Holistic Healing: What would Bill W. say? LSD may treat alcoholism

Dropping acid may help you drop drinking, according to a large review published this week.

Reading this study, I was reminded of a talk, “The Impact of Spiritual Experience on Health” that I attended at the Integrative Healthcare Symposium. In the workshop, and the session intro, Richard Schaub, Ph.D, described the role of spiritual experiences in improving people’s health and lifestyle choices. “One famous example is the cosmic consciousness experience of Bill Wilson.  A desperate alcoholic who was hospitalized yet again for detoxification, he became immersed in the hospital in a blissful “white light” and emerged free – for the rest of his life – from his addiction.  He went on to co-found the now-worldwide 12 Steps of Alcoholics Anonymous and built spirituality into the Steps because of his experience.”

Schaub went on to tell us about Wilson’s experimentation with LSD later in life, saying that he was attempting to revisit the spiritual experience he had in the hospital. Reportedly, Wilson supported the clinical use of LSD as a treatment for alcoholism.  In Scott Hensley’s coverage, he cites a researcher who suggests, essentially, that a “trip” can be a profound experience that dramatically changes the direction of a person’s life.

Hallucinogenic drugs aren’t a magic cure for alcohol dependency, but I find this line of research fascinating.  Can a consciousness expansion help some people who are struggling with addiction? And, as Schaub asked the workshop attendees: What actually happens to someone in such a moment of personal transcendence?  Why does it cause such a ripple effect of change in the person’s health and life choices?  Can such experiences be induced by safe, effective methods?

I, for one, am going to pick up some of Schaub’s books to further explore this topic.


About alternahealthgrrrl

I'm a writer, reporter and editor who has been on the health beat for over 15 years. I've worked on staff at Whole Living Magazine and More Magazine, where I conceived an investigative piece on unwarrented hysterectomies that earned a 2009 National Magazine Award nomination. Other publications I've worked at include Self, Vogue, and Lucky. View all posts by alternahealthgrrrl

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