LSD may help cure alcoholism, study says

Steve Jobs said it was one of the most important experiences of his life. Aldous Huxley said it inspired him to write.

The psychedelic drug LSD, often associated with 1960s hippie culture, may have inspired artists and inventors but they might not be the only people who benefit from its use.

According to  the New Scientist, researchers in Norway have completed a meta-analysis — a study of six other studies done between 1966 and 1970 — and have found that using LSD may help to cure alcoholism.

"LSD worked in an entirely different way than any current psychiatric drugs," said the study author, Teri Krebs, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, according to MSNBC. "Many patients said they had gained a new appreciation for their alcohol problem and new motivation to address it."

The analysis looked at 536 patients and concluded that those who received a full dose of the controversial drug did the best, said US News and World Report.

The Norwegian scientists said that nearly 60 per cent of participants who took acid either dramatically cut back or quit drinking altogether compared to only 38 per cent in the control group.

The study said that from two to six months, the differences in the LSD and control groups were statistically significant but those differences dissipated after a year.

Read more on GlobalPost: Magic mushrooms may provide treatment for depression

"The effectiveness of a single dose of LSD compares well with the effectiveness of daily naltrexone, acamprosate or disulfiram… three commonly prescribed, approved medications for reducing relapse in alcohol dependence," the New Scientist quotes the study's author as saying. 

LSD, or Lysergic acid diethylamide, has been recommended for alcohol abuse before.

According to Time, Alcoholics Anonymous co-founder Bill Wilson advocated taking LSD to break down the ego of the alcoholic and create a "spiritual awakening."

The study will appear in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

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