LSD could help treat alcoholism, study shows. Norwegian researchers took a look at earlier studies on the drug lysergic acid diethylamide, also known as the hallucinogenic drug LSD or acid. They found between 1966 and 1970, 60 percent of study participants showed an improvement, compared to 38 percent of the study group, and were less likely to relapse on alcohol.
Researchers wrote, “A single dose of LSD had a significant beneficial effect on alcohol misuse at the first reported follow-up assessment, which ranged from 1 to 12 months after discharge from each treatment program.” The LSD effect with alcoholism lasted about six months.
A study that was published in the March 8 issue of Journal of Psychopharmacology read, “since alcoholism is a chronic, relapsing disorder, ongoing LSD treatment might be beneficial.”
Study author Pal-Orjan Johansen, a neuroscientist at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, said in a written statement, “Given the evidence for a beneficial effect of LSD on alcoholism, it is puzzling why this treatment approach has been largely overlooked.”
“LSD may stimulate the formation of new connections and patterns, and generally seems to open an individual to an awareness of new perspectives and opportunities for action. We do not yet fully know why LSD works this way,” researchers said in the university statement.
Norwegian researchers also found in previous studies done that other substances with psychedelic effects might by beneficial with helping alcoholics stay sober. Drugs such as mescaline, psilocybin which are found in magic mushrooms, as well as ayahuasca and peyote help them be sober.
Prof David Nutt, the UK government’s drugs adviser, has tried to get the laws around illegal drugs to be lifted to gather more research around them. He said in a statement, “Curing alcohol dependency requires huge changes in the way you see yourself. That’s what LSD does. Overall there is a big effect, show me another treatment with results as good; we’ve missed a trick here. This is probably as good as anything we’ve got for treating alcoholism.”
What are the Dangers of LSD?
- An LSD “trip” may cause a person to put themselves in danger without realizing it such as thinking they can fly and trying to jump off a high building.
- If LSD is taken in high doses, some people have intense anxiety and panic attacks.
- Some people experience flashbacks, reliving a bad trip weeks or even months after it happened.
- LSD effects on the brain trigger a psychotic illness. Paranoia and other symptoms typical of schizophrenia may occur.