Wednesday, June 22, 2011

LSD Goes Legit

From The Santa Cruz Patch:

The first clinical LSD study on the planet in more than 35 years is almost complete. The Santa Cruz Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) is sponsoring this research, which began in 2008, when Swiss psychiatrist Peter Gasser, M.D., became the first medical researcher in the world to obtain government approval to do therapeutic research with LSD since 1972.

Before 1972, nearly 700 studies with LSD and other psychedelic drugs were conducted. This research suggested that LSD has remarkable medical potential. LSD-assisted psychotherapy was shown to reduce the anxiety of terminal cancer patients, the drinking of alcoholics and the symptoms of many difficult-to-treat psychiatric illnesses.

For example, early LSD studies with advanced-stage cancer patients showed that LSD-assisted psychotherapy could alleviate symptoms of anxiety, tension, depression, sleep disturbances, psychological withdrawal and even severe physical pain. Other early investigators found that LSD may have some valuable potential as a means to facilitate creativity, problem-solving abilities and spiritual awareness.

Between 1972 and 1990 there were no government-approved human studies with any psychedelic drugs anywhere in the world. Their disappearance was no mystery. The worldwide ban on psychedelic drug research was the result of a political backlash that followed the promotion of these drugs by the counterculture of the 1960s. This reaction not only made these substances illegal for personal use, it also made it extremely difficult for medical researchers to obtain government approval to study them.

The situation began to change in 1990 when, according to MAPS president Rick Doblin, “open-minded regulators at the FDA decided to put science before politics when it came to psychedelic and medical marijuana research.” There are now more than a half-dozen clinical studies occurring worldwide that are examining the medical potential of psychedelic drugs.

Gasser’s almost-completed, MAPS-sponsored LSD study is being conducted in Switzerland, where LSD was discovered in 1943 by Albert Hofmann. The study examines how LSD-assisted psychotherapy affects the anxiety associated with suffering from an advanced, life-threatening illness. There are 12 subjects in the study with advanced-stage cancer and other serious illnesses...

Landmark Clinical LSD Study Nears Completion
David Jay Brown
May 27, 2011

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