Evaluating the Potential Use of Serotonergic Psychedelics in Autism Spectrum Disorder

Recent clinical and preclinical evidence points towards empathogenic and prosocial effects elicited by psychedelic compounds, notably the serotonin 5-HT2A agonists lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin, N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and their derivatives. These findings suggest a therapeutic potential of psychedelic compounds for some of the behavioural traits associated with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), a neurodevelopmental condition characterized by atypical social behaviour. In this review, we highlight evidence suggesting that psychedelics may potentially ameliorate some of the behavioural atypicalities of ASD, including reduced social behaviour and highly co-occurring anxiety and depression. Next, we discuss dysregulated neurobiological systems in ASD and how they may underlie or potentially limit the therapeutic effects of psychedelics. These phenomena include: 1) synaptic function, 2) serotonergic signaling, 3) prefrontal cortex activity, and 4) thalamocortical signaling. Lastly, we discuss clinical studies from the 1960s and 70s that assessed the use of psychedelics in the treatment of children with ASD. We highlight the positive behavioural outcomes of these studies, including enhanced mood and social behaviour, as well as the adverse effects of these trials, including increases in aggressive behaviour and dissociative and psychotic states. Despite preliminary evidence, further studies are needed to determine whether the benefits of psychedelic treatment in ASD outweigh the risks associated with the use of these compounds in this population, and if the 5-HT2A receptor may represent a target for social-behavioural disorders.

Organizer’s Handbook

The Organizer’s Handbook is a living, evolving collection of organizing principles, guides, tools, and research. These documents have been created by the Decriminalize Nature National Board and local DN organizations, and act as a starting point for those who seek to organize their own communities, and contribute to and become part of the movement to re-establish our direct relationship to consciousness-healing plants and fungi.

A psychedelic therapist allegedly took millions from a Holocaust survivor, highlighting worries about elders taking hallucinogens

He made a new life for himself in California. After surviving the Holocaust and growing up under Hungarian fascism and Russia’s communist regime, George Sarlo arrived in the United States as an 18-year-old refugee. Over the decades, he became a wealthy venture capitalist and philanthropist, and from the outside, looked like someone who’d overcome the horrors of history to achieve success.

On Drugs

Matt Zorn and Shane Pennington are lawyers that for the past 3 years have been at the bleeding edge of cannabis and drug policy litigation against the government. During this time, we’ve: 1) litigated cases to end the 50-year NIDA monopoly, obtaining one of four Schedule I marijuana cultivation licenses for our client. 2) uncovered a secret DOJ memo; 3) got a smokable hemp ban struck down as unconstitutional in Texas; and 4) got a federal judge to note that “in an appropriate case, the Drug Enforcement Administration may well be obliged to initiate a reclassification proceeding for marijuana, given the strength of” our arguments.

Direct evidence of the use of multiple drugs in Bronze Age Menorca (Western Mediterranean) from human hair analysis

Human hair dated to Late Prehistory is exceedingly rare in the Western Mediterranean. Archaeological excavations in the Bronze Age burial and cult cave of Es Càrritx, in Menorca (Balearic Islands) provided some human hair strands involved in a singular funerary rite. This finding offered the opportunity to explore the possible use of drug plants by Late Bronze Age people. Here we show the results of the chemical analyses of a sample of such hair using Ultra-High-Performance Liquid Chromatography-High Resolution Mass Spectrometry (UHPLC-HRMS). The alkaloids ephedrine, atropine and scopolamine were detected, and their concentrations estimated. These results confirm the use of different alkaloid-bearing plants by local communities of this Western Mediterranean island by the beginning of the first millennium cal BCE.

Ecstatic Integration

The Challenging Psychedelic Experiences Project is the leading research and public communication project on psychedelic and ecstatic ethics, integration and harm reduction. By subscribing, you’re supporting our research, and you’re also getting access to the best archive of information there is on psychedelic harm reduction – articles, interviews, discussions and wisdom.