drugs

One by one they were all becoming shades

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We will review evidence from neuroscience, complex network research and evolution theory and demonstrate that — at least in terms of psychopharmacological intervention — on the basis of our understanding of brain function it seems inconceivable that there ever will be a drug that has the desired effect without undesirable side effects.

{ Neuroethics | Continue reading }

photo { Hannes Caspar }

‘Experience by itself is not science.’ –Husserl

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Just as we can design and install digital apps in our electronic devices, we can design and install mindapps in our minds. For philosophy the big-problem is the hegemonic assumption that all good thinking takes place in our ordinary, default mindbody state—wakefulness. Because of this error, the vast extensions of our minds beyond our default state are neglected, and directions for future mind development are stunted, if not outright denied. Multistate theory releases that constriction. By reformulating our minds as variables for experimental philosophy, multistate theory re-asks philosophical questions, extends current issues, and engenders fun speculations. Because psychedelics are the most dramatic example of widely known mindbody psychotechnologies, we will illustrate multistate theory with psychedelics’ contributions

{ Thomas B. Roberts | Continue reading }

‘A pair of powerful spectacles has sometimes sufficed to cure a person in love.’ –Nietzsche

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The brain systems that modulate “that loving feeling” are only just beginning to be understood, but neuroscience research is pointing more and more to the idea that the sensation of love relies on the same brain circuitry that goes awry in addiction. Love is a drug, basically — because only a drive as strong as an addiction could keep couples together through the stresses of parenting and keep parents tied to their kids.

Research has found, for example, that people in love are similar to those suffering from obsessive-compulsive disorder — not only in terms of their obsessive thinking and compulsive behavior, but also the low levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin in their blood. So in a sense, love may be a special case of addiction

“The bottom line is that a lot of data on people rejected in love show that the major pathways linked with addiction become activated,” says Helen Fisher, a biological anthropologist at Rutgers University. If love is a drug, however, love’s chemistry can be chemically manipulated — those who are in love but don’t want to be could potentially take a pill that simply makes the formerly loved one seem no more special than a stranger.

{ NY mag | Continue reading }

“Love hurts”—as the saying goes—and a certain amount of pain and difficulty in intimate relationships is unavoidable. Sometimes it may even be beneficial, since adversity can lead to personal growth, self-discovery, and a range of other components of a life well-lived.

But other times, love can be downright dangerous. It may bind a spouse to her domestic abuser, draw an unscrupulous adult toward sexual involvement with a child, put someone under the insidious spell of a cult leader, and even inspire jealousy-fueled homicide. […]

Modern neuroscience and emerging developments in psychopharmacology open up a range of possible interventions that might actually work. These developments raise profound moral questions about the potential uses—and misuses—of such anti-love biotechnology. In this article, we describe a number of prospective love-diminishing interventions, and offer a preliminary ethical framework for dealing with them responsibly should they arise.

{ Taylor Francis Online | Continue reading }

‘Instead of committing suicide, people go to work.’ –Thomas Bernhard

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Ketamine, a chemical used as an anaesthetic for horses and as an illegal party drug, can produce “remarkable changes” in severely depressed patients who are not helped by existing treatments, according to a new study.

Oxford university researchers reported encouraging results from a clinical trial in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Some patients who had been severely depressed for years, despite multiple antidepressants and talking therapies, responded rapidly to intravenous infusions of ketamine.

[…]

The Oxford team has given more than 400 ketamine infusions to 45 patients and is now looking for ways to sustain the initial benefits, which faded in most of the patients.

Although ketamine is a banned substance – and about to be upgraded by the Home Office from Class C to Class B – the Oxford patients did not show the ill effects, such as bladder problems and memory loss, which make it a dangerous drug of abuse.

The doses used to treat depression are much lower than some people take illegally. Even so, most patients experienced a shortlived “dissociative” effect, with feelings that they were disconnecting from their body, as the drug was being infused. It did not produce euphoric feelings.

{ FT | Continue reading }

Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow, creeps in this petty pace from day to day

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{ Dequincey jynxie | Related: Street Names for Heroin }

Each conatus is also considered as a force tending toward self-expansion

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One of them had a connection with dealers from South Jamaica — and brokered an arrangement where the New Yorkers would purchase narcotics from their California partners and then sell the drugs on consignment in the city, the sources said.

Their first transaction went smoothly, with the California trio shipping one kilo to their Queens partners, who sold the coke and promptly mailed a share of the money back to California, according to the sources.

But the New York dealers were slow sending the Californians their cut after a second transaction, the sources said.

And in their third and final deal, the South Jamaica goons not only kept all the proceeds after selling three kilos — they then tried to lure their business partners to New York City to assassinate them, according to the sources.

But only Woodard showed up on Dec. 10, 2012 […] and was murdered execution-style by a gunman in broad daylight on busy West 58th Street off Seventh Avenue.

{ NY Post | Continue reading }

A way a lone a last a loved a long the

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Deaths from drug overdoses increased by 102 percent between 1999 and 2010. […] As a recovering addict who still works with active users in communities where heroin is sold on the street, I can tell you that it’s particularly dangerous out there right now. Recently, an unpredictable and hard-to-track bad batch of Fentanyl-tainted heroin dipped and dodged its way through the mid-Atlantic. […]

Fentanyl-tainted bags go fast; ironically, when news of a batch laying users low spreads on the streets, heavy users seek the potent bags out by their brand stamp. Overdoses become advertisements for strong product. […]

Between 2007 and 2012, the number of heroin users ages 12 and up increased from 373,000 to 669,000.

{ The Atlantic | Continue reading }

Nearly 70 small bags of heroin and enough prescription drugs to fill a pharmacy were found in the Greenwich village apartment where Philip Seymour Hoffman died of an apparent drug overdose. […] Investigators are trying to find the drug dealer who supplied the actor with the heroin […] labeled “Ace of Spades,” or “Ace of Hearts.” […] The law enforcement source said that a process called “a nitro dump” could be key to cracking the case. “Basically what that is, is any time we make a narcotics arrest we include the brand name on the arrest report and store it in our system so our investigators can see where those brands are being sold,” the source explained. Once they determine a location, they can zero in on the dealer or dealers selling that particular brand.

{ NY Post | Continue reading }

Too dead to die

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Psychoactive Plants in the Bible

[…]

The holy anointing oil is essentially an anxiolytic-hallucinogen. The transdermal application of it led to its absorption and psychoactive effects, even in extremely low doses. […]

Myrrh is a resin that is used widely in the bible. Myrrh contains the terpenes furanoeudesma-1,3-diene and curzarene which are Mu-opioid agonists. This opioid receptor is the same one that morphine activates. This means that inhaling or absorbing myrrh incense can cause a drug reaction.

{ NeuroBrainstorm | Continue reading }

art { Francis Bacon, Portrait of George Dyer Talking, 1966 }

Commenting on the deceased’s flaws, especially at length, is considered impolite

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{ Diddo, Ecce Animal | Compression molded Cocaine (street sourced) and Gelatin. | More: In order to prepare and analyze the purity of the accumulated ’street’ Cocaine, I contacted pharmacists at a renowned laboratory }

The magnets of our midst being foisted upon by a plethorace of parachutes

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At the beginning, Walter pursues synthesis using pseudoephedrine. This is used in the real world, as well as in Breaking Bad by many meth cooks. However, by applying his knowledge of chemistry, his experimental abilities, and a half-way professional lab set-up, Walter is able to achieve much better results.

The base substance, pseudoephedrine is a plant-based phenyl ethylamine alkaloid and is used commercially in treatments for nasal and sinus congestion and can be extracted from these treatments. Due to the restrictions on sale, an extensive procurement network is required, which generally means involving a large number of drug addicts, in order to secure the necessary quantities. As the drug addicts can really only acquire the smallest of quantities each time by this “smurfing”, which involves either getting prescriptions for it or stealing it, the availability of this base substance is always a critical factor.

{ Chemistry Views | Continue reading }

God loves the poor and helps the rich

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The New York Times has an important article on how Attention Deficit Disorder, often known as ADHD, has been ‘marketed’ alongside sales of stimulant medication to the point where leading ADHD researchers are becoming alarmed at the scale of diagnosis and drug treatment.

It’s worth noting that although article focuses on ADHD, it is really a case study in how psychiatric drug marketing often works.

This is the typical pattern: a disorder is defined and a reliable diagnosis is created. A medication is tested and found to be effective – although studies which show negative effects might never be published.

It is worth noting that the ‘gold standard’ diagnosis usually describes a set of symptoms that are genuinely linked to significant distress or disability.

Then, marketing money aims to ‘raise awareness’ of the condition to both doctors and the public. This may be through explicit drug company adverts, by sponsoring medical training that promotes a particular drug, or by heavily funding select patient advocacy groups that campaign for wider diagnosis and drug treatment.

This implicitly encourages diagnosis to be made away from the ‘gold standard’ assessment – which often involves an expensive and time-consuming structured assessment by specialists.

{ Mind Hacks | Continue reading }

Snow White: Oh, I feel strange. [Starts gasping for air] Queen: [to herself] Her breath will still. Her blood congeal.

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For every 1,000 people who undergo general anesthesia, there will be one or two who are not as unconscious as they seem — people who remember their doctors talking, and who are aware of the surgeon’s knife, even while their bodies remain catatonic and passive. For the unlucky 0.13 percent for whom anesthesia goes awry, there’s not really a good preventive. That’s because successful anesthetization requires complete unconsciousness, and consciousness isn’t something we can measure.

{ NY Times | Continue reading }