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Study Says LSD Is A Cure For Alcohol Addiction

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BY LIAM KEEGAN

ANCHOR CHRISTINA HARTMAN

Could LSD be a possible cure for alcoholism? Well -- according to a Norwegian study, the psychedelic drug was used to treat alcoholics in the 1960s, and had "significant beneficial effects". Now, Scientists Teri Krebs and Pal-Orjan Johanson say this controversial treatment should be revisited. ABC News reports their findings.

"A single dose of LSD had a significant beneficial effect on alcohol misuse at the first reported follow-up assessment, which ranged from 1 to 12 months after discharge from each treatment program. The effect lasted about six months...Given the evidence for a beneficial effect of LSD on alcoholism, it is puzzling why this treatment approach has been largely overlooked."

Washington Universty addiction psychiatrist Dr. Richard Ries warned about the drug's little-known side effects, but using one drug to fight addiction to another is not something new. My Healthy News Daily reports --

"Look at heroin addiction - we use methadone, another type of opiate, and give it to people to prevent them from overdosing. But if you try to use these drugs out of these contexts, you get no effect. They are meant to be part of an addiction treatment program, not to replace it."

Former UK government drugs adviser Professor David Nutt tells BBC drug laws need to be relaxed in order to conduct productive research in this field.

"Curing alcohol dependency requires huge changes in the way you see yourself. That's what LSD does. Overall there is a big effect, show me another treatment with results as good... this is probably as good as anything we've got for treating alcoholism."

CBS, however, reports the health effects outlined by the National Institute on Drug Abuse.

"LSD's effects of distorting reality and causing hallucinations can be frightening and cause panic, with 'trips' lasting up to 12 hours. In 2009, the last time data was taken, 779,000 Americans age 12 and older said they had abused LSD at least once in the previous year."

Krebs and Johnson first noticed the gap in LSD research while they were on fellowships at Harvard Medical School. They also discovered individuals with other mental illnesses were excluded from the 1960s trials.

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