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A Review of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD) in the Treatment of Addictions: Historical Perspectives and Future Prospects

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Lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is a semisynthetic compound with strong psychoactive properties. Chemically related to serotonin, LSD was initially hypothesized to produce a psychosislike state. Later, LSD was reported to have benefits in the treatment of addictions. However, widespread indiscriminate use and reports of adverse affects resulted in the classification of LSD as an illicit drug with no accepted medical use. This article reviews LSD’s storied history from its discovery, to its use as a research tool, followed by its widespread association with the counterculture movement of the 1960s, and finally to its rebirth as a medicine with potential benefits in the treatment of addictions. LSD’s pharmacology, phenomenology, effects at neurotransmitter receptors, and effects on patterns of gene expression are reviewed. Based upon a review of the literature, it is concluded that further research into LSD’s potential as a treatment for addictions is warranted.
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Keywords: Addiction; LSD; entheogen; ergot; hallucinogen; lysergic acid; lysergic acid diethylamide; psychedelic drugs

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 1, 2014

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  • Current Drug Abuse Reviews aims to publish the highest quality reviews, meta-analyses and drug clinical trial studies on all latest advances on alcohol and drug abuse and addiction.

    Book reviews are also published. The Journal will further comprise an agenda listing relevant meetings and conferences that will take place in near future, and advertisement.

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