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Dangerous Drug LSD Used to Treat Alcoholism?
In a ‘no way this would ever be legal nowadays’ bit of news, recent studies from the 1960s recently garnered quite a bit of attention. This study got attention for suggesting that alcoholics could be helped by a single dose of the hallucinogenic drug LSD. The study was published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology and observed more than 500 patients in six trials. One expert was quoted as having said that LSD for solving alcoholism was “as good as anything we’ve got.”
As Good as Anything We’ve Got
Of course, that was then and this is now. Nowadays, we have a much better understanding of the underlying causes of addiction and have many more treatment options. Whereas people previously believed addiction to be an illness, something you were ‘afflicted’ by, we now understand much more about the problem. There are alternatives available when it comes to recovering from drug or alcohol addiction that don’t come with the side effects associated with LSD such as symptoms typical of schizophrenia, flashbacks, panic attacks, or intense anxiety.
The Desire to Use
The first two steps in recovery for our bodies are the withdrawal symptoms and intense physical cravings. Aspects that may influence how long these cravings continue are how long the person used alcohol or drugs and whether they were heavy users or moderate to light users. Anyone who has ever struggled with addiction will readily tell you that overcoming addiction would not be much of a problem if the overwhelming urges and cravings could be squelched. The problem is that some patients find that they still have the desire to use narcotics or have a drink, weeks or months after they have stopped using altogether. While people previously believed that this was a definition of illness, meaning that one could never truly recover, only manage addiction, we have since found that there is a straightforward, biological reason for these cravings. The reason is a simple, biological process that we did not know existed back in the 1960s.
The Problem with Toxins
Without making this into advanced biology or chemistry 101, in order to understand the problem and the solution you must have a basic understanding of what happens when someone uses drugs. When they use, parts of these drugs are stored in the body’s cells as a residue. This residue is called a drug metabolite. These metabolites are stored in dormant fatty tissue of the body. This is a natural bodily reaction. When someone stops abusing drugs, the residue of these fat-soluble drugs are slowly released as our cells break down and regenerate, this again is a natural process. This means that these previously dormant drug metabolites are slowly but surely released into the blood stream. Now if the person is still using drugs, they will not notice this occurring, because their system is used to the drugs being present. However, if they are no longer using the drug, things start becoming problematic. This may cause anxiety and cravings within the person trying to recover from addiction. The person is making an active choice to stop using drugs, but is still exposed to drugs regularly in low dosages. As these toxins are released back into the blood stream, the body responds by craving more, which leads to even more intense physical cravings – this process is called physical restimulation.
It seems like a vicious cycle indeed. The person decides to quit using drugs, they avoid using drugs, but they can’t escape their own bodies that have trapped these drug metabolites. Any time the heart rate accelerates, fat tissue burns faster. This increases the exposure to these drug metabolites. What are some ways that a people might find themselves with a rapid heartbeat? Just a few examples include anxiety, frustration, anger, and stress – all of which seem like perfectly normal sensations for a person that is trying to recover from addiction. In that sense, it is a truly vicious cycle the person finds themselves trapped in.
The Problem with Treatment
It would appear that treating the physical as well as the mental aspect of addiction should come as a standard practice. However, it should surprise you to know that the vast majority of the rehabilitation centers do not focus on the physical aspect at all. Oftentimes, they provide three, maybe five days of detoxification and leave it at that – this is nowhere near enough to deal with these underlying drug metabolites. This type of short treatment only deals with the initial shock to the body and heavy sickness when someone is suffering through initial withdrawals. Mind you, this is still better than the traditional 12-step method, which doesn’t even recognize the fact that drug metabolites are a problem. As you can probably imagine, these types of treatment tend to have a high percentage of people relapsing.
Where We Stand Now
Evidence shows that long-term treatment options (these may last three months or even longer) provide the best possible option for someone who is serious about recovery and does not want to risk relapsing. No one becomes an addict overnight, so it would be foolish to assume that you can cure addiction in the blink of an eye. By using a program that produces cellular respiration (meaning that the stored toxic residue from the body is released in a much faster, organized way) such as biophysical rehab, it can provide relief from the urges and cravings associated with years of drug addiction. Once all stored residue is eliminated, the focus can be placed on the mental aspect of drug addiction, avoiding triggers, and making smarter decisions in the future. Biophysical rehab for example uses minerals, vitamins, and a purification technology to ensure that these toxic residues are permanently eliminated out of the body. This means that the person is free of physical cravings and contamination that would otherwise make sobriety a challenge. As you can imagine, this type of treatment is rapidly gaining more and more attention and certainly is safer than taking LSD to cure addiction.