White House pardons simple marijuana use, possession

A Proclamation on Granting Pardon for the Offense of Simple Possession of Marijuana, Attempted Simple Possession of Marijuana, or Use of Marijuana

I, Joseph R. Biden Jr., do hereby grant a full, complete, and unconditional pardon to all current United States citizens and lawful permanent residents who, on or before the date of this proclamation, committed or were convicted of the offense of simple possession of marijuana, attempted simple possession of marijuana, or use of marijuana, regardless of whether they have been charged with or prosecuted for these offenses on or before the date of this proclamation…

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20 Responses to White House pardons simple marijuana use, possession

  1. NorCalNative says:

    I was busted for weed possesion twice in the 80s. Both times were in San Francisco. Both times I shortly received a letter in the mail telling me to NOT come to court.

    The first time, there was a band playing near a Bart station. I sat on a park bench and took a couple hits from a pipe. A man and women in plain clothes approached me. The man had a business card that he showed me. It had one word written on it… POLICE.

    As he reached for my pipe I let him take it. Then I got the ticket fot possession.

    When Ethan Russo was in Humboldt County a few months ago he spoke at Cal Poly Humboldt. The Head of their Cannabis Studies program invited me to meet and hang out with Ethan before his lecture.

  2. Servetus says:

    Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is successfully treated in US veterans using ibogaine:

    5-JAN-2024 — For military veterans, many of the deepest wounds of war are invisible: Traumatic brain injuries resulting from head trauma or blast explosions are a leading cause of post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety, depression and suicide among veterans. Few treatments have been effective at diminishing the long-term effects of TBI, leaving many veterans feeling hopeless.

    Now, Stanford researchers have discovered that the plant-based psychoactive drug ibogaine, when combined with magnesium to protect the heart, safely and effectively reduces PTSD, anxiety and depression and improves functioning in veterans with TBI. Their new study, to be published online Jan. 5 in Nature Medicine, includes detailed data on 30 veterans of U.S. special forces.

    “No other drug has ever been able to alleviate the functional and neuropsychiatric symptoms of traumatic brain injury,” said Nolan Williams, MD, an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences. “The results are dramatic, and we intend to study this compound further.” […]

    Hundreds of thousands of troops serving in Afghanistan and Iraq have sustained TBIs in recent decades, and these injuries are suspected of playing a role in the high rates of depression and suicide seen among military veterans. With mainstream treatment options not fully effective for some veterans, researchers have sought therapeutic alternatives.

    Ibogaine is a naturally occurring compound found in the roots of the African shrub iboga, and it has been used for centuries in spiritual and healing ceremonies. More recently, it has gained interest from the medical and scientific communities for its potential to treat opioid and cocaine addiction, and research has suggested that it increases signaling of several important molecules within the brain, some of which have been linked to drug addiction and depression. Since 1970 ibogaine has been designated as a Schedule I drug, preventing its use within the U.S., but clinics in both Canada and Mexico offer legal ibogaine treatments. […]

    AAAS Public Science News Release: Psychoactive drug ibogaine effectively treats traumatic brain injury in special ops military vets — Stanford researchers find that ibogaine, a plant-based psychoactive compound, safely led to improvements in depression, anxiety and functioning among veterans with traumatic brain injuries

    Journal Nature Medicine: Magnesium–ibogaine therapy in veterans with traumatic brain injuries

    Kirsten N. Cherian, Jackob N. Keynan, Lauren Anker, Afik Faerman, Randi E. Brown, Ahmed Shamma, Or Keynan, John P. Coetzee, Jean-Marie Batail, Angela Phillips, Nicholas J. Bassano, Gregory L. Sahlem, Jose Inzunza, Trevor Millar, Jonathan Dickinson, C. E. Rolle, Jennifer Keller, Maheen Adamson, Ian H. Kratter & Nolan R. Williams

  3. Servetus says:

    A study of psilocybin mushroom phylogenomics indicates the plant’s psychoactive properties evolved 65-million years ago around the time of the extinction of dinosaurs due to an asteroid hitting earth.

    9-JAN-2024 — To utilize psilocybin as a therapeutic, scientists need an extensive roadmap of the compound’s underlying genetics and evolution, information that doesn’t exist. Our limited knowledge comes from research on just a fraction of the ~165 known species of Psilocybe. Most psilocybin-producing mushrooms haven’t been studied since they were first discovered—until now.

    A team of researchers led by the University of Utah and the Natural History Museum of Utah (NHMU) has completed the largest genomic diversity study for the genus Psilocybe. Their genomic analysis of 52 Psilocybe specimens includes 39 species that have never been sequenced.

    The authors found that Psilocybe arose much earlier than previously thought—about 65 million years ago, right around when the dinosaur-killing asteroid caused a mass extinction event. They established that psilocybin was first synthesized in mushrooms in the genus Psilocybe, with four to five possible horizontal gene transfers to other mushrooms from 40 up to 9 million years ago. Their analysis revealed two distinct gene orders within the gene cluster that produces psilocybin. The two gene patterns correspond to an ancient split in the genus, suggesting two independent acquisitions of psilocybin in its evolutionary history. The study is the first to reveal such a strong evolutionary pattern within the gene sequences underpinning the psychoactive proteins synthesis. […]

    “It’s impossible to overstate the importance of collections for doing studies like this. We are standing on the shoulders of giants, who spent thousands of people-power hours to create these collections, so that I can write an email and request access to rare specimens, many of which have only ever been collected once, and may never be collected again,” said Bradshaw.

    AAAS Public Science News Release: Largest diversity study of ‘magic mushrooms’ investigates the evolution of psychoactive psilocybin production

    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Phylogenomics of the psychoactive mushroom genus Psilocybe and evolution of the psilocybin biosynthetic gene cluster

    Alexander J. Bradshaw, Virginia Ramírez-Cruz, Ali R. Awan, Giuliana Furci, Laura Guzmán-Dávalos

    • Son of Sam Walton says:

      I just found this article on HighTimes. But get this: many years ago before 9/11, I must have consumed a quarter’s worth of shrooms, smoked a few grams of good Mexican grass, and snorted almost a quarter gram worth of what the cook made. So, in the process of my trip, I was trying to not only read the book, ‘Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas’ but watch the movie at the same time. While on my trip, I guess I had placed my face deep into my plus red carpet and discovered a world full of prehistoric ‘whales’, and they were all swimming with a ‘mission’, like they were ‘warriors’ in formation. And they were swimming toward non-human/non-earthling-dominated Turkish oil refineries on desolated polluted barren lands. But get this: the whales all swam with giant seeds attached to their tales and when they got close to the shore, they flipped those seeds up and onto the land, like they were bombs and that was how ‘Life’ as we know it was created.

      I’ve come across numerous people who tell me that they experience the creation of the world when on mushrooms. And they say that ‘spores’ are the reason why dirt exists, instead of just rock. And many trippers have tripped out ‘witnessing’ the creation of ‘dirt’ via the spores.

      Maybe mushrooms are the only way humans can travel back in time?

      • NorCalNative says:

        Interesting comment. Are you familiar with now-deceased ethnobotanist Terrance McKenna? There are some trippy visual YouTube videos of his lectures. One of the interesting things he talked about was how mushrooms can mimic other psychedelics simply by mental direction. I suspect you’re already aware of his lectures, but if not, you definitely need to watch them. AI is used for the visuals and entertaining in and of itself.

        I’ve tripped on LSD mostly, (pre-2001) and have tripped on mushrooms infrequently. I’ve got a gallon zip-lock bag full that I’ve had since two summers ago and I just can’t pull the trigger on large doses. A moderate dose (3-grams) was an anxiety-fest which was atypical for my experience.

        I tend to believe shrooms reset the endocannabinoid system based on results from clinical trials. That’s a huge medical benefit for those who experience it.

        I went grocery shopping today and noticed gas prices under $5 form the first time in well over a year. Humboldt County has most expensive gas in the nation. It’s that damn Redwood Curtain.

        • Son of Sam Walton says:

          I’ve heard of Terrance McKenna. He’s got quite a bit of books out. I understand about not wanting to go all in. I find wanting to do an 8th hard. My happy spot is between 2-3grams, but only on lemon tecking . . . who has 6-8 hours when one can simply be done with the whole trip in between 3-4 hours . . . just in time for a good pizza, a good movie, and a nice loaded pipe a few hours before bed. Eat shrooms by two and be back to earth by six. That way you can tell the wife how the ‘business’ meeting with the purple whale Gods who all went down over in Hamburg in WWII flying a U.S. bomber in 1943–went. And yes, being in the midst of WWII battles is a very real big dose shroom thing for me . . . once before 9/11 and the second time well over a decade since I returned home from war myself. If I’m not landing on the Beaches of Normandy (and I’m physically wet from the waist down–not just tripping . . . plus my friends were watching ‘Saving Private Ryan’ on a very bigger than normal screen with mega speakers) getting injured, then I’m flying over Europe in an old bomber at night–seeing all the tracers and anti-aircraft splatter.

          Next is Peyote. There is a place out in the middle of nowhere Arizona that lets you take it. I hear the trips are more joyful.

          Have you filled your tank up in Aspen?

          Look up Wisconsin Battery. Now I don’t feel so bad being heavy in hydrogen, lithium, sodium ion, and oil/nat gas in my portfolio. Sadly, the green revolution requires a lot of dirty bits and parts, lest we rely on hemp fuels/products even more. Irony: my computer, mouse, and laptop are made from oil . . . and many claiming viva la ‘green’ revolution are clicking away on the DNA of dinosaurs, demanding a cleaner tomorrow, totally unaware of the irony . . . one day, AI-inspired beings will use human remains to fuel and power their world.

          Take care NorCalNative.

  4. Son of Sam Walton says:

    Double Blind Magazine is a good online site for the psychedelic community . . . learn about new compounds and new mushroom strains and Mushroom raves and mushroom parades and updates on new uses for LSD, MDMA, etc for therapies.

  5. Servetus says:

    Besides Double Blind Magazine, you might be interested in checking out what Zide Door in Oakland, CA, is doing through a membership program:

    Zide Door is a Church in Oakland that supports the religious use of Entheogenic Sacraments. We follow a nondenominational interfaith religion, The Church of Ambrosia. All Entheogens are sacred to our faith and our church, however our focus is on Sacramental use of cannabis and mushrooms. We believe that mushrooms sparked the first religious experiences of our species….

    https://zidedoor.com/

    Their shroom varieties come from all over the planet and are required to have measured percentages on their actual psilocybin content. They can also be had in precise dosage capsule form. Other entheogens offered include DMT. I acquired a DMT vape pen for $150. I haven’t found the right moment to use it yet. The Church of Ambrosia, with locations in San Francisco as well as Oakland, features a useful website that’s a good source of info offering new dosage standards and a dosage calculator for psilocybin use:

    https://ambrosia.church/religious-evolution/

    https://ambrosia.church/new-dosage-standards/

    https://ambrosia.church/psilocybin-potency-the-missing-link-for-magic-mushroom-safety/

  6. Servetus says:

    A Vanderbilt chemist has been awarded a grant to use artificial intelligence to design new non-addictive painkillers:

    …[Ben] Brown’s computational platform models drug-protein interactions in a way that accounts for their dynamic physical movements…called conformational changes, [that] can occur in milliseconds and make a big difference in how a protein behaves and binds or interacts with a small molecule drug.

    …algorithms can more effectively predict how tightly proteins and drugs will interact and the effects of this interplay. This information is used to screen billions of potential drugs—an unprecedented scale for highly dynamic proteins—or design new ones with properties that lead to fewer addictive side effects.

    Computational platforms that model the structure of proteins and how they interact with drugs already exist, but they largely neglect conformational changes and poorly predict how a new drug will behave. That’s due in part to the paucity of data available for training algorithms. […]

    Vanderbilt University Research News: Vanderbilt chemist Ben Brown awarded $2.375M to develop nonaddictive painkillers with AI

    • Son of Sam Walton says:

      In the past, Wall Street told most investors to stay away from Bio-pharmaceutical companies unless they were insiders or simply lucky. But, ever since they mapped our genes, they said most of the ‘risks’ have gone away, making it easier for FDA approval and speeding up the process because of ‘AI’.

      One of the companies I’ve got in my portfolio uses AI in their drug-making: Schrodinger . . . they’ve been around since the 1990s.

      A DMT vape pen for $150. Wait till DMT comes to ‘Medical Land Oklahoma’ and that same pen will cost you $30–in like five years. You haven’t found the right time to use it: Now is the right time according to Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson . . . based on the odds of existing to not existing. If the Big Bang was real, could we have possibly experienced Consciousness before experiencing physical reality? Like, when a bomb goes off: you see it, then you hear it, because the speed of light is faster than the speed of sound. And if the ‘Big Bang’ must compete with the all-encompassing ‘noumenon’–the Nothing, then it must collapse . . . then again, how could ‘something’ exist, be present in the vacuum of ‘nothing’ (even Space is a physical property because it borders that which isn’t called ‘space’, like objects/planets/gasses/various waves/energy), let alone have the ability to exert ‘physical properties,’ like an expansion, considering the ‘nothing’ would be physically comparable to our reality to a solid state of just endless nothing, thus it would have no reason or properties allowing an explosion or the speed of light to be demonstrated, let alone any form of expansion/collapse. Only “Something” is the contrast to “Nothing” and vice versa, so for the concept of ‘before time/reality/matter/light/consciousness/energy’, life or reality and matter and energy had to exist before it ever could have existed, lest the contrast (light/dark) never exist in the first place . . . in order for nothing to be a reality, it must first be contrasted to the concept of ‘something’ and thus ‘something’ existed before the beginning of Time/Matter/Energy was ever created in the first place . . . all while Nothing floated with us this whole time. A.K.A. Time existed before time was ever a physical reality, lest we never be able to contrast Existence to Non-Existence.

      • Son of Sam Walton says:

        I misused the word of ‘noumenon’ . . . replace the word with ‘void/the nothing’ and it still stands true.

        • Servetus says:

          It can get weird. In another model of the cosmos, it’s been noted that if all the positive and negative forces were added up their combination would average out into a net nothingness, or a big zero for the universe. This model suggests that existence and non-existence are essentially the same thing. It doesn’t make sense, but then the universe isn’t required to make sense to mere humans.

          Another thing that doesn’t make sense is quantum physics. It’s based on Schrödinger’s wave equation, which depicts atomic particles as wave packets that contain energy existing in multiple juxtaposed frequencies. The equation is a probability function and it posits that under certain conditions a particle or particles can travel through a barrier in a process called tunneling. So according to Erwin Schrödinger there exists a very small finite probability that the chair I’m sitting on right now could magically disappear and then reappear on the other side of the wall with no damage to the wall and in an identical and fully intact chair form. The probability is so small that it’s very unlikely to happen. The time frame needed for a chair displacement to occur is likely to be longer than the observable age of the universe. For a much smaller item, like an atomic particle, tunneling happens all the time. Tunneling is part of the process of radioactive decay. In addition, there is an electronics component called the tunneling diode that works based on the principle.

  7. Servetus says:

    In matters of life and death a majority of Canadians prefer psilocybin:

    23-JAN-2024 — Nearly 4 out of 5 Canadians believe that the use of psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, is an acceptable medical approach to treat existential distress in patients suffering from a serious and incurable disease. This is the main conclusion of an online survey of 2,800 people conducted by a research team led by Michel Dorval, professor at Université Laval’s Faculty of Pharmacy and researcher at the CHU de Québec-Université Laval Research Center. The results have just been published in the journal Palliative Medicine.

    The main objective of the survey was to measure the degree of social acceptability of this intervention when delivered by healthcare professionals. “Studies have already shown that psilocybin, combined with psychotherapy, produces rapid, robust and lasting anxiolytic and antidepressant effects in patients suffering from advanced cancer, reminds Professor Dorval. This substance can bring about a profound awareness that leads the patient to view existence from a different perspective. Treatment with psilocybin, combined with psychotherapy, can produce relief for up to six months.”

    Canadian law currently prohibits the production, sale or possession of psilocybin. Since January 2022, however, a special access program has made it possible to obtain an exemption from Health Canada for medical or scientific reasons. A doctor can apply on behalf of a patient if psychotherapy, antidepressants or anxiolytics have failed, or if the patient’s condition requires urgent intervention. […]

    AAAS Public Science News Release: 79% of Canadians support the therapeutic use of psilocybin for people at the end of life

    Journal of Palliative Medicine: Social acceptability of psilocybin-assisted therapy for existential distress at the end of life: A population-based survey

    Louis Plourde, Sue-Ling Chang, Houman Farzin, Pierre Gagnon, Johanne Hébert, Robert Foxman, Pierre Deschamps, François Provost, Marianne Masse-Grenier, Jean-François Stephan, Katherine Cheung, Yann Joly, Jean-Sébastien Fallu, and Michel Dorval.

  8. Servetus says:

    Estradiol is implicated in increasing the addicting capacity of cocaine among women.

    29-JAN-2024 — Previous studies focused on cocaine use have found that women are more likely than men to develop an addiction, try cocaine at a younger age, use larger amounts of the drug, and suffer from overdose.

    Now, a new study from researchers at The University of Texas at Arlington in the journal Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior finally validates what scientists have long suspected: The female sex hormone estradiol (a synthetic version of the naturally occurring estrogen) is responsible for why women are more susceptible to cocaine addiction than men. […]

    … it provides a crucial link to understanding how fluctuating hormone levels can cause females to be more sensitive to the rewarding effects of cocaine…[…]

    “In particular, we have now demonstrated that females have a higher sensitivity to the acute rewarding effects of cocaine in relation to where they were in their cycle,” Perrotti said. “This research gives us a new understanding of how the brain reacts to cocaine, providing invaluable information on cocaine use and dependence in humans. […]

    UTA: Psychology research: Women more sensitive to cocaine–UTA research shows fluctuation in sex hormones impacts how females react to cocaine

    Pharmacology Biochemistry and Behavior: Interactions between estradiol and ERK, but not mTOR signaling is necessary for enhanced cocaine-induced conditioned place preference in female rats

    Linda Perrotti, Ross J. Armant, Blake N. Brady, Houda H. Chamseddine, Adam C. Hoch and Saubabh Kokane, and research technicians Brandon D. Butler, Clinton S. Coelho and Josimar Hernandez Antonio.

  9. Servetus says:

    Researchers discovered a molecule that alleviates neuropathic pain and that doesn’t rely on opioid receptors that can result in an addiction.

    31-JAN-2024 – Among the most difficult types of pain to alleviate is neuropathic pain, pain that is usually caused by damage to nerves in various body tissues, including skin, muscle and joints. It can cause patients to suffer feelings like electric shocks, tingling, burning or stabbing. Diabetes, multiple sclerosis, chemotherapy drugs, injuries and amputations have all been associated with neuropathic pain, which is often chronic, sometimes unrelenting and affects millions of people worldwide. Many of the available pain medications are only moderately effective at treating this type of pain and often come with serious side effects, as well as risk of addiction. […]

    …a molecule that reduces hypersensitivity in trials in mice by binding to a protein […] shown … involved in neuropathic pain. The University of Texas at Dallas and the University of Miami have identified a molecule that reduces hypersensitivity in trials in mice by binding to a protein they have shown is involved in neuropathic pain…

    The new compound, dubbed FEM-1689, does not engage opioid receptors in the body, making it a possible alternative to existing pain medications linked to addiction. In addition to reducing sensitivity, the compound can help regulate the integrated stress response (ISR), a network of cellular signaling that helps the body respond to injuries and diseases. When well regulated, the ISR restores balance and promotes healing. When it goes awry, the ISR can contribute to diseases such as cancer, diabetes and metabolic disorders. […]

    “It’s our goal to make this compound into a drug that can be used to treat chronic pain without the dangers of opioids,” Martin said. “Neuropathic pain is often a debilitating condition that can affect people their entire lives, and we need a treatment that is well tolerated and effective.” […]

    AAAS Public Science News Release: Researchers uncover potential non-opioid treatment for chronic pain–A new approach to treating neuropathic pain…

    Proceedings at the National Academy of Sciences: Highly specific σ2R/TMEM97 ligand FEM-1689 alleviates neuropathic pain and inhibits the integrated stress response

    Muhammad Saad Yousuf , James J. Sahn, Hongfen Yang, and Theodore J. Price

  10. Servetus says:

    Marijuana use can decrease meth cravings:

    15-FEB-2024–A new publication from Dr. Hudson Reddon, alongside UBC Okanagan’s Dr. Zach Walsh and UBC Vancouver’s Dr. M-J Milloy, observed that using cannabis is associated with decreased use of crystal methamphetamine among people at highest risk of overdose in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.

    About 45 percent of the study’s participants reported using cannabis to manage their cravings for stimulant drugs in the last six months, including powder cocaine, crack cocaine and methamphetamines. A notable reduction in crystal meth use was observed among those who used cannabis for craving management. This association was not significant for crack cocaine users. […]

    “Our findings are not conclusive but do add to the growing scientific evidence that cannabis might be a beneficial tool for some people who want to better control their unregulated stimulant use, particularly for people who use crystal meth,” says Dr. Reddon.

    “This suggests a new direction for harm reduction strategies among people who use drugs.” […]

    UBC Okanagan Campus News: Using cannabis can ease cravings for street-level drugs, UBC research suggests

    Addictive Behaviors: Cannabis use to manage stimulant cravings among people who use unregulated drugs

    Hudson Reddon, Maria Eugenia Socias, Kora DeBeck, Kanna Hayashi, Zach Walsh, M. J. Milloy

  11. Son of Sam Walton says:

    The small town I grew up in became temporary notorious in a News Week magazine back when Clinton was in office. It had surpassed every location in the U.S. for meth production/use per-capita . . . even the Industrial Park would get busted cooking up a ton or two using their ‘chemicals’ and ‘nuclear war’ tunnels to cook the stuff. Oklahoma had surpassed California and Oregon because of ‘crank shaft’ smuggled dope brought in by the biker gangs (The high reps and heads of the Oakland/San Francisco chapters of the Hell’s Angels actually rode into my small town for the suicide of a young man I grew up with . . . because his mother was from California, and her older son stayed and took over the gang). Some of the places further south of us in the small wooded mountains of Oklahoma would trade pounds of meth to users in exchange for ‘Sheriff/City/County’ votes, but that got busted up. My former roommate/best man had a mother who cooked ounces at a time . . . he had an uncle who could do the same and an aunt good enough to cook a pound of meth at the drop of a dime . . . plus he had various cousins, step-fathers, and in-laws who were in the ‘Outlaw dope cooking business’. Who ever heard of ‘under covered cops’ posing as students in a small town high school with fewer than 400 kids?

    As soon as I got my driver’s license, it was easier and faster to secure 5 grams of dope for $200 than to score 3.5 grams of weed for $20. And during Jr. High and High School, I enjoyed cannabis way more, but found it harder to get than most of my friends who could score bags of grass a lot easier than I could . . . speed became common and weed became sought out for me. Because I could get quarter pounds of dope like it was a snickers at a gas-station–even all sorts of pills, eventually, I wound up craving–desiring cannabis way more than that which was so easy to get. If I had $2,125, then 4 ounces of dope could be scored in an hour or two, but if I had $800 for a pound of weed, then I could get it in a few days. My former best friend could trust me to ‘baby-sit’ an ounce of speed just sitting out in the open–not bagged up, for three days while he disappeared, but none of my skater average drug user friends trusted me enough to share their weed connections, so waiting on a dime bag could be a two to four hour ordeal. Come to find out, that a lot of the other speed dealers, even the ones my ‘weed friends’ would use, bought their speed from my people, but they got their stuff ‘cut’ . . . unlike if you went through me. I have literally lost count of how many xanax and opiates and grams of speed I’ve done, but never once had any cravings for them . . . I only desired cannabis. I would even trade quarter grams of speed for $5 dollar joints.

    The only other drug I ever craved was coke, but only after doing ‘cartel’ coke once, since it lasted for roughly 2hrs after ingesting a quarter of a quarter-gram’s worth (not cut)–making me feel like I was a Sports God who just won the world’s biggest game . . . but that connection got busted up real fast when the local coke dealer’s buddies stole the wheel chair of a Mexican Man in Tulsa . . . inside his electric wheel-chair was a much bigger than normal size kilo, and the dumb thieves got busted by simply having all their stolen coke laid out on a glass coffee table–inviting random people to come in and party. And I even have a special local connection in Mexico (Son in law of City Council) for ‘tourist’ amounts at the resort and still, the best coke I ever did was in Oklahoma. I’ve long blamed cannabis for not wanting other stuff.

  12. Servetus says:

    An opioid addiction relapse is prevented by restoring a brain pathway:

    20-FEB-2024 — Medical University of South Carolina scientists report in Neuron that they have uncovered a way to restore an opioid-weakened brain pathway in a preclinical model.

    …the MUSC research team, led by neuroscientist James Otis, Ph.D., used advanced neuroscience tools to return a pathway between the thalamus and basal ganglia to healthy functioning in mice. As a result, this restoration prevented mice that were opioid-dependent from seeking or self-administering heroin. Results also suggested that sustained opioid use was the cause of this weakened pathway, rather than being caused by it. […]

    This pathway of neurons identified by Otis’ team is critical for controlling or stopping behavior – also referred to as behavioral control. Difficulty stopping is a hallmark feature of many neuropsychiatric disorders, including substance use disorders. The capacity to stop is a critical skill in recovering from drug dependence and avoiding relapse. […]

    Findings from this research strongly suggest that the weakening of this pathway happens because of opioid use, rather than being a cause of opioid use. After two weeks of opioid use by the mice, Otis and his team observed that this pathway became half as strong as it was prior to drug use.

    The next step is to see if these results can be repeated with substances such as alcohol, methamphetamine, amphetamine and cocaine. […]

    MUSC – Medical University of South Carolina News Release: Preventing relapse by restoring an opioid-weakened brain pathway governing behavior–In a preclinical model, Medical University of South Carolina researchers restore an opioid-weakened brain pathway that controls behavior, thereby preventing relapse

    Neuron: Restoration of a paraventricular thalamo-accumbal behavioral suppression circuit prevents reinstatement of heroin seeking

    Jacqueline E. Paniccia, Kelsey M. Vollmer, Lisa M. Green, Roger I. Grant, Kion T. Winston, Sophie Buchmaier, Annaka M. Westphal, Rachel E. Clarke, Elizabeth M. Doncheck, Bogdan Bordieanu, Logan M. Manusky, Michael R. Martino, Amy L. Ward, Jennifer A. Rinker, Jacqueline F. McGinty, Michael D. Scofield, James M. Otis.

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