First Controlled LSD Trial in 40 Years Proves The Drug Helps With Anxiety

Christina Drill
March 10, 2014

The first controlled LSD trial in 40 years has concluded in Switzerland outside of Bern, by a coalition of health researchers and fundraisers who are seeking to do comprehensive research on whether or not psychiatric drugs are a viable treatment for end-of-life anxiety. (My two cents on the matter: uhhh, you know they are.)

Most of the 12 subjects were adults past middle age with terminal diseases, mostly cancer. Some of them died within a year after the trial.

“The effort is both political and scientific,” said Rick Doblin, head honcho at the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, a foundation that has financed similar studies. “We want to break these substances out of the mold of the counterculture and bring them back to the lab as part of a psychedelic renaissance.”

Psychedelic renaissance, ay?

Anyway, the experiment was pretty simple: patients ingested a controlled amount of LSD (only eight of the twelve patients received a full dosage) and sat on psychiatrist Dr. Peter Gasser's couch for ten hours, about how long an LSD trip lasts. During the patients' experiences Gasser talked them through any thoughts they were feeling or things they were seeing. Afterwards, patients were allowed to fall asleep on the couch, attended at all times by either the therapist or his assistant. "I can’t guarantee you won’t have intense distress, but I can tell you that if you do, it will pass," Dr. Gasser explained to his patients who were understandably worried about having a bad trip.

According to Gasser, a lot of patients cried. One 67-year-old man said he met his long-dead, estranged father "somewhere out in the cosmos."

Imagine the greatness of getting ten hours of consecutive therapy WHILE tripping. It's no surprise that out of the eight patients involved in the study who were given the full dose saw a 20% improvement in standard measures of anxiety, which continued for a year after their trip. Oddly enough, the four patients who were given a lower dose reported worse anxiety. These patients were given the option to take more of the drug.

When LSD was made illegal in 1966, research on the drug made a complete halt-- however, LSD research was never officially banned. Tomorrow the official results of the trial will be published by The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, and it is expected to be groundbreaking. If you're into science journals, go ahead and read this tomorrow!

Join Our Fantasy Trading Community
Become a Wall Street Trader
Leave this field empty

By clicking Sign Up, you agree to our terms and conditions and have read and understand our privacy policy.