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LSD to Cure Alcoholism?

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New research emerging out of Norway claims that taking one trip on LSD could help alcoholics stay sober for 12 months at a time and may work better than pharmaceutical drugs such as naltrexone or acamporosate. The researchers theorize that dropping acid essentially "speeds up psychotherapy" and elicits new insight that will help alcoholics break past habits and help them kick their addiction.

The researchers reviewed the results of six controlled trials from the 1960s and 1970s and found that 59% of the 536 participants in the study treated with a single dose of LSD showed improvement in their alcohol consumption habits, compared to 38% who didn't take LSD. One of the scientists of one of the studies from the 1970s also added that:

It was not unusual for patients following the LSD experience to become much more self-accepting, to show greater openness and accessibility, and to adopt a more positive, optimistic view of their capabilities to face future problems.

While it may sound counterintuitive to treat an addict with another addictive substance, the original studies were randomized clinical trials, considered to be the gold standard of experimental research. However, participants only showed improvement in their drinking habits for up to 1 year and the original researchers did not follow-up later on to see if there were any long-term side effects of using LSD. The Norwegian researchers that conducted the review of the earlier research note that psychedelics are not known to be toxic to the body or dependence-producing. Nevertheless, they also warn that alcoholics should not attempt to drop acid at home but also argue that alcohol dependency is a serious problem in need of better treatments.