LSD Can Ease Anxiety for Dying Patients

LSD Can Ease Anxiety for Dying Patients

All those flower children who said, “Dropping acid/dancing with Lucy/a dose of this stuff melts your worries away, man” weren’t (just) tripping, after all.

The results of the first clinical study of the therapeutic use of LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) in humans in more than 40 years were  published in the peer-reviewed Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease this week. They show that LSD can promote statistically significant reductions in anxiety.

Swiss psychiatrist Peter Gasser and his colleagues conducted the double-blind, placebo-controlled study, sponsored by the non-profit Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS). They tracked 12 people who were near the end of life as they attended LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions. Eleven of the 12 subjects had never taken LSD prior to participating in the study.

“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,” said Peter, an Austrian study participant.

The study was approved by SwissMedic, the Swiss authority responsible for authorizing and supervising all therapeutic products, in December 2007. The first subject was enrolled on April 23, 2008, and the last long-term follow-up interview was conducted on Aug. 8, 2012.

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