A new meta-analysis of studies conducted during the 60s and 70s shows LSD was significantly better at treating alcoholism than a placebo. Neuroscientists at the Norwegian University of Science and technology found that of 536 participants, 59 percent of those treated with LSD reported lower levels of alcohol misuse, compared to just 38 percent of those given placebos. In 1950s American, LSD was considered one of the most promising treatments for alcoholism, until cultural and political pressure largely ended the work.
What’s the Big Idea?
Psychiatrists are slowly beginning to renew investigation into the medicinal properties of psychedelics. At the neural level, it is thought that psychedelics cause beneficial chaos in the brain, disrupting established patterns the way shaking a snow globe creates a series of new events. Roland Griffiths, a behavioural biologist at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, “is investigating the influence of psilocybin on smoking cessation, and says that psychedelics sometimes give rise to distinctive, insightful experiences that can produce enduring positive changes in attitude, mood and behaviour.”