LSD is one of the best-researched psychedelics in the world and has been shown for decades to be a powerful healing tool for many conditions.
LSD, commonly known as acid, is a well-known psychedelic substance that gained both popularity and a controversial reputation in the 1960’s thanks to the efforts of Harvard professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert (Ram Dass) who experimented with and promoted LSD both informally and in scientific studies. The substance became celebrated and derided by different segments of the population and the authorities, but behind all of the spectacle and controversy, many people had profound transformational experiences, and some very important research began into LSD’s therapeutic and healing potential. That research has continued to this day, and has revealed that this psychedelic can be used to treat ailments such as alcoholism, anxiety, and depression, as well as to help ease the fears of terminal cancer patients coming to peace with their situation. This hot-button drug of the 60’s has matured over time into a celebrated psychotherapeutic tool, giving credence to the countless personal testaments to its power to positively transform the mind and soul.
Beating Addiction with LSD
LSD is renowned for its ability to catalyze spiritual and mystical experiences that change the perspective of the participant for the rest of their lives. Visual hallucinations, geometric patterns, and a profound feeling of universal interconnection often play a part in these experiences, and many people who undergo an experience with LSD find that they never see the world, or themselves, in the same way again. This kind of breakthrough experience has the potential to pull substance abusers out of their destructive patterns in a way that is very different, and often much more effective, than traditional abuse recovery methods.
A study in the 1960’s showed that when undergoing treatment for alcoholism, people who were given strong doses of LSD were over 4 times more successful in kicking their drinking habit compared to those undergoing conventional therapy. Subjects who took low doses of LSD were nearly 3 times more successful than the control group.
These success stories are profoundly important to understanding and improving substance abuse recovery, and scientists are continuing similar studies of LSD treatment for other substances such as heroin and opium.
Anxiety and End of Life
LSD and the mystical experiences it catalyzes have also been used to help people in the last stages of their life. Facing terminal cancer, intolerable pain, and crippling depression is a terrifying prospect for anyone, but LSD assisted therapy is offering a new hope for those who are facing these afflictions. As early as the 1960’s, Dr. Stanislav Grof found that using LSD helped end-stage cancer patients to become significantly more at peace with death, improve the quality of their close relationships, and rely less on conventional and potentially addictive pain medications like morphine. Newer studies are showing the same results, with profoundly positive results and no adverse side effects being measured.
“My LSD experience brought back some lost emotions and ability to trust, lots of psychological insights, and a timeless moment when the universe didn’t seem like a trap, but like a revelation of utter beauty.”
While some people may still associate LSD with the stigma of dangerous drug use and countercultural ideals, science and personal testimonials have been showing the mental and spiritual healing capacity of LSD for over half a century now, and it is high time we accepted these revelations into our broad understanding of the therapeutic uses of psychedelics, especially to help those who are most in need.
- Yensen R, Dryer D. “Thirty Years of Psychedelic Research: The Spring Grove Experiment and its Sequels”.
- The History of Psychedelic Therapy with the Dying Stanislav Grof & Joan Halifax http://www.psychedelic-library.org/dying.htm
- Peter Gasser, “Safety and Efficacy of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated With Life-threatening Diseases”