Does LSD Help You Fight Addiction?

Does LSD Help You Fight Alcoholism?

Does LSD Help You Fight Alcoholism?

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March 9 2012 7:56 PM

Does LSD Help You Fight Alcoholism?

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(Recent photo distributed by French Customs authorities shows doses of LSD, in the form of sheets of stamps, seized on August 15, 2008 from a Brazilian whose suitcase contained 40,000 doses.)

Photo by -/AFP/Getty Images

Here's one for the hippies! 

LSD, whose powerful hallucinogenic experiences were so highly touted by the “Turn on Tune in Drop out” generation, may actually help those suffering from addiction. 

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A team of Norwegian researchers studying data from the 1960s and ’70s have noticed those taking lysergic acid diethylamide had lower levels of alcohol abuse. And in recent years other powerful mind-benders like the ayahuasca from the Amazon and psilocybin, the active ingredient in hallucinogenic mushrooms, have been used to treat drug, tobacco, and alcohol dependency with some success.

Why? Some researchers believe it may have to do with the psychedelics causing the brain to function more chaotically for a period, weakening reinforced habitual dynamics.

It’s not exactly going cold turkey, and drugs like LSD have their own set of serious issues. But it does suggest one road to sobriety would seem less like a journey and more like a trip.

Ben Johnson is the producer of Marketplace Tech from American Public Media.