Get curious about psychedelics. Responsibly.


Three ways to contribute to psychedelic research today!

If you’re looking to pitch in some hard-earned cash to advance drug education and bring the future of legal, well regulated, socially accepted psychedelic use ever nearer, here are three great initiatives deserving of your attention and dollars:

1)  Help make the non-profit production of MDMA & psychedelics a reality!

EmmaSofia, a Norwegian non-profit, is hoping to take a big step forward in increasing the accessibility of quality-controlled psychedelics around the world. If their Indiegogo campaign proves successful, they plan to manufacture MDMA, psilocybin, and perhaps LSD for “use in medical practice, research, and other legal purposes.” With a week left in their campaign, they’ve raised $18,000 of the $300,000 start-up cost for MDMA and psilocybin.

The two researchers behind this project have contributed significantly to psychedelic research in recent years. In 2012, Pål-Ørjan Johansen and Teri Suzanne Krebs conducted a meta-analysis that showed LSD could be a viable treatment for alcoholism — I covered this research here.

These same researchers are also behind a recent population study which demonstrated that psychedelic use does not increase the risk of psychosis or other mental health conditions, refuting a myth that has persistently clung to psychedelics for decades.

EmmaSofia is “working to ensure the human rights of people who choose to use MDMA and psychedelics whether for therapeutic, spiritual, personal development, or cultural purposes.” If you want to join the 500 people that have contributed to EmmaSofia’s mission so far, check out their Indiegogo campaign! Continue reading

A Guide to MDMA Harm Reduction


One of the cool things about writing these articles is that the people around me tend to feel more comfortable talking to me about drugs, and these conversations often provide inspiration for future pieces. After I wrote my first article, a friend got in touch to ask how they could best support one of their friends who wanted to try magic mushrooms for the first time, and that conversation resulted in my article on trip sitting. Talking to several friends about how they’ve benefited from their psychedelic use led me to publish an interview on one person’s use of psilocybin mushrooms to treat anxiety issues, and if all goes according to plan I’ll do more interviews like that in the future.

The inspiration for this piece is similar. Over the past several weeks, I’ve found myself providing harm reduction information for MDMA—things like supplements, dosage, drug testing, overheating, and staying hydrated—to a number of friends. Since I’m already aware of these things, it’s easy for me to forget that these are often things people are unaware of, or are not taking into consideration when doing MDMA or other drugs. So for those who don’t know (and those who don’t know they don’t know!), I wrote this guide to MDMA harm reduction. Enjoy!

NOTE: I tried my best to be comprehensive, but you should always take what you read with a grain of salt and make sure to do your own research, especially if you have questions that remain unanswered in what you’ve read so far. Erowid’s entry on MDMA is an excellent starting point; Bluelight and other drug forums such as the MDMA subreddit tend to have a knowledgeable community and can be good places to ask questions and find information. If you still have questions and want to talk, you can always reach out to me at gonzonieto [at] gmail [dot] com.


Could an Illegal Drug Change the Way We Treat Psychological Trauma?

illustration: Sam Jones

This week, I wrote about MDMA research, and the story of Nicholas Blackston, whom I had the pleasure of seeing speak at the Horizons 2014 conference in New York. He is a two-time Iraq war veteran who returned from his deployments with severe post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). After failing to find relief through available treatment, he was admitted into a study using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat victims of PTSD. This therapy was successful in giving him the healing he needed. Read the article!

While you’re at it, you should also check out the fantastic Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). Their page on MDMA research can be found here.


Oprah’s magazine covers MDMA in 2011

I just came across this cool article that was published back in 2011 in Oprah’s magazine on the medical uses of MDMA, focusing on the treatment of PTSD. You can read it here: PTSD and MDMA Therapy – Medical Uses of Ecstasy.

Android Jones "Rainbow Sunset"

Android Jones “Rainbow Sunset”

A Psychedelic Renaissance

psychedelic renaissance Madeleine Gendreau

illustration: Madeleine Gendreau

Today I published my first article in The Link! Titled “A Psychedelic Renaissance,” it goes over the need for people to become more educated about the drugs that surround them:

The word “drug” itself often keeps us from developing a more nuanced understanding of these substances. This is a term that places cannabis, heroin and MDMA into the same category, despite their radically different effects and harm profiles.

In political dialogue, the term “drugs” is Orwellian; it’s a scare-tactic word that lumps the good with the bad and the ugly.

. . .

The mindset regarding drugs is similar to sex: if we’re not well-informed, the first thing to do is educate ourselves in order to sort the facts from the stigma and sensational preconceived notions—and to ensure our safety.

Seek out information on substances that you’re curious about; ask friends that have experience with these substances, or spend some time reading the endless trip reports that exist on sites like Erowid to get a better idea of what the subjective experience is like on a particular substance.

The article also gives a brief overview of some exciting recent and ongoing psychedelic research. To check it out, click here!

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