This week on the Drug Science podcast, Professor Deborah Mash tells us about Ibogaine. A hallucinogenic compound derived from the roots of a West African shrub, sometimes used as a treatment for heroin or cocaine addiction.
Professor Mash found herself trying to reverse the damage that cocaine had caused on the streets of Miami, Florida. To explore new and novel therapies, she took a flight to Amsterdam to examine whether a West African shrub could be cure to cocaine and heroin dependency. Since that fateful trip, she’s been at the forefront of Ibogaine and Noribogaine research in the US. Now, she’s bringing that research to the UK for a landmark Ibogaine study in Manchester, England. Could Ibogaine be one of the most clinically significant advances in addiction medicine of the 21st century?
Deborah Mash is one of the world's foremost experts on the hallucinogenic drug ibogaine. She is the CEO and Founder of DemeRx Inc., a clinical-stage drug development company advancing ibogaine and its active metabolite noribogaine for the treatment of opioid use disorder. DemeRx has partnered with ATAI Life Sciences -- a global biotech platform with a special focus on psychedelic medicine -- to develop ibogaine for those suffering from opioid use disorder. Building on the extensive human data available around ibogaine, DemeRx and ATAI will submit Clinical Trial Applications for a Phase II study in opioid-dependent patients. This joint venture will also develop screening procedures, dosing guidelines, and best practices for opioid withdrawal management to ensure patient safety.
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47. Psychedelics for Palliative Care with Dr Margaret Ross
40:17Dr Margaret Ross is a Senior Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist from Melbourne, Australia and the Chief Principal Investigator for Australia’s first psilocybin assisted psychotherapy study. Throughout her career, her main focus has been youth mental health and more recently cancer and palliative care. Following working as a research psychologist and clinical trial coordinator for The University of Melbourne and Orygen Youth Health, Margaret decided to move into researching alternatives for her oncology patients who were terrified of dying and experiencing existential distress in the face of their diagnosis. After seeing the compelling results of US-based research into the use of psilocybin assisted therapy for patients with existential distress in the face of terminal cancer, she decided to set on a fight so that similar treatments would soon become an option within Australia. Have a listen to this week’s episode in which professor Nutt and Dr Ross talk about the land of Golden Wattle - a DMT-rich plant - fighting for its Drug policies being based on Science.Recent Australian TGA Independent Expert Panel on MDMA and psilocybin consultation PsilocybinRandomized controlled trial (RCT)Open label doseTrial of Psilocybin versus Escitalopram for DepressionDrug Scheduling in the UKStandard for the Uniform Scheduling of Medicines and Poisons (Australia)National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) EntheogensGolden WattleDMTDr Ben Sessa KetamineTherapeutic Goods Administration (TGA)PitjantjatjaraLSD★ Support this podcast ★
46. Human Behaviour with Dame Theresa Marteau
58:34Theresa Marteau is a British health psychologist, professor, and director of the Behaviour and Health Research Unit at the University of Cambridge. Her initial research concerned communicating risk information and found out that people usually don’t change their behaviours despite receiving any form of information about preventable diseases like type 2 diabetes or certain types of cancer. Hence, she decided to redirect her focus on the non-conscious rather than conscious processes that could improve people’s health behaviours e.g. reducing glass size to reduce alcohol consumption. Through that research, she’s demonstrated that it is the change in government policies or population-level interventions - putting nudge theory into practice - that present a potential for the improvement in our population’s health. For these notable findings and contributions she was appointed Dame Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 2017 Queen's Birthday Honours List. Nudge theory Social psychology Milgram experiment Obedience to Authority: An Experimental View by Stanley Milgram Spatial, temporal, and demographic patterns in prevalence of smoking tobacco use and attributable disease burden in 204 countries and territories, 1990–2019: a systematic analysis from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2019 Impact of bottle size on in-home consumption of wine: feasibility and acceptability randomised cross-over study Shopper lab Impact of minimum unit pricing on alcohol purchases in Scotland and Wales: controlled interrupted time series analyses★ Support this podcast ★
45. Psycholytic therapy with MDMA and LSD with Dr Peter Gasser
46:42Today’s episode features Dr Peter Gasser, the president of the Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy. Professor Nutt and Dr Gasser talk about the rather unusual and innovative attitude to psychedelic research in Switzerland. How can Britain learn from the Swiss? What are the drug policies in the Albert Hofmann’s - the discoverer of LSD - country? Dr Peter Gasser is a Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist and the President of the Swiss Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy since 1997. After LSD was criminalized worldwide he was the first person to conduct research on psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy. Additionally, he holds a permission for and provides treatment using MDMA and LSD. MDMALSDSwiss Medical Society for Psycholytic TherapyInternational Symposium on the Occasion of the 100th Birthday of Albert HofmannAlbert Hofmann PsilocybinPost-traumatic stress disorderMAPS - Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic StudiesWar on drugs - US political campaign The Psychedelic Renaissance Pilot study on LSD-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated With Life-threatening DiseasesEnd of life anxiety Obsessive-compulsive disorderCluster headachePsycholytic therapy with MDMA and LSD in Switzerland - MAPS article ★ Support this podcast ★
44. Ibogaine with Professor Deborah Mash
51:48This week on the Drug Science podcast, Professor Deborah Mash tells us about Ibogaine. A hallucinogenic compound derived from the roots of a West African shrub, sometimes used as a treatment for heroin or cocaine addiction.Professor Mash found herself trying to reverse the damage that cocaine had caused on the streets of Miami, Florida. To explore new and novel therapies, she took a flight to Amsterdam to examine whether a West African shrub could be cure to cocaine and heroin dependency. Since that fateful trip, she’s been at the forefront of Ibogaine and Noribogaine research in the US. Now, she’s bringing that research to the UK for a landmark Ibogaine study in Manchester, England. Could Ibogaine be one of the most clinically significant advances in addiction medicine of the 21st century? Deborah Mash is one of the world's foremost experts on the hallucinogenic drug ibogaine. She is the CEO and Founder of DemeRx Inc., a clinical-stage drug development company advancing ibogaine and its active metabolite noribogaine for the treatment of opioid use disorder. DemeRx has partnered with ATAI Life Sciences -- a global biotech platform with a special focus on psychedelic medicine -- to develop ibogaine for those suffering from opioid use disorder. Building on the extensive human data available around ibogaine, DemeRx and ATAI will submit Clinical Trial Applications for a Phase II study in opioid-dependent patients. This joint venture will also develop screening procedures, dosing guidelines, and best practices for opioid withdrawal management to ensure patient safety.Enrol to the MAC Ibogaine Clinical trial DemeRxMiami’s drug war Brain Endowment BankNational Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA)CocaethyleneDrug Free America Howard LotsofNoribogaineRick Doblin Cerebellar Toxicity Buprenorphine U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)PsilocybinMAC ManchesterAlexander Shulgin Allopregnanolone (Brexanolone) ★ Support this podcast ★
43. Opium, Caffeine and Mescaline with Michael Pollan
56:56In this episode of the Drug Science Podcast, world-renowned author Michael Pollan and Prof David Nutt discuss gardening.Of course, this being the Drug Science podcast, there’s no mention of sunflowers or strawberries. Instead, these two icons of psychopharmacology discuss the cultivation and everything else you might want to know about psychoactive plants with a particular focus on Opium, Caffeine and Mescaline.Michael Pollan, a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine since 1987, Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and Director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism, is one of the nation’s most influential writers and scientific and environmental investigative journalists. His many award-winning, best-selling books include: The Botany of Desire; The Omnivore’s Dilemma; In Defense of Food; and, most recently, How to Change Your Mind.Who is Michael Pollan? Michael Pollan, a contributing writer to The New York Times Magazine since 1987, Professor of Journalism at UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism and Director of the Knight Program in Science and Environmental Journalism, is one of the nation’s most influential writers and scientific and environmental investigative journalists. His many award-winning, best-selling books include: The Botany of Desire; The Omnivore’s Dilemma; In Defense of Food; and, most recently, How to Change Your Mind.Michael Pollan’s latest book -> This is your mind on plantsHow to change your mind Opium Caffeine MescalineJim HogshirePapaver SomniferumHarper’s magazineJohn ‘Rick’ MacArthurPurdue Pharma OxycontinBentley compounds Bees and CaffeineRoland Griffiths Caffeine researchThe enlightenment coffeehouses VoltaireDenis DiderotHonoré de BalzacRoland GriffithsPeyote Aldous Huxley The Doors of Perception American Indian Religious Freedom Act of 1978San PedroMuscimolIbotenic Acid ★ Support this podcast ★
42. Alternatives to Prohibition with Sheila Vakharia and Alex Stevens
1:02:38This week’s episode features Doctor Sheila Vakharia and Professor Alex Stevens, together with Professor Nutt they will be talking about decriminalization and drug policies in the US and the UK. Has both countries’ drug policies arisen from colonialism and social class hierarchy? What are the consequences of the policies that can be witnessed today? Are there any reasons for drug criminalisation? Sheila P Vakharia, PhD is Deputy Director of the Department of Research and Academic Engagement for the Drug Policy Alliance, a US organisation advocating for decriminalisation of drug use. Prior to joining DPA, Dr. Vakharia was an Assistant Professor of Social Work at Long Island University, and had also worked as a clinical social worker in both abstinence-only and harm reduction settings. Her research interests include harm reduction therapy, drug policy reform, drug user stigma, overdose prevention, and social work education. She is currently on the Board of Directors of HAMS Harm Reduction Network and Filter magazine. She has written op-eds for the Philadelphia Inquirer on the overdose crisis and NY Daily News on drug-induced homicide laws and stimulants. Professor Alex Stevens has worked on issues of drugs, crime and health in the voluntary sector, as an academic researcher and as an adviser to the UK government. He has published extensively on these issues, with a focus on the sociology of drugs and crime, on risk behaviours by young people, on the use of evidence in policy and on quasi-compulsory drug treatment. His published works include a book on ‘Drugs, Crime and Public Health‘, studies of decriminalisation of drugs in Portugal, of the right to use drugs, on gangs and on the ethnography of policy making.Professor Stevens’ interest in drugs and crime dates back to his time working with UK charity Prisoners Abroad, which provides advice and information to British prisoners held in foreign prisons, and as European project manager and coordinator of the European Network of Drug and HIV/AIDS Services in Prison for Cranstoun Drugs Services. Drug Policy AllianceWar on drugsCannabisHarm reductionDecriminalization in OregonCrack house statute legal definition An article about what this statute actually means HIV crisis in the 1980sOpium WarsPharmacy Act 1868OpioidsDoctor shoppingHeroinMetamphetamineFentanylMethadoneBuprenorphineUprooting the Drug War★ Support this podcast ★
41. Couples counselling and MDMA with Annie and Michael Mithoefer
51:14Michael Mithoefer, MD is a Clinical Investigator and acting Medical Director of MAPS Public Benefit Corporation. Together with his wife Annie, they completed the first phase 2 clinical trial of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in 2009 and a subsequent study of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for PTSD in military veterans, firefighters and police officers. They are now supervising therapists in the ongoing MAPS Phase 3 trials of MDMA-assisted Psychotheapy for PTSD, leading training in MDMA- assisted psychotherapy for therapists interested in working on clinical trials, and providing FDA-approved MDMA sessions for research therapists. Michael is Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the Medical University of South Carolina, is a Grof certified Holotropic Breathwork Practitioner, has been a Certified Internal Family Systems Therapist, and has been board certified in Psychiatry, Emergency Medicine and Internal Medicine. Annie is a registered nurse as well as a Grof-certified Holotropic Breathwork Practitioner, is trained in Hakomi Therapy, and has 25 years experience working with trauma patients, with an emphasis on experiential approaches to therapy. Tune in to this episode to find out about their pioneer work with MDMA and their most recent research! MDMA-assisted psychotherapyMDMAPsychedelicsStanislav GrofBreathworkEMDRNeurofeedbackFrancine ShapiroFDARick DoblinMAPSIRB DEACAPS-5 - Clinician Administered PTSD ScaleExposure therapyCognitive-behavioral conjoint therapyCandice MonsonAmygdalaRelax beliefs under psychedelics (REBUS)PTSDEMA - European Medicines AgencyPsilocybinAyahuasca★ Support this podcast ★
40. Recovery from the SAS with Ollie Ollerton
42:55Today’s episode features Ollie Ollerton, a former UK Special Forces soldier and directing staff (DS) of Channel 4’s SAS: Who Dares Wins. Mr Ollerton has always been involved in the social cause, serving in the army as well as supporting multiple charities. Thanks to the publicity from SAS: Who Dares Wins he has been, among others, raising awareness of the mental health of soldiers. By the means of supporting Heroic Hearts charity he also advocates for the use of psychedelics such as ayahuasca for the treatment of PTSD which often affects his serving colleagues. Ollie also authored multiple books in which he tells the story of his career and mental journey of overcoming PTSD himself. Upon Ollie’s return to the UK in 2014 after 13 years overseas he started developing a concept to allow his training and experience to benefit others. BREAK-POINT provides leadership and development courses to the public and corporate sector also supporting veterans suffering the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, PTSD.Ollie is a trained PRISM practitioner, a character assessment tool based on neuroscience that assists him and his team to provide the most engaging and rewarding corporate events focusing on mindset, teamwork and leadership. Along with another member of the SAS team, Ollie and Foxy have launched an app called the BATTLE READY 360 programme that focuses on mindset, nutrition and exercise. Ollie’s second book BATTLE READY launched in April 2020 straight into The Times Best Seller Top Ten, following the amazing success of BREAK-POINT in May 2019 which was a Times Number One Best Seller.Heroic Hearts retreat for veterans Heroic heartsOllie Instagram United Kingdom Special ForcesSAS: Who Dares WinsBattleboxPTSDAyahuascaBreak point★ Support this podcast ★
39. Underground Psychotherapy with Friederike Meckel Fischer
47:55Friederike Meckel is a German psychotherapist who also trained as a medical doctor. Her career involved multiple techniques in psychotherapy including Holotropic Breathwork, hypnotherapy and family constellation work. Most notably however, regarding the subject of our podcasts, by the means of setting a private underground practice in Zurich, Switzerland she developed her own way of psychotherapy using psychoactive substances. In this week’s episode, she describes the very innovative approaches to her work focusing on patient’s deeper understanding of themselves. Make sure to listen in if you want to find out more!Underground MDMA-, LSD- and 2-CB-assisted individual and group psychotherapy in Zurich: Outcomes, implications and commentary - Article by Friederike Meckel Fischer and Ben SessaDepth psychology Holotropic breathworkHypnotherapySystemic therapyTranspersonal therapyBehaviour therapyFamily constellationsMDMALSDPsilocybin2C-BDMTDr Joe DispenzaMindfulnessTherapy with Substance: Psycholytic Psychotherapy in the Twenty-First Century - book by Friederike Meckel FischerStanislav GrofPeter Gasser★ Support this podcast ★
38. Drug Markets with Julia Buxton
41:56Julia Buxton is British Academy Global Professor. Her research focuses on illicit drug markets and the impact of counter narcotics policies on development, gender equality and security. In her career she’s led projects and worked with multiple universities around the world including the Central European University in Budapest. Outside of Europe, she has geographical expertise on Latin America and is a specialist on Venezuela. Now, back in England, she’s working on The Global Drug Survey project, inquiring about the drug policy preferences of drug users themselves. With this innovative approach she’s joining the conversation on drugs on the political scene in the UK. Tune into this week’s episode to find out about how drug policies that are older than the Internet, Thatcherism and HIV treatment contribute to inequalities arising between different countries and genders. Shownotes:OpioidsCannabisOpen Society FoundationsJonathan SorosUN Sustainable Development GoalsViktor OrbanPopulismSyrian refugee crisis in HungaryNativismThe Impact of Global Drug Policy on Women: Shifting the Needle - book by Julia Buxton Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD)Ingrid WalkerJudith AldridgeDarknet“Do Darknet Drug Markets Make the Bad Guys Less Bad?” Aldridge Asks Keir StarmerNicola SturgeonHeroin CocaineGreenwich biosciences ★ Support this podcast ★