By Sandra McNeill

TROY (WWJ) – A new study into treatment for alcoholism is rocking the rehab world. Two Norwegian researchers say there is significant evidence that LSD can help alcoholics stop drinking.

The researchers have studied old clinical trials involving mostly male inpatient alcoholics in the 1960’s and 70’s. They say the studies show that 59 percent of the patients who took  low doses of the drug had some sort of major epiphany into their lives that led them to stop drinking for at least a year.

Beaumont psychiatrist Dr. Howard Belkin thinks LSD, also known as “Acid,”  is too dangerous to play with.

“There’s always the possibility of flashbacks,” Belkin told WWJ Newsradio 950’s Sandra McNeil. “And, additionally, there’s a type of persistent disorder in which it’s not just one or two flashbacks, but it’s the occurrence of multiple flashbacks and hallucinations occurring over an extended period of time.”

Belkin said he’s not sure what useful information, if any, can be learned from this research.

“It’s an interesting study and I think it would have to be analyzed very carefully for several reasons,” he said. “Number one, parts of the study are about 50 years old and we don’t know what the exact circumstances of the study are.”

“Even if,arguably, the use of one or more doses of LSD would decrease the use of alcohol or some other drug, the LSD in and of itself is an extremely dangerous drug,” said Belkin.

As to gaining insight into their lives – Belkin doesn’t buy that.

“That’s false. What they had was a drug-induced experience,” he said. “True incite comes through thinking about things … psychotherapy.”

Belkin said Alcoholics Anonymous is an effective treatment.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, LSD’s effects of distorting reality and causing hallucinations can be frightening and cause panic, with “trips” lasting up to 12 hours. In 2009, the last time data was taken, 779,000 Americans age 12 and older said they had abused LSD at least once in the previous year.

Read more about the research here

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