How Psychedelic Drugs Can Help Patients Face Death
Mary O’Dell, the mother of 24-year-old Brandon Montgomery Daniel told the Associated Press that her son’s role in the fatal shooting of Austin Senior Police Officer Jaime Padron was fueled by alcohol and psychotropic drugs.
Toxicology tests confirm that the chimpanzee that severely mauled a Connecticut woman in February had the anti-anxiety drug Xanax in his system.
Eric Harris, the triggerman in the Columbine school shootings, killed his fellow students and took his own life while taking Luvox.
Thirteen year-old Chris Fetters killed his favorite aunt while taking Prozac.
Twelve year-old Christopher Pittman murdered both his grandparents while taking Zoloft.
Thirteen year-old Mathew Miller hung himself in his bedroom closet after taking Zoloft for 6 days.
Fifteen year-old Jarred Viktor stabbed his grandmother 61 times after 5 days on Paxil.
Fifteen year old Kip Kinkel (Prozac and RITALIN) shot his parents while they slept then went to school and opened fire killing 2 classmates and injuring 22 shortly after beginning Prozac treatment.
Luke Woodham aged 16 (Prozac) killed his mother and then killed two students, wounding six others.
Boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) in 1998 who in seizure activity from Zoloft had a stand off at the school.
Michael Carneal (Ritalin) a 14-year-old opened fire on students at a high school prayer meeting in West Paducah, Kentucky. Three teenagers were killed, five others were wounded, one of whom was paralyzed.
Young man in Huntsville, Alabama (Ritalin) went psychotic chopping up his parents with an ax and also killing one sibling and almost murdering another.
Andrew Golden, aged 11, (Ritalin) and Mitchell Johnson, aged 14, (Ritalin) shot 15 people killing four students, one teacher, and wounding 10 others.
TJ Solomon, aged 15, (Ritalin) high school student in Conyers, Georgia opened fire on and wounded six of his class mates.
Rod Mathews, aged 14, (Ritalin) beat a classmate to death with a bat.
James Wilson, aged 19, (Psychiatric Drugs – various) Breenwood, South Carolina, took a .22 caliber revolver into an elementary school killing two young girls, and wounding seven other children and two teachers.
Elizabeth Bush aged 13 (Paxil) was responsible for a school shooting in Pennsylvania
Jason Hoffman (Effexor and Celexa) – school shooting in El Cajon, California
Another boy in Pocatello, ID (Zoloft) had a stand off at the school.
Jarred Viktor aged 15 (Paxil), after five days on Paxil he stabbed his grandmother 61 times.
Chris Shanahan aged 15 (Paxil) in Rigby, ID who out of the blue killed a woman.
Pam Sakuda was 55 when she found out she was dying. Shortly after having a tumor removed from her colon, she heard the doctor’s dreaded words: Stage 4; metastatic. Sakuda was given 6 to 14 months to live. Determined to slow her disease’s insidious course, she ran several miles every day, even during her grueling treatment regimens. By nature upbeat, articulate and dignified, Sakuda — who died in November 2006, outlasting everyone’s expectations by living for four years — was alarmed when anxiety and depression came to claim her after she passed the 14-month mark, her days darkening as she grew closer to her biological demise...
...Before Pam Sakuda died, she described her psilocybin experience on video: “I felt this lump of emotions welling up . . . almost like an entity,” Sakuda said, as she spoke straight into the camera. “I started to cry. . . . Everything was concentrated and came welling up and then . . . it started to dissipate, and I started to look at it differently. . . . I began to realize that all of this negative fear and guilt was such a hindrance . . . to making the most of and enjoying the healthy time that I’m having.” Sakuda went on to explain that, under the influence of the psilocybin, she came to a very visceral understanding that there was a present, a now, and that it was hers to have....
...Lauri Reamer is a 48-year-old survivor of adult-onset leukemia...but the illness and the brutal bone-marrow treatments she underwent left a deep mental scar, a profound fear that the cancer would return made it difficult to experience any joy in life. Her illness was lurking around every corner, waiting to haul her away. “When I was near death, I wasn’t so afraid of it,” Reamer said, “but once I went into remission, well, I had an intense fear and anxiety around relapse and death.”
...Griffiths says that he and his research team found an ideal range of dosage levels — 20 to 30 milligrams of psilocybin — that not only reliably stimulated “mystical insights” but also elicited “sustained positive changes in attitude, mood and behavior” in the study volunteers. Specifically, when Griffiths administered a psychological test called the Death Transcendance Scale at the 1- and 14-month follow-up, he saw subjects’ ratings rise on statements like “Death is never just an ending but part of a process” and “My death does not end my personal existence.”
...The subjects who have undergone psilocybin treatment report an increased appreciation for the time they have left, a deeper awareness of their roles in the cycle of life and an increased motivation to invest their days with meaning.
If David Nutt, in Britain, is able to prove the efficacy of psilocybin for treatment-resistant depression, would the F.D.A. ever consider approving it for that use? And if that ever were to happen, what sort of slippery slope would we find ourselves on? If, say, end-stage cancer patients can have it, then why not all individuals over the age of, say, 75? If treatment-resistant depressives can have it, then why not their dysthymic counterparts, who suffer in a lower key but whose lives are clearly compromised by their chronic pain? And if dysthymic individuals can have it, then why not those suffering from agoraphobia, shut up day and night in cramped quarters, Xanax bottles littered everywhere?
Halpern is not particularly worried about this theoretical future, in large part because he doesn’t see much hope for psilocybin as a medicine. “There’s no money in it,” he says. “What drug company is going to invest millions in a substance widely available in our flora and fauna?”
So the moral of the story is to stop taking Xanax and Prozac and go back to our ancestrial heritage of speaking to the Machine Elves
Why confine this to just the dying? This powerful intervention could be used with young adults who could then reap the benefits of it much earlier.