Dropping Acid Could Cure Alcoholism, Make Timothy Leary's Ghost HappyS

Alcoholism is notoriously tough to treat. But a new study reveals a surprisingly effective treatment option: LSD.

Yes, in research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology (via ScienceDaily), scientists reviewed a number of old clinical trials and determined that LSD worked unusually well. Fifty-nine percent of subjects who dropped acid showed improvement of their alcohol addiction, compared with 38% of controls. What's more, alcoholics seemed to get a benefit from doing LSD just once, and this benefit persisted for 6 to 12 months. And since LSD isn't addictive or toxic, that's a pretty big deal. Says study author Pål-Ørjan Johansen, "Given the evidence for a beneficial effect of LSD on alcoholism, it is puzzling why this treatment approach has been largely overlooked."

Well, not that puzzling. LSD has a way of making you see gnomes coming out of people's faces, and it can make people freak out and jump out of windows. So LSD treatment would have to be carefully monitored — you couldn't just give alcoholics a few tabs and send them home. In rare cases, acid can also cause ongoing psychological problems. The biggest obstacle, though, is that it's illegal, and given the controversy that still surrounds marijuana legalization, medical LSD is unlikely to come to your town any time soon. Which, if the researchers are right, is kind of a shame. LSD may occasionally cause people problems, but alcoholism always does, and if a little acid really stops people craving a drink, it might be worth the gnomes.

Revisiting LSD as a Treatment for Alcoholism [ScienceDaily]