First synthesized by the Swiss chemist Albert Hofmann, LSD gained both popularity and notoriety during the counter culture and flower power of the 1960’s. Today, LSD is most often associated with this time period and a heap of stigma surrounds the drug. Being classified as a schedule 1 drug that has no potential medicinal benefits, LSD is a difficult substance to study for the scientific community. However, recent studies carried out in Europe have revealed a interesting new perspective on the drug.
Your Brain on LSD
According to a study conducted by David Nutt, LSD causes certain parts of the brain that normally do no interact with one another, to communicate. This causes the altered reality that LSD users experience. Additionally, neurons that usually fire together lose their synchronization. This is what is responsible for the loss of ego that LSD users experience. The loss of ego is quite simply a feeling of euphoria that LSD brings on that causes one to feel more connected with their animate and inanimate surroundings. While this all sounds quite pleasant, LSD has been criticized for being able to induce psychosis and even schizophrenia in users. However, according to the science journal PLOS One, researchers found no significant increase in mental health problems in people who used LSD. Researcher debunked the claim that LSD use could cause mental health problems by stating that mental health problems and LSD use usually began around adolescence, which accounts for a correlation, but not causation.
A Tab a Day Keeps the Alcoholism away
Besides inducing intense feelings of euphoria, LSD may have the potential to be used as a therapeutic agent. According to researchers in Norway, LSD has the potential to help alcoholics cut back on their alcohol consumption. In a case study of 536 adults, close to 60% of the subjects who were given LSD dramatically cut down on their alcohol use, while others quit altogether. More so, LSD was found to be just as effective, if not more, than the pharmaceuticals that are currently used to treat alcoholism. Besides treating alcoholism, LSD may have therapeutic benefits in treating people with depression. Scientists in England have already studied psycocilibin with good results, and they hope to achieve the same with LSD. If LSD proves to be effective, it could be administered in psychotherapeutic sessions in which the drug is administered under the control of a medical professional who’s aim is to work through a patient’s problems. While these scientific breakthroughs are certainly exciting, LSD remains a powerful drug that can have serious consequences. With any mind altering substance there is a degree of risk, so be safe and make smart decisions.