Studying the Effects of Classic Hallucinogens in the Treatment of Alcoholism: Rationale, Methodology, and Current Research with Psilocybin

This review (2013) summarizes preclinical evidence to support the therapeutic efficacy of psychedelics in the treatment of alcoholism and makes suggestions for future paradigms to assess their clinical efficacy, bearing in mind the issues of blinding and expectancies that are addressed within double-blind placebo-controlled study designs.

Abstract

“Recent developments in the study of classic hallucinogens, combined with a re-appraisal of the older literature, have led to a renewal of interest in possible therapeutic applications for these drugs, notably their application in the treatment of addictions. This article will first provide a brief review of the research literature providing direct and indirect support for the possible therapeutic effects of classic hallucinogens such as psilocybin and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in the treatment of addictions. Having provided a rationale for clinical investigation in this area, we discuss design issues in clinical trials using classic hallucinogens, some of which are unique to this class of drug. We then discuss the current status of this field of research and design considerations in future randomized trials.”

Author: Michael P. Bogenschutz

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