Tripping up addiction: the use of psychedelic drugs in the treatment of problematic drug and alcohol use
Current Opinion in Behavioral Sciences
Reason for embargo
Psychedelic drugs have been used as treatments in indigenous cultures for thousands of years. Yet, due to their legal status, there has been limited scientific research into the therapeutic potential of these compounds for psychiatric disorders. In the absence of other effective treatments however, researchers have begun again to systematically investigate such compounds and there is now evidence pointing to the use of psychedelic drugs in the treatment of addiction. In this review we focus on human evidence for the effectiveness of preparations used by indigenous cultures in the Amazon (ayahausca) and Africa (ibogaine) and worldwide (psilocybin), and more recently synthetised drugs such as the serotonergic hallucinogen LSD and the dissociative anaesthetic ketamine. Potential mechanisms explored are anti-depressant effects, changes in neuroplasticity and existential psychological effects of these drugs.
WL, AM and CJAM are in receipt of funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC) (MR/L023032/1) which supported this research and TS was supported by an MRC Proximity to Discover Award to CJAM, TS and AM and CJAM and DN receive funding from the Beckley Foundation.
This is the author accepted manuscript. The final version is available from Elsevier via the DOI in this record.
Vol. 13, pp. 71 - 76