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2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies

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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 has completed two Phase 2 FDA studies using MDMA-assisted psychotherapy to treat PTSD, and is in the process of four other similar studies. MAPS also has a study looking at LSD-assisted psychotherapy for treating end-of-life anxiety, an outcome study of the benefits of ibogaine for opiate dependence, and a protocol to investigate medical marijuana to relieve symptoms of PTSD.

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

Geographic areas served: Worldwide

Programs: Maps' primary focus is research into mdma-assisted psychotherapy ($1,094,575), especially phase 2 research into mdma-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant ptsd. In this fiscal year, maps treated the 18th subject in our charleston, south carolina mdma/ptsd study in 24 veterans, firefighters and police officers. An 8th subject was treated in our study in boulder, colorado for people suffering from ptsd from any source, a fourth subject was treated in our mdma/ptsd study in beer yaakov, israel, and an irb approved the amendments for our mdma/ptsd study in vancouver, canada. A 7th therapist participated in our mdma-assisted psychotherapy therapist training study. In addition to our core clinical research, this fiscal year we began planning a series of studies in collaboration with researchers who work with the u. S. Department of veterans affairs' national center for ptsd. We'll be exploring the use of mdma along with more traditional psychotherapeutic methods for treating ptsd including cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy, cognitive processing therapy, and prolonged exposure therapy. We also began our study looking at the safety and efficacy of using mdma-assisted therapy for anxiety in adults on the autism spectrum and began preparations for a study of mdma-assisted psychotherapy for end-of-life anxiety. These studies will grow significantly in the coming year. Mdma-study related program expenses include costs of video data storage and streaming systems development, budgeting, contracting, and meetings; the costs of developing the treatment manual; training therapists; blinded therapist adherence training; and costs of reviewing and documenting all published mdma literature. There are also mdma-study related supervision of therapists, presentation of our data at professional conferences, and costs to manage the mdma purchased early in our work and to secure the drug for phase 3 trials expected to begin in 2016. Clinical research general costs cover the development of the infrastructure needed for our mdma clinical trials, including work with communications and fundraising departments, staff professional development and conferences, and video streaming and statistical software. Most of the clinical research expenses are personnel, including personnel at each study site: principal investigators, co-investigators, independent raters, overnight physicians, attendant, and study coordinators, as well as maps' internal staff: the clinical director, research associates, information specials, data coordinators and statistical consultants. Ibogaine research expenses were dedicated to completing our studies in mexico ($3,816), and new zealand ($6,329). Lsd research expenses ($12,185) were primarily used for the march 2014 publication of our lsd end-of-life anxiety article in the journal of nervous and mental disease. Marijuana research ($14,905) covered the costs of developing the protocol for a pilot study in which marijuana will be tested to manage symptoms in 76 veterans with chronic, treatment-resistant ptsd, and our efforts to end the public health service (phs) review and the national institute of drug abuse (nida) monopoly of the sale of marijuana for clinical research.

education expenses include harm reduction, events, publications and communications programs. Our zendo project provides a supportive space for people undergoing difficult psychedelic experiences in order to help turn those experiences into opportunities for learning and personal growth, and to reduce the number of drug-related psychiatric hospitalizations and arrests. Services were provided at five major events in fiscal year 2014: burning man (black rock city, nv), envision (costa rica), afrikaburn (south africa), bicycle day (san francisco, ca), and lightning in a bottle (bradley, ca). In order to share recent findings and to inspire existing and new support, maps produced events on psychedelic and marijuana research in colorado, vancouver and santa cruz; and attended more than 17 events that others produced, providing speakers, exhibits, sales of books and maps bulletins, and free distribution of clinical protocols and articles from peer-reviewed journals. Communications included publishing three maps bulletins, and 12 email newsletters, maintaining maps. Org, mdmaptsd. Org, mapscanada. Org, psychedelicscience. Org, and launching mdma-autism. Org. Maps produced "manifesting minds," with north atlantic books, reprinted albert hofmann's "lsd: my problem child," and began work with stanislav grof on his new book, "the visionary world of h. R. Giger. " in spring 2014, maps offered its first webinar, "psychedelic science," in collaboration with evolver learning labs. Maps saw significant growth in coverage of its work in social, online, and traditional media. Maps. Org had 511,449 unique visits and 1,809,246 page views. Facebook likes more than doubled to 89,282. Twitter followers increased 140%, to 17,099. Youtube subscriptions increased 256% to 5,313. Maps received 344 unique media mentions from online and print publications with significant reach. Media outlets include the los angeles times, the new york times, the san francisco chronicle, reason, scientific american, cnn, usa today, msnbc, time, associated press, fox news, forbes, nbc news, playboy, santa cruz sentinel, tricycle, business insider, npr, vice, and southern california public radio (kpcc).

this year, maps operationalized its long-running fiscal sponsorship program, clarifying and updating contracts, process, and structure. This program supports projects that are in alignment with maps mission and vision by offering donors a way to give to a 501(c) 3 nonprofit organization. Maps monitors the project budget, takes a small fee, and sends the donor a receipt for their contribution.

Community Stories

111 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MAPS, is a leading researcher & advocate for Psychedelics for healing PTSD, depression, anxiety disorders, for Spiritual growth & self-discovery.
* Zendo, MAPS Psychedelic Harm Reduction Organization works at festivals training 100s of people a year, assisting many more.
* MAPS has completed Phase 1 & 2 FDA/DEA approved trials for MDMA “Combined Therapy” working at John Hopkins with Vets w/PTSD w/great success & heads into phase 3 trials for approval 2017...Psilocybin-for End of Life issues... They've made a considerable contribution to Psychedelic education, research & medicine,,, Freedom of Consciousness...

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I support MAPS' work because I am in favour of learning how we as a species can make happiness more accessible. The results of pushing to develop more psychedelic medicines have repeatedly confirmed the validity of this caus and we need a great variety of tools at our disposal.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thanks to the brave work of MAPS, research into the effects of psychedelic drugs on consciousness have become a growing field of study in American academia.
The recent studies and their promising results are leading to a wider interest in psychedelic substances. My work with some of those substances have paved my way out of addiction and changed my life for the better in ways I didn't think possible.

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 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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 3

It was just another cannabis filled night full of laughter with my friends when insomnia started to set in. Since my start of lsd, my mood [swings] were in the highest of highs. The only way to describe my ongoing euphoria is as either an awakened super ego or nirvana brought on by ego death. Here's the kicker. I only "tripped" acid 5 times total. I had all the fun I needed with MDMA alone at the techno houses. Sometimes I would just smoke weed while all my friends tripped, and we all still had great times. But somehow, I was the one that had the nervous breakdown during a bad trip. My brain chemistry must've been doing something. It brought out that I have Manic Bi-Polar disorder on top of a "polysubstance abuse dependence." But I'm only addicted to weed and cigarettes. And am never depressed, but now have to take 300mgs of Lithium every day.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Maps is doing research in a very important field, a field which has been kept out of academic science for quite a while only for sheer financial and pseudo-moral interests, i appreciate the way in which maps is working very much, thanks.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MAPS is a wonderful organization that is brave enough to explore areas that are still considered taboo by many. Hopefully through the work they do and the kind support of many good people, this will not always be the case.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MAPS is on the front lines, exploring the global potential of human consciousness for public good. For 25 years, their visionary efforts have been put toward designing scientific research to explore therapeutic treatments for addiction, PTSD, terminal illness, end of life trauma and spiritual transformation. MAPS funds clinical trials with human subjects and publishes regular updates in an online newsletter in accordance with FDA and European Medicine Agency Guidelines, regarding MDMA, Ibogaine, LSD, cannabis. MAPS' integrity & vision make it unique.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

MAPS serves as an organization to fund unbiased research for psychedelic drugs, educate the public on its findings and influence public policy. Through steadfast dedication and stellar work, MAPS is helping to put unique and effective psychiatric tools back in the hands of doctors to use with their patients. The group of researchers and advocates involved with this organization are some of the most brilliant minds I've ever encountered.

Review from Guidestar