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    Psychedelics and chronic pain 
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    Welcome! Following is a DIGEST of articles and reports that is constantly updated.

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    For people suffering from chronic pain, Ketamine may be the answer


    By Shirley Wang

    Ketamine (also known as Special K) is a synthetic dissociative substance of the arylcyclohexylamine chemical class that produces dissociative, anesthetic, and hallucinogenic effects.

    At his worst, Brett Lovell, 32, experienced such searing pain that he couldn't straighten his arm, and the fingers of his left hand curled up like a claw. The pain had him downing 25 pills a day. Then he undertook an experimental treatment - a 7-day coma in which he given an anesthetic called Ketamine. The procedure gave him fleeting hallucinations, but it helped. "I can enjoy life better today," said Lovell, who is down to just one pill a day and can maneuver a computer mouse.

    Ketamine is now being touted as a revolutionary treatment for a severe pain disorder. In the treatment, ketamine is infused intravenously and continuously while patients are supported by a ventilator - and are virtually dead - for days.

    Robert Schwartzman, chairman of neurology at Drexel University College of Medicine, is has pioneered of the experimental treatment, which resets the link between the pain sensory neurons and the brain.

    He equates the brain to a computer. "For five days we turn your computer off so you're not having any pain," he said. "When the brain is turned back on, the pain system is "rebooted."

    Considered a safe anesthetic, ketamine is chemically similar to PCP and causes inebriation, hallucinations and dissociation—the sensation that patients are not in their bodies.
    These side effects have led to its popularity at raves and reports of use as a date-rape drug.

    The extreme nature of treatment speaks to the desperation of those with chronic regional pain syndrome or reflex sympathetic dystrophy, a condition that affects 1.5 million Americans, according to the Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome Association. The syndrome produces intense, burning pain, and causes normally non-painful sensations - touch, movement and temperature - to be agonizing.

    "It makes you feel like you've been doused in gasoline and set on fire," said Cynthia Toussaint, 44, a sufferer in Valley Village, Calif., who runs a nonprofit organization to help women in pain.

    The condition can result from any type of injury, such as a turned ankle or carpal tunnel syndrome. It develops in 1-2 percent of fractures and 2-5 percent of peripheral nerve injuries. "The body's pain system, which is necessary to telling us something is wrong, goes awry in these cases. When pain fibers from the injury site activate, they trigger a chain reaction that changes the structure of the pain neurons. These changes provoke the neurons to fire even more - like a car engine revving out of control - which creates more pain," said Daniel Carr, chief executive officer of IDDS, a New York City-based company that is testing a ketamine nasal spray.

    The syndrome often goes misdiagnosed and mistreated, said Schwartzman. Most of his patients have already seen 10 other doctors by the time they find him. And, many, especially children, face skepticism from their doctors, who think the patients are just trying to get attention.

    "I got such horrible looks from doctors, like I had two heads," said Megan Vanatta, 21, of Washingtonville, N.Y., who has had the disorder since she was 7. "Doctors would ask, 'Are your parents fighting? Do your parents abuse you?' "

    The earlier the condition is treated, the more effective it seems to be - but there is no cure and no one treatment works universally, experts say. The ketamine coma is only for the most serious cases. A number of U.S. doctors use ketamine in small doses to treat pain while patients are awake, but Schwartzman and two German colleagues, Ralph-Thomas Kiefer and Peter Rohr, are the first to infuse it in comatose patients for up to seven days. So far, the trio has treated 26 American patients in Germany. All patients received significant temporary pain relief, and nine remain completely pain-free from nine months to three years after the infusion.

    Ketamine is FDA-approved in the United States for two-day use when the patient is awake, but Schwartzman holds out little hope that the coma procedure will ever be allowed here.
    At Hahnemann University Hospital in Philadelphia, Schwartzman studies ketamine use for less severe patients and as boosters for those who have returned from Germany.

    He just finished a study of 50 patients who were awake during five days of ketamine use - also not enough, he said - and plans to go back to the FDA in a couple of months for approval to try 10-day outpatient infusions. It may seem strange for a mind-altering substance to be used medically, but the history of ketamine is like many other drugs — if it works for one thing, scientists say, let's see if it works for another.

    "The problem unfortunately is that we have so many horrible diseases related to the brain and so few drugs," said Bita Moghaddam, neuroscience professor at the University of Pittsburgh who uses ketamine in rats to mimic schizophrenic symptoms. "If you have a drug you think is relatively safe, you have to use what you have."

    Ketamine has also been used to study alcoholism and dementia, and explored as a treatment for sleep apnea and addictions and an aid in psychotherapy. While many severe pain sufferers are enthusiastic about the ketamine coma, researchers are more cautious.

    "Initial observations are exciting," said Srinivasa Raja, director of pain medicine at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. "But it has to be tempered with the fact that they are not blinded observations. They have to be followed through over time."

    Timothy Lubenow, a pain specialist at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, had a patient who went to Germany and "had great pain relief up until the plane ride back," he said. "She bumped her knee, which was the affected part, and the pain came back."

    Schwartzman hopes that continuing research on treatments for severe pain will yield alternatives to the ketamine coma and that in the future "we won't need the ketamine sleep."

    But, "right now, for dreadful patients, the only thing I've seen work is to have them go to sleep," he said.

    http://www.shaman-australis.com/foru...ketamine-coma/

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    I suffer from chronic neck/back pain and neuropathy. I was on opiates, Neurontin and Lyrica for years. The opiates worked for a time, but tolerance developed, and it will damage your GI.
    Lyrica and neurontin did nothing for my neuropathy. Then I tried cannabis, and Indica is the only strain that worked. I made a tincture with cannabis and pure grain alcohol. It works great.
    I take it sublingually. It works so much better than smoking it. I think the natural anti-inflammatories in the cannabis build up over time and help even more.

    https://www.dmt-nexus.me/forum/defau...posts&m=668946

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    LSD and Cluster Headaches

    by Reilly Capps

    Three years ago, when Patrick Hall was 49, he put a revolver to his head and pulled the trigger.

    Hall suffers from cluster headaches. They're also called "suicide headaches" because the elected death rate among sufferers is 20x the average. Trying to stay alive, Hall had tried virtually every legal medicine for the headaches including sumatriptan, lidocaine, verapamil, corticosteroids, lithium, morphine and others. Finally, he'd had enough.

    The gun, though, jammed. He slumped to the ground, overcome with grief, fear and shame.

    Today, Hall is alive, sitting at a table in a wing joint in a strip mall on the edge of Denver, where a bustling server delivers more chips and salsa, and a Rams football game plays on the TV overhead.

    As he tells the story of his suicide attempt, his eyes fill with tears. He hugs himself as his body shakes. He has a hard time getting the words out. What saved him? "This medicine," he says. And he pulls, from his inside jacket pocket, a blue glass vial full of a clear liquid that sloshes when shaken. He hands it across the table. "LSD," he says. "LSD really helps."

    Hall takes LSD about once every two or three months, putting on his tongue a standard dose of about 125 micrograms. It's given him his most pain-free year in the 31 years he's had the headaches.

    A 2006 study shows that LSD and psilocybin breaks cluster headaches better than anything else. The next best treatment is a pharmaceutical, prednisone, which keeps cluster headaches away 45 percent of the time. LSD did so 88 percent of the time in the study.

    http://www.therooster.com/blog/im-ti...lth-depends-it

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    I suffered from severe monthly migraines for over 20 years that often resulted in hospital visits. I consulted with my doctor to wean me off of my meds before taking ibogaine. My doctor was skeptical, but also willing to guide me through the process. Then came one of the most amazing experiences of my life. On the first day my headaches were severe, but I was helped to work through the deep-rooted issues causing them during the week. I was also taken to a place where I dealt with a lifetime of depression in a very short amount of time. Today, almost 10 years later, I'm off all medications and I've had only had 2 headaches. This is an amazing medicine that I highly recommend if you are willing to let go and do the work.

    -anon

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    LSD has been studied as a painkiller for serious and chronic pain caused by cancer or other major trauma. Even at low (sub-psychedelic) dosages, it was found to be at least as effective as traditional opiates while being much longer lasting (pain reduction lasting as long as a week, after peak effects had subsided).

    Furthermore, LSD has been investigated as a treatment for cluster headaches, an uncommon but extremely painful disorder. Although the phenomenon has not been fully investigated, case reports indicate that LSD and psilocybin can reduce cluster pain and also interrupt the cluster-headache cycle, preventing future headaches from occurring.

    https://azarius.net/encyclopedia/31/LSD/

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    Ibogaine, in threshold doses, is known to reduce pain. And generally patients do not experience pain during a full dose. However, it is common for pain to emerge afterwards, especially
    in patients who were treating chronic pain with opiates. Learning to work with pain management effectively is critical to continuing care.

    Long-term opioid use is known to cause hyperalgesia, an increased sensitivity to pain. This may exacerbate chronic pain symptoms in people for whom it either is or is not an underlying condition. If hyperalgesia has been ruled out as a factor, a thorough assessment of pain management options should be explored in collaboration with the patient.

    If patient has detoxified from opioids, but continues to experience symptoms of chronic pain, and/or requests for pain medication to be re-administered, opioids can be prescribed under appropriate medical care in minimal possible doses. Patients should be counseled about the risks associated with the reduced tolerance, and referred to a pain management specialist.

    https://www.ibogainealliance.org/gui...interventions/

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    Most people are not aware that Iboga is profoundly effective for treating severe pain caused by nerve damage. The majority of people I've talked to have only heard of it for treating addiction. The reason I am writing this is because I suffered from debilitating pain that made me feel like my life was over. I lost hope. Before my Iboga experience this summer, I had absolutely no idea it would do anything for my damaged nerve. Little did I know. For three whole months after taking a good dose of Iboga, the noribogaine was still flowing in my body, and I was able to do things that I had not been able to do in a long time.

    I had got it into my head that my nerve was damaged, and there was nothing I could do. It's hard not to when everything you try doesn't help or only makes it worse. After 3 months, I began to notice my symptoms were coming back because the noribogaine metabolite was finally being flushed from my body. I made a conscious decision to break away from the beliefs I had about myself and my situation.

    So for the past month or so I have been taking ~1g of potent Iboga bark per week. It allows me to function on a level I never thought possible. I feel more like myself now than ever before. I can live and be happy and not even think about my nerve. I am doing more than I ever could before with this disability, and I feel like it's exponential—the more I do, the more I can do. It's an exercise. A constant process.

    Iboga allowed me to take a step back into my self unadulterated by the constructs of my mind and start working every day to be the better person that I have always wanted to be. It feels almost cheesy saying this - but I feel like Iboga saved my life. My work with it keeps evolving, too.

    I was recently able to give up an 11 year cannabis addiction, as well as coffee and nicotine overnight with 1g of potent bark, good food, lots of water, and meditation. I did this because
    I always told myself I never could, or I never wanted to, but I just got fed up. I've been perfectly happy, and sober (except for Iboga effects, which are mild), for the first time in my life.
    I honestly never ever thought this was possible and I am loving it. I am sure I will use cannabis again, but it feels good to take a break and not be dependent.

    So, in conclusion, if you are in a country where Iboga is Legal, and you suffer from chronic pain that nothing else seems to help, you may want to consider this medicine.

    https://www.dmt-nexus.me/forum/defau...=posts&t=27827

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    I sustained damage to my sciatic nerve. Basically what happened was I caused the fluid inside of a disc to leak out and burn the nerve. From what I was told this isn't common, but when it does happen, people report the same symptoms years later.

    After I took Iboga root bark I remember walking comfortably for the first time since it happened. Before it felt like I was walking on burning electric knives. This comfortable feeling gradually faded because I had it still ingrained in my head that I was messed up for life as the Iboga started to wear off ~3 months later. After continued microdoses and meditation I gradually both mentally and physically was able to put this horrendous incident in my past. I am not 100% and can feel it still hindering me, but I don't let it bother me anymore. It both masked the pain
    at first, and then aided in the healing process that is still undergoing.

    https://www.dmt-nexus.me/forum/defau...=posts&t=27827

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    One long-term positive effect of Ibogaine is with nerve pain in my lower back and knee. The pain was completely alleviated after the first flood and has never returned. I suppose that the ibogaine effects on the nervous system is very similar to a chemically induced coma as treatment for chronic pain.

    -anon

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    Eric Kast conducted a study on fifty gravely ill patients in great amounts of pain. The subjects were given Demerol, Dilaudid, and LSD in order to compare their analgesic action, and the results showed that LSD produced more prolonged and effective pain relief than either of the other 2 analgesics. His pioneering work went on to inspire other studies using LSD to control extreme pain. Kast went on to carry out further experiments on patients with malignant terminal diseases. 80 subjects were administered 100ug of LSD which allowed them to be more responsible to their environment and their family. It was concluded that LSD helped lessen the patients' physical distress and lifted their mood and outlook.

    http://docplayer.net/21935458-The-me...lic-drugs.html

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    Ibogaine does have dangerous interactions with opioids - when used irresponsibly. What I want to relay, specifically, is that at LOW doses (10 - 20mg) the opiate reset effect is fairly minimal.
    It seemed not so much to reset tolerance as to halt its development, which allowed me to use the chemicals I needed to in a stretch without incurring a massive habit, something that may be INCREDIBLY useful to people in chronic pain management situations.

    -cdin

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    Many people with chronic pain report an absence or major reduction in pain after a treatment, even when they took ibogaine for another issue. It is also possible that ibogaine only helps with certain types of pain. For example, I interviewed 2 women who had chronic pain after a car accident. One reported a significant reduction in pain for up to a year after her session.

    From the book Ibogaine Explained, by Peter Frank

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    Nature's solution to opioid addiction?


    By Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D.

    Susan Ash, who worked as a park ranger for the National Park Service and served as conservation director of Oregon Wild for two years, also says that Kratom gave her back her life. Ash's health problems started with a flu-like syndrome. She developed excruciating pain in her knees, hips, and elbows; she found herself sleeping for 4-5 days at a time, stumbling out of bed only
    to eat a bowl of cereal and use the bathroom, and then going back to sleep.

    None of the doctors she consulted could tell her what was wrong.

    Ash was diagnosed with fibromyalgia, a catchall medical condition categorized by chronic pain and fatigue believed to have no cure. Her doctor prescribed powerful and highly addictive
    opioid medication for the pain. When the prescription narcotics made her sleepy and unable to focus, the doctor gave her another prescription, Adderall is a combination of amphetamine and dextroamphetamine that is used for attention disorders. When the Adderall exacerbated the panic attacks she had had since she was a kid, the doctor added yet another drug to counter the anxiety.

    "At one point in my life, I was on 13 medications," Ash tells me. Her story of hundreds of visits to the doctor and piles of prescriptions sounds eerily similar to Devine's—"A huge cocktail of medications that included three highly controlled and addictive substances."

    It was not until 3 years after the onset of symptoms that a test revealed that Ash had late-stage Lyme disease, most likely caused by a tick bite during her time in the woods. But by then,
    like more than 2.1 million other Americans, Ash was addicted to opioids.

    In 2012, after her sister and brother-in-law sat her down and told her they felt it was no longer safe for her to be around their children, Ash entered a 45-day rehab. When she left, doctors prescribed her yet another narcotic [this time Subutex (buprenorphine)] to treat the opioid addiction, as well as to manage the ongoing pain. The doctor told her she would probably be on it
    for the rest of her life.

    Ash was desperate. She had been treated with antibiotics, via a chest port, for the Lyme disease and was still battling chronic pain, fatigue, and chronic nausea—the effects of long-term antibiotic use. She had learned about kratom a few years before from a participant in an online Lyme disease support group. She had tried it a few times when her prescription medication ran out. Now she decided to quit the Subutex and use only the plant medicine. It worked. These days Ash takes red-vein kratom for pain (1-3 teaspoons a day, depending on her pain levels) and green-vein kratom for fatigue (also about one to three teaspoons a day). In 2014 Ash founded nonprofit American Kratom Association, to educate the public about the health benefits of kratom.

    When asked if she finds kratom addictive, Ash says "When I was on the narcotics I was counting the minutes before I could take my next dose. This is completely different. It is nature's solution to opioid addiction."

    http://reset.me/story/dea-kratom-ban...ople-will-die/

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    I was in a car accident in '09 that messed my back up. Fast forward three years I was taking 120 morphine, 180 Norco, 120 Baclofin, 60 Depakote, 90 prozac, 30 Ativan, and 60 Buspirone
    each month. I was in a fog that led me to crash both our cars, get fired, and miss an important surgery for my daughter all in one day. My wife threatened to leave if I didn't go to rehab, so
    I did and weaned off meds with Suboxone. After I was off everything I would just lay in bed all day and take hot showers. My back hurt so bad I couldn't sleep for long or work or do anything before it literally drove me mad. I found Kratom almost three years ago and it has been a life saver for me. It's not a miracle cure, but helps well me enough without the horrible side effects.

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/r..._resetme/best/

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    I suffer from chronic pain, and I have found kratom to be helpful without the side effects, and dare I say, the cost of Rx medications. Our healthcare system penalizes people in pain, who suffer from chronic illnesses by elevating their meds and then declaring that amount life threatening. I have had several of my meds cut back by both the Dr and my insurance without an option to fall back on, leaving me angry and frustrated on top of being in pain. Kratom has given me the freedom to use it when I need to and to use only as much as I require. No Rx med allows for skipped doses. Kratom is the best "personal healthcare remedy" available, and it is affordable to just about everyone. We must fight to keep it legal.

    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/r..._resetme/best/

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    Kratom for chronic pain relief

    The DEA has threatened to make kratom a schedule 1 drug, but has put that move on hold due to public outcry and until further studies have been done. Currently it can still be purchased in 45 states that I know of. This may be something you might want to look into, if you haven't already.

    From what I've seen kratom affects people differently. I have had tremendous relief from kratom. I can still use doctor-prescribed opioids at night only for pain, but use kratom during the day. This has kept me from becoming addicted again. There are many testimonies of folks who have been able to withdraw successfully using Kratom.

    http://www.wakingtimes.com/2017/06/0...oid-addiction/

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    Just wanted to point out that kratom isn't a miracle herb that harmlessly replaces opiates, as it is an opiate itself basically. Although mitragynine and 7-HO-mitragynine are sort of tryptamines technically, they hit the mu opiate receptor so are physically addictive as well. The reason it works to mask withdrawal is because you're taking an opiate to avoid withdrawal. There is cross-tolerance there and trust me, as a former kratom addict for 7 years, there are withdrawals. If used sparingly to help with harder opiate withdrawal, it might be able to get you through without producing its own dependence as long as you stop using it as soon as you're through withdrawal. But ultimately I've seen a lot of people just trade one opiate addiction for another, while claiming to be opiate-free. Of course there are advantages to being addicted to kratom over being addicted to heroin, since kratom is legal and easy/safe to get and have in your house,
    and you're not in danger of overdosing with it.

    Ibogaine, on the other hand, has the effect it does through giving you a powerful experience and having some profound effects on various systems of the brain. Ibogaine (which was how I got off opiates - after 7 years I moved to oral opium which was certainly worse than kratom) made me not WANT any opiates or kratom ever again. It also removed the withdrawal. It also changed my life is various other ways, I developed much healthier patterns as a result of it and started playing music again which is basically the joy of my life. It's such a tremendously better solution to opiate addiction than kratom. Though most people need to go to a clinic which is outrageously expensive. Personally I did it at home, with my friend overseeing me. We had a heart monitor on me and he checked it periodically through the first 12 hours. I actually loved the experience, it felt comfortable for the most part and I didn't get nauseous. I took half TA extract and half ibogaine HCl (they usually just use HCl at clinics). It seems like the full spectrum of plant alkaloids changes/fills out the experience substantially.

    -Xorkoth

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    Three friends and I tried 4-AcO-DET (18mg) combined with 100mg MDMA. I'd been putting a lot of strain on my leg, and it was surprising that my chronic hip pain did not return afterwards.
    Nor the next day. Nor the entire week following. It wasn't that the pain had completely gone, but it was reduced so much that it was virtually ignorable, and flexibility remained well above
    what it usually was. Only after a week did pain gradually start to return, and slowly build back up over the following week.

    https://erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=14936

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    Iboga, as well as probably being the most powerful psychedelic plant medicine, also has some pretty incredible properties that treat chronic pain. This is due to the fact that it binds to the opioid receptors. The other serotonin-operating psychedelics like mushrooms or ayahuasca, do not have this effect. I have chronic back pain that is completely eliminated for several weeks each time I use Iboga.

    https://www.reddit.com/r/Psychonaut/..._psychedelics/

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    After taking a good dose of Iboga in the summer, I felt it's effects for 2 months. After 3, it began to fade. My damaged nerve symptoms returned and totally incapacitated me. I took 1g of Iboga 3 weeks ago and I can still feel it effecting me. When I notice these effects begin to wear off in the next few weeks or so, I will probably take .5g and I will find tremendous relief and insight from such a dose. Just my take on this incredible medicine.

    https://www.dmt-nexus.me/forum/defau...=posts&t=17296

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    Increasing the efficacy of Kambo for chronic pain relief


    by Joseph Mattia

    For hopeful chronic pain sufferers, Kambo may seem like a magic bullet with the potential to completely stop the pain you have felt for too long. But it's important to realize that Kambo is not necessarily a cure but rather a tool that can maximize the good days. Educating yourself and approaching Kambo with a thorough, realistic understanding of how it treats chronic pain will allow you to make the most of its healing qualities.

    Kambo is safe for most people, but there is a possibility that kambo may interact poorly with the underlying cause of your pain or the current medication you are using to manage it. Kambo causes a brief period of increased heart rate, which can be problematic if you have circulatory or heart problems such as low blood pressure or a history of heart attacks. If you suffer from chronic pain due to Addison?s disease, the physical stress of a kambo ceremony could cause adrenal crisis. Kambo stimulates your immune system, so if your pain is caused by an immune system disorder such as MS or ALS, you should be cautious about taking this substance.

    Understanding the potential risks

    To make sure it is safe for you to take kambo, you should discuss the medicine with your treating physician. Because kambo is not a Western medicine, it is possible your doctor will not be familiar with it, so be prepared to discuss common contraindications and whether you expect any problems. You should also be honest with your kambo practitioner about any medications you are currently taking as well as any chronic illnesses you suffer from. Your practitioner may suggest urge adjustments to the traditional ceremony or your daily behaviors to accommodate your needs. For instance, you may be asked to not take pain medications on the day of your kambo ceremony or your practitioner may start you with a lower dose than normal to better gauge your reaction to the medicine. Ideally, you want to find a practitioner who has experience working with your specific illness or issue.

    Exploring the mind-body connection

    All pain is complicated by psychological and social expectations, but chronic pain is more complicated than acute pain. Over time, pain behaviors—grimacing, limping, being angry or stoic—may become habits which can actually magnify your discomfort. The depression and anxiety many people develop after years of chronic pain can cause you to anticipate pain you have not yet felt, making your body produce more stress hormones that exacerbate the situation. Working with a psychologist or therapist can help you reduce your current pain levels or manage your pain better.

    Although kambo creates a more physical experience compared to classic psychedelics, it does produce a heightened state of awareness that can be useful in therapy. The purging process of kambo is a purifying experience which allows you to release negative emotions connected to your pain. After the ceremony, you may feel lighter, euphoric, and pain-free for several days. This
    is an excellent time to talk with a therapist and reframe the way you think about your pain.

    Take fewer pain relievers and muscle relaxers

    Many chronic pain sufferers take pain relievers as a preventative measure. If this is your approach, prepare to switch to taking your medication only "as needed" after your ceremony. This shouldn't be difficult, as you will likely find that your need for medication is greatly reduced for 1-2 weeks after their kambo ceremony, and you may notice a dramatic reduction for a longer period of time. But you will only be aware of these benefits if you are prepared to lower the amount of medication you are taking.

    This can be unnerving if you have developed a fear of your pain or are dependent on pain relievers to complete everyday tasks, so you may want to discuss your plan with a therapist before the ceremony. It's also a good idea to clear as much of your schedule as possible for the week after your kambo ceremony to concentrate on adjusting your medication to a reduced level of pain.

    Combining Kambo with other forms of traditional medicine

    Not only is kambo a powerful pain reliever, but it also increases blood flow, reduces inflammation, and improves digestion. This physical stimulation can help cure the deeper causes behind your pain, especially if your suffering is related to the reproductive system, spinal area, renal function, or digestion. For some people, a single kambo ceremony is enough to cure the underlying cause of their chronic pain. But for complex issues, kambo creates an ideal time to use other curative approaches. For instance, the increased blood flow and decreased inflammation can allow a chiropractor to make more efficient, helpful adjustments than they could otherwise make. It may also increase the efficiency of massage, acupuncture, or ayurvedic techniques of healing.

    Create a schedule for multiple doses

    While some individuals' chronic pain may completely disappear, others may experience only a slight reduction, or their pain may return over time. Because of this, you may want to repeat your kambo experience. Some practitioners offer kambo cycles, such as three ceremonies within 24 hours, or 3 ceremonies within 28 days. These provide a more thorough cleansing of your system and longer pain relief. Alternatively, some people have found that monthly treatments or bi-weekly treatments at lower doses work best for them. After your first ceremony, you will have a better idea of how kambo affects your pain. You should then discuss setting a treatment schedule with your kambo practitioner.

    Kambo is a powerful tool for managing chronic pain, but to get the most out of it, you need to have realistic expectations and work with professionals who have experience using kambo as a method for pain management. When you approach kambo with the intention of maximizing its pain relieving benefits through a multidisciplinary approach, you are much more likely to notice long-term, lasting pain relief from your practice.

    https://psychedelictimes.com/kambo/i...-chronic-pain/

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    I am a 37 year old man living with Fibromyalgia. Since I was 16 my health was in a downward spiral. I have visited 4 different hospitals for my pain followed by many months of all kinds of therapies - physiotherapy, physiofitness, Cesar therapy for chronic pain disease, chiropractic and manual therapy. I tried a lot of different medicines, and none worked. Every day I had to
    live with pain all over my body.

    After years of trying everything, I couldn’t work anymore. I lost my job, and I contacted a psychiatrist. I was manic depressive and I also have ADHD. I tried all kinds of medicines for my depression and ADHD. The medicines had no effect. And there were times it was so dark in my thoughts, I kept thinking it would be better to die.

    But with depression medicine and weekly sessions with my psychiatrist, these thoughts began to fade. That gave me some trust back and I decided not to accept that I have to live with
    pain all my life. The doctors would always say "learn to live with it because we can't heal it." So I started searching on google, and I found some very interesting stories about people with fibromyalgia whose health and pain had improved with the use of ibogaine.

    I contacted an ibogaine clinic, and I told them my whole story. We worked out a treatment plan, and within 3 days I was feeling much better. In the weeks that followed, all my pain disappeared. I feel good and have lots of energy. I started to go to the gym 3 times a week. After years living with lots of pain I found a miracle medicine, Ibogaine.

    -Jos K

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    Ketamine and chronic pain


    Like many other drugs, Ketamine has multiple effects rendering it suitable for anesthesia, sedation, acute and chronic pain relief and treatment of therapy-resistant depression. Ketamine is a complex drug with a high affinity for various receptor systems including the NMDA receptor and opioid receptor system. The activation of multiple receptor systems translates into a variety of wanted effects that are useful in clinical practice. Clinical effects include relief of acute pain due to inhibition of excitatory NMDA receptors at spinal and supraspinal sites, relief of chronic pain due to activity at NMDA, opioid and cytokine receptors (e.g. the IRR), rapid antidepressant effects, due to enhancement of synaptogenesis at prefrontal cortical areas.

    Notorious are ketamine’s side effects including addiction, psychedelic or schizotypical effects (hallucinations, paranoia, anxiety/panic attacks), cardiovascular, liver and urogenital toxicity. In clinical practice the occurrence of psychedelic effect is worrisome and various approaches are being developed to counteract these effects. As a recreational drug or drug of abuse, ketamine is prone to addiction and development of damage to various organs (liver, the urogenital system). Research in volunteers and patients in the LUMC has led to a wealth of information on ketamine’s analgesic and antidepressant behavior.

    Dr. Dahan is Full Professor of Anesthesiology at Leiden University Medical Center. He founded and heads the Anesthesia & Pain Research Unit since 1995, a non-profit academic institute that performs outcome research in anesthesia and pain management aimed at improvement of care in anesthesia and pain treatment and the wide distribution of gained knowledge, in close cooperation with non-academic partners. The research on opioids and ketamine are among the major research topics of the Anesthesia & Pain Research Unit. With respect to ketamine these studies focus on wanted effects (eg in depression and pain) and (psychedelic) side effects.

    www.icpr2016.nl/speakers/albert-dahan/

    -----



    Salvia for chronic pain


    Doctors hope further studies of Salvia, a powerful psychedelic sometimes smoked by recreational users, will unlock treatments for a variety of neurological disorders that cause chronic pain. Researchers at Johns Hopkins Hospital recently completed a study that examined the effects of Salvia (Salvinorin A), on humans.

    "It is unlike anything that exists," Dr. Matthew Johnson, lead study researcher at John Hopkins University, told AOL Health. Johnson believes that gaining information about how salvia affects the brain could lead to medical advances and the creation of new drugs to treat a variety of illnesses and conditions that affect the brain.

    This study, which appears online in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, is the first controlled trial to be conducted on humans. The study participants, two men and two women, had had previous experience with psychedelics. The volunteers smoked the drug in 20 sessions over the course of two or three months. They inhaled a range of doses of the drug in pure form and were asked
    to rate its strength. Due to its extreme effects, participants were allowed to take breaks when needed and were told they could completely withdraw from the study at any time.

    Participants reported they had a feeling of "leaving this reality completely and going to other worlds or dimensions and interacting with entities," Johnson told ABC News. The participants
    also showed no changes in heart rate or blood pressure, and the study concluded that the drug has no physically adverse effects on otherwise healthy people. According to an animal study, salvinorin A activates opioid receptors in the brain. When salvinorin A acts on these receptors, a person feels high. Addictive drugs, such as morphine, also stimulate opioid receptors. However, salvinorin A stimulates another type of receptor called the kappa opioid.

    "It is unique in the way it affects the kappa system," explains Johnson. "Salvinorin A selectively hits the kappa receptors and affects them more cleanly than many other drugs."

    Because of their structure, salvia molecules have smaller impact on the brain's processes, and have less potential for addiction. Johnson says there are many possibilities for the use of this drug. "Right now, we're just understanding its basic effects on humans," says Johnson.

    Future studies and research will provide more information on the possibilities for this new drug. Salvia is legal to buy and sell in many U.S. states; however, the U.S. Department of Justice's Drug Enforcement Administration has labeled salvia a drug of concern. To date, 13 states have adopted legislation that bans or regulates the use of salvia.

    https://www.maps.org/news/media/2325...s-chronic-pain
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    #2
    Awesome digest, thank you for posting mr peabody!
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    #3
    I wonder if ketamine will get more use now that opioids are being phased out for chronic pain due to heroin/fentanyl deaths....probably not...because the logic of elected officials says ketamine will cause them to do heroin and murder babies for dope money.
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    Salvia has to be the shittiest pain killer ever. I didn't know painkillers were supposed to make you trip nuts and make you completely inchoherant for 15 mins.
    I get that other drugs could be design to use the Kappa opiod receptors but not salvinornan A. That would end badly for anyone.
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    #5
    Mr peabody do u get these collections of articles as they are or do you make them. I would like to see a series on psychs and anxiety. We are usually cautioned not to trip if we are anxious about things, but I would like to read about if any psychs can help those that are plauged with anxiety
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    ^^
    I find these articles and reports one at a time. There is by the way a new thread now, "Psychedelics and anxiety." Thanks very much for the suggestion!

    I think it's wise not to trip if you are anxious about things. For what it's worth, I'm one of those people who can't smoke weed at all when I trip, and I had to put psychedelics down for years because of that. I eventually recovered by taking small amounts of LSD, without the weed. That worked well for me.


    Last edited by mr peabody; 18-11-2017 at 01:29.
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    #7
    i go through periods where i'm more stable, when i'm not using other drugs i lose most of the anxiety. I will wait till I get to a place lack that to trip but still wary.

    how small of doses do you take to start out and are small doses pleasurable or fun? I've only ever taken full doses over 100ug I imagine

    oh and thanks for putting these articles together
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    My guess is you'll be fine with 1/2 tab (max). But no weed, ok? Should be perfectly enjoyable.
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    #9
    I'm glad you're doing better, but I do hope you've anticipated the longterm effects of ketamine on your physical and mental health. Please do ask for professional advice about this.
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    #10
    Thanks for posting this mr peabody, as well as all your other interesting contributions. This one in particular really hits close to home for me though; chronic pain and many related conditions run in my family, and in recent years I myself have started to have several symptoms coming and going suggestive of fibromyalgia, IBS, and GERD. Consequently the interaction between my choice psychoactive drugs and chronic pain has become an increasingly greater focus for me over time as a way to successfully manage my symptoms and enjoy my life without having to resort to some undesirable official pharmacological treatment like a chronic opioid regimen or any other number of brand name drugs that will only marginally help me while also tacking on a bunch of side effects.

    Personally, by far the most effective analgesic drug I have ever taken for my own purposes is methoxetamine, it reduces literally all of my physical sensitivities and aches and at least makes me not notice any GI problems even at low doses. 2'-Oxo-PCE and nitrous oxide are also equally effective for me in that way, though the former is a much trippier and heavier experience than methoxetamine for me whereas the latter is of course way too short-lived for any particularly meaningful pain relief, and the other dissociatives I've tried (not for this purpose though) have their own drawbacks, like the also short-lived nature of ketamine, the body load of DXM, or the lack of strong anesthetic effects by comparison and sometimes also headaches of memantine, so despite their shared mechanisms of action methoxetamine definitely remains as the top analgesic of choice for me overall. However, that ketamine coma treatment does sound incredibly interesting, and I had not heard of that before.... I'll certainly be very curious to see how that plays out as more people opt to have it.

    On the other hand, for the record, opioids are nowhere near as effective as dissociatives for my pains. They always feel incomplete to me... like I do feel better, but I can still feel the pain to a degree at the same time, and sometimes I suspect that I mostly just feel better because of the euphoria as opposed to any direct analgesic effect. I've never had these concerns with dissociatives, despite the fact that for instance methoxetamine is also very euphoric for me; those to me feel like they're actually literally just stopping the pain in its tracks, not just masking it. I would absolutely love to see opioids phased out in favor of dissociatives for this kind of pain as for people like me at least they seem simultaneously far more effective and much safer, though of course they do have their own drawbacks with chronic use, but not things that couldn't be easily worked around if people would just start pouring money into some actually worthwhile scientific studies and just start making some genuinely good drugs already....

    I'll say too, cannabis actually also helps my pain in a way that I even still prefer to opioids at low to normal doses, but if I overdo the cannabis in one sitting it actually has the opposite effect, and can make my symptoms like tension headaches, gas pains in my chest, and joint stiffness come out even if I was feeling perfectly fine beforehand, so it's one to be used carefully for sure. A similar thing can be said of psychedelics, as using too high of a dose or taking them in the wrong context or whatever can definitely produce an uncomfortable body load or increased physical sensitivities for me, but the right ones at just the right times, especially more dissociating ones like LSD, absolutely can be incredibly analgesic for me and seem to help both with my bodily pains and with my visceral symptoms both nociceptive and digestive and such, and I have very much come to enjoy this effect of theirs even when I do have to deal with some discomfort in other ways. They're certainly not quite analgesic in the way that other drugs I would prefer for that usage are, but they do have significant effects of that type nonetheless which definitely make the experience better than I think it would be otherwise, and I can say that as with many things taking psychedelics does often help me feel evened out in this way for a while too, like I don't have quite so many symptoms as I typically would in the days or weeks following a good trip. Even this kind of effect I definitely find more desirable than regular opioid use as well.

    Anyway, thanks again for the post, I'm very much excited to see where more of this research and these anecdotes take us.
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    #11
    This post had a lot of reading so I admittedly did not read it all...or much of it for that matter. Thus do not take my post as a response to what has been written but rather as a quick chime-in. That said, I see there are many topics in the, covering drugs from Ketamine to Kratom to 4-ho-met in regards to pain management.

    I just wanna point out that each of these 3 compounds have their own ability to reduce pain. The general pain circuit is fairly well understood.

    See this link (http://images.slideplayer.com/25/777...es/slide_2.jpg)

    In it you can see most of the neurotransmitter-mediated factors involved in a pain signal. Note that although it doesnt show it, serotonin is also involved in the circuit as a negative mediator.

    The point of what I'm saying is that this all does indeed have merit and complete logic in pain reduction, particularly the mention of Ketamine. Glutamate (the actual neurotransmitter that binds to NMDA receptors, in this circuit, allows for the transmission of pain. Therefore (and this is a known fact) an NMDA antagonist, WILL inherently reduce pain by preventing the pain signal from proceeding. Serotonin also does this within this system so it stands to reason that a serotonin agonist like 4-ho-met will also have this effect.

    I can say from experience that serotonin agonists (in my case 4-aco-dmt) have had incredible reduction of physical pain. Similarly I actually keep ketamine around specifically for self-treatment whenever I get a bad injury from skateboarding and believe me it works wonders.

    The issue is that these are crude treatments. While effective, the medical community seeks highly-targeted treatments that don't have psychoactive effects.

    So even if we see these methods come to surface, I would guess it would be after the beneficial effects are isolated, and a new chemical void of psycho-activity but still maintaining the beneficial binding profile of the original compound are discovered.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaleida View Post
    Thanks for posting this mr peabody, as well as all your other interesting contributions. This one in particular really hits close to home for me though; chronic pain and many related conditions run in my family, and in recent years I myself have started to have several symptoms coming and going suggestive of fibromyalgia, IBS, and GERD. Consequently the interaction between my choice psychoactive drugs and chronic pain has become an increasingly greater focus for me over time as a way to successfully manage my symptoms and enjoy my life without having to resort to some undesirable official pharmacological treatment like a chronic opioid regimen or any other number of brand name drugs that will only marginally help me while also tacking on a bunch of side effects.
    You're welcome! To be honest, I had no idea myself until recently that psychs could be used for analgesia. So many people fall into addiction just trying to control their chronic pain.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaleida View Post
    Personally, by far the most effective analgesic drug I have ever taken for my own purposes is methoxetamine, it reduces literally all of my physical sensitivities and aches and at least makes me not notice any GI problems even at low doses.
    Fascinating, thanks so much. I'll start looking into this right now!

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaleida View Post
    2'-Oxo-PCE and nitrous oxide are also equally effective for me in that way, though the former is a much trippier and heavier experience than methoxetamine for me whereas the latter is of course way too short-lived for any particularly meaningful pain relief, and the other dissociatives I've tried (not for this purpose though) have their own drawbacks, like the also short-lived nature of ketamine, the body load of DXM, or the lack of strong anesthetic effects by comparison and sometimes also headaches of memantine, so despite their shared mechanisms of action methoxetamine definitely remains as the top analgesic of choice for me overall. However, that ketamine coma treatment does sound incredibly interesting, and I had not heard of that before.... I'll certainly be very curious to see how that plays out as more people opt to have it.
    Very, very useful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaleida View Post
    I'll say too, cannabis actually also helps my pain in a way that I even still prefer to opioids at low to normal doses, but if I overdo the cannabis in one sitting it actually has the opposite effect, and can make my symptoms like tension headaches.
    Do you have any experience with Rick Simpson's oil? (Another burning question of mine.)
    Last edited by mr peabody; 24-10-2017 at 06:19.
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    Quote Originally Posted by thizzkid View Post
    This post had a lot of reading so I admittedly did not read it all...or much of it for that matter. Thus do not take my post as a response to what has been written but rather as a quick chime-in. That said, I see there are many topics in the, covering drugs from Ketamine to Kratom to 4-ho-met in regards to pain management.

    I just wanna point out that each of these 3 compounds have their own ability to reduce pain. The general pain circuit is fairly well understood.

    See this link (http://images.slideplayer.com/25/777...es/slide_2.jpg)

    In it you can see most of the neurotransmitter-mediated factors involved in a pain signal. Note that although it doesnt show it, serotonin is also involved in the circuit as a negative mediator.



    Fascinating, thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by thizzkid View Post
    The issue is that these are crude treatments. While effective, the medical community seeks highly-targeted treatments that don't have psychoactive effects.

    So even if we see these methods come to surface, I would guess it would be after the beneficial effects are isolated, and a new chemical void of psycho-activity but still maintaining the beneficial binding profile of the original compound are discovered.
    Maybe we can hurry things along... Thanks for the great insights!
    Last edited by mr peabody; 24-10-2017 at 05:02.
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    #14
    mr peabody; you are my favorite dog!
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    #15
    I was left in agony for several months as a pain referral went on a little trip of its own. As my poor health and pain deteriorated I often contemplated suicide as I could not cope with the agony. A little research and I get Kratom - that kept me alive without a shadow of a doubt as I know I wouldn't have lasted the other 10 months that I would have suffered if I had held out for the pair clinic.

    I've found low dose MXE to be great along with a little cannabis however that is not a viable long term strategy any more. I am aware of people in the US getting Ketamine from their Dr so they can treat their condition, lucky bastards!
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    ^^
    You are exactly the sort of person I am hoping to help with this thread. I'm no expert, but there are some very experienced people here on BL, and someone is sure to have the best possible advice for you. How are things right now? Are you stable? Have you tried ketamine? Please tell us as much as you can about how and what you're doing, and we will try our best to help you.

    Best wishes now and always.
    Last edited by mr peabody; 25-10-2017 at 11:05.
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    #17
    Quote Originally Posted by mr peabody View Post
    Do you have any experience with Rick Simpson's oil? (Another burning question of mine.)
    I'm afraid I do not, though I've heard of it before. Cannabis is surely a great help with chronic pain when used the right way, though. What exactly makes this Rick Simpson's oil different from the other oils that are available?
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    #18
    Quote Originally Posted by mr peabody View Post
    ^^
    You are exactly the sort of person I am hoping to help with this thread. I'm no expert, but there are some very experienced people here on BL, and someone is sure to have the best possible advice for you. How are things right now? Are you stable? Have you tried ketamine? Please tell us as much as you can about how and what you're doing, and we will try our best to help you.

    Best wishes now and always.
    Cannot get any more MXE nor access Ket so at the moment its oxycondone helping with day of Kratom and cannabis offerer I trip. About half ray 3/4 way I have to take opiate to get ride of day which dulls the trip. Pain and what not is barely uncontrolled today and I have had to stop 2 other drugs that were making things worse. I'v a bit to go yet!
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    ^^
    If you don't mind my asking, are you using MXE for pain, and if so, how do you find it compares with Ketamine and Kratom?
    Last edited by mr peabody; 30-10-2017 at 06:46.
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    #20
    I've tried MXE for pain and it was pretty good, except for the intoxication. Kratom is pretty damn good for chronic pain, not so sure on acute. I'd take Kratom over MXE for pain but obviously MXE over Kratom for experience. Not tried Ket....yet!

    Looking back at my post it looks like I messed up in typing. But basically i use Oxy daily for pain, omitting it the day I trip and using Kratom and cannabis. About 1/2 or 3/4 of the way into the trip the pain needs to be medicated with oxy and it definitely dulls things.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kaleida View Post
    Personally, by far the most effective analgesic drug I have ever taken for my own purposes is methoxetamine (MXE), it reduces literally all of my physical sensitivities
    and aches and at least makes me not notice any GI problems even at low doses. Opioids are nowhere near as effective. Other dissociatives I've tried have their own drawbacks, like the short-lived nature of ketamine, or the body load of DXM, or the lack of strong anesthetic effects by comparison and sometimes also headaches
    of memantine, so despite their shared mechanisms of action, methoxetamine definitely remains as the top analgesic of choice for me overall.
    3-MeO-2'-Oxo-PCE (commonly known as Methoxetamine or MXE) is a dissociative hallucinogen known to have similarities in both chemistry and effect to ketamine. From anecdotal reports, methoxetamine is apparently much stronger than ketamine, so users should take extra care to avoid overdosing by only using small amounts.

    https://drugfacts.org.uk/index.php?title=Methoxetamine

    -----

    I think MXE would be an excellent tool for those wishing to quit opioids. I've started using it in cycles, periods on, and off, at low doses, maybe a match-head sized bump or so whenever I
    feel withdrawals, I'm on a rx for chronic pain, and my use is to lower tolerance, I won't be quitting the pain meds any time soon, not unless my knee can be fixed at least, but it allows for my rapidly dropping down to a fraction of my normal opioid dose without withdrawals, staying there, dropping it lower still, going off for a very short time (as short as I can manage, without having to deal with the knee pain and being unable to get around). No cravings, no nothing. I think this is where MXE could shine. And it's definitely a lesser evil than heroin addiction, for example.

    -Limpet_Chicken

    -----

    While I do consider MXE very euphoric, what I like about it most is its effectiveness as an anesthetic. It doesn't just dull pain... it totally numbs you out. For extreme pain it's way better than opioids. I know it's intensely psychoactive, but its anesthetic qualities are underreported. I know people who have MXE in their possession but never get the idea to use it when in pain (they only think about it when they want to get smashed). If you're a fan of MXE you should realize that what you have isn't just a recreational drug - it's also an incredibly powerful painkiller.

    -AA357

    -----

    I use prescribed hydrocodone almost daily for chronic pain management, but try to adhere to an abstinence period of 3-4 days every month in an effort to minimize tolerance issues. On these opiate-free days, MXE at 20-30mg plugged not only gives pain relief, but pretty much abolishes any cravings for the opiates.

    -TerrapinStation

    -----

    I feel MXE has a lot of medicinal properties that could be used and really appreciated by a lot of people. However, it also had great potential for abuse, the same as Special K. It completely numbs my widespread horrible bed locking chronic pain and makes me feel normal for once. It had amazing anti-depressant qualities as well. Overall, an incredible new chemical which it wouldn’t be surprising to see thrown to waste by a Schedule from our beloved government. It’s a shame because this chemical has substantial medicinal properties. We all know the risk of using Adderall in the treatment of ADHD, but it truly WORKS. The same goes for Special K and ESPECIALLY MXE, in the treatment of Pain and Depression. It truly does work.

    https://erowid.org/experiences/exp.php?ID=91458
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    Ketamine is changing the lives of patients with chronic pain, depression

    Meg Farris
    November 09, 2017

    Imagine being in pain, but current treatments don't help. Imagine suffering from clinical depression and current medications and therapy don't help.

    That is why some people are turning to a doctor in Covington, Louisiana for a medication that is considered controversial by some, but safe and effective by others in the medical community.

    At only 25-years-old, Laura Coatney's life dramatically changed several years ago, when she tripped while in college at Cornell. Her Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) means she feels pain just by being touched.

    "I'm in constant pain. On a scale from one-to-ten, my normal day's a six or a seven, which is a lot better than it used to be," Coatney said.

    In her early 70s, Desire Krenning had excruciating back pain. She became a shut-in, unable to hold and enjoy time with her great grandchildren, grandchildren and children.

    "Emotionally, I was getting depressed," Krennings said. "My husband saw it more and more. And I just sat in the chair and went from my bed to the chair, and that was horrible,"

    Also, a middle aged man, with a good job has been suffering from a different kind of chronic pain -- severe clinical depression.

    "They gave me a test, so my scores were like extremely depressed, and I was, you know, like maybe possibly in danger," explained the man, who asked to remain anonymous.

    All of them had a variety of expert, evidence-based medical treatments, but they say their lives changed, and conditions dramatically improved when they discovered something different. It's something the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners says is not FDA approved, could potentially harm patients, and warns doctors it's ill-advised in a clinical setting.

    "For me personally, this has been like the most, the only thing that's been truly helpful with keeping my pain at bay," Coatney said.

    "I love him. I call him my miracle worker," said Krenning of the doctor. "He's given me back my life."

    When asked if he felt differently about life after the treatments, the anonymous chronic depression patient responded, "Oh yeah. Oh yes. Absolutely."

    The three patients are among the first in Louisiana to use infusions of Ketamine for chronic pain or chronic depression.

    Ketamine's been used for five decades as an anesthesia. The world health organization considers it one of the most effective and safe medicines. Licensed veterinarians say it's essential to their practices.

    However, because it puts people in a trance while providing pain relief, sedation and memory loss, it has also been used as a date rape drug and taken illicitly in clubs, known as 'Special K.' It's even killed abusers who wanted a short-term out-of-body experience.

    "You don't get an infusion here unless you're referred from a physician. So, you can't walk in the door here and say, 'Hey, I want Ketamine.' Doesn't happen," said Dr. Brian Ball, Director of Ketamine Infusion Center in Covington.

    Dr. Ball is a board certified anesthesiologist, and Director of Anesthesiology at Lakeview Regional Medical Center in Covington. He's been using Ketamine in the operating room for 30 years. A year ago, he opened the first and only Ketamine infusion center in Louisiana.

    "Surprisingly, a large number of my patients are physicians, or physicians' family because they see it. They see the benefit," Dr. Ball said.

    Dr. Ball says the Louisiana State Board of Medical Examiners gave him the OK to open his clinic, but with many restrictions. He has treated more than 350 patients, and prefers to work alongside patients' regular pain doctors or psychiatrists. Patients range from 17-years-old into their senior years.

    "I get the worst of the worst. I don't get patients that just start having a little ache or pain. I get them when everyone else has failed," Dr. Ball noted.

    Cautious optimism

    "I totally understand the drive behind this. The reality is our treatments for depression are getting better and better, but there are still too many people who have their lives ruined with this illness or even kill themselves because of depression," said Dr. James Barbee, a psychiatrist in private practice who is also a professor of clinical psychiatry at LSUHSC and Tulane.

    Dr. Barbee is a board certified psychiatrist, credited by many patients for their success. He typically gets patients after a dozen medications have failed to help their mental illness. He's had six patients get Ketamine infusions, some out of state. Two have shown short-term improvement.

    Dr. Barbee is not using Ketamine now because, for this treatment resistant population, he has not seen studies that it can help them.

    What he has seen with Ketamine treating depression, is compelling, but he wants to wait for more science to assure that it works, is safe and doesn't have long-term side effects to the brain -- as was seen in an animal study at higher doses.

    "Even though we are using much lower doses in humans, it appears that the effect of Ketamine in depression is relatively transient and lasts maybe a couple of weeks to four weeks on average. In some people it's only a matter of days," Dr. Barbee said.

    "Almost invariably, the toughest ones are the patients with treatment resistant depression," Dr. Ball agreed.

    Dr. Ball says there are patients who need six infusions over two weeks, then regular booster infusions later. But some fibromyalgia patients are one-and-done. There are migraine, diabetic neuropathy and phantom limb pain patients.

    Pharmaceutical companies are doing studies now and the FDA has it on the fast-track for major depression disorder, but still, he can tell early on those who will not be helped.

    "It breaks my heart to tell a patient that, because usually I get the patients that are at the end of their rope," Dr. Ball said.

    But the three patients that talked to Eyewitness News are believers.

    "I can get up and down. I have not had pain in my back since my last shot. Nothing," Krenning said

    "It doesn't get rid of it, but it makes it so much more manageable," Coatney said.

    http://www.wgrz.com/news/health/cont...sion/490526968
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