7 Illegal Drugs That Are Surprisingly Good Medicine
by Jill Harness
Tags: medicine drugs, illegal drugs, medicinal lsd
1LSD: Cures Addiction, Treats Depression and Stops Cluster Headaches
In the Spring Grove State Hospital in Maryland, researchers provided terminal cancer patients with LSD to see if it could help reduce their anxieties about death. One third of the patients said they felt dramatically less tense, less depressed, less afraid of death and in less pain. Another third reported these conditions reduced moderately and the last group said their condition did not improve at all, but also did not worsen.
LSD was also used for psychotherapy during the sixties. A study of doctors in the UK who treated their patients with the drug showed the majority of them believed the substance was effective and safe in treating patients.
The drug has also proven to be an effective pain reliever for chronic pain. Even at rates below psychedelic dosages, LSD was found to be at least as effective as opiates and much longer lasting.
More recently, Harvard Medical School interviewed cluster headache patients who used LSD to treat their condition and seven out of eight said it relieved the headaches and helped put them in remission. Furthering this research, a study at McLean Hospital found that 53 cluster headache sufferers who took either LSD or magic mushrooms reported beneficial effects and that the quantity of the drug can be far below the psychedelic dosage in order to be effective.
2Psychedelic Mushrooms: Treat Cluster Headaches and OCD
The drug is also promising in treating OCD. A University of Arizona study showed that those with the condition went through temporary remission and in one patient, the remission lasted for a full six months. While the researchers admit the study is not proof that the drug can serve as a treatment, they say it is promising enough to warrant further study.
3Ecstasy: Reduces Anxiety, Eases Parkinson's Symptoms and Treats PTSD
The drug may also be able to treat Parkinson's disease through the release of serotonin levels in the brain. While researchers still do not understand how the treatment works, it has proven effective in studies using mice and one Parkinson's sufferer, ex-stuntman Tim Lawrence, who has shown notable improvement in his condition. He is able to go from barely being able to move to being able to perform somersaults and cartwheels shortly after taking one dose of the drug.
Victims of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) are also showing a positive response to treatments involving ecstasy. Psychologists who performed a study using therapy and MDMA found the drug gave them a window of time where the patient experienced fewer fear responses and could adequately handle the therapy that is critical to work through their condition.
4Cocaine And The Coca Plant: A Topical Anesthetic, Laxative, and Motion Sickness Medicine
Although scientists have largely accepted that the use of cocaine in the medical field is outweighed by the risks, the same is not true of the coca plant, where cocaine is derived from. Unlike cocaine, the plant contains multiple alkaloids (cocaine is made of only one) and is prone to less abuse because it must be consumed orally.
Research on the medical uses of coca leaves has been rather limited, but Andean cultures have used the leaves for medicinal purposes for centuries. One American physician, Andrew Weil, believes these cultures may be on to something and suggests that coca leaves may be able to treat motion sickness, laryngitis, constipation and obesity.
5Heroin: One Of The World's Greatest Pain Relievers
6Ketamine: The Magic Treatment For Depression
7Amphetamines: Treat Narcolepsy, ADHD and Aid In Stroke Recovery
One of the most surprising uses for amphetamines is the use of the drug to help stroke victims recover more quickly. A study by the Karolinska Institute of Sweden has shown that the treatment may be very helpful for those who have been debilitated by a recent stroke.
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