Prolonged Intake of Psychedelics – Tobias Buchborn (PhD) & Laura Kärtner (MSc)
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Location: Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, WN Building, Room D107.
Please note that the VU campus is not very easy to navigate, so plan accordingly!
Date & Time: Friday March 8th, 13:00.
What happens when people take psychedelic substances over longer periods of time? We are joined by Tobias Buchborn (research fellow) and Laura Kärtner (research intern) from the Psychedelic research group (Imperial College, London) who will tell us about the consequences of frequent psychedelics intake, including receptor regulation, tolerance, and other sequelae. The lecture is co-hosted by the CNCR (https://cncr.nl/) at the Natural Science Faculty of Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Room WN-D107.
Serotonergic hallucinogens (psychedelics) such as LSD or psilocybin are generally thought to have a low addiction liability and to be rarely taken on a high-frequency basis. One reason for the apparent lack of addictive intake patterns is the rapid loss of psychedelic effects upon everyday application (called “pharmacological tolerance”), which –unlike seen with other substances of abuse– does not seem to be readily overcome by mere dose escalation. In the recent past, however, a new pattern of recreational hallucinogen intake (called “microdosing”) has gained prominence, where small subpsychedelic doses are taken on a regular (often daily or every-other-day) basis for enhancement of well-being and creativity. But what is it that science can actually tell us about the physiological and psychological consequences of such frequent and/or long-term hallucinogen consumption?
In our talk, we will give an overview of the most important findings of how body and psyche respond to repeated exposition to serotonergic hallucinogens. (1) Adaptations of psychological functioning and behaviour, receptors and genes, brain and whole-body integrity, as well as (2) mechanisms of tolerance, and (3) recent results from the Imperial Microdosing Survey will be discussed. Aim is to provide the audience with reference points for a balanced appraisal of potential benefits and/or detriments of frequent hallucinogen intake.
Tobias Buchborn studied Psychology at the OvG University, Magdeburg Germany, and within his Diploma thesis investigated the antidepressant-like properties of repeated LSD administration in an animal model of depression. His PhD project explored the behavioural and molecular biological correlates of tolerance to LSD, DMT, and DOB. In 2016, Tobias started to work as a Marie Curie Research Fellow at Imperial College London, where his research has been devoted to the haemo- and pyramidal-cellular corticodynamics of psychedelic drug action.
Buchborn et al. (2016). Tolerance to lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD): Overview, correlates, and clinical implications. In: Preedy VR (ed.), Neuropathology of Drug Addictions and Substance Misuse, Volume 2: Stimulants, Club and Dissociative Drugs, Hallucinogens, Steroids, Inhalants and International Aspects, 846-858. Academic Press.
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