LSD - No Longer Just a Hippie Elixir

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					Abbie Hofmann was jubilant in the final months before his death last
year, at the age of 102, upon learning that the first scientific research
on LSD in decades was beginning. What is the possibilities LSD will one
day become the drug of choice for psychedelic psychotherapy? That remains
in question because there may be better solutions. Some doctors prefer
psilocybin over LSD because it is gentler and generally less intense says
Charles S. Grob, a professor of psychiatry at the University of
California Los Angeles. Psychedelic psychotherapy is being used in
conducted trials to test their effects on anxiety in terminal cancer
patients.When Hofmann first discovered LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide-
2.5) in the 1940s, he continuously asserted its potential benefits as an
invaluable supplement in psychotherapy and spiritual practices. New
studies, picking up where investigators in the 1950s and 1970s left off,
are exploring the possible therapeutic effects of LSD on the intense
anxiety encountered by most patients with life threatening diseases, such
as cancer. In addition to LSD, other researchers have studied psilocybin
(the active ingredient found in magic mushrooms), MDMA (Ecstasy), and
many other psychedelic compounds for their existential anxiety
properties.The LSD studies are being conducted with the approval of the
Swiss medical authorities by Peter Gasser, a physician at the Swiss
Medical Society for Psycholytic Therapy. Gasser, whose study began in
2008, is almost entirely funded by the Multidisciplinary Association for
Psychedelic Studies, a U.S. nonprofit that sponsors research with the
goal of making psychedelics and marijuana into prescription drugs.
Finding eligible candidates have been difficult for Gasser, therefore
research findings are progressing slowly. Patients receiving the
psychedelic therapy reports they were aided emotionally and none
experienced panic reactions, but did overcome anxious feelings, and were
aided in their reentry into regular life.Beckley Foundation, a British
based firm is funding similar LSD research in collaboration with the
University of California. They are seeking to determine how the drug can
foster creativity and what changes to the neural activity center within
the brain occurs along with altered conscious when the drugs are taken.
The UCLA researchers prefer psilocybin over LSD. The objective of the
majority of the psychedelic psychotherapy is to determine their effects
and potential assistance in combating anxiety in terminal cancer
sufferers and other life threatening disease patients. It has proven
those treated with these drugs encounter fewer panic reactions and
experience less of paranoia.Psychedelic drugs have over a half century of
negative publicity and cultural baggage. They are now proving beneficial
in pharmacology research. Abbie Hofmann's dream has finally come true.
After more than 60 years since its initial introduction, psychoactive
substances have been proven to be more than just hippie elixirs.

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