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Beitrag von Corto » 30. Sep 2019, 17:00

Ketamine use may lead to liver cancer
Popular recreational drug also blamed for shrinking users' bladders, study finds

Ketamine users may be damaging their livers and shrinking their bladders, a new study of abusers of the illegal recreational drug has found.

In two of the cases in the study, backed by Chinese University, the patients were found to have liver fibrosis, leaving them with livers resembling those of 60-year-old alcoholics.

Ketamine use may lead to liver cancerKetamine use may lead to liver cancer
Ketamine use may lead to liver cancer

Ketamine users may be damaging their livers and shrinking their bladders, a new study of abusers of the illegal recreational drug has found.

In two of the cases in the study, backed by Chinese University, the patients were found to have liver fibrosis, leaving them with livers resembling those of 60-year-old alcoholics.
If it goes untreated, say for three to five years, it may have developed into liver cancer by the time symptoms emerge, and a transplant may be required Professor Grace Wong Lai-hung

In the worst-case scenario, abusers might develop liver cancer, a medical specialist warned.

"If it goes untreated, say for three to five years, it may have developed into liver cancer by the time symptoms emerge, and a transplant may be required," said Professor Grace Wong Lai-hung, a gastroenterology and hepatology specialist at the university.

The researchers found that if ketamine users quit, they would halve their chances of developing liver problems. However, it was largely unknown how abuse of the drug damaged the liver, Wong said.

In the study, 305 abusers aged 16 to 29 who suffered from ketamine-related urinary tract dysfunction were examined, said the research team at the Youth Urological Treatment Centre, which was set up by Chinese University with government funding in 2011.

Six out of 10 subjects were women. All had a six-year history of ketamine abuse and had shown symptoms of urinary tract dysfunction for 14 months.

Of the 195 patients for whom follow-up data was available, 43 per cent had abnormal liver function. Seven were found to have a higher risk of liver problems, and three of the patients had damaged bile ducts.

The patients also had shrunken bladders. Urination was frequent and painful, the team said. Some of them visited the toilet more than 20 times every night.

The 195 patients received anti-inflammatory therapy with oral medication and follow-up treatment. The bladder problems improved significantly for about 70 per cent of them afterwards. They had either quit ketamine or halved their use.

Bladder capacity rose 78 per cent to 144 millilitres for people who quit ketamine after joining the study, and by 23 per cent to 175ml for those who stopped abusing the substance before the study began. A normal adult bladder holds more than 400ml.

But for patients who continued on the drug throughout the study, bladder capacity shrank from 85ml to 76ml.

Centre co-director Dr Tam Yuk-him said all patients had suffered irreversible damage to their bladders. Medication just helped the symptoms, he said.

"Some patients will have only half or one-third of the normal bladder capacity for the rest of their lives," Tam said. With the oral medication, "we hope the reduced symptoms will give them the motivation to quit ketamine".

Any person found in possession of or using ketamine can be fined up to HK$1 million and jailed for seven years. ... ver-cancer
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Beitrag von syzygy » 4. Okt 2019, 18:04

Plant-Based Meth Is the Next Frontier of Afghanistan's Drug Trade

Investigators have uncovered a burgeoning local trade in the production of methamphetamine using a mountain shrub.

It all started with a mysterious white plastic barrel filled with green goo. In 2018 in the southwestern Bakwa province of Afghanistan, a team of Afghan fieldworkers were investigating the impact of U.S. aerial bombing campaigns against opium labs earlier that year. Alongside disused farmhouses destroyed by B-52s and F-35s, the team, led by David Mansfield, a senior fellow at the London School of Economics International Drug Policy Unit, found a lab containing barrels filled with oozing shredded plant matter steeping in water.

The team had stumbled upon a new cheap and easy route to making methamphetamine via the plant ephedra. The technique is fueling a rise in the production and use of the drug in the region, according to a new report the team published Monday.

“The large-scale production of meth using ephedra is a game-changer,” Mansfield said. “Meth seizures in Afghanistan have soared—and drug workers are reporting massive increases in use. We are documenting a major new and growing drug industry in Afghanistan.”

Alongside opium poppy and heroin, the huge profit of the drug trade has now inflated the value of a previously ignored and nearly worthless mountain shrub known to locals as oman—creating a domestic industry in methamphetamine production in Afghanistan, a country with scarcely any history of meth use. This has helped feed a rising problem of meth use among Kabul’s 150,000 heroin users, said local drug workers, affecting a country already reeling from poverty, war, and addiction.

That meth could be made from an herb has long been known by chemists, but using ephedra as a means of mass-producing the drug has never been feasible due to the quantity of raw material needed. But combine economic motivation, a rising demand for meth among drug users in Kabul, and poor farmers willing to work for $30 a day harvesting the wild crop, and you have all the ingredients for a novel, innovative industry.

Whereas gooey opium latex is boiled in steel barrels to make morphine base, which then becomes heroin, the substance Mansfield’s team found was a strange herbal extraction from a grasslike substance. “My researchers asked around to find out what it was, and word came back: it was some kind of plant, a wild shrub or perennial, that was being gathered by harvesters from the 2400-meter [8,000-foot] mountains of the Ghor province,” Mansfield said.

“We spoke to more people, and we found it was being harvested by men and boys with small sickles, dried, shredded, and sold at the foot of the mountains to traders who would drive it to market. There, it would be sold to lab owners to make crystal methamphetamine.”

In the past the crop was used as winter fuel, oman harvesters, all of whom requested anonymity for legal reasons, said. “We sell it by the man [a local weight measure equal to about 4.5 kgs, or 10 pounds]," one picker told Mansfield's team. "It is sold in my village to traders who come from Delarem [a city in the northern part of Nimruz Province, in southern Afghanistan]. In the past it was sold in the district bazaar for firewood. The business started three years ago when traders started to come to the village."

Another oman picker told the researchers, “It has grown in the mountains for a very long time; it grows wild. No one cares for it, people just go to the mountains during harvest time. When I have free time, I go to the mountain. In one season I work for 30 days on the harvest and can collect up to 10 man [45 kg, or 99 lbs] in one day."

Afghan drug producers had traditionally used decongestant medicines containing pseudoephedrine as the base material for conversion into meth, Mansfield said. But locals with knowledge of the meth trade told the researchers that oman had cut the costs for meth lab owners in half inside just a few years, leading to a boom in the trade for the herb and the drug it produces.

Researchers on Mansfield’s team said that no one knows how Afghans discovered the plant’s alkaloid content, which is what makes it possible to create meth. What is certain is that oman is an Afghan species of ephedra, a hardy perennial harvested in August each year that contains relatively high concentrations (around 2.6 percent) of the stimulant ephedrine, which was used in the west in the 1950s as a treatment for asthma. Ephedra has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for the same bronchodilating stimulant purposes for several millennia, and is known there as ma-huang. Bodybuilders worldwide use ephedrine, the isolated alkaloid, to suppress appetite, though there is no evidence it is in any way performance-enhancing.

“It is a wild crop, no one cultivated it. It doesn’t have life, it has no flower. It is just like a small stick. It grows from March to October but when winter comes, growth stops,” a picker told researchers.

In Afghanistan, oman had historically been sold in small quantities to traders as a traditional medicine and cough remedy. But the LSE team soon learned that teams of hundreds, perhaps thousands of subsistence farmers in the foothills of this austere highland area were bringing down hundreds of pounds of the plant each week. “One 15-ton lorry of dried oman can make 265kg [584 lbs] of meth,” Mansfield said. “Some guys told us they were making ten trips a year.”

“I have my own truck,” an oman trader told Mansfield's team. “For two years, I have transported oman from Taywara to Gulistan, sometimes to Bakwa. I also transport oman from Tulak. With this business, I can repay my loan."

Another trader said: “For three years I have come here [location anonymized] to buy oman. I stay here for four months." He said that over the season he buys and sells 130 metric tons of the plant.

The epicenter of the oman trade is the Abdul Wadood Bazaar in Bakwa, in the Farah province. There, traders buy and sell the plant along with glass flasks, solvents, acid and iodine. Most of this kit is not used in the heroin trade, indicating a strong and developing local market around ephedra. The market was bombed by the U.S. military in April 2019. Locals now simply trade from inside their homes, the researchers said.

“There is a burgeoning mountain-gate trade in ephedra directly linked to Bakwa, Farah province, where many of the meth labs are concentrated,” Mansfield said. “The research shows meth cooks have shifted from using decongestant as the principal ingredient to using the ephedra plant.“

High-resolution imagery shows a growing number of labs complete with soakaways [holes in the ground filled with rubble to drain away used liquid materials] not used in opiate production—and a large and growing wholesale market for ephedra, which has been the target of two raids by Afghan Forces,” Mansfield said.

U.N. data shows a sharp spike in meth seizures in Afghanistan from 9kg in 2014 to the 127 seized in 2017. Annual seizures hit 180kg in 2018 and have already reached 650kg in the first half of 2019, according to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC). “Methamphetamine seizures for the first six months of 2019 exceed those for the entire 2018,” said Mark Colhoun, of the UNODC in Afghanistan.

One hawar (450g) of ephedra sells for $284 in Bakwa. This can make 12 kilos of ephedrine, meth cooks in Bakwa told the LSE researchers. That can be converted into 8kg of crystal meth using freely available chemicals including toluene and iodine.

One kilogram of meth sells for $316, and around $2,500 for all 8kg, said Mansfield, adding that there is no evidence yet of herbal meth being exported out of the country. Broken down into street deals in the capital, Kabul, each kilo can be sold on for as much as $10,000-$12,000 according to Murtaza Majeed, a street worker with Harm Reduction Afghanistan. He said meth has taken a firm grip on the city’s heroin users in recent years.

Meth first appeared in Kabul in 2014, Majeed said. Heroin users were told by dealers it would help them beat their opiate addiction, and after a honeymoon period of cranked-up stimulation, many have ended up addicted to both drugs and some are now suffering chronic amphetamine psychosis.

Majeed estimated that up to 95 percent of all Kabul’s 100,000 to 150,000 injecting heroin users now use meth as well. “They smoke it, mainly, but some injecting is also starting now. I think we will soon see an epidemic of meth injection,” he said.

Meth costs $3 for a quarter-gram hit, while heroin costs $2 a dose. The two drugs are used in conjunction, much as heroin is used after cocaine to ease the stimulant comedown. The drug is sold in an area called Maranjan, in the centre of Kabul, Majeed explained. Corrupt police take kickbacks from local dealers, who live in tents nearby and sell to anyone from teenagers to 75-year olds. “There are 500-1,000 people buying meth and heroin there every day,” he said.

In April 2019, U.S. forces and Afghan allies bombed what they claimed were 68 meth labs in the Bakwa region. The impact of these raids was exaggerated by Afghan officials. But the fact that USFOR-A operatives were able to locate and destroy this many labs in a single day does indicates the scale of the trade—a trade that would never exist without the profit-inflating nature of drug prohibition.

Local media reported that 150 “Taliban terrorists” were killed in the attacks, though both the number and nature of that claim is disputed. Residents and drug users say that since the raids, perhaps due to a glut of meth and oman, prices have actually plummeted, both for oman and for meth, and that supply remains uninterrupted. ... rom-plants
"Um die Welt in einem Sandkorn zu sehn und den Himmel in einer wilden Blume, halte die Unendlichkeit auf deiner flachen Hand und die Stunde rückt in die Ewigkeit."
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Beitrag von hand » 26. Okt 2019, 03:51

Debatte um Drogenpolitik  
Kehrtwende? Unions-Politiker offen für Cannabis-Freigabe

Bis zu vier Millionen Menschen konsumieren in Deutschland Cannabis. Die Union war bisher strikt gegen das Kiffen. Nun diskutiert sie: Wie künftig umgehen mit der Droge?

In der Union mehren sich die Stimmen, die sich gegen die bisherige strikte Ablehnung einer Cannabis-Freigabe wenden. So kann sich der CDU-Innenpolitiker Marian Wendt eine solche Legalisierung vorstellen. "Cannabis könnte für den Eigenbedarffreigegeben werden, natürlich bei kontrolliertem Anbau und kontrollierter Abgabe. Die freiwerdenden Ressourcen in Polizei und Justiz sollten genutzt werden, um massiv gegen den illegalen Handel vorzugehen", sagte Wendt dem "Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland (RND)". "Man muss die gesellschaftlichen Realitäten anerkennen".

Zuvor war auch die neue Drogenbeauftragte Daniela Ludwig (CSU) von der strikten Haltung der Unionsparteien gegen eine Cannabis-Freigabe abgerückt. Der "Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung" sagte sie: "Wir müssen aufhören mit ideologisch aufgeladenen Schwarz-oder-Weiß-Debatten, denn so kommen wir schlichtweg nicht weiter." Zentral sei für sie die Frage: "Was schützt am Ende des Tages die Gesundheit der Menschen, insbesondere von Jugendlichen, am besten, und welcher Weg ist für die Situation hierzulande der sinnvollste?"

Fraktionssprecherin: Voraussetzungen für Legalisierung noch nicht gegeben

Ludwig hatte bereits im September in einem Gespräch mit der Deutschen Presse-Agentur ein Ende der "Verbotspolitik" und einen "Neuanfang" in der Debatte gefordert. Die gesundheitspolitische Sprecherin der Unionsfraktion Karin Maag sagte nun der "Neuen Osnabrücker Zeitung" auf die Frage, ob auch die Union über eine Freigabe von Cannabis nachdenke: "Selbstverständlich denken wir darüber nach, und zwar schon seit Jahren. Natürlich wird man nicht vom einmaligen Gebrauch süchtig", ergänzte sie. "Genau deshalb haben wir uns auch verschiedene Projekte einer kontrollierten Abgabe angesehen."

Maag machte deutlich, dass sie die Voraussetzungen für eine Legalisierung des Kiffens noch nicht gegeben sieht. "Allerdings ist bisher der Jugendschutznirgendwo überzeugend geregelt. Und gerade für diese Gruppe - für die jungen Menschen – ist auch der gelegentliche Konsum gesundheitsschädigend. Das haben viele Anhörungen ergeben."

Sucht-Beauftragter warnt vor Cannabis-Konsum bei Jugendlichen

Nach Angaben des Sucht-Beauftragten beim Berufsverband der Ärzte für Kinder- und Jugendmedizin (BVKJ), Matthias Brockstedt, haben "etwa neun Prozent aller 12- bis 17-Jährigen in Deutschland im zurückliegenden Monat Cannabis konsumiert". Er fügte hinzu: "Sorgen machen wir uns vor allem um die 1,5 Prozent dieser Altersgruppe, die regelmäßig Cannabis konsumieren." Denn Jugendliche könnten durch häufiges Kiffen "bleibende Hirnschäden" davontragen.

Bislang galten CDU und CSU als strikte Gegner der Legalisierung von Cannabis. Die Fraktionen von SPD, Grünen, FDP und Linkspartei sind hingegen offen für eine kontrollierte Abgabe an Erwachsene in Apotheken oder lizenzierten Shops, zumindest in Modellprojekten.

Der drogen- und suchtpolitische Sprecher der FDP-Fraktion, Wieland Schinnenburg, sagte zu den Einlassungen der Unionspolitiker: "Es ist erfreulich, dass die bisher von der Union vehement verteidigte Cannabis-Prohibitionspolitik offenbar zu Ende geht. Die FDP-Fraktion fordere eine kontrollierte Cannabis-Abgabe über Apotheken und speziell lizenzierte Geschäfte schon lange und hat einen entsprechenden Antrag im Bundestag eingebracht. Bis zu vier Millionen Menschen konsumierten in Deutschland Cannabis und bezögen dieses aus dubiosen Quellen auf dem Schwarzmarkt. Zudem würden zu viele Ressourcen bei den Strafverfolgungsbehörden blockiert, die sich besser auf echte Straftaten konzentrieren sollten. ... igabe.html
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Beitrag von Zebra » 14. Dez 2019, 11:14


Congratulations to the collaborative efforts of the Central Institute of Mental Health Mannheim (University of Heidelberg), the MIND European Foundation for Psychedelic Science, and Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin under principal investigation of Prof. Dr. med. Gerhard Gründer for the application of the first psilocybin depression study in Germany since the 1970s!

Treatment-Resistant Depression

The World Health Organization estimates that more than 322 Million people worldwide suffer from depression. Approximately 50% of those with depression suffer from treatment-resistant depression, or TRD, signifying that current treatments are often ineffective. Given the scarcity of innovative pharmacological approaches in psychiatry, interest in psychedelic drugs (e.g. psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms”) has regrown.

In Germany alone, the total costs for mental and behavioral disorders are estimated to be 30.324 million € ( This high disease burden, often exacerbated by chronic diseases like TRD, highlights the importance of investigating promising novel treatments.

The treatment model of psilocybin (supposedly requiring only one or very few drug administrations) is inherently different from classical psychiatric medications which usually require sustained intake. Psilocybin could certainly enrich, if not become a building block for reforming psychiatric care. The proposed treatment might be more effective for certain patients and does not require long-term medication, potentially making the treatment more cost-effective.


We support the development of high-quality academic studies that might eventually lead to establishing effective care for chronically ill patients. This will have a huge impact on psychiatric care. Psilocybin trials have demonstrated enduring decreases in depressive symptoms and increases in well-being, quality of life, optimism and perceived meaning of life. They also suggest the efficacy and safety of psilocybin in the treatment of TRD depression (learn more). While results from these pilot studies are promising, recently conducted trials on psilocybin as a treatment for TRD lack randomization, double-blinding, and a sufficient sample size, underlining the need for additional research.

The planned study has been initiated and is lead by principal investigator Prof. Dr. med. Gerhard Gründer at the Central Institute of Mental Health Mannheim who is working together with a group at the Charité Universitätsmedizin Berlin and the MIND Foundation. It is a two center study that aims to investigate the safety and efficacy of psilocybin administered under supportive conditions in a controlled, randomized, double-blind design. Only such a study can pave the way for future phase III studies and regulatory approval of this drug for standard treatment. We expect significant treatment responses with a therapeutic (25 mg) oral dose of psilocybin in comparison to an active control dose of psilocybin (5 mg) and niacin, a second placebo we will use. In order to optimize psilocybin treatment regimes in clinical practice, we will investigate the effect of administering a second therapeutic dose six weeks after the first therapeutic dose. ... ion-study/
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Beitrag von Attic » 15. Dez 2019, 11:06

Interessant das sie sogar auf die Formulierung von Stamets - die Kombination von Psilocybin mit Niacin - eingehen. Ich bin sehr gespannt auf die Ergebnisse!
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Beitrag von Zebra » 25. Dez 2019, 16:06

New Age pioneer Baba Ram Dass dies at age 88

Ram Dass promoted LSD as path to enlightenment before undergoing spiritual rebirth detailed in the influential book Be Here Now

Baba Ram Dass, who in the 1960s joined Timothy Leary in promoting psychedelic drugs as the path to inner enlightenment before undergoing a spiritual rebirth he spelled out in the influential book Be Here Now, died at home on Sunday. He was 88 years old.

“With tender hearts we share that Ram Dass (born Richard Alpert) died peacefully at home in Maui on December 22, 2019 surrounded by loved ones,” according to his official Instagram account.

“He was a guide for thousands seeking to discover or reclaim their spiritual identity beyond or within institutional religion.”

The Apple co-founder Steve Jobs and the late Beatles star George Harrison were among those who were inspired by Ram Dass.... ... irituality
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Beitrag von Zebra » 2. Feb 2020, 12:13

BBC Duped into Promoting Marketing Scheme for Microdosing Psychedelics
Advocates are hailing psychedelics as the next big thing in healthcare; proclaiming their utility for everything from treatment resistant depression, to managing inflammation, to increasing workplace productivity. As carpetbaggers like The 4-Hour Workweek author, Tim Ferriss, and Goop pseudoscience peddler, Gwyneth Paltrow, flock to the burgeoning “psychedelic healthcare industry,” they are deploying the same tactics they have used elsewhere to push mainstream media coverage of psychedelic drugs.


A recent BBC story entitled “The ‘psychedelics coach’ with drug-fuelled career advice,” offers an opportunity to examine what happens when sloppy journalism and self-promotional psychedelic marketers collide. In the piece, author Colleen Hagerty introduces us to Paul Austin—self-described “psychedelic life coach” and founder of the for-profit company, The Third Wave—and his apparent client, Matt Gillespie. According to Hagerty, Gillespie is just another customer of Austin’s coaching service, which, “requires a minimum three-month commitment…with a $1,000 to $2,000 per month price tag.”


Perhaps it’s unsurprising that Austin—who comments on LinkedIn about his recent fascination, “with the concept of the übermensch as popularized by Nietszche…”—appears ready to cash in on vague notions of transcending humanity via drug-induced consciousness. In fact, these are precisely the types of marketing strategies we should expect to see within a nascent “psychedelic industry,” teeming with silicon valley investors, multi-level marketing advocates, cryptocurrency acolytes, and other speculative predators. ... WHkXwXeGFY
Herr von Böde
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Wohnort: Planet Earth (meist)


Beitrag von Herr von Böde » 14. Feb 2020, 17:33

"Bildung muss immer darauf abzielen liebgewohnte Denkmuster zu erschüttern."
- Prof. Dr. Rainer Rothfuß