Can LSD Help Cure Alcoholism?
A group of scientists analyzed all those crazy studies from the '60s
Oh, the 1960s. Norwegian researchers decided to dig up six studies on LSD and alcoholism that would live up to today's scientific standards, and the results they found are intriguing (especially for you Ken Kesey fans).
In a meta-analysis to be published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers analyzed the results from these studies and found that a single dose of LSD could make alcoholic relapses less likely.
The studies, which overall invovled a total of 536 subjects between 1966 and 1970, investigated individuals treated for alcohlism who voluntarily participated in the trials.
"On average, 59 percent of full-dose [LSD] patients showed a clear improvement compared with 38 percent in the other groups," researchers Teri Krebs and Pål-Ørjan Johansen say. Furthermore, they claim the research found that LSD patients were less likely to relapse, and had higher levels of alcohol abstinence.
There isn't any set conclusion regarding why LSD would help alcoholism, but the researchers suggest that the outerworld experience of an LSD trip would "open an individual to an awareness of new perspectives and opportunities for action."
In the meantime, Krebs and Johansen claim that LSD does work. "The results are unambiguous," they wrote. "We can therefore safely conclude that a single dose of LSD had a positive treatment effect that lasted at least six months."