Acid Trips May Be Beneficial to Mental Health, Treating Alcoholism
Researchers in Norway have concluded that lysergic acid diethylamide, commonly known as the drug LSD or “acid”, may have beneficial mental health effects, contrary to decades of belief about psychedelic drug use leading to psychoses.
Researchers Pal-Orjan Johansen and Teri Krebs from Norway’s University of Science and Technology poured over drug use surveys for 130,000 Americans from 2001-2004, finding 22,000 who had taken a psychedelic drug at least once in their lives. Writing for the science journal PLOS One, they wrote: “There were no significant associations between lifetime use of any psychedelics, or use of LSD in the past year, and an increased rate of mental health problems. Rather, in several cases psychedelic use was associated with a lower rate of mental health problems.”
Previous reports of heavy acid-trippers going psycho or jumping off buildings relied on a few reports of people who already had underlying psychotic issues experiencing an episode triggered by LSD use. Plus, mental illness tends to reveal itself in late teenage years, the same time when people are usually first experimenting with drugs. “Over the past 50 years,” Krebs told Norway’s news website The Local, “tens of millions of people have used psychedelics and there is just not much evidence of long-term problems.”
These same researchers last year published a study in British Journal of Psychopharmacology that concluded a single dose of LSD was a highly effective treatment for alcoholism. In that research, surveys from the 1950s through the 1970s showed that 59 percent of alcoholics given LSD either stopped drinking or reduced their drinking. Johansen and Krebs argued that LSD’s success in treating problem drinking was as effective as any other medication given to alcoholics.