A 50-year old Peter who was a social worker in Austria was going through a very challenging time after he had been diagnosed with chronic degenerative spine disease. Since the onset of this disease, he’s tried all means possible to alleviate his pains, but all have proven futile. Peter came across a drug trial through a friend of his who resides in Switzerland, so he made up his mind to give volunteering a try, even though he hasn’t had prior experience or knowledge about this drug. All he needed was a way out of his misery, so he thought. Beneath this bold decision of his was a feeling of nervousness or so to say fear because he didn’t know what effects this drug would have on his life, Peter remarked during a telephone interview he had with us.
After the initial controlled trial of LSD (the first of which was done in the last 40 years), the results of the research were published in an online journal that had to do with mental and nervous diseases. Peter and some other 11 patients participated in this study, and the drug acted as a complement alongside talk therapy that was targeted at the near end of life.
The aftermath of the study
A good number of the subjects who were suffering from terminal diseases died some months after that the research had been done, but it was crystal clear that the mental adventure given to them through this drug trial helped them overcome their anxiety, and were able to wear colorful countenance in the little amount of time they spent before their death. Dr. Peter Gasser reported that these individuals showed evidence of anxiety relief in the months following their therapy.
Little progress was achieved when researchers of hallucinogens got funds to help foster efficient studies of psychedelic therapies in patients battling anxiety and other mental disorders. This progress was maintained until the psychedelic ban became largely successful in 1966 in the United States and other advanced countries of the world. A glimmer of hope has surfaced in the world of psychedelics in some most recent years because many psychiatrists in the US have started delving back into some kind of Ecstasy-Assisted therapy for many health conditions like Post Traumatic Stress Disorders PTSD, and other tests in the field of hallucinogens. ‘’This effort is identified as being synergistic because it comprises both the scientific intellectuals and the political personnel,’’ said Rick Doblin, who happens to be a big authority in the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies. Since the establishment of this great foundation that has paid adequate attention and shown concern for the development of psychedelic substances by providing adequate funding for psychedelic research. It’s also seeing to it that all the limitations of counterculture are broken. This goodwill has brought psychedelic substances back to the limelight.
Before these 12 patients were administered the drug, they were made to undergo at least 2 sessions of drug acquaintance, this was carried out in the office of Dr. Gasser. Two drug-assisted courses were required before the drug trial, and Dr. Gasser made sure they take place weeks apart from one another. After the subjects had consumed the drug, each of the patients was overseen by a therapist or a psychiatrist. This was to make certain that all their needs were met during the experience. Dr. Gasser himself was a part of this, having assured them of a safe mystical experience, but he stated that it was inevitable to avoid a stressful experience as the trip lasts. He effectively got this information communicated clearly to them, but Dr. Gasser gave them reasons to not get fearful about that because he would be there to help them out every step of the way.
During the experience, a 67-year old patient cried and screamed, and when he was narrating his experience, he reported that he saw his long-dead father while he was on his psychedelic journey. Another patient said that he had an adventurous mystical experience where he was able to get in touch with his old-time memories once again. He said everything was brought to his recall. Peter himself told us about how he was able to successfully grasp his long-forgotten memories of his childhood days. He furthered this by telling us about the cold sensation he felt despite the sweats all over his body some periods after the experience. It is important to clarify that this treatment was solely patient-centered, incredibly integrative, and focused mainly on the needs of the patients.
Eight subjects were administered full doses of LSD and about a 20% recovery rate was reported after the treatment. These patients declared that anxiety went to a low level in them, while on the other hand, the remaining four participants that were given low doses of LSD became worse. Their health deteriorated, so it was advised to start them on a full dosage too, which when carried out, they became better too.
Much can’t be concluded on yet as regards this trial,’’ said Dr. Gasser, and Dr. Doblin. However, the research can be regarded as a stepping stone to greater discoveries that would come in afterward. Also, no reports of serious side effects were made aside from the temporary moments of distress encountered by the participants. So, Peter and others considered this trial as a therapy that’s worth trying after the great potential it is seen to possess if properly carried out to ensure patient’s safety. It was also stated that most of the seemingly distressful effects encountered alongside this experience are identified to be therapeutically beneficial.
Finally, more successes can be hoped for through this drug trial looking at the significant degree of safety it provides, unlike other previous drug trials that have been earlier carried out. Also, Peter gave his testimony of being more emotionally bright from that time on.