A new study on behalf of the British Association for Pharmacology suggests that lysergic acid diethylamide -- otherwise known as LSD, acid, L, blotter, cid, boomer, et al -- is effective in the treatment of alcohol abuse.
The study was billed as a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials in order to evaluate the clinical efficacy of LSD in the treatment of alcoholism. They gathered quantitative analyses--well, only six analyses--over the last century to evaluate if whether or not Lucy in the Sky quells the desire to drink. It was conducted by Teri S Krebs and Pål-Ørjan Johansen, otherwise known for the classic Study of Psychological Defense Mechanisms During MDMA-Assisted Psychotherapy for Tx of PTSD. The Norwegians write: There has long been a need for better treatments for addiction. We think it is time to look at the use of psychedelics in treating various conditions, in the article published March 8 in the Journal of Psychopharmacology. Read the whole thing here.
The very scientific conclusions? A single dose of LSD, in the context of various alcoholism treatment programs, is associated with a decrease in alcohol misuse, the authors write. Also, mescaline, psilocybin, ayahuasca and peyote all recieved passing mention in helped them stay sober.
Let me just say: This seemingly bat-shit insane pharmacology presents a major step forward in moving psychedelics away from the counter-culture stigma the substance, and others like it, garnered in the wake of the hippie movement. When people like Pat Robinson are saying the war on drugs has failed and that marijuana should be legal, this study means more than just see you on the dark side, man! Further, the legitimacy of the study's stringent methods bolsters its message, though its not a new thought. The Guardian reported as early as 2009 on the calming effects of psychedelics (even with a quote from an LSD user who says it helped her stop drinking so much) and Andrew Sullivan has long-been toting the spiritual and psychological benefits of psilocybin. That's certainly not to mention the countless underground propenents of psychedelics.
With that in mind, observe these fairly serious, efficacious takes on the drug.
The Doors of Perception Aldous Huxley, along with George Orwell and Ray Bradbury, is recognized widely in communicative discourse for envisioning, through their fiction, a dystopic world driven by social amelioration. Huxley's most notable social critique Brave New World substituted a substance called soma for his characters' binges. But Huxley himself was a of the trip, believing fully in the transformative, perceptive powers of psychedelics.
Creativity Out of Control A study conducted by the US government in the late 1950s aimed to pin down the effects of LSD use on the creative consciousness. Instead, scientific observers basically had to babysit an erratic, quivering pile of man-baby running throughout the room. Click through the enclosed progression to observe this poor man's decent into universal abstraction and subsequent dip in seratonin levels. For example:
5 hours 45 minutes after first dose. Patient continues to move about the room, intersecting the space in complex variations. It's an hour and a half before he settles down to draw again - he appears over the effects of the drug. 'I can feel my knees again, I think it's starting to wear off. This is a pretty good drawing - this pencil is mighty hard to hold' - (he is holding a crayon).
The Severity of Cid The father of the drug, Albert Hoffman, stumbeld upon the substance when working with fungus in a pharmaceutical lab. A small amount seeped into his finger and he went on to experiment with the drug more than 100 times before his death at the age of 102 in 2008. Hoffman was an ardent advocate for acid's severity and decried the image it garnered as a counter-culture bastion. It was the emotional potentials of the drug that concerned him. As the National Institute on Drug Abuse writes: Sensations and feelings change much more dramatically than the physical signs in people under the influence of LSD. The user may feel several different emotions at once or swing rapidly from one emotion to another. If taken in large enough doses, the drug produces delusions and visual hallucinations. The user's sense of time and self is altered.