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2020 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Government & Public Administration, Health, Medical Research, Mental Health, Mental Health Treatment

Mission: Founded in 1986, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana. MAPS furthers its mission by: -Developing psychedelics and marijuana into prescription medicines -Training therapists and working to establish a network of treatment centers -Supporting scientific research into spirituality, creativity, and neuroscience -Educating the public honestly about the risks and benefits of psychedelics and marijuana MAPS envisions a world where psychedelics and marijuana are safely and legally available for beneficial uses, and where research is governed by rigorous scientific evaluation of their risks and benefits.

Results: MAPS announced the publication of the long-term follow-up results of six Phase 2 clinical trials of MDMA-assisted therapy for the treatment of posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in the peer-reviewed journal Psychopharmacology. The paper is the most comprehensive analysis yet published of the safety and durability of treatment outcomes following MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD. The results show that for a majority of participants, the benefits of MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD extended at least 12 months after the treatment sessions. Sponsored by MAPS, the controlled, randomized, double-blind trials found that, two months following their last session, 56% of 100 participants no longer met diagnostic criteria for PTSD. In the newly published analysis, 91 participants were interviewed at least 12 months later. Of these participants, 67% did not qualify for a PTSD diagnosis. One of the studies included data from an average of 3.8 years after treatment. “Trauma exposure has emerged as one of the most pressing public health issues of our time and is now at the forefront of global consciousness due to the COVID-19 pandemic and rising visibility of systemic oppression,” said Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Ph.D., paper co-author and Deputy Director and Head of Research Development and Regulatory Affairs at MAPS. “Although our Phase 3 trials are not yet completed, these long-term data support the hypothesis that MDMA-assisted therapy may provide significant advantages in treatment outcomes, safety, and durability over available PTSD treatments. This is the breakthrough that the world needs right now.” The trials were conducted by independent investigators in South Carolina (two trials), Colorado, Canada, Switzerland, and Israel. Trial participants included women and men with chronic, treatment-resistant PTSD from a wide variety of causes. PTSD symptoms were assessed using the Clinician-Administered PTSD Scale (CAPS-IV) at baseline, one to two months after their last MDMA-assisted therapy session, and at least 12 months after their final session. The course of double-blind treatment included one to three eight-hour MDMA-assisted therapy sessions spaced three to five weeks apart, combined with weekly non-drug therapy sessions. Outcomes were assessed by blinded Independent Raters. Based on these results, in August 2017, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) granted Breakthrough Therapy Designation to MDMA-assisted therapy for PTSD, acknowledging that it “may demonstrate substantial improvement over existing therapies” and agreeing to expedite its development and review. The FDA also considered MAPS’ prior published Phase 2 results when it agreed to MAPS’ Expanded Access program in January 2020. The research also received major confirmation when it passed its crucial interim analysis in May 2020.

Target demographics: Any person whose life may be aided by the transformative nature of psychedelic therapy

Geographic areas served: Worldwide

Programs: Phase 3 trials of MDMA-assisted therapy; Psychedelic peer support at events around the world; Education about the benefits and risks of psychedelic medicine

Community Stories

731 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Mariusz J.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have suffered from PTSD and have coincidentally found out about MDMA being used to treat the symptoms, also found out about MAPS clinical studies and work to make marijuana and psychedelics a prsescription medicines. I am very thankful for their work, they've done a great job :) drugs that are prohibited work much better than pharmaceutical drugs, which makes me feel completely negative towards big pharma, they create customers, not cures. It's time for revolution !

Jason89

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

After ten years of participating in AA to address what was a debilitating alcoholism I came to realize, as many scientists studying addiction pathology and treatment are now finding, that the 12 step model was not only horribly ineffective and unsuccessful- it actually hampered my recovery and personal growth. It was out of desperation that I saught out psychedelic therapy after researching addiction online for the better part of a year and I'm so incredibly thankful that I did as it not only ended my physical addiction it disabused me of the PTSD, toxic shame, and poisonous resentments that were the fuel for my discontent and compulsion to self-medicate with booze. I was relieved of my self centeredness and shown my roll in my own situation, I was blessed with a sense of increased empathy which allowed me to forgive those I was harboring resentments towards who had abused and neglected me as a child. This increased empathy was not temporary, and has continued to enrich my life two years later. I have also disabused myself of misleading neo con propaganda and denounced my previous stance as a militant atheist islamophobe I went from denouncing all of Islam to advocating for displaced and occupied Palestinians. Psychedelic therapy not only cured my addiction, it showed me addiction wasn't even disease- it was a symptom of a larger affliction I was unaware I even had- this condition was of a spiritual nature. Psychedelics didn't chemically cure me- they simply brought me into a spiritual place where I could heal myself. The power doesn't come from a chemical, it comes from us- I never knew I had this power within me. We all have this potential for healing, insight, growth of empathy, and MAPS is far and away at the forefront of the bringing psychedelic therapy research and the resulting conversation to the forefront, and this is why it is essential that we support them. Psychedelic therapy is absolutely thee future of addiction and trauma treatment and the future is happening... Now.

Donor

Rating: 5

Psychedelics are the only medicines that treat my schizoaffective disorder without side effects. MAPS has worked consistently to build the scientific and evidential framework to legalize this treatment. I'm proud to support MAPS.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have finally got some relief. Knowing MAPS work in helping the PTSD problem in our military. I feel that we have made a leap in to our future help with PTSD. And other related mental health problems. Thank You MAPS

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have volunteered and donated to various non-profits over my many years. Some 6 or so years ago I became aware of the work of MAPS and attended my first conference in 2013. Was I ever impressed! What an extraordinary group of people are involved. I am still feeling the "workshop high" I left with and no it isn't something I smoke or ingest! Presenters were passionate about their work and it was heartening to observe that. It is clear that the work MAPS is doing has far-reaching possibilities to help people with serious and intractable health issues. There is an urgency to their work and I want to see them flourish.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS has been an invaluable resource in navigating my own mental health and understanding how tools such as MDMA have helped those with PTSD and other anxiety disorders. The fear surrounding psychedelic medicines has resulted in disinformation and prohibition, thus making it impossible for those in need to access these potentially life-saving medicines. I have enormous respect for an organization like MAPS, who are bringing much needed sanity and research to this field. Few have been brave enough to take on such work, given the nature of the drug war, legal complexities, and lack of financial gain. And so I am very grateful for MAPS and their work and hope that funding for this vital research continues to grow.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

If we want to heal this world, first we have to heal ourselves. Psychedelic agents can be used as incredible tools of healing, but in the wrong hands, with the wrong attitude, they can be very dangerous as well. MAPS is the organization which took up the task of finding a suitable, safe context for the use of psychedelic medicines, one which could be seamlessly integrated into our modern Western society.

Neither the psychedelic be-ins of the sixties, nor the Goa parties of the 90s, nor the traditional ayahuasca rituals of Amazonian tribes could be integrated in such a way that they reached more than a few percent of the population. It would be very difficult for most people to get over the somewhat "fringe" nature of these contexts. But psychedelic psychotherapy - which grew out of well-established Western traditions of psychology and psychiatry - could be a game changer.

Aundre S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I am a woman suffering with PTSD and extreme anxiety issues and have not yet found a treatment that helps my condition. I am hopeful at the prospect of new treatments and am excited to see a group working on this important issue.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I value MAPS work because they are opening the paths to treatments possible for those suffering from several disorders. I have hope while keeping up with their research and their progress as I suffer from PTSD and know the benefits of the substances they are studying. MAPS has helped me spread awareness of the potential options available to us in our (hopefully) near future and removing the stigma of the substances described. For once, I've been able to have intelligent debates over two substances that MAPS has been studying without judgement that they're "just drugs used for partying". Its changing the mindset of many and planting the seed to change many more. I can't wait to see how MAPS flourishes over the coming years and I will be doing my best to support them to continue their marvelous work and helping me and many others like me to have a successful and happy life.

Territorio N.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MAPS is frontlining a battle for health and cognitive liberty. What else does matter?

Vector N.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS is fighting for our fundamental right of free self-determination over our adult bodies and minds.
This basic human right has been stolen from us by pharmacological fascism's counterproductive and historically falsified prohibition policy which guarantees tax-free profits in the billions to unregulated criminal cartels, while it effectively only prevents any control of access, age and quality. Air America, Iran-Contra, N987SA and the HSBC settlement clearly shows who is profiting from the corruption pyramid which is the base for the global tax-free Mafia monopoly. MAPS' research focus are medicines which are known to mankind for thousands of years and where stigmatized only recently(speaking in evolutionary time scales) by corrupt people like criminals, lying politicians, lobbyists, manipulative media empires, pharmacological fascists and religious fanatics. MAPS is researching our consciousness and how it can be modified with endogenous(like DMT) and exogenous(like LSD) psychotropic substances. They are not only restricted to psychedelic research and also research dissociatives like Ketamine and empathogens like MDMA, which also can have great therapeutic potential. They are fighting for mankind to restore our originally guaranteed universal dignity and humanity.

Zdravko S.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The people at MAPS are passionate in their efforts to bring health and peace to many patients for whom traditional therapies have proved unhelpful. They are also brave and principled professionals who are committed to a scientific inquiry in a field held back by social prejudice and misinformed political fear-mongering.

Go MAPS!

Shiva R.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS has worked tirelessly to do real research on substances with great healing merit that have been outlawed by our society for too long.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I full agree with everything MAPS is doing and strongly believe in the healing powers of psychedelic medicines.

2

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It's simple really, they are the frontiers on a subject that has been demonized by the western world for far too long, without a legitimate reason.(There isn't a legit reason by the way)
People need to know this information regardless of their personal views on any "illicit drug" , since the information they are basing it upon is not generally fact, but propaganda, "morals" and miss-information. We need to re-educate the people on all "illicit drugs", not just psychedelics.

Sovereignty over our own minds and bodies should be a fundamental human right.
Without it, we are not free, we just pretend to be.

Sincerely
Robert . L

Ps, my dream is to work in this field, so if anyone is hiring ;)

Rip W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 3

I support MAPS because after losing my left leg above knee in a motorcycle accident and almost losing my left arm, marijuana was the safest, most effective way to treat the anxiety and insomnia that came with the pain meds. Despite over a decade of 12 step work, it wasn't until I got to experience DMT that I was able to truly accept the life situation I found myself in, so I know the potential for hallucinogens used for healing in the appropriate settings and support further research.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS is a trustable group of professionals in their fields, with a common goal to developing medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics. Regarding the contradictionary situation out times - when this powerful substances are generally prohibited for scientific research, but in the same time widely available on the black market for recreational use and abuse - MAPS work is essential. When i discovered this altered states of mind, realised the importance of such a therapeutic context, what MAPS is promoting. I deeply regret, that its not allowed to be available, and there are millions out there, who never even heard about these unique tools, but they can possibly benefit them. Like my grandfather, who has Alzheimer desease, or my mother with breast cancer. So i am grateful that MAPS exist, and hope that psychedelic research will soon reach a point to make psychedelic treatment widely available. If not for the generation of my parents and grandparents - at least for our generation, and for our children.

1 Alon E.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

MAPS-multidisciplinary association for psychedelic studies
They general theory behind this- the combination of PROFESSIONALLY SUPERVISED cognitive therapy, with certain substances (MDMA for post trauma, lsd, dmt, psilocybin, ibogaine, mescaline, and ketamine for other purposes such as addictions) has PROVEN to highly effective in enough cases to warrant further research.
1) Support what works. The number of success stories speak for themselves

2) The original stigma- that psychedelics cannot be used medicinally due to their psychological effects- has been formally discredited.

As for abuse, OxyContin, Vicodin, Xanex, Percocet, and even COUGH SYRUP are abused. The potential for something to be abused is not an argument against it- look at the second amendment; it's merely an argument against irresponsibility.

Psychedelics simply ought to be regulated and administered with appropriately stringent laws, just like any other potent pharmacological products that are already on the shelves.

Kevin113

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As someone working in healthcare for the past decade who is generally passionate about medicine and helping relieve the suffering of others, I think that MAPS is doing some of the most important work in medicine today.

Volunteer

Rating: 3

Having experienced mescaline as a young and reckless adolescent just for some colourful kicks, I soon discovered that there was an intrinsic meaning present and an elder fortunately showed me the respect and reverence that these pants deserved. From here I was shown their true potential to reveal our true place as humans in the cosmic web of life, our significance and our misplaced self-importance. These latter events left me with profoundly life-altering and personally trans-formative experiences that I will never forget and guided my life in directions that seemed to be fortuitous becoming an integral part of who I am now some 25 years later. That organizations like MAPS exist vindicates the validity of these experiences for me as not just 'crazy trips' but as the spiritual and deeply insightful phenomenon that they are. It is clear that the (historically recent) current drug enforcement and prohibition paradigm has continually been shown as ineffective, counter-productive and destructive and a war which unfortunately Psychedelic/entheogenic substances have been caught in. Plant substances hold enormous value for the human condition and their millennial old presence in ritual/ceremonial religious contexts across the globe vindicates the validity of studying and examining the effects on these substances with academic rigour. As my own experiences so profoundly changed my inner being, when I came to academics late in life, I found within my Cultural Studies major that the vicissitudes of everyday life, our inculcation and socialization into negative patterns of consumption and behaviour are so entirely capable of being reconfigured by psychedelics. Not only for the momentary stripping away of the ego and the profound connection and visualization of all living networks from the micro to the macro cosmic level, but for the deep realization that we are all connected and more similar than different. I am hoping to go on and examine an apparent revival in legitimate psychedelic-entheoegenic cultures and how they affect peoples articulations of spirituality in the spirit of James William's 'Varieties of Religious Experience'....for this I am endlessly grateful to MAPS for providing scientific literary resources and ongoing academic investigation through a range of disciplines. This may well be one of the most important techniques and fields of study in the 21st century if we are to progress from the ego-based destructive drive that is turning humanity against it self and its environment and move toward a new era of cooperation, awareness and sustainability through legitimate scientific discourse

Donor

Rating: 5

I love MAPS for all of the work they put into cutting edge research, education, and great events! Their work is truly important for so many reasons.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

one of the most upcomming and important organizations. There is so much treatment, public health, and general reseach potential here which is not nearly enough explored.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Psychadelics help evolve mankind in his endless journey for enlightenment. Psychadelics have an extremely beneficial effect on any person that thinks they are ready to take in what their subconciouse wants to tell them. Please continue the research on psychadelics so that we can get a better scientific understanding of them.

Benjamin5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In determining the usefulness or uselessness of a thing, it is best to allow for certain liberties in keeping with the framers of our Constitution. Fear of the unknown keeps it unknown as Carl Jung has said. One of the tenents of our Constitution is the pursuit of happiness. If a law dis-allows the pursuit of happiness and as studies are now showing, much usefulness to individuals as a medicine, those who seek to ban or stop it are operating from something that in reality does not exist (irrational fear). The rhetoric of status quo and fear must give way to awareness and with the accuracy of science and understanding, it can. With so many lives currently being affected negativley and so much riding on appropriate discourse and knowledge, only insight into and study of a chemical or plant's potential usefulness or uselessness will bring out it's rightful place in our society.

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

Prior to my own introduction with these powerful sacraments, I was unconvinced of there ability to provide structured meaningful therapy for those in need regarding: PTSD, alcoholism, abuse, ect.
But after personally allowing them into my psyche, It has revealed a profound world of endless possibilities for those eager to move in the direction of overcoming. It is ingrained in our being and intertwined in our bio-logy. It increases sensitivity to all of the senses and the ability to get the the bottom of the issue in the right environment (set and setting) far sooner than traditional therepy. It seams immature and childish to regard medicines of this stature as a criminal offence, for something that has the power to change habit and thought.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I first learned about psychedelics during undergrad working towards my BS in Neuroscience & have been amazed by their huge potential for helping mental illness both in my academic research and personal experiences.

MAPS has had similar interests & research goals as myself & would love to be involved in any way with the organization!

I firmly believe countless peoples's lives could benefit from psychedelic drugs in a controlled, medical context. Personally, my experiences with MDMA, ayahuasca & psilocybe fungi have, on separate occasions, helped me immensely in my own battles with anxiety & depression. It is because of these & legitimate academic research that lead me to believe in the potential of psychedelic drugs.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

There doesn't exist a valid excuse for supressing scientific research with psychedelics. Like is said, psychedelics are for psychiatry and neuroscience the same as microscope is for microbiologist. Science is for seeking facts and truth, and it shouldn't be influenced by politics. MAPS is out there to change that and with decades of hard work, they are finally seeing the results. MAPS's work may result in dramatic changes in the medical fields mentioned.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It is difficult as an individual to fight the unjust predispositions that society has towards psychedelics and marijuana usage for therapy. Being a member of MAPS I feel empowered knowing that as a group we have a larger voice and a stronger support system.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Watson & Crick were using psychedelics when working on the structure of DNA. What other great scientific discoveries have been lost by criminalising psychedelics? Society needs organisations like this to end the War on psychedelics.

Jokuri

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have worked with MAPS as a volunteer at their last conference and everything was organized really professionally. I can't think anything negative to say about how MAPS functions. They are working to help relieve sufferings of millions and to further the evolution of mankind with the help of psychedelic substances - medicines and tools.

Josef K.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered as a clinical intern for the academic year of 2012-2013 and it was one of the best experiences of my life! Everyone involved at MAPS is so amazing and I want to come back to work for them someday.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS uses a perfect combo of substance induction and therapy which leads to improvements in patients and them leaving substance free unlike our current Western model but unfortunately due to information censorship, there are a lot of promising discoveries out there that aren't getting enough attention.

What often goes unmentioned is the fact that materialist science cannot explain all the phenomena out there though seems to claim far more power.

Psychedelic substances explore the field of consciousness so well and can be done in safe and controlled ways. I feel MAPS sticks to this priority really well in their work!

Antonio4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

This organization is paving the way for the future of our civilization. I believe that the staff @ MAPPS
are heroes of our times just like our soldiers @ war. I appreciate every moning that all of those minds are collaborating to help the future of our species better understand our abilities in self exploration & self healing! May this organization receive all help, acknowledgements, & blessings from every corner of the universe!

Toren W.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Psychedelic research is a deadly subject to touch in the scientific world. But MAPS does an excellent job at professionalizing and utilizing their purpose and goals. If psychedelics and marijuana had a face, MAPS deserves to represent them.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a physician treating people with opioid addictions, a chronic, relapsing disease where the available treatments have an 85% failure rate, I see the potential to help turn lives around with the use of psychedelics.

Under controlled conditions, in an open, non-judgemental setting where trust is established, it is possible for people who habitually use drugs to obliterate feelings to have the opportunity to experience awareness, trust and joy. No amount of motivational interviewing will allow people to experience what they do not know exists.

MAPS has been very instrumental in raising awareness about these issues and bringing together some of the best and brightest minds in neurology and psychiatry. A respect for the ancient cultures that gave birth to these substances seems to be integrated into their philosophy.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS is an association that is necessary for the world growth in studies of consciousness. While pharmaceutical industries lobby against the modernization of laws by the result of an enriched psychedelic community, people with problems are being helped, and MAPS is a part of that. As we enter a new age of awareness, MAPS must be at the forefront of protecting the sovereign rights of individual consciousness. Treating a multitude of symptoms, psychedelics has already had profound effects, and must no longer be trivialized with 60's propaganda an irresponsible use in our current societies.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been studying the topic of Psychedelics for a couple years now, and MAPS has been a wonderful tool in bringing together great minds and equally great results.
Said results are, indeed, bringing life-changing results to those suffering from Depression, Post-traumatic Stress Disorder, and Drug Addictions.
This is the first organization, in years, that I've been actively talking about in my circle of friends and family.

Donor

Rating: 5

Groundbreaking research - long time coming - sorely needed - God bless MAPS

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

They carry out such useful studies on the uses of psychoactive substances to help those in need of healing.

Previous Stories
9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS provides a very special service by supporting legitimate research in etheogens and showing what an important role they can play in our lives.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

MAPS keep surprising year after year, steadily advancing knowledge in one of neurocscience's most promising frontiers. Simply awesome. Support their work now!

Previous Stories
10

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MAPS is way beyond regular non-profits It's work is on the frontier of medical and neuroscientific research, and I firmly believe they're gonna be responsible for great and important positive changes in the near future, creating new therapeutic tools and helping in changing the current paradigms!

Review from Guidestar

6 Leoš

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

MAPS has been diclosing the tabu of psychoactive substance adaptive consumption. They have been facing immense legal, political and financal challanges and proved themselve to be patient, tireless and competent. After many years of their activiy we have here several rigorous psychedelic studies done and other precise research of this potent ancient psychotechnologies is coming. Im grateful I could pick up the thread of their work and proceed with promising research which could benefit human health and human-ecosystem relationship and by so it could change the way society understand itself, human nature and nature in general.

Justin P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MAPS is the best non profit organization because in a time like this, a paradigm shift seems like the best way to fix the problems we have created on this planet. A paradigm shift would be much easier and happen much faster with safety tested psychedelics as prevalent as alcohol. While the need for a paradigm shift is not the only reason psychedelics need to be legal, and thus making MAPS the best and most important non profit organization, one other great reason is because, in many cases, the effect of years of therapy can be achieved overnight.

Craig14

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS is attempting the impossible: changing the prevailing attitudes around psychedelics from "strictly for stoner rejects" to "full of potential for healing." And you know what? Somehow, it's working! By consistently getting solid research done and presenting the results to the world, people are waking up to the possibilities. Thank you, MAPS!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MAPS is on the frontlines, is perhaps unique in it's work to legitimize and medicalize psychedelics, sine qua non I feel our world is damned to extinction. The most spiritual experiences I have ever known were states of consciousness engendered by psychedelics, and one experience in particular extraordinary. It happened when I was 18, and my friend Mitch brought me over two hits, tiny barrels of microdot, that he called White Lightning. I ate them and he had to leave to run a couple of errands. He came back an hour and a half later or so. I wasn’t really feeling anything, and beginning to think I was in for a disappointment. We took a ride in his car and still nothing except I did notice the street lights reflecting surreally off the hood of his car. We visited a friend of his who worked at a pizzeria after which Mitch brought me home. Mitch subsequently offed himself in a PCP haze because he was never educated to the differences between LSD, a psychedelic, and PCP an elephant tranquilizer, which itself the authorities have manipulated with the name of “Angel Dust,” confusing it with the genuine article, MDA, and marijuana.
He left and I was disappointed but still wanted to get high. After a lot of begging I prevailed upon my brother to smoke some marijuana with me. We ducked into the bathroom with its exhaust fan and smoked a bowl, and when we finished he went downstairs to fix something to eat. I started washing my pimple-painted face. All of a sudden I became very high. The pot had seemingly catalyzed the acid. The whole bathroom started vibrating with a scintillating energy. The water gushing out of the faucet became a glorious wonder to behold and was rushing backwards into the faucet as much as out of it. I wasn’t to experience the same kind of beauty until I visited Niagara Falls some years later. The electrical outlet above the sink directly in front of me became a totally different entity, as if a television on which a drama of the greatest interest was playing itself out. I seemed to be able to see each molecule that composed it moving in its appointed path according to Universal Law, which also I witnessed in all its glory and self-evidentness for the first time. As if a test of my conscience and an inventory of my sincerity as a seeker, Great Spirit I think jammed questions into my head: “Who am I? Where did I come from? Where am I going to? How did I get here? What is my purpose in life?” Everything was all wonder at this point; it wasn’t to be terrifying until later. All at once, the answers came in a flash: Oneness with the Universe. I had a feeling of being, seeing, and flowing with the One truth that I call Great Spirit. It was a moment of pure light, bliss, and wisdom. I was as One, and in perfect harmony with Universal Mind. This was the reality. My regular everyday life and state of consciousness was the illusion. I was still able to see myself and my tiny little ego that existed as against something else – the environment, other people, God - but I also could see with Great Spirit’s eyes, what itself was striving to realize itself, and which is the ground and foundation of all being; and which is consciousness. I could see myself as a unique and divine being identical but distinct from the universal essence, the macrocosm, of which I was a microcosm. As fast as I had asked these questions had the answers come, which it seemed like the Universe had only been waiting eternally to be asked to reveal the bliss and beauty of this world. But even the answers weren’t answers to those questions, but only the portal I should go through to experience what I did. I saw the Universe in the proverbial grain of sand and that eternity exists only in the moment. It was necessary as I looked down upon myself from on high that I should still have my body, my being, my ego to participate in the cosmic party, while at the same time all that was an illusion next to the reality of universal being, the dull yellow, all expansive penetrating light of being itself. All of the reality below me, Maya as the Hindus call it, was as an illusion next to the pure light, a kind of light the color of sunshine which was the true essence of being. Enough. There are no words really to express what I had experienced, because even words are only shadows of the reality they represent, and with them there are already division: speaker and spoken to, and all of the many dualities words summon, which don’t exist next to the Cosmic Whole.
I couldn’t believe the wonder and the beauty of what I had just seen. I wanted to tell somebody, anybody, everybody this special thing, the reality and meaning of life.
I went flying out of the bathroom and called urgently to my brother that I wanted to tell him something. Again and again I had to shout for him. He finally acquiesced to my plaints and came upstairs. I looked at him and realized in that moment that there were no words I could use to explain. It was something that existed whole and unfathomable and complete unto Itself and in which there were no divisions between talker and talked to, subject and object or any other. My brother’s face lit up into a hundred million different prisms of light; and his head became bathed in the headdress of an Indian chief.
I stood staring at him in wonder and terror. The colors were incredible and my brother’s visage and aura changed now from one with an Indian headdress of feathers of a thousand million colors to the face of a clown with like coloring.
He must have thought me insane for just staring at him like that, and I was. Although no more insane than the world I had just left forever. For I would never be the same.
It was difficult for me to understand what was happening to me. I would later read Nietzsche describe it as the phenomenon that nothing exists apart from the whole. I don’t guess I consciously dropped my jaw on the ground at all the lies I had been told about LSD just then. When I came out of the trance, the voice said to me, “This is the truth, and don’t you ever forget it. I’ve had to show it to you this way because, for One, of the recklessness of nuclear weapons.” I mean I was on to it this far: in that once I had been initiated into the holy ganja, which had been demonized to me as just slightly worse than the CIA, I had to be suspect about what I had been told about other so-called drugs. I mean I had enough common sense to know that coffee and cigarettes – now there’s a gateway drug, as if it isn’t bad enough all by itself – and alcohol were drugs. Fer crissakes the first time I got drunk, on Mad Dog 20/20, my vision was anything but. And I puked all over the tent baked beans, although I didn’t remember eating them, and my head was spinning as if communicating with a UFO. As adolescents we practiced the same games our elders did. My brother sighed, turned on his heel, and went downstairs to do something; eat I guess. My consciousness struggled between going back to that One, and certain oblivion; or returning to the runt of the life of my ego. Luckily I found, subsequent to this, warriors such as Three Dog Night’s shambala, and Don Quixote, because there was definitely something militaristic about this. My red phone went forth to do battle with the blue carpet, about as inane an image as Alice eating mushrooms. I kept the TV on to try to return me to some sense of normalcy. I’ll never forget that the television show, Jeremiah Jones: Nature’s Protector was on. My mom came home from work at 4 a.m. and shut the TV off. I’ll never forget that either. I was so terrified she would know I was awake. I wonder if she sensed that something momentous had happened to me that night. The point is, it is unconscionable the lies that I was told about marijuana, fer crissakes, and these other substances. One should be prepared for that experience, and it is sine qua non an alternative to the nightmare of capitalist dysfunction. I once wrote in a review of Under the Influence: Disinformation Guide to Drugs about this issue, “Rather than an institutional and cultural framework of support for such a breathtaking discovery, there was the most mendacious dissembling around the issue of (some) drugs.” And I still believe that with respect to psychedelics, “True religious freedom...would be an exploring and attempt at recreating these kinds of states of consciousness; understanding the potentialities and limitations of integrating them into everyday life; freedom to create some kind of cultural and institutional framework to give them legitimacy as religious ritual,” rather than be forced to stumble into it. Indeed, Mitch had to see for himself what the realities of PCP (phencyclidine), an animal tranquilizer, were. His suicide was successful, and a way-station along the path was swinging a four-foot long piece of tree lumber against another tree, in a PCP haze, in the dead of a suburban Chicago winter. This wasn't a case of drugs being evil. This was a problem of prohibition and dishonesty.

Isis T.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS are doing really amazing researches. It's so important to research psychedelics and find how to use them as treatment. Actually, I'd even like to join MAPS in future as a scientist.

Alan G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS work has been essential for the development of a well informed and consistent argument against the "war on drugs"and the social significance that the end of such war would have is a major positive shift for human kind.

Andrew Z.

Donor

Rating: 5

MAPS is doing great good for mankind, by far the most worthy of support! Not only are they fighting to make the "drug war" no more, they want to use substances for the benefit of us all. Modern society has a lot of problems that used to be handled more easily when you could pick your own medicines. Prohibition must die, people need to live!

Paul62

Volunteer

Rating: 3

I find MAPS a very detailed and interesting site. The amount of knowledge which is conveyed re: psychedelics and their useage should be made more widely available and MAPS is doing this in a clear and concise way.

Chandra B.

Donor

Rating: 5

I love MAPS. There are so many wonderful reviews on this site already so I'll just say that I hope you guys win this much deserved award.

Donor

Rating: 5

For years, I have been a supporter of MAPS as they have struggled to spread the truth about the benefits of psychedelic substances can offer in psychological and/or physical healing. For many years, the United States government continuously threw up roadblock after roadblock when studies on psychoactive compounds were proposed; and despite that opposition, MAPS continued and in fact redoubled its efforts. I remember the day I received my MAPS publication, discussing the studies which had begun overseas to use MDMA in the treatment of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder in soldiers. I remember reading about the individuals who became trained in this new "entheogenic therapy", and feeling so proud that, in large part thanks to years of tireless labor from MAPS, these studies would soon be taking place here in the US as well. I began seeing, even in the most conservative publications, an increasing number of articles which, if not exactly embracing the idea, did acknowledge that for many people, these treatments were highly successful. I began seeing more and more studies relating to the use of psilocybin for cluster headaches, and now trials have begun using the once entirely-banned LSD: believed to have no medicinal value at all, it has not been well-studied since the mid-century. Scientists are also looking into was to use psilcybin to reduce end of life anxiety in cancer patients. In the future, we can only expect many more great insights to come out of these types of studies, and it is MAPS, in large part, who can be thanked for the many, many years of hard work that has allowed us to reach this point.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The brave folks at MAPS work tirelessly to help change perceptions about the medical use of these extraordinary compounds. In our world today, increasingly dangerous and expensive pharmaceuticals dominate the treatment options available to many patients who could be helped safely and effectively using psychedelics. MAPS is doing the research that may well change that.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have struggled for 30 years with a debilitating mental illness. Though I have worked with many talented therapists over the years, I have been hospitalized and the best I can say is that traditional medicine has been helpful but has in no way cured my PTSD + depression. Through MAPS's help I am vastly improved, and can see my way to complete healing over the next few months. A year ago, I had not even heard of MAPS. This sounds miraculous, but it happened to me. I hope I can someday make a big donation to this extraordinary organization. I don't quite owe them my life, but my life is immeasurably better because of MAPS. This is what Steve Jobs would term an "insanely great" group of people.

Janis P.

Donor

Rating: 5

MAPS is one of the most extraordinary nonforprofit organizations I know. Their dedicated leaders, enormous volunteer base, diversity of supporters, unique expertise in the field and hard work puts them on the forefront among most effective nonforprofits today.  MAPS has been able to bring together scientists and thinkers, health practitioners and faith leaders, cutting edge research institutions and diverse ethno - cultural wisdom practitioners, visionaries and community leaders from across the globe to create more positive, more humane and more hopeful world. MAPS transformative work is providing many people with hope towards healing, recovery and wholeness when it is most needed in their lives. I am very honored to know them.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS is a fantastic organization, dedicated to human beings. While utilizing complementary therapies and strategies for overcoming unbearably traumatic experiences, they are consistent in their message, actions and heart. Here here to Maps! Long live the organization and all the people who have benefited from their painstaking battle to make legal those therapies and methodologies!

Previous Stories
4

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS is absolutely leading the pack with its intensive efforts to alleviate (and in most cases eliminate) the suffering of millions through unconventional therapeutic means. The courage and determination of this non-profit are evident in their compassionate, reasonable and relentless pursuit for legal clinical trials. MAPS has opened doors and minds. These less conventional means deserve study and education of the masses who do not yet understand. I strongly believe in MAPS and the fantastic causes the people within it continue to make on a moment to moment basis.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

In a field like psychadelics, the overall health effects aren't well known. Thanks to MAPS we're finding out more about these drugs and how they affect us and their research has the potential to help millions of people

6

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS is the only organization providing the world with essential research on a subject other nonprofits are too timid to deal with. Psychedelic research is becoming more legitimate because of what MAPS has done.

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

MAPS has been a courageous spearhead in the struggle to end the prohibition of therapeutically valuable psychedelics. I congratulate Rick Doblin and his staff for undertaking this important work.

Review from Guidestar

8

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

The MAPS material is always varied. It academic without being overwhelming, and they also tackle some of the more quirky experiences resulting from psychedelic use - one story which springs to mind, if I remember correctly, is of someone learning to wrrite with their left hand after taking MDMA, putting questions to it and getting instructive and unexpeced responses.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Psychedelic research is a fascinating and important area. The human mind is the most powerful, enigmatic concept we know - it would be an injustice not to explore and learn more about it.

11

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a MAPS supporter for many years, I can say, without reservation, that the work Rick Doblin and his staff have done to promote important clinical research has been superlative. I believe MAPS along with The Heffter Society have the potential to manifest new treatment paradigms for many sufferers of mental illness. I believe these have potential for healing psychic wounds which may otherwise not respond to conventional allopathic modalities. Phillip Grob. M.D.

Review from Guidestar

5

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

MAPS is an extremely important organization, one that goes against the grain in a certain sense, in that it relies on "outside the box" thinking in order to solve some of the problems that face modern society. While many people may shun or look down upon the work that they do, I feel that it is absolutely essential that their research continues and expands, as they are on the brink of some of the most important and helpful scientific discoveries of our times, and have the capability to vastly improve the lives of millions of people around the world.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with the MAPS organization for several years. I like the program and will continue to volunteer for as long as they need me.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was introduced to MAPS by a friend of mine through another helpful site. I like helping organizations like this because they are creating a helpful environment for those who deservingly need it.

6

Donor

Rating: 5

I firmly believe in them and appreciate what they do. Thank you MAPS. You have made a difference for the better.