Skooter reporting 03/10/12
Studies performed in the 1960s proved that one dose of the hallucinogenic drug LSD could help alcoholics give up drinking.
A study that was presented in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, data were reviewed from six trials and more than 500 patients. The study said that after taking the drug that lasted for several months, researchers found that there was a "significant beneficial effect" on alcohol abuse.
An expert said this was "as good as anything we've got".
In the UK, LSD is a class A drug and is considered one of the most powerful hallucinogens ever recognized. The action is by blocking a chemical in the brain, serotonin, which controls functions including perception, behavior, hunger and mood.
Between 1966 and 1970, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology evaluated earlier studies on the drug. Patients who took part in alcohol treatment programs were administered a single dose of LSD ranging between 210 and 800 micrograms.
The patients that belong to the group taking LSD, showed 59% reduced levels of alcohol misuse in contrast with 38% in the other group. For a period of six months, the effect was maintained after taking hallucinogen, but it was gone after a year. Those patients taking LSD also recorded higher levels of abstinence.
The report's authors, Teri Krebs and Pal-Orjan Johansen, said: "A single dose of LSD has a significant beneficial effect on alcohol misuse." In effect they recommended more regular doses might lead to a unremitting benefit.
"Given the evidence for a beneficial effect of LSD on alcoholism, it is puzzling why this treatment approach has been largely overlooked," they added.
To enable more research, Prof, who was discharge as the UK government's drugs adviser, has previously appealed for the illegal drug laws to be relaxed.
He said: "Curing alcohol dependency requires huge changes in the way you see yourself. That's what LSD does.”
“On the whole, there is a big effect,” he said, and challenged, “show me another treatment with results as good as this, we have missed a trick here.”
Source: BBC News