Joanna Schroeder questions the media’s love of a tantalizing headline
Ahh, the allure of the tantalizing headline. I wonder if the Norwegian researchers who went back to the 1960s and 70s to study whether LSD use can help treat alcoholism thought to themselves, People are gonna eat this shit up! when they went into the research archives, because this new look into old research is definitely causing headlines.
Their rigorous analysis, combining data from six different studies, concludes that one dose of the hallucinogenic drug might just help.
The past studies randomly assigned patients to get a strong dose of LSD or something else (another drug, such as amphetamine, a low dose of LSD or nothing special). And the results provide evidence for a beneficial effect on abstinence from alcohol.
But hold on just a moment… ABC News describes the study like this:
Teri Krebs and Pal-Orjan Johansen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology looked back at studies from the 1960s and 1970s and identified six studies with 536 participants that examined the effect LSD had on alcoholism.
536 participants? Am I the only one who finds that to be a bit flimsy? Though I guess it’s sorta risky to test people with an illegal substance… Researchers aren’t exactly able to dose 5,000 people in multiple studies and create a real meta-analysis of the data on the effects of trippin’ balls.
Sound research or not, LSD to treat Alcoholism is definitely something fun to bring up at your next cocktail party.
Would you trade booze for LSD?
Photo courtesy of ssoosay