LSD Assisted Therapy
A Short Overview
- Unlike Psilocybin-assisted therapy, LSD-assisted therapy is significantly less studied.
- The University Hospital in Basel Switzerland just concluded a several-year-long study that aimed to understand the effects of LSD on the mental status of patients with a life-threatening illness. (Read more about the study HERE)
- This study concluded that the effects of LSD are comparable to that of psilocybin when it comes to the relief of depression and anxiety symptoms
- The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Sciences (MAPS), sponsored the study in Switzerland, which was the first study of the therapeutic use of LSD treatment in humans in over 40 years.
- In comparison to traditional methods of using antidepressants, which require patients to take these medications over a period of years, or even for the rest of their lifetime, psychoactive therapies, like LSD-assisted therapy, can have a single dose that positively affects the user for months.
- Many studies show users experiencing a positive effect on their mental well-being for 6-8 weeks after a single dose of LSD and have the opportunity to replace traditional psychiatric medications.
- Psychedelic-assisted therapies have been shown to potentially stimulate the growth of new neurons as well as new connections between neurons, which suggests the potential to help treat PTSD, depression, and other mental health issues.
LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) has a long history of being stigmatized as a mind-bending recreational drug, however emerging research is showing that when used in certain therapeutic settings, namely psychedelic-assisted therapies, it can have powerful and long-lasting benefits. The effects of LSD-assisted therapy are diverse and can help with anything from addiction, treatment-resistant depression, anxiety disorder, or PTSD to enhancing creativity and performance. In this article we’re going to explore what LSD-assisted therapy is all about; outlining how it works, the potential risks involved, and if it could be beneficial for you.
What is LSD-Assisted Therapy
LSD Assisted therapy has been gaining attention in the therapeutic world. LSD, one of the most powerful hallucinogenic substances known to man, is coupled with psychological support-assisted psychotherapy from licensed therapists. During LSD-assisted therapy sessions, patients are instructed to lie down comfortably and don an eye mask to help focus inward.
Then, accompanied by music specifically chosen for that patient, LSD- assisted psychotherapy is administered in a safe medical setting where one or more therapists remain present throughout the entire session which can last 6-8 hours. LSD-assisted therapy provides great potential as an alternative form of psychotherapy that helps individuals grappling with mental health disorders, substance use disorders, and abuse issues due to dealing with difficult feelings including fear and regret.
LSD-assisted therapy can be a powerful tool to allow patients to gain their own insight from their counseling sessions. It is important to note that LSD is used in small, controlled doses as part of this form of therapy. Its main purpose is to help patients recognize and work through unhelpful or damaging mental, emotional, or behavioral patterns by allowing them to experience an altered state of consciousness.
Allowing the patient the opportunity to access deep levels of awareness often leads to heightened self-awareness and greater insight into themselves, thereby giving them increased control over the way they think and behave. LSD-assisted therapy enables individuals to make sense of negative thoughts, feelings, and behaviors in ways not possible when engaging with traditional therapies alone. Through LSD-assisted therapy, people are able to reorganize unresolved aspects of their lives into healthier perspectives and behaviors.
LSD-assisted therapy was an area of focus in the 1950s and ’60s acute psychedelic experience, as it offered the potential to treat alcohol and drug addiction, depression symptoms, and anxiety disorders. There were modern clinical trials and many reports of successful outcomes from LSD therapy during this era, but unfortunately, psychedelic research in the US was stopped with the Controlled Substances Act. Even though LSD had received somewhat positive results from clinical trials, it was declared to have no medicinal value according to the law.
It is a shame that LSD-assisted therapy never received scientific validation due to its potential for helping those afflicted with mental health issues. While interest in LSD has picked back up with some placebo-controlled trials resuming in recent years, it’s a question as to how far along LSD therapy could have gone if not for its dismissal in the 70s.
LSD Assisted Therapy has seen a resurgence in the past few decades as evidence of its powerful, positive effects on those suffering from mental illnesses and substance abuse issues has become more widely known. Now, recent research shows that LSD therapy can help people to enjoy progressive and long-lasting mental benefits, with test subjects recording feelings of well-being for weeks after a single dose administered by a professional. It has thus become a promising form of alternative treatment, with more areas exploring its potential to relieve mental distress and help people lead healthier lives.
There is still much to learn about psychedelic treatments such as LSD-assisted therapy and its effects, so it will be some time before it is widely available and accepted as a therapeutic treatment. If you are looking for an alternative form of therapy to help with mental health issues or substance abuse, talk to your doctor or therapist about the possibility of psilocybin-assisted therapy. (Check out our article HERE about Psilocybin therapy) With the right support and guidance, psychedelic-assisted therapy could be the key to helping you find relief from your struggles and begin a new life on the path to recovery.
Since psychedelic-assisted therapy is still in its early stages of research, it is important for those seeking alternative forms of treatment to discuss the risks and benefits with clinical psychologist or their mental health provider and to be sure they are being supervised by an experienced professional. Having the right support throughout each session can make all the difference in a successful outcome and psychedelic experience.
Talk To Your Medical Professional
Additionally, it is recommended that you inform your doctor or therapist if you have any prior experience with psychedelics as this can affect how psychedelic-assisted therapy will work for you. With proper guidance and support, psychedelic-assisted therapy can be a powerful tool to help individuals find relief from mental health issues.
It is important to remember that while there are potential benefits associated with LSD-assisted therapy, it is not a cure-all or an immediate solution to mental health issues. It is a process that requires dedication and commitment in order to experience its full potential. With the right support and guidance, the clinical practice of LSD-assisted therapy can be an effective tool for helping people find relief from anxiety symptoms and mental distress and move forward on their path to recovery.
Legalization of LSD Therapy
Despite compelling evidence from MAPS (Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Sciences) groundbreaking research on the mental health benefits of LSD, there has been minimal effort to advance the control and use of this substance for medical purposes. Specifically, there has been no development of legislation to condone the legitimization, rescheduling or medical legalization of LSD therapy.
MAPS came close to achieving successful results in their trial, proving that LSD’s potential therapeutic capabilities rival those of psilocybin-assisted therapy. This is a significant step towards raising awareness of the potential medical uses of psychedelics and increasing public acceptance.
Yet, immense pressure is necessary in order to spearhead policy changes that would provide access to these treatments and the assurance that they are safely administered. This certainly makes it an uphill battle to eventually unlock the medical utility benefits of LSD therapy. As a result, those that are suffering from mental health issues don’t have the access to necessary treatments and the potential therapeutic efficacy of this psychedelic therapy remains largely unknown.
Although the future of ongoing randomized clinical trials of LSD therapy remains uncertain, there is hope that with enough public education and awareness, society will be able to leverage psychedelic experience to its potential in the near future. It is only through a collective effort that we can make progress in unlocking the medical benefits of psychedelics and paving the way for more effective treatments for mental health issues.
Is It Righ For You?
Due to the lack of legal recognition for LSD therapy, it may not be an option in the near future for you, but psilocybin-assisted therapy may be. It is an option for those looking for alternatives to traditional therapeutic treatments for post-traumatic stress disorder. With the right support and guidance, psychedelic-assisted therapy could be the key to helping you find relief from your struggles post traumatic stress and anxiety disorder, and begin a new life on the path to recovery.
Not A Quick Fix
It is important to remember that while there are potential benefits associated with LSD-assisted therapy, it is not a quick fix or an immediate solution to mental health issues. But with dedication and commitment, it can be an effective tool for helping individuals find relief from mental distress and move forward on the path to recovery.
By exploring alternative treatments for anxiety disorders and major depressive disorder, such as LSD therapy, we can open the door to a better understanding of mental health issues and help to improve the lives of those afflicted by these hardships. It is only through a collective effort that we can make progress in unlocking the medical benefits of psychedelics and paving the way for more effective treatments for mental health issues. With the right support and guidance, psychedelic research and LSD-Assisted Therapy can be a powerful tool to help individuals find relief from mental health issues.
Current State Of LSD
The current state of LSD is in a rough spot as it’s manufacturing, buying, possession, and distribution are not allowed unless the user has a special license from the DEA. The dangers of getting caught on the wrong side of the law should make any potential user think twice. If found guilty, one can face up to a year in jail and pay up to $5,000 as a fine. Both lysergic acid and lysergic acid amide, two chemical precursors used to synthesize LSD are monitored under schedule III drugs with the Controlled Substance Act. With tight restrictions placed on substances necessary for its synthesis, this powerful yet highly controversial drug continues to remain illegal in most parts of the world.
Although LSD has traditionally been classified as an illegal narcotic, there is some promising momentum for the decriminalization of this drug. Oregon became the first state in the United States to make progress when it decriminalized personal possession of LSD in 2020. While this policy only applies to a limited quantity (40 units or less), it marks a promising change in the approach toward drug regulation and public health within the United States.
Despite its legal status, the potential benefits of LSD and other psychedelics are slowly beginning to gain recognition. With further research and evidence-based studies, many believe that psychedelics could be used to treat a variety of mental health issues such as major depression, anxiety disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD), addictions, and more.
Looking towards the future, California appears to be on board with further progressive steps by proposing to introduce legislation again in 2023 that could expand this effort nationwide if successful. This could represent a major turning point in how psychedelics and their therapeutic benefits are perceived by society. (Find out more about this HERE)
It is clear that more studies are necessary to gain a better understanding sustained subjective effects of the use of LSD for therapeutic purposes. In the interim, many organizations like MAPS are actively fighting for these rights and will continue to do so until there is conclusive proof of its various therapeutic effects. While LSD can be dangerous if not administered properly, it has also been shown to have a positive impact on individuals when used in the right context and with professional supervision.
Ultimately, its potential to provide long-term relief needs further exploration and study. For now, those interested in using psychedelic drugs as therapies should take precautionary measures to ensure their safety and that of others around them. Those who seek help from mental health professionals should express their interest in pursuing psychedelic therapies as an alternative option if they desire a different approach.
While it remains illegal in many parts of the world, there are some promising legislative movements for its decriminalization. If further ongoing clinical trials can be conducted on the various therapeutic effects of LSD therapy, we may see a radical shift in how mental health issues are treated and managed.
It is important to remember that if you’re looking into using LSD as a form of therapy, always follow your local laws and handle it with caution. With proper regulation and safety protocols, this could be a groundbreaking development in treating mental illness and improving the quality of life for millions around the world.
The psychedelic studies and science world is only beginning to take notice of the fascinating potentialities that psychedelics offer, but soon enough more clinical research into psychedelic science will be conducted and results may shock us all.
What are your thoughts about psychedelic studies and LSD-assisted therapy? For those who have experimented with LSD psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy, please share your thoughts with the community on if it had an effect on your mental health and do you see it as part of your life going forward. As we spoke before Psilocybin therapy seems to have more backing behind it in the medical research community, but hopefully with more research LSD will be added to this list.