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Trials conducted in Switzerland that carried out LSD treatment on patients with terminal illnesses have shown promising results. The study, published in The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, found that patients under the influence of LSD whilst talking to a therapist enjoyed reduced levels of stress and anxiety. The use of LSD to treat patients has been outlawed in the US for nearly fifty years.
12 participants took part in the trials and met with Dr Peter Gasser, the leading author of the study, for weekly therapy sessions over a period of two months. Eight were given a full hit and four a lesser dose. During their acid trips, patients discussed their fears and anxieties about dying, often experiencing distress.
A year on, researchers found that those who were given the full dose of LSD had experienced a 20% drop in anxiety levels, whereas those who were given a lesser dose saw their anxiety levels worsen (after the trial, these patients were allowed to try the full dose).
While the study cautions that its results come only from a small sample of patients, further tests could see psychedelics break out of counterculture and into the world of legitimate treatment. Are you ready for a trip?
Follow Thomas Gorton on Twitter here @angstromhoot
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