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LSD May Help People With Alcoholism Quit or Reduce Drinking, Study Suggests


A new analysis of studies originally conducted in the 1960s suggests LSD may help people with alcoholism quit or reduce their drinking.

The new study combines the results of six trials that tested a single dose of LSD in 536 people with alcoholism. The researchers found 59 percent who took the drug either quit or significantly reduced their drinking, compared with 38 percent of participants who took a much smaller dose of LSD or used another treatment to prevent drinking, Time reports. Eight cases of adverse effects from LSD were reported; none lasted longer than the high itself, according to the article. The positive effect of LSD on drinking lasted at least six months, but was no longer apparent one year later.

Previous studies have suggested that LSD was not effective for alcoholism. The researchers of the new analysis said the earlier findings appear to be related to the fact that they did not include enough participants to show an effect.

“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.

A number of hallucinogens and other illicit drugs are being studied as possible treatments for conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder, chronic pain, addiction and depression.

5 Responses to this article

  1. Dr. Barry Schecter / March 17, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Firstly, may I say how fortunate we are to be reading and commenting on issues such as this. That is because of the people at Join Together. My comment about this posting is one of amusement. As a recovered alcoholic, that has studied all of the writings of Bill Wilson, because I believe that his work, which I believe was divinely inspired saved my life. However, I had to smile when I saw the connection between LSD and helping alcoholics, because it was probably 40+ years ago that Bill Wilson was very interested in Timothy Leary’s work, and believed that there just might be some way to treat alcoholism, possibly even depression with LSD. Thankfully, Bill gave that idea up. I wouldn’t do LSD for less than 1,000,000 dollars and a bottle of thorazine 100 100mg tablets in my hand. I hope you have a blessed day, and remember, Profanity is not a sign of spiritual growth.

  2. Avatar of Canson
    Canson / March 12, 2012 at 10:06 pm

    The idea would be to take LSD occassionally, perhaps every three months or as needed. Members of the Native American Church (approx 400,000 members) say that monthly, ceremonial use of the LSD-like peyote cactus helps them stay away from alcohol and addictive drugs. LSD and related psychelics are not themselves addictive.

  3. Steve / March 12, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    They need to perscription legalize LSD, that drug is great, and it’s hard to abuse ‘cos if you take it the second day in a row it has little or no effect.

  4. Mark / March 12, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Honestly, how can you report this with a straight face?! Substituting one mood-altering drug for another and concluding it is a treatment??? I’ll be you would have even better results if you used morphine instead of LSD. No positive effects after one year? Could not one just as reasonably conclude that LSD made no difference in alcoholism treatment? Could I request that you state the hypothesis behind the research when you headline the results?

  5. Carlos / March 17, 2012 at 4:33 pm

    Weeeeeeeeeeeeell, it just happens that LSD works somewhat with alcoholics and Ibogain works with heroin addicts. Given the chemical Characteristics, I do not know it they can be interchangeable. I do not know how effective it is. Some how treatment programs even have some problems giving patients 15 days Naltrexone Injections (which is an opiate antagonist).
    You know, before we start criticizing and I do not have any problem with being scrutinizing and critical. Except that perhaps we should take some science courses and start learning why some of these things work and why they are being used. We should be
    Able to use the entire arsenal at our disposal and perhaps we should start giving patients some choices instead of thinking that they are a whole bunch of sober drunks that can think straight. The science is not showing that either.
    And yes, the Native American Church did take a case to the Supreme Court when an AA member who worked at a treatment program was participating in Peyote Ceremonies. The case was based on the book “To an Unknown God”. Until we learn quite a bit of
    Science and learn why some of this stuff gets done, we are not going to do much EVIDENCE Base Treatment. Evidence is not just what we think and experience. By the way, the world is flat the Sun rotates around the Earth.

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