Northern California Science Writers Association

NCSWA Dinner: The Return of Psychedelic Therapy (CANCELED)

  • Thursday, April 09, 2020
  • 6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
  • Thirsty Bear, 661 Howard St., San Francisco CA 94105
  • 50


  • (one guest allowed at member rate)

UPDATE 3/12/2020: Regretfully, we have canceled this event because of concerns over the spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19). We hope to reschedule the event for early summer and will announce a new date when we are able to do so.

Banned since the days of Timothy Leary (“Turn on, tune in, drop out”), psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA are making a comeback in research and treatment for severe depression, anxiety, and other emotional problems.

Clinical trials testing the benefits of hallucinogenic drugs have already shown promising responses among depressed or anxious patients with terminal cancer and other conditions. Subjects have experienced significant drops in emotional distress--arising in part from what they describe as mystical experiences. Researchers are also using neuroimaging to explore the biological underpinnings of the responses, including perceived mystical insights.

Joshua Woolley, an associate professor of psychiatry at UCSF, has carried out clinical trials using psilocybin to treat demoralized long-term AIDS survivors. He is part of a multisite clinical trial using MDMA, or ecstasy, to treat emotional problems in PTSD patients, and he is planning psilocybin trials to treat depression in patients with chronic pain, bipolar disorder, and Parkinson’s.

Dr. Woolley will offer an overview of research and treatment nationwide, describe novel treatment protocols, and present results from the re-emerging strategies to treat severe emotional problems with hallucinogens.

    6:00 pm Social hour
    7:00 pm Dinner
    8:00 pm Speaker

    $23 Members (one guest at the member rate)
    $40 Nonmembers
    $15 Students

Buffet menu:

    Tricolor organic quinoa with seasonal roasted vegetables

    Mixed greens salad with tomatoes, cucumbers, red onions & sherry vinaigrette

    Vegetable empanadas

    Buffalo chicken empanadas

    Vegetable paella

    Chicken sautéed with capers, garlic, sherry & butter

    Cookie assortment

Registration deadline: Monday, April 6, 12 noon Pacific. No refunds given for cancellations after this date.

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