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The Post  
Research suggests LSD might help Alcoholics Quit and Stay Abstinent
  by: iradioal - Philadelphia, PA
started: 03/09/12 7:22 pm | updated: 03/09/12 7:22 pm
LSD, the hallucinogenic drug, may help treat alcoholism. New analysis on old studies done by Norwegian researchers suggest a significant correlation.

In the 1950s, '60s and '70s there were numerous studies done on LSD's effect on various disorders/diseases, alcoholism included. The new analysis is being done on six studies of LSD and alcoholism that were conducted in the United States and Canada between 1966 and 1970. The data from the 536 patients in the studies showed that a single dose of LSD helped heavy alcoholics quit and significantly reduced their risk of relapse within the first 3 months over a control group. 59% over 38% to be exact. This is according to the meta-analysis appearing online March 8 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

A single dose of LSD also performed as well as other current pharmacological solutions such as daily doses of naltrexone, acamprosate, and disulfiram. LSD was most effective early on, but gradually lost effectiveness over the first year.

The researchers are not quite sure why LSD works the way it does, but they point out that it is non-toxic and non-addictive. Further tests and trials using LSD were stopped in the 1970's because of the cultural stigma that began to be associated with the recreational use of it. It began to be harder to acquire research grants to continue the studies. Even though it is illegal for personal use, it is not illegal for medical experimentation.

"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," the researchers speculated.

The key to LSD's efficacy may not be found biologically anyway. It is essential for a person in recovery to be open and willing for the complete change in their lives necessary to overcome their addiction. An LSD trip may provide that jumpstart in opening their minds to a new perspective. AA's 12 steps are built around going through a deepening spiritual program on the way to a spiritual awakening. For most, starting can be very troublesome, but perhaps LSD can somehow launch the alcoholic onto that plane.

AA's co-founder Bill Wilson ( Bill W ) spoke of having this 'white light' type of spiritual experience followed by the complete loss of desire to drink very early on. It could be noted however, that this did occur while he was still going through delirium tremens and a hallucinogenic 'belladonna' treatment in 1934. Later in life, while he was 20+ years sober, Bill experimented with LSD in 1956-59 and raved about its mind expanding capabilities.

More research is definitely needed. I doubt anyone will be handing out LSD doses to alcoholic's anytime soon. Besides, the study just says one is all that is necessary.
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