If you’re struggling with alcoholism or know someone who is, you know how difficult it can be to overcome the addiction. Traditional treatments like therapy, support groups, and medication can help, but they don’t work for everyone. That’s where psychedelics come in. Yes, you read that right – psychedelics!
While the use of psychedelic drugs like LSD, psilocybin, and MDMA may seem counterintuitive to treating addiction, recent studies have shown that they can be incredibly effective in breaking the cycle of alcohol abuse. But before we get into the current research, let’s take a look at the history of psychedelics and their use in treating addiction. You see, we’ve studied psychedelics and alcoholism for 20 years…75years ago.
In the 1950s and 60s, psychedelics were used in therapeutic settings to treat a variety of mental health conditions, including addiction. However, their use was largely shut down in the 1970s due to political and social pressure. It wasn’t until the last decade that research on psychedelics began to resurface, and with it came a renewed interest in their potential to treat addiction.
One of the most promising studies in recent years (2015) was conducted by researchers at the University of New Mexico. They found that a single dose of psilocybin, the active ingredient in “magic mushrooms,” was enough to cause significant and lasting reductions in alcohol use in a group of heavy drinkers. The study, which was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, followed 10 participants over the course of several months and found that they consumed significantly less alcohol after their psilocybin experience.
Another study, conducted by researchers at Imperial College London, found that a single dose of LSD helped reduce alcohol consumption in heavy drinkers. The study, which was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, followed 12 participants over the course of several months and found that they consumed significantly less alcohol after their LSD experience.
But how exactly do these psychedelics work to combat alcoholism? According to researchers, it’s all about changing the way the brain works. Psychedelics have been shown to increase neural plasticity, or the brain’s ability to adapt and change. This increased plasticity allows the brain to break free from entrenched patterns of thinking and behavior, including addiction.
While these studies are still in the early stages, the results are incredibly promising. More studies with a greater number of participants are necessary. However, it’s important to note that using psychedelics to treat addiction should only be done under the supervision of a trained professional in a controlled setting. And, of course, it’s always important to remember that psychedelics are still illegal in many places and can have potential risks and side effects.
While the idea of using psychedelics to treat alcoholism may seem outlandish, the research is starting to show that it can be an incredibly effective tool in the fight against addiction. With more and more studies being conducted every day, we may soon see a new wave of treatments that can help those struggling with alcoholism finally find the relief they need.