LSD Could Be Good For You
Hallucinogenic drugs may actually be good for you, a team of researchers has concluded. Norwegian scientists have carried out extensive research on the effects of LSD – or trips – by studying drugs surveys from tens of thousands of Americans.
The findings are at odds with the long held belief that LSD and other ‘mind-enhancing’ drugs – such as mescaline and the drug psilocybin, found in magic mushrooms – result in flashbacks, paranoia and long term mental health problems. Researchers Pal-Orjan Johansen and Teri Krebs from Norway’s University of Science and Technology in Trondheim examined the drug taking habits of more than 130,000 American citizens between 2001 and 2004. Last year the duo even recommended that LSD could be an effective treatment for alcoholism.
Some 22,000 of those surveyed had taken psychedelic drugs at least once. Their findings were published in 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.’ Mr Johansen said that previous studies on the psychedelic drugs had not proved that they caused chronic health problems in an interview with Norway’s English-language news website, The Local.
Mrs Krebs added: ‘Everything has some risk; psychedelics can elicit temporary feelings of anxiety and confusion, but accidents leading to serious injury are extremely rare. ‘Over the past 50 years, tens of millions of people have used psychedelics and there is just not much evidence of long-term problems.’ Instead, they said, the idea that the drugs caused mental health problems came from a small number of case studies, and that these patients were already suffering some form of mental illness. They said psychedelic drug use and mental health problems both occurred in late adolescence and so were wrongly linked by researchers, the Independent reports.
Last year, the pair wrote in the British Journal of Psychopharmacology that one dose of LSD was ‘a highly effective treatment’ for alcoholics, and was ‘just as effective’ as approved and currently used medications. Sixty per cent of the patients tested who had been given a dose of LSD had either stopped drinking completely or were drinking less than they were before taking the drug.