Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: The conversation they want to have

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  • Hadyn Green,

    And of course Ibogaine had a major effect on the 1972 US presidential election

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 2090 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Ibogaine sure would explain a lot about Bill O'Reilly. Glenn Beck, on the other hand -- like the peace of God, he surpasses all human understanding.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12332 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    . . . memory retrieval in the trance state . . .

    My pseudoscience detector is red hot.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    My pseudoscience detector is red hot.

    No more so than it should be in the case of, say, 12 Steps patients revisiting their memories with the assistance of their "higher power". Addiction counselling frequently focuses on going back through personal narratives and identifying key events.

    Basically, there does appear to be decent evidence that, taken under care, ibogaine helps addicts break their addiction.

    Here's the New Scientist article from 2005:

    A few previous studies have suggested that becoming addicted to a substance lowers the production of a nerve growth factor called glial cell-line derived neurotrophic factor, or GDNF. So Dorit Ron's team at the University of California, San Francisco, decided to test whether ibogaine affects GDNF levels in the brain.

    In rats injected with ibogaine, the researchers found that production of GDNF increased in a region of the brain called the ventral tegmental area. What's more, injecting either ibogaine or GDNF itself directly into this brain area decreased alcohol cravings in addicted rats, whereas injecting anti-GDNF antibodies eliminated any beneficial effect of ibogaine. The results appear in The Journal of Neuroscience.

    "The paper looks very solid," says Stanley Glick, a neuropharmacologist at Albany Medical Center in New York, who has studied ibogaine for many years. "They may indeed be on to a major finding." However, both Glick and Ron point out that boosting GDNF may be only one of several mechanisms by which ibogaine acts to ease addiction.

    And, from 1999, Daniel Pinchbeck's story for Salon about going to Gabon and taking some under the guidance of some grumpy-assed shamans.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22007 posts Report Reply

  • Brenda Leeuwenberg,

    See young music journalist Russell Brown in his cosmic surrounds - Heavenly Pop Hits - the Flying Nun Story

    Sorry to be a bit off topic but I watched this in the weekend and am certain it will resonate with many of you!

    Wellington • Since Oct 2008 • 41 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    See young music journalist Russell Brown in his cosmic surrounds

    That was my lounge, with lighting by the crew! But the doco is well worth seeing.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22007 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Bell,

    The main issue with Beal is his total lack of interest in conducting proper trials with ibogaine.

    He and others are running some pretty dodgy clinics - it would be a significant problem if they set up one of these in NZ (there have been many recorded deaths with ibogaine).

    So while there may be some benefits of ibogaine, many of us in the drugs business would want some good science over it first (a la methadone). Beal doesn't help the cause much.

    For some current science on LSD etc check out http://www.beckleyfoundation.org/science/

    Wellington, NZ • Since Nov 2006 • 139 posts Report Reply

  • Nathaniel Wilson,

    Grey Lynn market? Even getting it off the ground is a great achievement, and man was it busy. I'm not entirely convinced there are enough people growing enough produce in the surrounding suburbs to make it anything but boutique, but I really hope it flourishes.
    On a complete tangent, Rod Oram confirmed his status as a national treasure at LATE on Thursday night. If only more people would listen.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • ScottY,

    There was a good article in The Guardian recently by Simon Jenkins, who describes the war on drugs as "immoral idiocy":

    America spends a reported $70bn a year on suppressing drug imports, and untold billions on prosecuting its own citizens for drugs offences. Yet the huge profits available to Latin American traffickers have financed a quarter-century of civil war in Colombia and devastating social disruption in Mexico, Peru and Bolivia. Similar profits are aiding the war in Afghanistan and killing British soldiers.

    The underlying concept of the war on drugs, initiated by Richard Nixon in the 1970s, is that demand can be curbed by eliminating supply. It has been enunciated by every US president and every British prime minister. Tony Blair thought that by occupying Afghanistan he could rid the streets of Britain of heroin. He told Clare Short to do it. Gordon Brown believes it to this day.

    This concept marries intellectual idiocy – that supply leads demand – with practical impossibility. But it is golden politics. For 30 years it has allowed western politicians to shift blame for not regulating drug abuse at home on to the shoulders of poor countries abroad. It is gloriously, crashingly immoral.

    It's hard to argue with much of his analysis.

    West • Since Feb 2009 • 794 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    He and others are running some pretty dodgy clinics - it would be a significant problem if they set up one of these in NZ (there have been many recorded deaths with ibogaine).

    According to the Wikipedia article, there have been 12 deaths "loosely associated" with ibogaine, and those documented in the Erowid article appeared to be linked to the existing addiction rather than the treatment.

    But yes, I agree, Beal isn't your man to get a respectable trial running.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22007 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    On a complete tangent, Rod Oram confirmed his status as a national treasure at LATE on Thursday night. If only more people would listen.

    I heard it was good. I was all set to go until I got in from my last meeting about 6pm, but my usual Thursday evening collapse (Weds and Thurs are the intense part of my week) kicked in and I made dinner instead.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22007 posts Report Reply

  • Ross Mason,

    How dare anyone denigrate Bill Orally like that. You might convince them to take him off!!!! Fox News is streaks ahead of the Comedy Channel. In entertainment value it is tops and Bill is one of several on there who have me in fits. What IS staggering and VERY sad is that the views expressed there are alive and living in the good 'ol US of A. Christ, no wonder no-one likes them. They make sure a good fact does not get in the way of a good bigot! Facts are all double-dutch to him anyway.

    Upper Hutt • Since Jun 2007 • 1580 posts Report Reply

  • Tony Siu,

    It's hard to argue with people like O'Reilly/Beck.

    it's like talking to a dinning room table ...

    Auckland • Since Mar 2008 • 81 posts Report Reply

  • Nathaniel Wilson,

    I heard it was good. I was all set to go until I got in from my last meeting about 6pm, but my usual Thursday evening collapse (Weds and Thurs are the intense part of my week) kicked in and I made dinner instead.

    The most impressive thing about Oram was how controlled he was answering the inevitable "all the world's woes are caused by evil corporations and greedy shareholders, shouldn't the our governments' foci be on taking them down"-style question levied at him towards the end of the talk. I suspect it takes a lot to get him riled, but he was close, and his response, which, to paraphrase, was "we're not sheep to be herded, we (the people) choose what corporations etc.. do, not the other way around", pretty much chopped any further argument off at the knees.

    Ladi6 probably won a few new fans too. Much better live than recorded in a studio.

    Auckland, New Zealand • Since May 2009 • 35 posts Report Reply

  • Kimberley Verburg,

    The uploader of the Amsterdam videos is Robbert Nieuwenhuijs, who made them with Elian Wils. They have a small production company called Big Shots. (source: various Dutch media)

    One thing though, it is true that the authorities have been trying to reduce the number of brothels, etc, in the not too recent past. I can't remember the specifics but it seemed to have more to do with trying to attract richer tourists than anything else.

    Leiden • Since Jun 2007 • 27 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed,

    On a complete tangent, Rod Oram confirmed his status as a national treasure at LATE on Thursday night. If only more people would listen.

    Anyone got a transcript?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5261 posts Report Reply

  • Rich Lock,

    . . memory retrieval in the trance state . . .

    My pseudoscience detector is red hot.

    No more so than it should be in the case of, say, 12 Steps patients revisiting their memories with the assistance of their "higher power".

    12-step programs such as AA have been quite heavily criticised, though.

    Reference

    So the scepticism is not entirely unwarranted.

    back in the mother countr… • Since Feb 2007 • 2698 posts Report Reply

  • Rik,

    I was intrigued by the "cold pressed chocolate" however when I started asking simple questions like "Do you import the beans and start from there or are you being supplied the cocoa mass?" the lady started fudging and wouldn't give me a straight answer. Also cocoa beans are known to (sometimes) contain salmonella which is eradicated through the roasting process however as this was a non-roasted product I would have liked to know how that was being addressed. Not sure if it was the vendor or just the tricky atmosphere of the packed market (why is it indoors?) but I prefer straight answers. Anyway - it tasted way to sweet for my likings!

    Since Jun 2007 • 129 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Ah, thanks Rik. I figured you'd either be have an opinion on that product or be making it ;-)

    I really liked the gotu berry flavour though.

    When does your product hit the streets?

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22007 posts Report Reply

  • greenlove33,

    I would agree that clinical trials are needed on Ibogaine to ensure medical professionals can use it without fear of prosecution. There has to be a good, qualified psychotherapist and medical supervision, its pretty much like taking an LSD trip in clinical conditions so people need to be guided through the process or it may not have the desired outcome.

    Its really an end of the road measure for chronic addicts that gives them some self realisation through about 6 hours of hallucinogenic nightmares that doing all that heroin wasn't a good idea, gives them the wider viewpoint.

    It is similiar to taking LSD but lasts for a briefer time. Its definitely not addictive or a danger to society. Its like a wake up call as a last resort. So it is unlikely to be used recreationally..lot of vomiting, delerium and strange visions.

    As far as Bill O Reilly vs Amsterdam I'll definitely take Amsterdam!! Although the guy is pretty funny..statistics..bah..they do them differently in Europe!! OK..

    Centered • Since Aug 2009 • 34 posts Report Reply

  • Danyl Mclauchlan,

    No more so than it should be in the case of, say, 12 Steps patients revisiting their memories with the assistance of their "higher power".

    AA aren't making scientific claims, while 'memory retrieval in the trance state' is scientific sounding without actally meaning anything (define 'trance state'); glial cell growth in the ventral tegmentum seems a lot more robust. Some of my early research projects were in the metabolic basis of drug addiction and I'm not optimistic about finding a drug-based solution to the problem.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 927 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha,

    I vote for clinical trials of Rik's chocolate.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 19293 posts Report Reply

  • 81stcolumn,

    To be truthful I think Jenkin's treatment of the drugs issue is a bit of liberal dog whistle politics. The war on drugs is dumb, but as usual adequate exploration of real solutions is not forthcomming. The key line here is: Drug users should be regarded as "patients, not criminals". There is to my knowledge, no clear long term economic analysis of the costs associated with this approach. To my mind the two target alternatives to a war on drugs are:

    i) Consumption goes down (preferably not via prohibition).
    or
    ii) A reliable means is found by which addicts can can become citizens, when ready to do so.

    I would really love to see more advocacy with respect to research into the latter of the above options.



    <disclaimer> I am not a fan of existing drugs policy <disclaimer>

    Nawthshaw • Since Nov 2006 • 781 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    AA aren't making scientific claims, while 'memory retrieval in the trance state' is scientific sounding without actally meaning anything (define 'trance state'); glial cell growth in the ventral tegmentum seems a lot more robust.

    I'm not sure they're the same thing: the former is based on the subjective reporting of patients, the latter is a physiological observation. Feel free to ignore the former, but it does seem a consistently-reported subjective experience. I wouldn't know, I just found it interesting.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22007 posts Report Reply

  • Stephen Judd,

    Drug users should be regarded as "patients, not criminals".

    Indeed, this is a false dichotomy.

    What if we said drug users should be regarded as consumers, and thus protected by the same sort of regulation for purity, safety, standards of commercial behaviour as consumers of other products?

    I'm not advocating this necessarily, but I think that while user-as-criminal view has an overtly moralising angle, the user-as-patient view is founded on an implicit moral disapproval of drug that is just as constricting.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 3119 posts Report Reply

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