LSD helps cure alcoholics

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LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Angua » Fri Mar 09, 2012 10:27 am UTC

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-17297714

Apparently this is a new analysis of a bunch of studies done in the 60's. I don't know what the clinical trial practices were back then, so it's possible that we won't see as many effects now, but hopefully it will help! Maybe it will help other addictions as well.

Warning, this probably works best when other therapy is used as well, so you probably shouldn't try this at home!
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Griffin » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:34 pm UTC

Therapeutic research on these drugs (LSD and MDMA in particular, both of which have numerous pretty much proven therapeutic uses) is illegal unless controlled by the government, at which point they will tell you what results to produced, so this (perfectly in keeping with other reports I've seen) study pretty much means nothing, since they'll never be allowed to run new research to confirm the findings.

And if they do, the politicians will just ignore it.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Dauric » Fri Mar 09, 2012 4:43 pm UTC

I just keep imagining that the Blue mice and Pink Elephants from an alcoholic hallucination get in a fight with animated objects and crawling geometric shapes caused by the LSD...

... Strangest Pokemon battle ever.

Edit:
... either that or a Disney film.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Angua » Fri Mar 09, 2012 8:21 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:Therapeutic research on these drugs (LSD and MDMA in particular, both of which have numerous pretty much proven therapeutic uses) is illegal unless controlled by the government, at which point they will tell you what results to produced, so this (perfectly in keeping with other reports I've seen) study pretty much means nothing, since they'll never be allowed to run new research to confirm the findings.

And if they do, the politicians will just ignore it.

There has been a bit of a campaign in the UK to stop this hold on research into these drugs, so we can hope.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Griffin » Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:02 am UTC

People have been campaigning against that specific scientific insanity for at least twenty years now. There's hope, but its slight - and it's not like the current UK government is even remotely friendly to science that doesn't serve its political purposes.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby addams » Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:21 am UTC

I think you people are right. We need more open doors to well being for our selves and each other.
LSD can be a wonder drug.

Yes. Professional oversite is important.

I do remember this drug. I watched people use it.
Ph. D.'s on LSD.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n-rWnQphPdQ


The foundation of the mind seems to be very important.
Some kid from nowhere and not very bright and a Ph. D. give very different results.

Some very conservative people tried the drug.

Shouldn't this be in funny news?
It is a funny drug. That is a trip that a person really does need company for, sometimes.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Jave D » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:21 pm UTC

As an alcoholic, I can say with no hesitation that LSD does not help cure alcoholism. In my case it helped contribute to my drug addiction though!

The idea of looking for a "cure" for alcoholics is kind of a red herring though, since there isn't a cure per se. There is treatment, but once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby addams » Sat Mar 10, 2012 6:58 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:As an alcoholic, I will spray with no hesitation that LSD does not help cure alcoholism. In my case it helped contribute to my drug addiction though!

The idea of looking for a "cure" for alcoholics is kind of a red herring though, since there isn't a cure per se. There is treatment, but once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.


Yes. It was often said that LSD was a short cut to where ever it is you were going, anyway.

If, it was Enlightenment, then, some said it was cheating.
If, it was Psychosis, then, some said it was the cause.
(Shrug.)

For most people LSD was an interesting and memorable afternoon in the park. Period.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Puppyclaws » Sat Mar 10, 2012 9:01 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:The idea of looking for a "cure" for alcoholics is kind of a red herring though, since there isn't a cure per se. There is treatment, but once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.


That's certainly one perspective on alcoholism, but it isn't the only one, even among professionals who treat alcoholics.

It's unfortunate that future studies in certain countries on this topic will be impossible thanks to regulation, but it offers an alternative solution to those seeking one, in a treatment field that is pretty chock full of nonsense and in need of new and preferably off-the-wall ideas.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby EMTP » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:21 am UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:
Jave D wrote:The idea of looking for a "cure" for alcoholics is kind of a red herring though, since there isn't a cure per se. There is treatment, but once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.


That's certainly one perspective on alcoholism, but it isn't the only one, even among professionals who treat alcoholics.


Alcoholism isn't a medical diagnosis -- it's alcohol abuse or dependency, if you're speaking in terms of the medical model.

Alcoholism is a term coined popularized by AA, so their definition is the more pertinent one. And Jave's perspective is how the 12 steps sees alcoholism.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby ahammel » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:34 am UTC

EMTP wrote:Alcoholism isn't a medical diagnosis -- it's alcohol abuse or dependency, if you're speaking in terms of the medical model.

Alcoholism is a term coined by AA, so their definition is the the pertinent one. And Jave's perspective is how the 12 steps sees alcoholism.

According to wikipedia, the term "alcoholism" predates AA by more than 80 years.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Jave D » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:09 am UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:
Jave D wrote:The idea of looking for a "cure" for alcoholics is kind of a red herring though, since there isn't a cure per se. There is treatment, but once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.


That's certainly one perspective on alcoholism, but it isn't the only one, even among professionals who treat alcoholics.


Are there professionals who actually do assert that there is a Cure for alcoholism?
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby engr » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:37 am UTC

That reminds me of how heroin was once sold as a cure for morphine addiction.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby ahammel » Sun Mar 11, 2012 3:53 am UTC

Jave D wrote:Are there professionals who actually do assert that there is a Cure for alcoholism?

I'm sure there are professoinals who assert that, because of treatment, their patients no longer suffer from alcohol dependence. Does that describe what you mean by "a cure for alcoholism"?

engr wrote:That reminds me of how heroin was once sold as a cure for morphine addiction.

The difference being that LSD really does have a lower addictive potential than alcohol. The reverse is true in the morphine/heroin case.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Jave D » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:11 am UTC

ahammel wrote:
Jave D wrote:Are there professionals who actually do assert that there is a Cure for alcoholism?

HULK sure there are professoinals who assert that, because of treatment, their patients no longer suffer from alcohol dependence. Does that describe what you mean by "a cure for alcoholism"?


Well, no, because alcoholism is more than the mere physical dependence. There's a reason after all, people can be clinically detoxed and have years of sobriety and yet still go back out to drinking. The view here is that alcohol use is only a symptom of a larger set of problems.

engr wrote:That reminds me of how heroin was once sold as a cure for morphine addiction.

The difference being that LSD really does have a lower addictive potential than alcohol. The reverse is true in the morphine/heroin case.

[/quote]

Yeah, but the usage of recreational mind-altering substances in order to treat the usage of recreational mind-altering substances is still pretty much ass-backwards.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby ahammel » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:24 am UTC

Jave D wrote:Well, no, because alcoholism is more than the mere physical dependence. There's a reason after all, people will be clinically detoxed and have years of sobriety and yet still go back out to drinking. The view here is that alcohol use is only a symptom of a larger set of problems.

Ok, so, using your terminology there's no cure for alcoholism but there is some evidence that LSD might be useful in treating alcohol dependence.

Yeah, but the usage of recreational mind-altering substances in order to treat the usage of recreational mind-altering substances is still pretty much ass-backwards. [my bold]

The clinical goal, if I understand correctly, is not to treat the use of recreational drugs. The goal is to treat dependence on alcohol. If, after treatment, Bob takes LSD ocasionally but no longer abuses alcohol, I'd call that a successful treatment.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby sourmìlk » Sun Mar 11, 2012 4:48 am UTC

Especially if it means he can then stop taking LSD and not have an alcohol problem because he's already quit.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby pollywog » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:07 am UTC

Also, if he never stops, it doesn't really matter. Far better (from a basic health and wellbeing perspective) to be a regular user of LSD than addicted to alcohol.
Jave D wrote:Yeah, but the usage of recreational mind-altering substances in order to treat the usage of recreational mind-altering substances is still pretty much ass-backwards
LSD is only a recreational substance because it is not also a clinical drug. Many people use morphine (and valium, and ritalin, and pethidine, and you know, all the others) recreationally, but it is not often termed a recreational drug, as it is widely used in the clinical setting. In some places in the world, cannabis is both deemed recreational and clinical. Methadone is probably the best example of a mind altering substance used to treat addiction to another mind altering substance. [Uncitable] I also remember reading somewhere about ecstasy being used to treat cocaine addiction, but it not really working because the clients would then become addicted to ecstasy.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby ahammel » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:39 am UTC

pollywog wrote:I also remember reading somewhere about ecstasy being used to treat cocaine addiction, but it not really working because the clients would then become addicted to ecstasy.

Really? Wikipedia tells me that MDMA has a relatively low dependence potential: about the same as caffeine or pot.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Shivahn » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:43 am UTC

Where does it s­ay that? I find that hard to believe.

Because caffeine is actually super addictive, far more than pot and I'­m pretty sure MDMA.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Jave D » Sun Mar 11, 2012 5:52 am UTC

pollywog wrote:Also, if he never stops, it doesn't really matter. Far better (from a basic health and wellbeing perspective) to be a regular user of LSD than addicted to alcohol.
Jave D wrote:Yeah, but the usage of recreational mind-altering substances in order to treat the usage of recreational mind-altering substances is still pretty much ass-backwards
LSD is only a recreational substance because it is not also a clinical drug. Many people use morphine (and valium, and ritalin, and pethidine, and you know, all the others) recreationally, but it is not often termed a recreational drug, as it is widely used in the clinical setting. In some places in the world, cannabis is both deemed recreational and clinical. Methadone is probably the best example of a mind altering substance used to treat addiction to another mind altering substance. [Uncitable] I also remember reading somewhere about ecstasy being used to treat cocaine addiction, but it not really working because the clients would then become addicted to ecstasy.


Yeah, but the situation where an alcoholic is "treated" with LSD and then just never drinks again and only does acid is not only hypothetical but really rather unlikely. An alcoholic has a difficult time with recreational substances (whether they are also clinical substances as well or not) of really any sort, namely that he can't just drink (or drop acid, or smoke pot, or take opiates etc) occasionally like non-alcoholics tend to be able to do. One drink leads to another; one drug leads to another. I know this from my personal experience in long term use and abuse of various mind altering substances including alcohol etc, and I know from tons of shared experiences from other alcoholics on this various topic.

In short, I regard this study with vast amounts of skepticism. This study's 'beneficial effects' on alcoholism were reported to last "several months." Alcoholism however is a life-long phenomenon. Where are those 21% of 500 patients who reported a few months of easier alcohol abstinence after a few years? Ten years? We don't know and the glowing reports of 60's era researchers dosing people with acid don't tell us. I do know that taking acid for the first time ten years ago didn't really help me with my alcoholism. It did help me open my mind to taking a lot more drugs since it was so wonderful an escape from reality.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby pollywog » Sun Mar 11, 2012 6:03 am UTC

ahammel wrote:
pollywog wrote:I also remember reading somewhere about ecstasy being used to treat cocaine addiction, but it not really working because the clients would then become addicted to ecstasy.

Really? Wikipedia tells me that MDMA has a relatively low dependence potential: about the same as caffeine or pot.
It was based on my memory, but I think it had to do with addiction pathways. Time for research!

And the best I can find is a few studies showing that rats who have had cocaine are more likely to seek MDMA. I retract my statement, bvut I will look into this more later.

And Jave D, yeah. It may be helpful for alcoholics to start using LSD, or not, or in combination with x other therapies. More research is clearly needed, but to promote anything as a cure for anything else is not really a great way to talk about healthcare.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Telchar » Sun Mar 11, 2012 9:48 am UTC

Jave D wrote:
Yeah, but the situation where a alcoholic is "treated" with LSD and then just never drinks again and only does acid is not only hypothetical but really rather unlikely. a alcoholic has a difficult time with recreational substances (whether they are also clinical substances as well or not) of really any sort, namely that he won't just drink (or drop acid, or smoke pot, or take opiates etc) occasionally like non-alcoholics tend to be able to do. One drink leads to another; one drug leads to another. I know this from my personal experience in long term use and abuse of various mind altering substances including alcohol etc, and I know from tons of shared experiences from other alcoholics on this various topic.


Except we have some success treating heroin users with methadone, and heroine users also "have a difficult time with recreational substances". While I agree that some skepticism is in order, especially because of the date of the research and relatively unknown testing procedure, the framework behind the idea has had some empirical success.

If it does in fact work to alleviate ones need to drink, I don't see a net negative to doing so. LSD is impossible to overdose on (there are some anecdotal reports and some limited clinical research, but most clinical trials suggest that the upper bounds of an LD50 are not reachable. There was one incident where people snorted it like coke and survived.) and with with the effective dose being so small it seems ideal. Obviously you still run into some of the same hazards such as operating a vehicle on LSD is still bad, it can still ruin your social connections. Also I'm not aware of any studies on the long term use of LSD so it's relatively unknown how it would effect organs like the liver. It also has the disadvantage of random flashbacks though that's often overstated but could become more prevalent the longer the drug is used.

In short, we need to know if it works to help alcohol dependency and we should find out the effects of long term LSD use if possible, but barring negative outcomes on one or both spectra then it would seem to be a net positive.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby EMTP » Sun Mar 11, 2012 2:49 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:This study's 'beneficial effects' on alcoholism were reported to last "several months." Alcoholism however is a life-long phenomenon.


This once again is the problem of treating alcohol abuse and alcoholism as synonymous. It isn't so. Many people meet the definition of alcohol abuse, but are not alcoholics as AA uses the term. Alcoholics who are working the program or white-knuckling it may not meet the definition for alcoholic abuse, while remaining alcoholics.

I don't think one or the other concept of problem drinking is correct. Personally and in my clinical experience I see them as two distinct while obviously related diseases. Alcoholic abuse is common as dirt, often with comorbid impulse control problems and low risk adversion, sometimes progressing to alcoholism and sometimes resolving without treatment. Alcoholism is a compulsion to drink with erratic periods of remission, with a strong genetic component, and a high incidence of other compulsive behaviors (gambling, other substances.)

People arguing about the disease discussed in an AA meeting vs the medical definition of alcohol abuse as if they are the same thing are talking past each other.

Except we have some success treating heroin users with methadone


One could argue that in turning a heroin addict into a methadone addict what you are treating is the negative consequences of prohibition.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby addams » Sun Mar 11, 2012 10:15 pm UTC

Dear God. What is a drunk LSD Tripper like.
The idea boggles the mind.

Idiosyncratic reactions to drugs is a big deal.
This is a wonder drug. When used with the supervision of compassionate educated professionals LSD can ease a great deal of psychological pain.
Alcoholics would not be on the top of my list of people likely to benefit.

When used clinically with supervision it is not a recreational drug. Even though, many people have a great time.

It seems to be the having of a great time that causes cognitive improvements. Not the chemical, but, the experience. The US is the villain again, from what I understand. No one can make LSD legally. That is a problem. Drugs are not always a problem. We want good drugs. Drugs that are made with high standards not high chemists.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby pollywog » Mon Mar 12, 2012 1:52 am UTC

EMTP wrote:One could argue that in turning a heroin addict into a methadone addict what you are treating is the negative consequences of prohibition.
Well, yeah, if you could buy standard doses of pure pharmaceutical grade heroin legally from a chemist or bottle store, I see no reason why everyone on the planet shouldn't be on heroin. But if you want to stop, the methadone program (not just taking the drug) may be of use.
addams wrote: No one will make LSD legally. That is a problem. Drugs are not always a problem. We want good drugs. Drugs that are made with high standards not high chemists.
How many arguments against prohibition do there need to be before they (THEY!) just say "Fuck it, you can have them".
addams wrote:Dear Odin. What is a drunk LSD Tripper like.
The idea boggles the mind.
Every time I've drunk while on LSD, it's had very little effect as far as I can tell. LSD is that psychoactively strong that nothing much fazes me.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Puppyclaws » Mon Mar 12, 2012 4:53 pm UTC

EMTP wrote: Alcoholism is a compulsion to drink with erratic periods of remission, with a strong genetic component, and a high incidence of other compulsive behaviors (gambling, other substances.)

People arguing about the disease discussed in a AA meeting vs the medical definition of alcohol abuse as if they are the same thing are talking past each other.


I don't think much of this distinction, honestly. I mean, any number of conditions come with "high incidence of other compulsive behaviors." A general tendency towards problematic, subjectively uncontrollable behaviors is likely to lead an individual to treatment, which is likely to get a diagnosis of some type. I would argue that most of what we call alcoholism is a byproduct of other mental illness, and is treatable. And while I am glad to see you make a distinction, it is my (totally anecdotal) experience that most clinicians do not separate alcohol abuse from alcoholism; they are taken as two sides of the same coin in many treatment settings.

I suppose my problem with the AA model is that it assumes that the problem is as it says it is, always. People in AA don't doubt a self-diagnosis of alcoholism, and there is no diagnostic work-up for it that is done, even informally (and as many comedians have pointed out, those informal measures that do exist apply to nearly everyone who drinks). In some ways, hey, that's great; we don't need MORE barriers to various forms of mental health treatment. But when a model makes an assumption like "all people who come to AA have a life-long, unfixable problem, that we can only try to temporarily alleviate (in large part by membership and strict attendance to our organization's meetings)," I am prone to more than a little doubt about its validity.

I am glad that AA works for some people, and if it works for you, hey, stick with it. I just don't think it's scientific in any way shape or form, and if we wish to discuss treatment for people with alcohol problems, we are best to ignore a model that assumes a priori that the condition is not curable.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Bharrata » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:24 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:As a alcoholic, I will spray with no hesitation that LSD does not help cure alcoholism. In my case it helped contribute to my drug addiction though!



As a former 'alcoholic', or substance abuser, who was downing two 6-packs nearly every night, ingesting anything he came across for years until I totaled my car in a DUI (which I have paid for with years of penance, please save me the moral outrage if you feel the urge) faced jail-time and has been to AA....while I can't say doing LSD helped me get sober, mainly because I had done it long before my DUI, I can say that my experiences with LSD helped me get through the absolute hell of alcohol withdrawal and drug cessation. That's just my personal experience and opinion though.


If doing LSD contributed to your drug problem, at least in the long run, then you were doing it for the wrong reasons. (which yes, is the inherent problem with substance abuse :oops: )

I'm assuming that the researchers using it to treat alcoholism are not telling patients to take it to "melt their minds" but instead to have something akin to an intense introspective experience. Sometimes that helps an abuser, sometimes it doesn't but I don't think it's unhealthy to be honest about the possible benefits that many people have admitted that it has. If I'm remembering correctly both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs did LSD in their youth; though I'll add that I agree more with the composer Philip Glass' opinion on drug use of any kind (bear in mind he was friends with Allen Ginsberg and Timothy Leary) paraphrased: "I can either stay up all night doing drugs or spend all day devoted to my work."

In any case, I see the current prohibition conversation (in the US at least) as being the product of parents trying to save their children from the mistakes a lot of them made during their own coming of age...let's be honest about both the benefits and drawbacks of drug use, but also I hope one day we'll stop kidding ourselves and pretend like most kids aren't going to try it and "Just Say No" is the answer.


yeah, but the situation where a alcoholic is "treated" with LSD and then just never drinks again and only does acid is not only hypothetical but really rather probable.


I think you're overstating how easy it is to find LSD compared to alcohol...that said, if an alcohol abuser were to abuse LSD as much as they had been abusing alcohol that would present an entirely different set of problems for them. In the end it would still be severe brain damage.



I'm curious if any of the more informed members on here knows much about the validity of ibogaine treatment....seems to get a good rep but I don't know much about how scientifically valid the claims are. Pretty much the same problem with knowing if LSD is clinically useful or not nearly as harmful recreationally as it's made out to be...there's little in-depth research.



edit: is anyone else's browser reading the text in this thread oddly...replacing the random "I'm" with HULK and "said" with sprayed? Or am I flashing-back? :o


double edit: ok, this is really strange, either there's a running joke going on that I'm not aware of or the Martians have landed in the back-end code
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Dauric » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:29 pm UTC

Bharrata wrote:edit: is anyone else's browser reading the text in this thread oddly...replacing the random "HULK" with HULK and "sprayed" with sprayed? Or am I flashing-back? :o


double edit: ok, this is really strange, either there's a running joke going on that HULK not aware of or the Martians have landed in the back-end code


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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Bharrata » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:32 pm UTC

Puppetmaster Madness. It's a thing that happens around here when the Puppetmasters break off their leashes. It'll get back to normal once they've been put back in their cages.


I was about to consult the machine elves about this madness, but it seems they don't want to be found, as they are busy, always busy. :twisted:

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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Jave D » Mon Mar 12, 2012 5:52 pm UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:I suppose my problem with the AA model is that it assumes that the problem is as it says it is, always. People in AA don't doubt a self-diagnosis of alcoholism, and there is no diagnostic work-up for it that is done, even informally (and as many comedians have pointed out, those informal measures that do exist apply to nearly everyone who drinks). In some ways, hey, that's great; we don't need MORE barriers to various forms of mental health treatment. But when a model makes a assumption like "all people who come to AA have a life-long, unfixable problem, that we will only try to temporarily alleviate (in large part by membership and strict attendance to our organization's meetings)," HULK prone to more than a little doubt about its validity.

HULK glad that AA works for some people, and if it works for you, hey, stick with it. I just don't think it's scientific in any way shape or form, and if we wish to discuss treatment for people with alcohol problems, we are best to ignore a model that assumes a priori that the condition is not curable.


I think it's better to approach it that way then to approach it as if there were a "cure," namely because there isn't, to my knowledge, any such "cure" to this particular chronic disease.

Of course there is no "diagnostic work-up" for alcoholism in AA, doctors who refer people to AA do. And there isn't really any specific test for alcoholism in the sense that there is a test for, say, Hep-C. All a doctor would do is see if you qualify to some fairly general factors:

There are no specific tests to diagnose alcoholism, but you may need other tests for health problems that may be linked to your alcohol use.

To be diagnosed with alcoholism, you must meet criteria spelled out in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DMS), published by the American Psychiatric Association.

The criteria required for a diagnosis of alcoholism include a pattern of alcohol abuse leading to significant problems, as indicated by three or more of the following at any time during one 12-month period:

Tolerance, indicated by an increase in the amount of alcohol you need to feel intoxicated. As alcoholism progresses, the amount leading to intoxication can also decrease as a result of damage to your liver or central nervous system.
Withdrawal symptoms when you cut down or stop using alcohol. These can include tremors, insomnia, nausea and anxiety. You may drink more alcohol in order to avoid those symptoms.
Drinking more alcohol than you intended or drinking over a longer period of time than you intended.
Having an ongoing desire to cut down on how much you drink or making unsuccessful attempts to do so.
Spending a good deal of time drinking, obtaining alcohol or recovering from alcohol use.
Giving up important activities, including social, occupational or recreational activities.
Continuing to use alcohol even though you know it's causing you physical and psychological problems.


Which is pretty much also accomplished by going to an AA meeting or two; there are member pamphlets which accomplish this same general survey. Generally, people who are alcoholics can figure it out pretty quick either way, if they haven't already.

The only requirement for AA "membership" is just a desire to stop drinking. There's no "membership" and the strictness with which you attend meetings is fairly irrelevant. The bulk of AA's step work, and what helps treat alcoholism, is not just going to meetings or "being a member."
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Griffin » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:13 pm UTC

I also know quite a few AA members that have zero problem with drinking, but go for various other reasons. They think it helps them with their own problems, and I'm pretty sure they are glad there's no diagnostic criteria.

More honestly though, haven't they shown that that drug that makes you sick when you drink is an effective "cure'? Or am I thinking of something else?
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Jave D » Mon Mar 12, 2012 6:21 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:I also know quite a few AA members that have zero problem with drinking, but go for various other reasons. They think it helps them with their own problems, and HULK pretty sure they are glad there's no diagnostic criteria.

More honestly though, haven't they shown that that drug that makes you sick when you drink is a effective "cure'? Or am I thinking of something else?


I don't think that really qualifies. It's kind of like shocking someone every time they have a depressive episode and calling that a cure for depression. Only less so, because I know plenty of people who've been on that (antabuse) and have drunk anyway... numerous times. It certainly doesn't address the issues which lead a person to drink in the first place. Also, if you're taking antabuse, you can still escape reality without the particular consequences of that by... well, doing drugs.

The thing is, for an alcoholic, consequences (like being sick, or facing jail, or losing family and friends and job, or even dying) don't really act as prevention of alcohol abuse; this being one of the traits of the disease in the first place.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Griffin » Mon Mar 12, 2012 7:34 pm UTC

And, again, it depends on the type of alcoholic your dealing with. I've known a few - I come from a large family of alcoholics. And they drink for different reasons, and there are different "fixes" and some actually are "cured" (though like with any disease, recurrence is possible).

The ONLY one of them that was "helped" by AA is the one who never drank to begin with, though. So my opinion of AA is pretty low - especially since their treatment numbers are godawful. Simply put - AA says a whole lot of shit, but the evidence says that in the vast majority of cases, AA does not work. So pardon me if I take the word of an AA advocate with a grain of salt.

I'm not trying to say every alcoholic is the same or that any "cure" will work for all of them.

It certainly doesn't address the issues which lead a person to drink in the first place. Also, if you're taking antabuse, you will still escape reality without the particular consequences of that by... waterpit, doing drugs.

Well, neither does AA, apparently, according to the various empirical studies conducted on their methodology. While as antabuse has a 50% effective prevention of recurrence rate, AA pulls in maybe half that. But not everybody is the same, different programs have value for different people, it may be that they are targeting different types of alcoholic. But your... willingness to discard everything that doesn't work for YOU and say it couldn't possibly help anybody is just...

Astoundingly frustrating.

You're essentially arguing that talk therapy is the only REAL way to deal with depression, because it's the only way to address the REAL issues, and medication is totally worthless for everyone, and that is, quite simply, bullshit.


Jave D wrote:I think it's better to approach it that way then to approach it as if there were a "cure," namely because there isn't, to my knowledge, any such "cure" to this particular chronic disease.

Essentially, my argument is: There are plenty of cures, but it depends on the cause of the disease whether or not any given cure will work for you.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Puppyclaws » Mon Mar 12, 2012 8:52 pm UTC

Jave D wrote:I think it's better to approach it that way then to approach it as if there were a "cure," namely because there isn't, to my knowledge, any such "cure" to this particular chronic disease.


I think it's a much better idea to approach it without an inherent assumption that there is or isn't a cure. You're starting with a pretty big assumption that has a large body of UNTESTED literature behind it.

Of course there is no "diagnostic work-up" for alcoholism in AA, doctors who refer people to AA do. And there isn't really any specific test for alcoholism in the sense that there is a test for, spray, Hep-C. All a doctor would do is see if you qualify to some fairly general factors


My point is that many people come to AA on the advice of somebody who is NOT a doctor, or because of their own curiosity/feelings. And the response that they receive on entering that setting is, roughly, that they are almost certainly an alcoholic (otherwise, their friends/their conscience/whatever would not have led them there). I would describe some of those listed requirements as so general and vague to the point that it is highly dependent on the individual reading them and their mindframe at the time they read them. So while I think the open environment is great, I would really advise caution to people who choose to go down this road.

The only requirement for AA "membership" is just a desire to stop drinking. There's no "membership" and the strictness with which you attend meetings is fairly irrelevant. The bulk of AA's step work, and what helps treat alcoholism, is not just going to meetings or "being a member."


It's safe to say that I have seen...let's just call it "alternative viewpoints" to what you say here. AA is one of those groups where I find a strong disconnect between what is being said generally (e.g. things like "the only requirement is a desire to stop drinking") and the specific acts that are encouraged by said group. The meeting and sponsorship parts are considerably more pressed in certain settings than the other aspects of it, regardless of what AA literature might indicate. I'd add that I was meaning membership loosely, but perhaps I should've chosen a better word.

See also Griffin's commentary on the effectiveness of AA.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby addams » Fri Mar 16, 2012 5:44 pm UTC

I think that AA is a Religion.
I think that AA works for a great many people.
Mormon works for a great many people.

Within the structue of AA many people find understanding and at least 12 ways to bring sanity into their lives. I say, 'God Bless them on their journey."

LSD is very different from ETOH. How the two got mixed up in other people minds is beyond me.

I think that research using LSD and a fully volenteer sample group would be wonderful. I would so love to work on that kind of research. I take pretty good notes. I think that LSD can work wonders.

Again, alcoholics would not be my first choice for the population to do research on.

Chronic depression and long term Psychosis with suicidal tendencies would be my first choices.
Supervision would be so very important.

I think that in clinical settings human contact is the most important variable.

The contact with people that can and do understand is one of the most important things that AA offers. Other churches work for other people.

I like AA and I don't have a problem with drinking. I like to talk to AA members after meetings. They sometimes have deep and meaningful conversations. Alcoholics are not more sensitive than other people, but, they do seem to be, sometimes. The company of others seems to ease the pain that alcohol eased only in a different way.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby quantumcat42 » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:41 pm UTC

addams wrote:I think that research using LSD and a fully volenteer sample group would be wonderful. I would so love to work on that kind of research. I take pretty good notes.

If I did sigs, this would be it.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Jave D » Fri Mar 16, 2012 6:55 pm UTC

Puppyclaws wrote:
Jave D wrote:I think it's better to approach it that way then to approach it as if there were a "cure," namely because there isn't, to my knowledge, any such "cure" to this particular chronic disease.


I think it's a much better idea to approach it without an inherent assumption that there is or isn't a cure.


Well, agreed.

My point is that many people come to AA on the advice of somebody who is NOT a doctor, or because of their own curiosity/feelings. And the response that they receive on entering that setting is, roughly, that they are almost certainly an alcoholic (otherwise, their friends/their conscience/whatever would not have led them there). I would describe some of those listed requirements as so general and vague to the point that it is highly dependent on the individual reading them and their mindframe at the time they read them. So while I think the open environment is great, I would really advise caution to people who choose to go down this road.


1. My experience is entirely different - the literature (the big book) says that no person can decide for another whether he or she is an alcoholic. I've never heard anyone in a meeting say "you're an alcoholic" to someone who isn't decided on the matter, and if they said such a thing they were misguided and probably no more familiar with AA than the outsider is.
2. Of course it's highly dependent on the individual and their state of mind. You can't get sober if you're, for example, not sure you even want to, or if you're wary towards those wacky AAers or whatever. It is indeed a program for those who want it.
3. Caution about what, though?

It's safe to say that I have seen...let's just call it "alternative viewpoints" to what you say here. AA is one of those groups where I find a strong disconnect between what is being said generally (e.g. things like "the only requirement is a desire to stop drinking") and the specific acts that are encouraged by said group. The meeting and sponsorship parts are considerably more pressed in certain settings than the other aspects of it, regardless of what AA literature might indicate. I'd add that I was meaning membership loosely, but perhaps I should've chosen a better word.


It does depend on the people, obviously some people are going to be hypocritical and say one thing but do another. Some people emphasize whatever their bias is towards, be it sponsorship or meetings or whatever. Everyone has their own opinion, and being generally open to people, people at meetings can say all kinds of things. But in my experience (and while I've only been in the program six months, I have attended about five hundred meetings) the truth of the matter is heard with regards to what is or isn't required. This is one reason I'm a fan of going to meetings and getting different viewpoints. If everyone agreed and said the same thing it'd be quite dull and pointless actually, but if you listen to those people for whom the program has worked for a good time and aren't too full of themselves the messages are quite helpful. And listening to other people helps build tolerance and aids in discernment since, well, those are required in the 'real world' outside of meetings too.

addams wrote:I think AA is a Religion.


A lot of people seem to think that (or "cult" being the preferred derogatory term) but it really isn't. Most members I know of make a clear distinction between spirituality and religion, and many people dislike the entire concept of religion. I also know many members who are full and faithful members of actual religions and also in AA. It's hard to be a Muslim and also a Jew, or a Christian and also a Hindu, or even a Catholic as well as Protestant because in (most) religions there's this mutual exclusivity with regards to other religions. (There are exceptions, of course, but typically only in really progressive sects.)

As per a standard-ish dictionary definition of religion, "a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, especially when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs," while AA qualifies as far as having a moral code (that being; get sober, and help other people get sober) in a sense there is no set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, or purpose of the universe. While there is an emphasis on finding a higher power (typically God) the only beliefs that people have concerning that higher power are those they personally have; there's no doctrine, no scripture, no priests, no churches. I know atheist, pagan, Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Hindu AA'ers.

Anyway, AA has no official position concerning drugs and I speak only for myself, but sobriety and dropping acid are mutually exclusive for me. Most of my drug problems involved, in addition to LSD, other hallucinogens, dissociatives and other mind-altering substances which basically all functioned equivalently to alcohol - they were all an unhealthy way of coping with reality by bathing my brain in chemical substances. The trips and hangovers were slightly different, but the situation was me doing drugs (and alcohol is one such drug). So again I would not agree, even if the premises of the article were valid inasmuch as treating someone's alcohol abuse symptoms for up to a few months, that LSD helps either cure or treat alcoholism.

This is all just my personal opinion and should not be taken to mean it's the official stance of anyone or anything other than me.
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Griffin » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:11 pm UTC

And again, I stress, for YOU, with your particular rationales and issues, that may be true. That does not mean it is likely to be true in general.

Also, how have you met Atheist AAers? The atheists I knew that were in there were run out pretty quick after they were run out pretty quick. I assume they are in their incognito, or part of a group that bucks official AA doctrine?
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Re: LSD helps cure alcoholics

Postby Puppyclaws » Fri Mar 16, 2012 7:23 pm UTC

Griffin wrote:Also, how have you met Atheist AAers? The atheists I knew that were in there were run out pretty quick after they were run out pretty quick. I assume they are in their incognito, or part of a group that bucks official AA doctrine?


Just a point that in liberal and urban areas, there are plenty of Atheist AAers. They actually have special meetings for them, called quad-A (Atheist/Agnostic Alcoholics Anonymous). In my times interacting with AA generally, I have known more atheists than non-atheists (though there's plenty of selection bias here, since most of my friends are atheists for some reason and thus that is the type of person I seem to attract, and I have only gone to meetings in fairly liberal/urban areas).
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