A psychiatrist in Switzerland has done some of the first research into LSD use and mental health in almost 40 years and the results are promising when it comes to fighting anxiety.
The research, published in this month’s The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, looked at 12 people who were nearing the end of their life (most of the subjects had terminal cancer) and wanted to see if the drug could supplement traditional therapy in a positive way. Acid appears to have done just that, according to the New York Times:
…several died within a year after the trial — but not before having a mental adventure that appeared to have eased the existential gloom of their last days.
“Their anxiety went down and stayed down,” said Dr. Peter Gasser, who conducted the therapy and followed up with his patients a year after the trial concluded.
After about two months of weekly therapy, the eight participants who received full doses of LSD improved by about 20 percent on standard measures of anxiety. Those findings held up for a year in those who have survived.
It sounds like more tests could be in the offing, as a coalition of psychiatrists is petitioning governments worldwide to let them test illegal drugs.
“The effort is both political and scientific,” said Rick Doblin, executive director of the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a foundation that has financed many of the studies. “We want to break these substances out of the mold of the counterculture and bring them back to the lab as part of a psychedelic renaissance.”
Which makes sense. LSD was banned in 1966, when we knew a lot less about everything than we do now. And instead of being reticent, smart people are trying to use everything at their disposal to help people.
Which is a good thing.
Also, drug bans are stupid.
[Via Gothamist; Image via IHGR Itch]