Scientists are exploring the possibility that a recreational drug such as LSD could be used in the treatment of mental illnesses as well as a means for reducing physical pain and countering withdrawal symptoms.

Scientists have not been able to test drugs such as LSD (lysergic acid diethylamide) on patients, but are now using the case studies of recreational users to try and explore whether there are positive spin-offs.

Three such cases – including one in which a woman took more than 550 times the normal recreational dosage of LSD, have been reported by the Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, which is affiliated with Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey:

“In academic settings around the world, there is there is a resurgence of interest in using psychedelic substances for the treatment of addictions, posttraumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, and other diagnoses,” read a statement.

Using data compiled from ‘interviews, health records, case notes, and collateral reports’, the ‘medical consequences of accidental overdoses in three individuals’ have been studied.

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And the researchers have claimed that their findings have uncovered a number of positive factors.

“The first case report documents significant improvements in mood symptoms, including reductions in mania with psychotic features, following an accidental lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) overdose, changes that have been sustained for almost 20 years.

“The second case documents how an accidental overdose of LSD early in the first trimester of pregnancy did not negatively affect the course of the pregnancy or have any obvious teratogenic or other negative developmental effects on the child.

“The third report indicates that intranasal ingestion of 550 times the normal recreational dosage of LSD was not fatal and had positive effects on pain levels and subsequent morphine withdrawal.

“There appear to be unpredictable, positive sequelae that ranged from improvements in mental illness symptoms to reduction in physical pain and morphine withdrawal symptoms. Also, an LSD overdose while in early pregnancy did not appear to cause harm to the fetus.”

With many other reports claiming negative short and long-term effects from drugs such as LSD, a lot more research will need to be done, and the actual dosage quantities would have to be carefully regulated.