Apparently, taking hallucinogenic drugs might help you stop being such an alcoholic.
Norwegian researchers have published new analysis based on six different studies using LSD as treatment for alcoholism. Their findings? Just one shag with Lucy in the sky can have positive therapeutic effects.
This isn't a new idea. Back when LSD was legal, it was often used as therapeutic treatment. In the '50s, celebrities like Cary Grant and Esther Williams were famous proponents of using the drug to help overcome alcoholism and even marital problems. The CIA, for its part, was more interested in using the drug as a "truth serum" to interrogate spies.
But then the '60s happened and the hippies had to ruin it for all of us with their free love and outdoor concerts. The drug was outlawed in 1967, and mainstream therapists' interest in the drug died off.
Like everyone else, scientists are feeling nostalgic these days, and LSD is being looked at again. New studies researching hallucinogenic drugs have been popping up left and right and this new analysis of LSD as a treatment for alcoholism seems pretty conclusive. Who better than the baby-boomer-funded NPR to break it down for us:
"Studies randomly assigned patients to get a strong dose of LSD or something else (another drug, such as amphetamine, a low dose of LSD or nothing special). And the results provide evidence for a beneficial effect on abstinence from alcohol…
Why would hallucinogens be suited for these kinds of treatments? [Matthew Johnson, a psychologist at John Hopkins] said people taking the drugs in the studies he's helped with report that it is "one of the most meaningful experiences — or the most meaningful — in their life."
Some say the "trip" changes the direction of their lives and can trigger a redefinition of how they see themselves. That could be as profound as, "I'm now a nondrinker, or whatever the addiction may be," Johnson said."
And for those of us who aren't official alcoholics, there's still good news! Drugs can still help us be happier, better people. New studies have found psilocybin (the active ingredient in 'shrooms) can help treat depression. Respected research has also found that 'shrooming even once can make you a measurably more open-minded person. Yeah, scientists quantified that.
Considering our country's relationship with drugs, it seems pretty unlikely we'll be seeing LSD or magic mushrooms making a comeback as a sanctioned mental-health treatment anytime soon. But then again, that's just like, my opinion, man.