Psychedelics and Addiction

Psychedelics and Addiction is one of the 'psychedelics and ...' topics that we're currently making a page for. At this moment you can find all papers (in our database) on this topic below.

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Our vision is that psychedelics can be used worldwide to better the lives of as many as 450 million people who suffer from mental health problems. Our information hopes to make that vision come to life just a little faster.

Addiction Research

Here will be a narrative, readable, summary of the research.


In our literature study we came across the following studies of note. Browse the meta, review, commentary articles for an overview. Check out the individual studies for specific experiments and observations.

Ketamine for the treatment of addiction: Evidence and potential mechanisms

2018 | Ezquerra-Romano, I. I., Krupitsky, E. M., Lawn, W., Morgan, C. J. A.

This review (2018) looks at the studies done with ketamine for the treatment of addiction. The results are promising and various mechanisms underlie these effects. Both effects at the neurological (neurogenesis, neuroplasticity, and more) and psychological (mystical experience, reconsolidation of drug-related memories) are discussed.

A Review of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) in the Treatment of Addictions: Historical Perspectives and Future Prospects

2014 | Liester, M. B.

This review (2014) examines the historic transformation of LSD, from a psychoactive drug that exhibited great promise for the treatment of addiction, to an illicit substance affiliated with counterculture without a medical purpose. This review outlines aspects of its psychopharmacology that are still relevant for the treatment of addiction, which may warrant a renewed interest to continue research in this domain.

From Hofmann to the Haight Ashbury, and into the Future: The Past and Potential of Lysergic Acid Diethlyamide

2014 | Dickerson Davidson, L., Raswyck, G. E., Smith, D. E.

This review (2014) summarises the history of LSD research and outlines the potential applications in the future.

Can psychedelic compounds play a part in drug dependence therapy?

2015 | Johnson, M. W., Sessa, B.

This editorial (2015) discusses the potential of and obstacles to psychedelic therapies for substance dependence.

Can MDMA Play a Role in the Treatment of Substance Abuse?

2013 | Jerome, L., Schuster, S., Yazar-Klosinski, B.

This review (2013) evaluates the potential of MDMA to treat substance abuse and dependence. The authors provide evidence that MDMA may have potential as a treatment for these morbidities, but also highlight that classical psychedelics have a better risk:benefit ratio.

A review of emerging therapeutic potential of psychedelic drugs in the treatment of psychiatric illnesses

2020 | Chi, T., Gold, J. A.

This review (2020) presents modern human studies into psychedelic drugs, including psilocybin, LSD, MDMA, and ayahuasca in the treatment of various psychiatric illnesses, including treatment-resistant depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, end-of-life anxiety, and substance use disorders. Safety and efficacy data are also presented, from both human and animal studies.

Therapeutic effects of classic serotonergic psychedelics: A systematic review of modern-era clinical studies

2020 | Andersen, K. A. A., Carhart-Harris, R. L., Erritzoe, D., Nutt, D. J.

This systematic review (2020) looked at 10 modern studies (n=188) on psychedelics (psilocybin, ayahuasca, LSD) for the treatment of a variety of mental health disorders. The review found the studies to provide evidence for efficacy (up to months later) and safety.

Mania following use of ibogaine: A case series

2015| Koek, R. J., Kopelowicz, A., Marta, C. J., Ryan, W. C.

This case report (n=3) examines patients who developed manic symptoms and diagnosed with Bipolar-I disorder in response to ibogaine use. None of the patients had a prior diagnosis or family history of bipolar disorder, but all of them were poly-drug users or recovering from addiction. Manic symptoms which often included grand delusions that lasted up to two weeks after using ibogaine.

First study of safety and tolerability of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine (MDMA)-assisted psychotherapy in patients with alcohol use disorder: preliminary data on the first four participants

2019| Nutt, D. J., Sakal, C., Sessa, B.

This paper presents data on the first four of 14 participants in the open-label trial on the safety and tolerability of MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for alcohol use disorder.

First study of safety and tolerability of 3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy in patients with alcohol use disorder

2021| Brew-Girard, E., Burrows, S., Durant, C., Higbed, L., Rickard, J. A., Rose-Morris, A., Sakal, C., Sessa, B., Titheradge, D., Wilson, S., Williams, T. M., Wiseman, C.

This open-label study (n=14) with MDMA-assisted psychotherapy (2 sessions;187.5mg) found it to be well-tolerated and safe to use. The average consumption of alcohol at 9 months later was 18.7 units, versus 130.6 units before the detox (start of study).

Cessation and reduction in alcohol consumption and misuse after psychedelic use

2019| Davis, A. K., Erowid, F., Erowid, E., Garcia-Romeu, A., Griffiths, R. R., Johnson, M. W.

This survey study (n=343) suggests that naturalistic psychedelic use may be associated with reduced problematic alcohol consumption. This complements clinical studies that found similar results with smaller sample sizes.

Treatment of alcoholism using psychedelic drugs: a review of the program of research

2011| Mangini, M.

This review (2011) looks at the history of LSD as a possible treatment for alcoholism. It highlights the research that had been done and how psychedelics were subsequently relabelled as drugs of abuse.

Ketamine psychotherapy for heroin addiction: immediate effects and two-year follow-up

2002| Burakov, A. M., Dunaevsky, I. V., Grinenko, A. Y., Krupitsky, E. M., Romanova, T. N., Strassman, R. J.

This randomized double-blind clinical trial (2002, n=70) found that existential psychotherapy in combination with psychedelic doses of intramuscular (im) ketamine (140mg/70kg) achieved larger results in the treatment of heroin addiction than sub-hallucinogenic doses (14mg/70kg).

Hallucinogen use predicts reduced recidivism among substance-involved offenders under community corrections supervision

2017| Clark, C. B., Cropsey, K. L., Fontaine, K. R., Hendricks, P. S., Johnson, M. W.

This survey study (n=25.622) found that hallucinogen use predicted reduced recidivism.


This section compares the research with psychedelics to other therapies, medicines, or treatments.


This section highlights the various measures used and their use in research.


Who are the top researches in this area, the ones who have done the groundbreaking research.


What do we not know at this time? Where are the gaps in our knowledge and are we closing it?


The companies that are actively engaged in researching this topic or (planning to) provide therapy focussed on this topic.

Outside Academia

This section highlights everything done outside of academia, from popular press to books and non academic research.