Psilocybin-Assisted Treatment for Alcohol Dependence
Michael Bogenschutz, MD
Abstract: This presentation will review past clinical trials of the classic hallucinogens for addiction, discuss possible mechanisms of action, and present the design and preliminary results of an ongoing pilot study of psilocybin-assisted treatment of alcohol dependence. Before clinical research with these drugs was halted abruptly in the early 1970s, the use of LSD in the treatment of alcoholism was studied extensively, with additional studies involving other classic hallucinogens and other addictions. A recent meta-analysis of six randomized controlled trials of LSD for treatment of alcoholism (N = 536) demonstrated that the overall effect size of LSD treatment was clinically and statistically significant for up to 6 months after a single high-dose treatment. Candidate mechanisms include: acute objective brain effects, which can be measured at a number of levels; acute subjective effects, including mystical and other highly salient experiences; persisting effects, e.g. on brain structure and function, psychological states such as mood and anxiety, personality traits, beliefs, and values; and final change mechanisms directly related to substance use behavior, such as craving, self-efficacy, and motivation.
Dr. Michael Bogenschutz is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology and Vice-Chair for Addictions and Clinical Research in the Department of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center. Dr. Bogenschutz received his BA cum laude from Harvard University in 1985, and his MD cum laude from the joint Harvard/MIT Health Sciences and Technology Program in 1990. He joined the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico in 1994 after completing his residency in psychiatry at the Cambridge Hospital in Cambridge, Mass. Dr. Bogenschutz has served on many committees and taskforces at the state and national level; has published over 100 articles, chapters, and abstracts; and has served as a reviewer for over a dozen peer-reviewed journals. He has been listed in Best Doctors in America continuously since 1998.
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At Psychedelic Science 2013, over 100 of the world’s leading researchers and more than 1,900 international attendees gathered to share recent findings on the benefits and risks of LSD, psilocybin, MDMA, ayahuasca, ibogaine, 2C-B, ketamine, DMT, marijuana, and more, over three days of conference presentations, and two days of pre- and post-conference workshops.