Shortly before Albert Hoffman's 100th birthday, Dr. Peter Gasser and Rick Doblin discussed the idea of restarting research into LSD-assisted psychotherapy. In a recent Ask Me Anything session on reddit, Rick Doblin announced that now, eight years later, that conversation has borne fruit in Switzerland.
MAPS, the Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies, sponsored Gasser's pilot study into the use of LSD in dealing with end of life anxiety among 12 terminally ill patients in Switzerland. Similar research using psilocybin has been conducted at Johns Hopkins University.
Although only one participant had previously used LSD, there were no adverse reactions in any of the sessions. Ultimately, Gasser's research supported the following conclusions:
*This pilot study found positive trends in the reduction of anxiety following two LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions.
*Anxiety remained at reduced levels at 12-month follow-up sessions, implying durability of effects.
*LSD-assisted psychotherapy can be safely administered in these subjects.
*The results of this small pilot study are promising, and should be pursued in larger samples.
Research like this may one day play an important role in reshaping the war on drugs. By establishing clear benefits that can result from the proper use of drugs like LSD, researchers are laying the foundation of an argument to remove these sorts of drugs from the most restrictive schedules and controls.
The full results will be published in an upcoming volume of the Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease.