Can the therapeutic use of psychedelics help with alcohol addiction?
Breaking free from addiction.
Many of us have battled or are still battling with alcohol addiction. Whether that’s the cognitive dissonance that we have felt about using alcohol or whether it’s an addiction that affects your everyday life. People’s relationship with this drug can oftentimes be an unhappy one. Alcohol is highly addictive and ruins lives. Alcohol abuse, as a cause of death in the UK, has been estimated at 8000–40,000 annually, according to the Institute of Alcohol Studies. Alcohol is a causal factor in more than 60 medical conditions, including: mouth, throat, stomach, liver and breast cancers; high blood pressure, cirrhosis of the liver; and depression. Sure, the first 20 minute dopamine buzz from that first drink feels warm and fuzzy but then don’t we spend the rest of the night, our lives, chasing that dopamine hit?
I’ve had my own battles, at times, with alcohol and have used it to numb during dark periods of my life. I can tell you it has never helped me and has only served to drive me into darker depressions. I have now been off the drink for over 3 months and I’m of the strong belief that frequent use of psilocybin has helped free me of this addiction. My reasons for stopping drinking were health; physical as well as mental health. Why would I want to live a healthy life of good eating and exercise only to put toxic poison into my body each week? Why meditate, do yoga and be in touch with my emotions only to numb and then experience next day anxiety? None of this makes sense to me. So I’ve stopped. I’m not saying that I’ve stopped forever but for now I’m far happier with this place that I am in.
I write about addiction and trauma in my article below. Addiction can be defined as any behaviour that serves to numb us from truly feeling what we need to feel. Whether that behaviour is gambling, shopping, sex or drinking. All serve to distract us from our feelings.
So what happens when we turn towards our emotions? It can feel frightening to allow our feelings to rise to the surface but just like corks bobbing in water they can only be held down for so long. Psilocybin can help us to allow those emotions to come. When taking a dose of psilocybin there is no turning away from what surfaces. Whether that is a childhood…