Treating Alcoholism and Addiction with Psychedelics

Because of how psychedelics have been portrayed in the media and lumped in with addictive drugs by law enforcement, it can seem paradoxical to most people that you could use psychedelics to treat addiction. But they are remarkably effective.

The power that psychedelics have to heal alcoholism and narcotic addiction is well established and was one of earliest focuses of psychedelic research. A recently published meta-analysis of randomized trials concluded, "A single dose of LSD, in the context of various alcoholism treatment programs, is associated with a decrease in alcohol misuse."

In fact, Bill Wilson, the founder of Alcoholics Anonymous conducted experiments with LSD and said:

It is a generally acknowledged fact in spiritual development that ego reduction makes the influx of God's grace possible. If, therefore, under LSD we can have a temporary reduction, so that we can better see what we are and where we are going — well, that might be of some help. The goal might become clearer. So I consider LSD to be of some value to some people, and practically no damage to anyone. (reference)

From a recent article in Nature:

Of 536 participants in six trials, 59% of people receiving LSD reported lower levels of alcohol misuse, compared to 38% of people who received a placebo. “We were surprised that the effect was so clear and consistent,” says Krebs. She says that the problem with most studies done at that time was that there were too few participants, which limited statistical power. “But when you combine the data in a meta-analysis, we have more than 500 patients and there is definitely an effect,” she says.

Safety Precautions

It's worth noting that psychedelics are not physically addictive and LSD / mushrooms typically have a low risk of overuse because they become less effective the more frequently they are used, as the body adjusts. MDMA and marijuana are not physically addictive but are more likely to be used repeatedly and people with addictive personalities can become psychologically dependent on them.

Articles and Research about Addiction and Psychedelics

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