Transcript for Episode 6 – Brad Burge – MAPS

enjoy this episode it was fun Brad Burge

is the director of communications at the

Maps Institute he earned his bachelors

and communications in psychology from

Stanford University in 2005 and his

master’s in communication from the

University of California in 2009 his

graduate work focused on the political

scientific and cultural change required

to make illicit drugs into legitimate

medicines he has a long-standing

interest in drug policy reform and

activism Brad let’s get right into a man

how how did you find yourself working

with the maps Institute uh well I really

enjoy and appreciate on the one hand

having a lot to do and maps is certainly

doing that and you know I’ve always had

an interest in science and in psychology

I studied psychology as an undergraduate

at Stanford that was my first major and

then I also studied communication when I

was an undergraduate and so being able

to communicate about psychological and

psychiatric research brings those two

parts of my interests together that’s

just sort of the sort of default the

mainstream reason my academic and

intellectual interests in psychology and

communication communicating about

science to a large public and especially

important science is a very valuable and

important thing to do I think and then

you know for you know psychedelics in

particular and medical marijuana I also

have a personal connection there I am a

medical marijuana patient and that

experience of getting my first medical

marijuana card living in California that

experience of transitioning from using

an illegal drug to a legitimate medicine

just really showed me the power of what

a legal treatment could mean how that

can remove paranoia and help you be

safer help you get better access to

medicine so that experience of being a

medical marijuana patient you know


owed me that you know the legal status

of something it’s really important can

you just describe what the Maps

Institute is for the people who may not

know well Maps is a essentially we’re a

nonprofit pharmaceutical company that’s

primarily how we function right now the

difference between maps and other

pharmaceutical companies is one we’re

not trying to make a profit we function

entirely through donations at this point

people who want to see the research

happen you know we’re all so different

in the sense that we’re developing a

very different kind of treatment we’re

not developing drugs that people have to

be hooked on for the rest of their lives

to take every day and then still never

get better but rather we’re developing

treatments through psychedelics that

people only have to use a couple of

times two or three times so that’s the

main focus of our work is developing the

medical applications for psychedelics

and marijuana

in addition to that we also do a lot of

public education about the real risks

and benefits of psychedelics in

marijuana when they are used carefully

and responsibly since there’s been so

much propaganda and misinformation

circulated over the last hundred years

really over marijuana in the last 60

years or so over psychedelics so we’re

trying to counteract a lot of that in

addition to doing the research there

seems to be this legal number of this

dark legal penumbra around discussing

these issues and even in doing this

podcast it the judgment is that here are

two guys just kind of discussing what it

feels like to do drugs yeah that’s

that’s some at that point you make about

this critique of well are you just

talking about drugs or are you just a

drug addict or is that is that all

you’re interested in you know that’s

part of what we’re trying to dismantle

we’re trying to sort of change how

people think about that and stop just

dismissing this category of drugs

psychedelics and marijuana as as drugs

with with no other use than abuse

whereas people are you know seemingly

arbitrarily at least culturally

assigning other drugs that are far more

harmful prescription opiates and other

painkillers Alka

all nicotine all of these things that

are legal drugs and those are somehow

okay so there’s clearly an arbitrary or

historical distinction that we learned

to make and maps is trying to collapse

that distinction by showing hey you know

it’s not about these drugs are bad and

these drugs are good it’s about how

we’re using the drugs and what we’re

doing with them whether they’re being

helpful there or they’re being harmful

so Maps was founded in 1986 map stands

for the multidisciplinary Association

for psychedelic studies which is

definitely a mouthful and sounds really

boring and that’s really the point is we

feel psychedelics are exciting and

enough in and of themselves and they

don’t need a whole lot of hoopla

surrounding them to get attention so we

maps as a nonprofit organization doing

legitimate research was started in 1986

in order to restore psychedelics back to

scientific therapy to scientific

research and therapy you know prior a

lot of people don’t notice actually is

that before they were criminalized in

the late 1970’s and early 1980s

psychedelics including LSD and MDMA were

actually widely used in therapy by

psychiatrists and therapists for things

like couples counseling anxiety even

post-traumatic stress disorder but no

research had been done so by the time

these drugs escaped into the club scene

and started being used and abused on a

widespread basis that research stopped

primarily because funding evaporated and

suddenly it was a very taboo to talk

about it

so Maps is is is working to get those

substances back into a legitimate

mainstream conversation so being able to

talk about them openly in a way that

we’re doing here you know today on your

show yeah I agree completely I really

think it is very important that we have

these types of open discussions and

educate ourselves others and society my

next question has to do with the history

of psychedelic research and

what is the the first account of people

using drugs and psychedelics to treat

these types of disorders well the very

first accounts were all the way back in

the 1950s

Humphry Osmond was one of the early

Western discoverers that is you know

people not in these indigenous contexts

and more colonial context to bring these

substances into sort of the western

context to introduce writers and artists

and then later a much wider public

including therapists to the use of

things like psilocybin and LSD so it was

all the way back in the 1950s and 1960s

through the 1970s one South American

psychiatrist claudio Naranjo was a

chilean psychiatrist he’s still around

and travels and gives lectures he wrote

a book called healing with intact adjust

recently republished in English by maps

that was about the healing use of

substances related to MDMA and also

ibogaine to treat psychiatric disorders

so including a lot of firsthand case

accounts from neuron hos patients in the

1970s about therapeutic uses those of

those substances

another one was stanislav grof who’s a

psychiatrist a one of the founders of

transpersonal psychology so this idea

that our consciousness is our our mental

illnesses and our awareness are shaped

not just by the events that happen to us

during our lifetime but also the events

that happen to us before birth and after

our death and that psychology and

psychiatry should consider these more

spiritual dimensions when they’re

treating mental illness stan grof back

in the 1970s was also treating thousands

of patients using LSD and doing it


you know this was before LSD was was

criminalized so there are some

widespread first hand case accounts from

therapists and psychiatrists who used

these drugs and developed expertise in

them before they were criminalized since

then there’s been a a massive freeze on

the legal use of those substances when

they were made illegal a lot of people

went underground and continued

practicing at the risk of course of

their licenses and their legal freedom

and a lot of people just stopped so now

the research that we’re doing is hoping

to make it legal once again for

therapists to use those in their

practice yeah that’s pretty intriguing

that people would have to go underground

for various treatments and the research

that you guys are conducting so what is

the the current scope of the Maps

Institute PTSD is our lead indication

right now you know we can talk all day

in general terms about how psychedelics

can be generally helpful for people and

some people have had those experiences

and they’ve been helped by psychedelics

and they understand right off the bat

millions of people in fact but there’s a

lot of other people who haven’t

experienced that for whatever reason

because they’re illegal or because

they’re just not interested or because

they’ve heard exaggerated claims about

their wrists have not tried psychedelics

themselves so so for those people it’s

not the stories it’s not this general

talking about it that that really

matters what really matters is

scientific research and that’s what’s

going to matter and changing a lot of

minds and opening up people who could

possibly benefit from the use of these

substances and also for moving through

the FDA which is the only way that these

drugs are going to be approved for

illegal prescription use you know just

as a side note before I describe what

we’re doing with MDMA and PTSD is that

this this this clinical research this

prescription approval of MDMA and LSD

and marijuana that Maps is working

towards it’s not our final and goal our

end goal is to open up any number of

contexts where people can use

psychedelics in marijuana

beneficial purposes not just to heal

from mental illness but also for

spiritual uses and rend and recreational

uses and for enhancing creativity but

always in safe and legal contexts right

so with MDMA this is kind of a doorway

it’s a it’s a stepping stone to a much

wider acceptance of psychedelic research

and psychedelic therapy in this sense

PTSD of course is a well maybe not of

course I think people haven’t heard

about it enough but PTSD is a is an

epidemic right now not just the the many

thousands of veterans who are coming

back from abroad suffering from PTSD but

also the millions of people who have

experienced sexual assault or violent

crime or natural disasters or anything

that causes the these kinds of lasting

traumatic responses this has happened to

millions of people in the United States

alone many people are trying to find

better approaches to treating PTSD and

for a lot of people in fact for a

significant minority at least 1/3 of

patients with PTSD they don’t respond to

the existing therapies so over 1/3 of

people with PTSD just just don’t get

better despite medication despite

psychotherapy and PTSD is becoming more

and more widely recognized I think

because of the veterans issues because

of the response to the war in Iraq and

Afghanistan because of the incredibly

justjust just terrifying suicide rate

among veterans where we’ve had more

veterans commit suicide than have

actually died in combat in the Middle

East in the last 10 years and that’s

just and that’s just just just

horrifying yeah so where is the war

really happening it’s not abroad well

it’s right here because this is where

people are dying also so you know

PTSD is this major issue it’s a it’s a

it’s a you know really pressing cultural

problem and there’s a great deal of

reason to believe

previously anecdotally and now through

scientific clinical research that MDMA

combined with psychotherapy can be a

lasting lasting treatment for PTSD so

currently the approved treatments for

PTSD the approved drugs for PTSD are

SSRI as their strategic their selective

serotonin reuptake inhibitors Prozac and

paxil again for a third of people those

don’t work and the results even in the

fda-approved clinical trials for those

did show significant efficacy but the

margin was very small so people did get

better but only marginally barely enough

for prescription approvable in fact with

MDMA combined with psychotherapy the

treatment approach we’re looking at only

administers that to people a couple of

times so two or three times is the

course of treatment in our studies

whereas for Prozac and paxil obviously

people have to take those every day

often for the rest of their lives and

they still don’t get better is there a

more lasting effect of the use of MDMA

to treat PTSD versus a pharmaceutical

drug yeah yeah that’s exactly what we’re

finding and it’s it’s a totally

different approach from the conventional

pharmaceutical approach where people are

getting these drugs every day our first

completed pilot study that was in South

Carolina and 19 subjects found that 83%

of those in the study who received

mdma-assisted psychotherapy no longer

qualified for PTSD after just two

treatments now to sort of highlight what

that means is that that means that so

83% of those 19 subjects received two

sessions of mdma-assisted psychotherapy

after those two sessions they no longer

qualify for PTSD so they wouldn’t have

gotten into the study if they’d have had

that level of PTSD after the treatment

so that’s compared with 25% of those who

just received two

therapy sessions so exactly the same

therapy without the MDMA so we’ve got

25% vs. 83% the difference being made up

for presumably because of the

double-blind nature of the trial that

difference was because of the MDMA being


so these subjects also they’re not just

everyday PTSD subjects these are people

who had had PTSD for an average of 19

years so some much longer than that so

two decades three decades even worth of

PTSD and they tried other treatments and

they hadn’t worked for them so they

enrolled in the study and 83% of them

didn’t have PTSD after just two

treatments and that’s not exaggerating

that is what the study results show you

can check out the results in the Journal

of psychopharmacology that’s a man yeah

and then the following year we did a a

follow up of the subject so in most most

clinical studies including the ones for

Prozac and paxil they only evaluated

people after a few months following

treatment we followed people for an

average of three point eight years so

almost four years after their second

treatment and we found that over that

period of time those results that 83%

reduction or that 83% elimination of

PTSD had been sustained on average for

those people during that time two

subjects relapsed so they developed PTSD

symptoms again we got permission from

the FDA to give those subjects one

additional session at mdma-assisted

psychotherapy again and so we did that

and we found that their PTSD symptoms

had dropped down below the qualifying

level again so some people just might

take more or those symptoms might come

back but still we’re only talking two or

possibly three sessions of mdma-assisted

psychotherapy to eliminate work or

dramatically reduce PTSD symptoms in

people who’ve had PTSD for an average of

two decades yeah I was um I was speaking

to a friend of mine in preparation for

this interview he served in the military

and he tried came back was diagnosed

with PTSD

he tried pharmaceutical drugs they

didn’t work he resorted to using

psilocybin on his own and he noticed a

remarkable difference he actually

noticed an improvement and you know his

his ability to deal with with being back

in the world so how that leads me to the

next my next question I how do we remove

this this social stigma I mean the

research is there and and are you guys

moving towards doing more controlled

studies is MDMA

I mean MDMA is the main focus but I know

that there are other psychedelics like

LSD and ayahuasca and ibogaine and there

there are clinics that that you can go

to to treat addiction disorders so I

mean there’s it there’s a large kind of

you know scope of drugs here that you

can use to treat these these illnesses I

guess it’s really exciting yeah we’re

we’re trying to find out exactly what

those which drugs are best for which for

which conditions but you know again like

I said our broader mission is to open up

all sorts of uses for these compounds

you know MDMA might be good combined

with psychotherapy for one thing but not

for another LSD like why is it it’s a

different drug with different effects

and used in psychotherapy is probably

useful for different things so the

research that we’re doing is trying to

parse that out and also to establish a

really firm evidence base for what are

the real risks of these drugs so that we

can adequately inform people who might

choose to use them on their own like

your veteran friend so you know the the

vision the vision that was put forward

by maps founder Rick Doblin when he

started when he started Maps back in

1986 and I know you’ve spoken with Tom

Schroeder yeah yeah the author of acid

test and probably heard a little bit you

know about Rick and his

character and his vision and his drive

to bring these psychedelics back into

mainstream practice and in fact to

become a psychedelic therapist himself

which is his goal and so what we’re

focused on is is moving MDMA through

this clinical trial process and if we

continue to get these really astounding

results and we have four currently

ongoing phase two studies to build on

those results and we’re starting to get

some preliminary looks at the data and

it’s looking really exciting that the

end you know we’re on schedule to

deliver some really serious clinical

trial results to the FDA at the end of

2021 so in about seven years we’re gonna

have an evaluation from the FDA of the

clinical trials that have been completed

deciding whether to make MDMA a legal

prescription drug now what that means in

practice is not that people are going to

be able to get a prescription from their

doctor and take MDMA and go home and

call them in the morning kind of

situation really not not at all it’s

going to be administered much more like

you could look at the model of methadone

clinics which are not legal in a lot of

places still because of you know drug

fears and prohibitions in this education

but you can look at methadone clinics or

ibogaine clinics as you mentioned which

are available for drug addiction not in

the United States but in Mexico and

other countries is that there will be

clinics where people come in and they

meet the therapist and they receive the

therapy there so psychedelic therapy

clinics where therapists and

psychiatrists can administer legally

approved prescription psychedelics

combined with psychotherapy so people

will stay the night at these clinics and

they’ll go home the next day maybe

somebody will come and pick them up

there will be aftercare provided

you know massage meditation bodywork you

know walking additional psychotherapy

sessions all of the things that make

psychedelic therapy really stick all of

those services will be provided there at

the psychedelic therapy center

so once those are open we’ll be able to

use any sort of psychedelics that are

approved in those in those clinics and

that should you know proliferate across

the country and you know make it

available for the people who need it

you know Terence Mckenna

said something like that these these

other drugs are he termed quote

conspiracy drugs like TV tobacco

caffeine sugar alcohol and he said that

we need to go back to the drugs that

first made human beings like strong and

he was referring to food of the gods

where he talked about these sort of

proto humans with small brains that were

or kind of finding these mushrooms

growing out of the feces of the the

local cattle there and he claimed that

the by by eating these these little

fungus shrooms that it would have

enhanced their their eyesight their

sexual enjoyment and thereby would have

led to them sort of enhancing their

genetic evolution so he says that he

says that by you know it’s it’s an

urgent necessity for the legalization of

these drugs do you do you see you know

there’s Terence Mckenna is is a big name

and Timothy Leary there there doesn’t

seem to be anyone like that that is sort

of using philosophy and and kind of

talking to us

anymore I mean I know I know Rick Rick

Doblin just seems like more of an

activist then and then a philosopher so

I asked various to to know you know do

you see any is there a reason for that

separation I don’t see a reason for the

separation I think we definitely need

both in the sense that we need the

guiding metaphors that come from

philosophy and storytelling and we also

need the hard scientific evidence so

that we can implement it into concrete

policy so that we can actually make

these tools of a

you know I think there’s a tendency for

philosophy to go off on its own track

and you know those metaphors that it

provides for how to understand

psychedelic experiences or altered

states of consciousness is extremely

valuable and the stories that we get

from people like Terence Mckenna and the

people who report their experiences

they’re their own psychedelic

experiences are very valuable because

they help explore the outer dimensions

of of consciousness which is a

scientific investigation and is

something we have a right as humans to

explore but on the other side these

states of mind and these philosophies

and these stories have been relegated to

a counterculture unfortunately because

of both decades of disruption by forces

that don’t agree with the philosophy and

also by deliberate or not deliberate

that is by unintentional the

unintentional sidelining of the

counterculture itself so every time we

have a group that comes out and and

proclaims that it is a countercultural

group that it is fighting the status quo

you know it’s a it’s a different

approach to change than working within

the mainstream and using the tools of as

they say the system to to change the

system itself there’s there’s not a

profit there’s no profit and a cure

right so I can’t I can’t continue to

take PACs vilified if I’m no longer

depressed because I had a therapy

session on MDMA so I mean there’s

there’s nothing really it in it for

these large pharmaceutical companies if

if we’re actually being cured you know

of of our ailments I was reading about

this this ketamine infusion therapy have

you heard of this yeah yeah yeah

ketamine it’s a legal it’s illegal

dissociative anesthetic that has some

psychedelic effects yeah it was in

there’s actually a clinic in LA that

uses this therapy treatment to treat

problems such as complex regional pain


and it even affects depression I mean

there’s there’s so many positive uses to

these these substances that we’ve we’ve

already written off and demonized and

with our draconian laws I mean and I

guess this is why maps is so important

to what we’re doing is you guys are

actually putting the research to get and

getting the information out there you

know as I mentioned we have these phase

two studies of mdma-assisted

psychotherapy also just just last week

or rather two weeks ago the publication

of some qualitative long-term results

from our LSD assisted psychotherapy

study in Switzerland which was completed

last year those results were published

in the Journal of psychopharmacology as

well so we have results from that

showing sustained reductions and anxiety

and better quality of life in subjects

with anxiety associated with advanced

stage illness that participated in that

study so we have the MDMA studies the

LSD results we’re also working on some

observational studies of ibogaine and

ayahuasca assisted therapy for addiction

and there’s there’s other organizations

the heffter Research Institute is

sponsoring really excellent psilocybin

research looking at psilocybin treatment

for nicotine addiction psilocybin

assisted psychotherapy for anxiety

associated with life threatening illness

so there’s a lot of great work going on

with psilocybin as well so the field is

I think just opening up in a really

really exciting way you know and even

you know most excitingly you know really

is watching this field you know for me

watching this field coming together

watching a new scientific legitimate

field coming together where people are

literally coming out of the shadows are

coming from their own professions

neuroscientists and hospice workers and

marriage counselors and artists and just

just psychiatrists pharmacologists

people are coming from all ends of the

spectrum saying hey you know I have an

interest in psychedelic therapy now that

this is a mainstream conversation

so watching all of these different

people come from these different fields

to build this you know new growing field

of psychedelic therapy and psychedelic

science is some is really cool there’s a

lot of neat opportunities for students

and other people with an interest in the

field to kind of find their niche what

are some of the dangers associated with

using this in a clinical setting versus

a recreational setting and how do you

treat or react or respond to someone

having an adverse reaction to what

they’re experiencing or feeling mmm yeah

seeing what is happening with

psychedelics and therapy in a clinical

setting kind of changes how you might

think about what it means to have a

difficult psychedelic experience often

in these recreational settings these

less controlled settings first of all

people don’t know what they’re getting

you never know what you’re putting into

your system unless you’ve done some sort

of a scientific test testing kits are

available but they’re not 100% reliable

and most people don’t use them so in

those settings you don’t know what

you’re using and then also in those

settings you lack support so a difficult

situation where you lose your

self-consciousness or you lose your

self-awareness you can get into a very

dangerous situation you can either

overdose because you don’t know the

dosage or what you’re taking or you can

lower your boundaries and people can get

into compromising dangerous situations

that’s the main danger in those in those

situations but you know if you get into

a stiff occult psychological state which

is to say a challenging one where fears

come up or difficult emotions come up

and you’re in a comfortable setting with

adequate water and snacks and and

comfort and very comforting

compassionate trained therapists around

you those difficult situations can

actually be transformed into very

therapeutic ones with psychedelics often

the reason for a difficult

Ariane’s is because unprocessed

emotional trauma or memories is coming

up and of course if you’re in an

uncontrolled setting that can be very

dangerous but if you’re in a therapists

office and you’re prepared for the

experience in fact you’re expecting it

and you know that you’re going to have

adequate support then that’s actually a

fantastic opportunity too to deal with

those those those those issues as they

come up what an interesting phenomenon

that you know we can we can kind of use

these substances to heal our psyche and

and and you know there’s this noticeable

change and no longer you’re dependent on

this this pharmaceutical drug and and

feeding that machine how close is your

relationship to mr. Devlin and how

closely do you guys work together I

talked with him most days unless he was

traveling he’s he’s off to the UK

actually he’s just on a flight to the UK

for this weekend maps is leading with

Rick’s assistants a therapist training

for clinicians who are going to be

working on our mdma-assisted

psychotherapy research so therapists

from all over the world about 30 of them

are coming to receive training not

actually using the MDMA but to go

through the therapeutic approach and to

learn about the pharmacology and the

risks so that’s happening this weekend

and as part of our growing clinical

trial program it’s pretty exciting have

you heard of Francis Crick he he came up

with the DNA helix um pretty sure he he

was he said that he was under the

influence of of LSD when he discovered

the double helix structure of DNA which

is pretty interesting yeah I’ve heard he

he attributes the discovery to an

experience that he had while under the

influence of LSD so at least my

understanding was there wasn’t it he

didn’t sort of like envision it right

there during the LSD experience but sort

of connections he had made

sort of led him down the line to to to

discover it but that admission was you

know really spectacular you know you

know we’ve also had Steve Jobs come out

and say that that LSD was quote you know

one of the most important unquote

experiences of his life you know I think

so it’s it’s really great when people

can come out publicly and talk about

their scientific discoveries and talk

about psychedelics role in their own

creative process it’s it’s it’s you know

something that you know the millions of

middle-aged people now who have tried

LSD in their lives

most of them already know but can’t talk

about because it’s illegal but it’s also

a story that many of us have to hear and

as far as a psychedelic sand creativity

you know maps right now and most of the

clinical research worldwide right now is

focused on clinical applications so

taking people with a diagnosed illness

and treating it because those people are

the most in need historically the drugs

and the treatments that have percieved

been perceived as most risky our society

has been most willing to give to the

people who are most at risk so people

who are dying people who have severe

PTSD these are very sympathetic groups

of people that we’ve therefore gotten

permission to administer these these

drugs too there seems to be an

interesting amount of religious

organizations that were able to

challenge their the respective

legislation on the legality of these

substances and are able to use

substances like ayahuasca to to perform

their their religious ceremonies how

what is your what is your opinion about

those groups yeah it’s not the first

time the US government has allowed the

religious use of a psychedelic the

Native American church also has legal

permission to use peyote

the active component of which is

mescaline in their own religious

ceremonies so religious use is another

area that’s expanding again not just

therapeutic use but but also creative

use and also this religious use all of

these are areas that we want to see

opening up and hopefully this clinical

research will shift the public

conversation enough

so that we can do research into those

areas as well have you I know that you

guys are focusing mainly on MDMA right

now so what what are some of the the

negative effects that you’ve seen in

your clinical trials so this would

basically be the list of potential

negative side effects that we’re going

to see on the prescription bottle when

it’s finally approved so there have been

over 800 people subjects already treated

in our clinical trials using MDMA and in

all of those all of those applications

all those administrations of MDMA we’ve

only had one serious adverse event a

serious adverse event is the sort of

clinical trial speak for the worst case

scenario the worst case thing that we

would expect to see happen given how

much MDMA people are receiving and the

fact that they’ve been pre-screened and

so forth in the worst case scenario the

single serious adverse event that we had

was a middle-aged man who had an

elevated heart rate during the session

so high that the medical monitor their

on staff was not sure that he was safe

and so he was taking to the emergency

room and evaluated and then released

later that same day so that’s the worst

we’ve had is a case of a dangerously

elevated heartbeat so in those trials

something that’s important to remember

is all of those subjects have been

pre-screened so anybody receiving MDMA

in those clinical trials has already

been evaluated for a family history of

serious heart problems are serious and

there a lot

chuckle problems and things like that so

for different people the risks vary but

for MDMA the most common side effects or

as I said an elevated heart rate

elevated blood pressure and possibly an

anxiety reaction people can feel very

anxious all of that is only during the

effects of MDMA there’s also some report

of a decrease in certain kinds of brain

activity serotonin in particular just a

few days after the use of MDMA but

that’s all restored to normal in two to

four weeks after treatment so that’s the

worst we tend to expect from MDMA the

risks change very much when it’s used in

large quantities or used in recreational

settings or when not enough water is

being consumed or went too much water is

being consumed or when people otherwise

just aren’t regulating their their

temperature and fluid intake so again

that difference between the controlled

setting with screen subjects and the

recreational setting is very great how

does a person become a licensed

therapist with with mob’s well in our

clinical trials we just find therapists

and we train them and we enroll them as

investigators in our studies we only

have a few studies going on right now

five or six total if you include our

therapists training study where we

administer MDMA to healthy volunteers as

part of their training but all of these

people are there they’re hand selected

to be therapists in our studies based on

their training and experience so

mdma-assisted psychotherapy isn’t just

just just any old psychotherapy and then

given them dma and we talked for a while

it’s a it’s a it’s what’s called a non

directive form of psychotherapy we’ve

developed a training manual an actual

manual for people to administer this

form of psychotherapy it’s available on

our website at maps org anybody can

download our treatment manual

and see how this therapy is being

administered and a non-directive therapy

is just this kind of therapy where it’s

it’s open-ended the therapist isn’t

telling the subject to go a certain way

psychotherapists isn’t isn’t

interpreting the patient’s experience in

any way they’re just being reflecting

boards for the subjects as they work

through their trauma yeah so all that’s

available online it’s um it’s you know a

different process now during the

clinical trials then it will be once

MDMA is approved once MDMA is approved

as a prescription drug then any

physician will be able to prescribe it

and then anybody with a therapeutic

license under the supervision of

somebody with a medical degree a

prescribing license will be able to

actually sit with the subject or in that

case the patient and administer the

therapy yeah that sounds like it would

be a really positive thing for humanity

as a whole

I hope so there is a lot of people not

just in this country but but you know in

other countries where PTSD is also an

epidemic where where it could be really

or it could be really valuable yeah

that’s a really good point man we’re

approaching the end here

what do you have anything else that you

want to want to add I know this is is

more of an awareness kind of thing where

we’re we’re discussing what Maps is

doing and putting it on the map yeah

yeah just that you know I’m you know a

lot of people ask you know how they can

help and how they can get involved and

you know what they can do at this stage

you know one is definitely you know like

Francis Crick did like Steve Jobs did

you know like a lot of people are doing

is it’s important to talk about your

experience openly you know and not then

really not be afraid you know if you if

you have the privilege to live in a

culture to live in a place where you can

talk openly about your experience than

do of course a lot of people don’t and a

lot of people are still under

of long they can’t talk about their

beneficial experiences because of their

ethnicity or because of their economic

location or because of where they live

in the world so so for them then talking

openly about it isn’t quite an option

yet but what they can do is educate


check out maps org we’ve got a

newsletter that I send out every month

with all the latest research multimedia

news articles so the email newsletter

definitely has a great way to you know

stay up to date we have a lot of stuff

we have LSD studies and MDMA studies

ayahuasca studies ibogaine studies we

have a marijuana study we’re right now

waiting right now for a final decision

from the state of Colorado and whether

maps is going to get our first ever

government grant for two million dollars

for our medical marijuana research for

PTSD that’s something we haven’t really

discussed much because MDMA is so

exciting but you know marijuana as a

treatment for PTSD is very much not like

MDMA psychotherapy for PTSD in the sense

that we’re not trying to you know

completely eliminate PTSD symptoms

rather just help people deal with the

symptoms to cope with the symptoms you

know on an everyday basis so we’re

waiting on that grant decision if we get

that funding we’ll have all the funding

we need for that study although we’ll

still need to find a way to actually get

the marijuana from the federal

government so that’s a really

fascinating story and people should

check out the email newsletter and

follow along as we try to start the very

first clinical research to make

marijuana prescription drug yeah I mean

it’s it’s really exciting I know there’s

there’s a very broad scope of things

here and and there are a lot of just a

lot of drugs that I guess that can be

classified as helpful to to repairing

and treating PTSD I know you guys are

working with MDMA I find ayahuasca is

really interesting do you think there’s

yeah is there a large difference in your

mind between synthetic synthetic drugs

that treat PTSD and the not the natural

drugs that treat PTSD

I think the distinction isn’t between

synthetic and natural I think that’s a

too easy distinction because synthetic

drugs can be beneficial or some things

and other natural substances can be

useful for other things the difference

really is that with synthetic drugs

you’re just getting single isolated

chemicals which can themselves have

beneficial effects as we’re seeing with

the MDMA research and as we see with LSD

research LSD is also a synthetic

chemical although it’s derived from a

natural compound just like MDMA so first

of all there’s the synthesis process

that makes it hard to distinguish

natural from synthetic you can get

synthetic molecules derived from organic

sources for example the other thing is

that with natural compounds you tend to

have much more than a single molecule

involved with ayahuasca it’s a complex

mixture of different chemicals largely

DMT but which can be synthesized but

ultra but also occurs endogenously in

mammals including humans so that’s a

complex mixture of things ibogaine some

treatments use the isolated or synthetic

ibogaine hydrochloride others use the

more complex plant mixture so you get

different effects in different

combinations depending on natural and

setec natural and synthetic but I think

there’s no way to just say natural is

good and synthetic is bad I think that’s

really just as harmful and just as

misinformed as saying psychedelics are

good and opiates or bad or vice versa

right you know it’s just what are we

using it for how carefully are we using

it and what are we intending thanks Brad

I do appreciate your time and sometimes

these conversations can be a little bit

difficult to have because of the legal

gray area that they exist in where can

people find out more about what you guys

are doing well we’ve got brand new

website actually cleaner look if you

find any bugs let us know we’re still

working on it

mass org and ApS o RG

email newsletter there we’re also on

Facebook at slash maps and

DMA were also on

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