Saturday, January 05, 2008

Scientific American has an article about something I was talking about this morning with Claire- the use of hallucinogens to treat mental illness. There's quite a bit of research going on in this area. It's sure to be controversial, but has anyone else heard of using hallucinogens this way? I've known people who believed that they had ended their clinical depression through LSD. Also, I've read about people using much lesser-known hallucinogens to kick herion addiction, quite successfully in fact, without actually getting addicted to the hallucinogens. Actually, is it even possible to get addicted to LSD?


gregvw said...

Based on my personal experience, I do not believe LSD is physically addictive. ANYTHING can be psychologically addictive, however.

I seem to recall some studies of using psilocybin mushrooms to treat OCD with significant success. No reference at the moment though.

Rufus said...

I've heard of people using something like ibogaine... or maybe ayahuaska to get off heroin. It seems like a pretty rough way to do it, but people claim that you can kick with one treatment.

I could sort of see it working with OCD actually because of the reprogramming involved.

Hiromi said...

Uh...where can I sign up for a trial?

Rufus said...

Greg: I think that's right though. I've seen people have serious physical addictions to alcohol, heroin, and probably cocaine. But never once seen physical symptoms of LSD or marijuana withdrawal.

Hiromi: Apparently, you can get the ibogaine treatment in Sweden. Have you ever taken lithium? I have a very close friend who used to really have a serious drinking problem and she stopped partly through therapy, but also because alcohol just makes her really sick with her lithium. I actually think lithium is a good drug anyway, but it has that extra benefit for many people.

gregvw said...

Hiromi: I am no expert on this (beside actually having taking lots of psychedelics) but here are a few references on treating alcoholism:

With LSD

With Ayahuasca (DMT & Harmaline)

General psychedelics can be beneficial resource:

Rufus said...

I don't know if it will ever be possible to get LSD from a doctor in the states. I've heard that it's pretty much impossible to find it in North America anymore, although I haven't really tried to.

But, from what I understand, alcoholism is both a physical and a psychological addiction, and I'd be amazed if nobody was working on a medication to neutralize the physical addiction. It may well already exist.

Hiromi said...

Oh no, I was kidding. Honestly, most of the time, I'm not troubled by cravings. Once in a while, I'll get hit by an intense craving, but I can ride those out on my own, it looks like.

Rufus, I haven't ever tried lithium. In fact, I kind of want to get off all meds, for weird metaphysical reasons.

I was thinking it might be fun to do these trials, but probably, the doses will be too small to make you high. :(

Yeah, I'm real juvenile sometimes.

Rufus said...

You can certainly talk about that here. I'm hoping to make this the blog of weird metaphysics.

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