Safety and Efficacy of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-Assisted Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated With Life-threatening Diseases, Peter Gasser et al., 2014

Safety and Efficacy of Lysergic Acid Diethylamide-Assisted-Psychotherapy for Anxiety Associated With Life-threatening Diseases

Peter Gasser,  Dominique Holstein, Yvonne Michel, Rick Doblin, Berra Yazar-Klosinski, Torsten Passie,  and Rudolf Brenneisen

Journal of Nervous and Mental Diseases, 2014


Abstract :

A double-blind, randomized, active placebo-controlled pilot study was conducted to examine safety and efficacy of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD)-assisted psychotherapy in 12 patients with anxiety associated with lifethreatening diseases. Treatment included drug-free psychotherapy sessions supplemented by two LSD-assisted psychotherapy sessions 2 to 3 weeks apart. The participants received either 200 Kg of LSD (n = 8) or 20 Kg of LSD with an open-label crossover to 200 Kg of LSD after the initial blinded treatment was unmasked (n = 4). At the 2-month follow-up, positive trends were found via the State-Trait Anxiety Inventory (STAI) in reductions in trait anxiety ( p = 0.033) with an effect size of 1.1, and state anxiety was significantly reduced ( p = 0.021) with an effect size of 1.2, with no acute or chronic adverse effects persisting beyond 1 day after treatment or treatment-related serious adverse events. STAI reductions were sustained for 12 months. These results indicate that when administered safely in a methodologically rigorous medically supervised psychotherapeutic setting, LSD can reduce anxiety, suggesting that larger controlled studies are warranted.

Key Words : LSD, psychedelic, psycholytic therapy, hallucinogen, anxiety disorder