Despite research on lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) in the ’60s showed great promise in treating psychological disorders, the substance was banned by the U.S. government under the Nixon administration and later by the whole world. Not only was it banned, it was designated as Schedule 1 substance, up there with heroin and cocaine.
Few drugs have had a more undeserving bad rep as LSD, but acid is finally making a comeback, it seems. Last year, researchers made the first LSD study in 40 years, confirming its potential medical benefits in treating anxiety, depression and addiction. Then, another group made the first brain scans ever of subjects who had taken a dose of the acid. They found “the brain functions less like a compartmentalized entity and more like a whole, very much akin to how the brain of a baby works.”
“In many ways, the brain in the LSD state resembles the state our brains were in when we were infants: free and unconstrained,” said Robin Cahart-Harris, who led the study. “This also makes sense when we consider the hyper-emotional and imaginative nature of an infant’s mind.”
As governments become more lenient with LSD research, its undeniable therapeutic potential will be made clearer. Scores of people battling with depression and addiction might then one day finally find a tool to face their demons.