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Placebo effect beats God, Prozac
Skeeve
Let's lay it out: According to a major new overview study, all of America's beloved wonderdrug antidepressants -- all the Prozacs, Paxils, Effexors, Zolofts of the world -- are essentially useless and don't really work worth a damn.

Wait, that's not quite right. They can sort of work just fine, help millions of people and have enjoyed tremendous success. But there's a huge caveat: Statistically speaking, all these drugs work no better -- and often are far worse for you -- than sugar pills, fake pills, placebos that patients only think are powerful, mind-altering compounds, but which in fact are no more chemically miraculous than a peppermint Altoid.

Read more: http://www.sfgate...z0mVnr2iJ4


Very interesting article. Most of which I knew or suspected for awhile now.
Edited by Skeeve on 04/29/2010 13:42
 
Theory_Execution
What an ass hat.

He should temper his words in the fire of common sense. There are many things in the world that can have absolutely positive impacts upon the body and mind, but for all of them there are limits, beyond which they become incredibly dangerous.

You can expand your mind soo much that your brain falls out, it is addiction - most people fall pray to it in some form or another. Now whereas an addiction to gambling can put your home and livelihood at risk, an addiction to mind altering drugs can put all of that at risk, and the safety of others around you.

Crazy ey.
 
Skeeve
How is Mark Morford an asshat?

 
Bob of QF
Skeeve wrote:

Very interesting article. Most of which I knew or suspected for awhile now.


Interesting.

Don't tell anyone you know who is depressed, though....

<eyeroll>
Edited by Bob of QF on 04/29/2010 15:02
Quantum Junction: Use both lanes

Reality is that which is left, after you stop believing.
 
JohnH
TE, I have followed Mark Morford for a while, he was actually published once a week in the San Francisco Chronicle before he was put on the net exclusively. He can be an ass hat on occasion such as his unabashed recommendation of mind altering drugs in the column in question.

I do not think this should detract from the sense of the article that the drugs for depression that are being pushed by drug companies have been shown to be little more effective than placebo's. When there are drugs out there that some have found beneficial but because no one owns pattens on them they are forbidden.
 
catman
Or, because they are so easy to cultivate that the drug companies and taxing authorities can't get an exclusive on them.
 
Theory_Execution
He is an asshat because, as I said he doesn't check what he is saying.

I know regualr columnists are encouraged to push boundaries and stir debate, but there are responsibilities included aswell. I have not heard of this guy before, I have just simply read this article, and I find it to be dangerous. He paints too nice a picture of 'natural' drugs ignoring that sticking them up your nose or consuming them is unnatural and that, as with many things, they can become horrendously addictive.
 
Skeeve
I must have read a different article.

Here is his take on the "natural" drugs:

Behold, study number two. This research reveals another time-honored truth that science is only now beginning to barely get a grip on, albeit nervously, suspiciously. Few want to claim it or ponder what it might mean to how we define illness, consciousness, God, the sanctity of the DSM-IV.

This research reveals, once again for the millionth time, that various psychedelics like MDMA, LSD and psilocybin really do, in fact, have a rather stunningly helpful -- and often permanent -- effect on the health and well-being of numerous patients, almost universally and without fail.

(Did you hear that? That's the sound of a million mystics and healers, teachers and gurus throughout history, sighing and rolling their eyes).

Of these drugs' power to dance and frolic with the brain's synapses, there is absolutely no doubt. This is no placebo effect. This is no sheer force of will. Psilocybin, for one, is an E-ticket to a shifting dimension, a dance on the blurrier edges of definitive reality. Ecstasy is a widening out, a warming up, an opening into the cold, cold heart of the human species.

Patients who get to dabble with these fine plants and chemicals are reporting astonishingly positive, almost impossibly curative reactions. Lives are forever altered. Ideas of the soul, heart, human connection forever reset and restored. Possibilities expand, PTSD contracts, hearts open, fear and inhibition dissolve. Love expands. And man, the PTB hate that, too.

Do you know why? Two reasons: One: No one holds the patent to these drugs. No one company stands to rake in billions if, say, MDMA is somehow decriminalized. Two: Science loves reliable data, anchor points, the flawed sturdiness of the scientific method. But when it comes to hallucinogens and psychotropics, it's all just a delightful, slippery mess. The swim and swirl of consciousness, it would appear, just refuses to be pinned down.

The grand upshot: We are but infants. We hammer and prod at the brain, the self, inundate it with chemicals and blast it with terminology to try and get it to behave and respond in somewhat predictable ways. And yet, the ancient plants, the mystical connections they offer to that original source seem to prove one irrefutable point: We still have a long, long way to go to get back to where we started.


TE wrote:

You can expand your mind soo much that your brain falls out, it is addiction - most people fall pray to it in some form or another. Now whereas an addiction to gambling can put your home and livelihood at risk, an addiction to mind altering drugs can put all of that at risk, and the safety of others around you.



While I agree with these words TE, how you got that Mr Morford was promoting the opposite is beyond me. Having read of the study regarding psilocybin last week, I knew what he was referring to.

I found the article interesting and informative. The Placebo Effect is very fascinating and real. Like the link in the article and his point of view above, those drugs do things to the human mind that seem to stimulate areas we know nothing about and it's possible that the Placebo Effect can be heightened or expanded through the study of these drugs.

I don't see an asshat in the article. Pfft
 
JohnH
I have a somewhat unique perspective on the issue. A college roommate in the midst of a LSD trip ended up in the hospital. A coworker ended up in jail due to attending a concert after consuming mushrooms. Psychoactive drugs have always troubled me as a consequence of those facts and other things I have read about. Look at some of the results of the CIA experiments with LSD.

Morford's uncritical recommendation of psychoactive drugs lacks both concern for others and knowledge of what he is talking about on a large scale. Is he correct to a degree, I would say, probably. Is he correct universally, as he somewhat implies, probably not.

Is he correct that more clinical effort should be aimed at drugs/organics that are known to have psychoactive properties, yes. Is there not that effort because it has no benefit to large drug companies, yes.
 
Aahz
JohnH wrote:
Morford's uncritical recommendation of psychoactive drugs lacks both concern for others and knowledge of what he is talking about on a large scale.



Why am I not reading this article this way?

The way TE and John are saying it, to me at least, Morford is saying, "Everyone go out and eat mushrooms!!!! YAY!!"

I didn't read it that way. /shrug
Please report Technical problems
 
Skeeve
Yeah, that was me. Forgot which account I was on.
 
Theory_Execution
Skeeve wrote: "how you got that Mr Morford was promoting the opposite"

Quoting from the articles:
in fact, have a rather stunningly helpful -- and often permanent -- effect
dance and frolic
chemicals are reporting astonishingly positive
Love expands.

To me, all of these are wonderful things, they sound awesome, but I was driving at his lack of balance. Regarding how they are adictive and can seriously fuck up your life.

It reads like a handjob feels, and who doesn't like a handjob? The only issue here is the glove is barbed, and sooner or later its gonna tear at your foreskin.

Mental images courtesy TE.
 
JohnH
I read the lack of caution offered within the article in the context of known facts. There have been deaths associated with the use of ecstasy for example. Probable accidental overdoses but deaths none the less. There has been documented permanent emotional damage associated with LSD, as well as events associated with being under the influence that have damaged the user. Probably again associated with overdoses but events that were destructive to the individual. Not to mention the possibility of unfortunate contacts with the police, warranted or not.

I personally use ganga whenever I have it available. Do I recommend it for everyone, no. If I do recommend it I do so with a certain level of caution. Others may react differently than I do and it may cause actions that do not benefit the individual.
Edited by JohnH on 04/30/2010 12:46
 
JohnH
TE got in front of me somehow. I must say that I do not know that any of the mentioned drugs are physically addictive, there may be a level of emotional addiction but I am not sure of that either. I do personally know someone who consciously purchased what he considered a lifetime supply of LSD. I also know that he did not abuse that drug in any sense of the meaning of abuse.
 
Theory_Execution
It is addictive in the sense of the pleasure you can derive from it, but the lack of that thing can make the bare times miserable.

One of the reasons fat people get fatter and gamblers get poorer, they look for the thrill they used to get, try to surpass it only to feel the following lows.
 
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