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Monday, March 12, 2012

LSD for Alcoholism

There are a number of drugs in this country that we do not fully understand because they have been deemed either hazardous or not beneficial for medical purposes. Hallucinogens were studied in the past, but were never fully analyzed; any beneficial properties they might have were never fully explored. Studies originally conducted in the 1960s are being analyzed again for the first time and their findings suggest that LSD may help people with alcoholism quit or reduce their drinking.

Test results from six trials were combined, where 536 people with alcoholism took a single dose of LSD. 59 percent of those who took the drug either quit or significantly reduced their drinking, compared to 38 percent of participants who took a smaller dose or used another treatment to prevent drinking, according to Time. There were only eight cases where test subjects experienced adverse effects from the drug but only for the duration of the high.

However, the positive effect of LSD on drinking only lasted about six months, after a year the effects were no longer apparent.

Currently, research is being conducted with a number of illegal drugs to see if they might be possible treatments for conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, addiction, and depression.

“LSD had a significant beneficial effect on alcohol misuse at the first reported follow-up assessment,” the researchers wrote in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. “The effectiveness of a single dose of LSD compares well with the effectiveness of daily naltrexone [reVia, Vivitrol] acamprosate [Campral], or disulfiram [Antabuse].” Those drugs are approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat alcoholism.

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