There are all kinds of crazy theories of how to quit drugs. Here is the latest and it may have scientific value.
One dose of the hallucinogenic drug LSD could help alcoholics give up drinking, according to an analysis of studies performed in the 1960s.
A recent study repoted by the BBC of 500 patients found there was a "significant beneficial effect" on alcohol abuse, which lasted several months after the drug was taken. An expert said this was "as good as anything we've got".
LSD is a class A drug and is one of the most powerful hallucinogens ever identified. It appears to work by blocking a chemical in the brain, serotonin, which controls functions including perception, behavior, hunger and mood.
Benefits of LSD
Patients were all taking part in alcohol treatment programs, but some were given a single dose of LSD of between 210 and 800 micrograms.
For the group of patients taking LSD, 59% showed reduced levels of alcohol misuse compared with 38% in the other group.
This effect was maintained six months after taking the hallucinogen, but it disappeared after a year. Those taking LSD also reported higher levels of abstinence.
Researchers believe that a single dose of LSD has a significant beneficial effect on alcohol misuse and suggested that more regular doses might lead to a sustained benefit.
Is this skewed logic? Researchers also claim that curing alcohol dependency requires huge changes in the way you see yourself. That's what LSD does. Furthermore, they state that LSD is probably as good as anything we've got for treating alcoholism.
If this is the best, alcoholics are in serious trouble. Following are a few of the dangers of using LSD.
- During a trip the person may put themselves in danger without realizing it such as thinking they can fly and trying to jump off a high building.
- In some people, especially if LSD is taken in high doses, the drug can cause intense anxiety and panic attacks.
- Some people experience flashbacks, reliving a bad trip weeks or even months after it happened.
- In those already vulnerable, LSD may be the trigger for psychotic illness. Paranoia and other symptoms typical of schizophrenia may occur.
For me the answer certainly is not LSD. More alcohol classes and help programs like Alcoholics Anonymous will get the alcoholic the treatment they need without subjecting them to a powerful hallucinogen!