and it’s clear that my

generation we’ve made some openings but

we’re not going to be able to see it all

the way through and so that’s where I’m

so encouraged that younger generations

will come to appreciate this and maybe

some people will also devote their lives

to psychedelic psychotherapy and and to

these kind of nurturing experiences to

help our human race you know find a way

to survive on this planet rather than

Israel yeah a lot to think about and I

think that anyone listening to this

program is in the direction of what

you’re saying Rick I truly appreciate

your time damiana do you want anything

to stay here at the end man well just

thank you so much I actually got to meet

you in San Francisco at the Stanislav


book launch and it was yeah it was a

pleasure so it’s great to spend an hour

with you thank you so much for for

giving us this opportunity oh yeah no

I’m so glad that you gave me this

opportunity to reach out to all the

group this is the human experience my

name is Xavier and we will see you guys

next week

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