LSD Medical Uses. Research into LSD for medical use has been going on for a very long time. LSD played a valuable role in the work of psychiatrists. During the 1950s and 60s more than 40,000 psychiatric patients received LSD as part of their treatment. These were people diagnosed as autistic, obsessive compulsive, depressed, and schizophrenic received. They received LSD in the form of Sandoz Delysid tablets. These were also given to sexually perverted people such as homosexuals. During these times, psychiatrists treated homosexuality as a mental illness.
LSD therapiesPsychiatrists used LSD in two types of therapy to study its effects in mentally ill patients: psychedelic and psycholitic therapies.
Psychedelic therapyAmerican psychiatrists more commonly used psychedelic therapy. They did this by giving patients high doses of LSD over a short period of time. Doctors used doses of up around 200 micrograms of the drug to bring out the spiritual side in these individuals. Psychiatrists hoped LSD would help patients change their perspective and find meaning in their lives. The theory was this would encourage them to move forward because they could see a better future. This approach was also used to treat alcoholics hoping it would scare them so much they would reform their alcoholic ways. Authorities gave prisoners LSD for the same reasons in a bid to reform them.
Psycholitic therapyEuropean psychiatrists approached the issue in a different way. Here it was more common for psychiatrists to use psycholitic therapy. Using this therapy, patients received low doses of LSD. Patients received doses of 50 micrograms or less over longer periods of time. During therapy sessions, psychiatrists encouraged patients to relive their childhoods. The the answers were deeply rooted in their subconscious. Reports were positive for both therapies, but there were few large research projects conducted. And the few small ones found criticism for being flawed as they lacked control measures.
Negative preliminary resultsIn 1973 research into LSD for medical uses, reported by Robert Soskin Ph.D, had negative results. However, a lack of controls to measure outcomes made it difficult to analyze with consistency. Doctors know that more research is needed before LSD finds a place as part of ongoing psychotherapy therapy. Researchers studied 28 patients – seven nonpsychotic inpatients and 21 psychosomatic inpatients. They were divided into two groups at random. Both groups had five drug therapy sessions. One group received a placebo and the other group received LSD. All patients had psychotherapy sessions over a 13-week period in support of the drug therapy. Using various measurements, mostly self-reporting, researchers found both groups moderately improved. For a further 18 months, 20 patients, 10 from each group, had follow-up assessments. They attended follow up interview sessions for psychiatrists to assess the longer-term LSD effects. And, the differences between those who had the LSD and those who had the placebo.
LSD Medical UsesLSD medical uses. Patients from the placebo group did marginally better than the others. They were more emotionally stable, socially adept, and more able to focus on their goals. Researchers relied on patient self-reporting for these results. All patients reported they maintained any gains from the research period over the 18 months since. The conclusion reached was LSD had little value in this type of therapy.
LSD black marketAlthough Sandoz recommended doses for its LSD medication and sold it as prescription only, there was a black market for it by 1962. Its popularity grew for recreational use. This concerned government authorities so it legislated to restrict its availability to everyone. LSD became illegal in the US in 1966, and all research into LSD’s medical uses stopped. These days LSD is a Schedule 1 drug (same as cannabis and heroin). This classifies it as having no medical benefits, but is popular for recreational use. This came as a blow to researchers who had their work cut short before coming to definitive conclusions. These days the FDA is relaxing its controls so researchers are again starting to study LSD’s therapeutic potential.
Medical LSD researchVery few researchers had access to LSD in America by 1965 with only six LSD research projects in 1969. After the 1973 study, the National Institute for Mental Health announced LSD offered no therapeutic value to patients in 1974. This gave authorities the political arguments to shut down research into its medical benefits down. The last US LSD research was in the 1980s. In the last study, researchers found LSD relieved pain and helped patients’ mental clarity and awareness of their surroundings. It helped patients to connect more with their families during terminal illness. While LSD showed promise in these patients, the study ended and further research discontinued.
Current medical research using LSDFast forward 40 years and a study into LSD medical uses grows. A 2014 study from researchers in Switzerland replicated earlier studies, but for different medical reasons. They looked at the role LSD could play to alleviate end-of-life anxiety in terminally ill patients. Ironically, it is in Switzerland that Albert Hoffman first synthesized LSD in the Sandoz (now Novartis) laboratories in Basel in 1938. Researchers separated 12 patients, most of whom had terminal cancer, into two groups. They all had psychotherapy sessions before receiving LSD drug therapy with Dr Peter Glasser to get to know him. He also followed up with them a year later. Unfortunately, some trial participants died within that year. Before the LSD drug therapy, they all stopped taking anxiety medications and did not drink alcohol for at least 24 hours prior to the session.
20 Micrograms 200 Micrograms LSD Medical Uses TestingPatients in one group received 20 micrograms and the other group received 200 micrograms of LSD. The effects of the LSD lasted for up to 10 hours and the patient would sleep on Dr Glasser’s office couch with him available to assist at any time. All patients attended two drug therapy sessions over several weeks with follow-up psychotherapy to assist them cope with the drug’s psychedelic effects.
Anxiety Improves With High Dosage LSDLSD medical uses and anxiety results. The group taking the low dose of LSD said the anxiety worsened. Those on the high dose of LSD said it helped alleviate the anxiety. After eight weeks of therapy, those who received the high dose of LSD “improved by about 20 percent on standard measures of anxiety, and the four subjects who took a much weaker dose got worse”. People with these levels of improvement maintained them when checked in with a year later. Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies founder Rick Doblin said using the LSD as part of patients’ therapy was a cleansing, esoteric experience. He said it helped people shift their perception. It takes their focus from what they are going to miss out on by dying to what they can do in the time they have left.
LSD Thought ti Affect Brain’s FilteringIt is still unknown how LSD affects the brain, but LSD’s psychoactive properties “interact with the brain’s filtering system”. This allows people to confront their fears, and any suppressed feelings and thoughts that arise. By confronting these it helps people to heal.
LSD Medical Uses Cures Alcholism?This is not the only time LSD’s effects were beneficial. In a study on LSD effects on alcoholics in 2012, out of 500 people administered LSD drug therapy, 59 percent had reduced levels of alcohol abuse.
LSD Medical Uses Resurgence of LSD Micro-Dosing Research in 2018There appears that the reappearance of LSD as a research subject for medical therapy has some distinct possibilities in psychiatric practice. More studies are happening with psychedelics to discover whether they have a place in medical therapies.
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