After 18 Failed Alcoholism Rehab Attempts, Psychedelics Give Swiss Woman a Reprieve

August 21, 2023 13:35:21

A Swiss woman who went to rehab 18 times in an attempt to alleviate her alcoholism says she only found relief once she turned to psychedelics. Hallucinogenics have taken over discourse in the psychiatry industry in recent years due to their potential as versatile and effective mental health treatments. Psychedelics present psychiatry with a chance to significantly improve treatment outcomes for a majority of mental health patients.

UK-born Amanda has suffered from alcoholism for 20 years and went to rehab nearly 20 times but couldn’t shake the condition. The 50-year-old also suffers from anxiety and severe depression due to childhood trauma that undoubtedly contributed to her alcoholism. Her anxiety disorders were at such an extreme degree that Amanda spent the past seven years living on her home’s balcony in a makeshift shelter.

After years of rehab, treatments and experimental therapies, Amanda’s mental health disorders still had a death grip on her life. It wasn’t until April 2022, when she tried a psychedelic-based treatment, that she felt some relief from her condition.

Amanda isn’t the first treatment-resistant depression patient to benefit from psychedelic treatments. Several studies have shown that only one dose of a psychedelic such as psilocybin coupled with talk therapy can significantly reduce depression symptoms in patients with treatment-resistant depression.

In a 2022 study that involved 79 participants with the condition, one-third of the patients reported improvements in mood after taking a single dose of psilocybin, the psychoactive agent in magic mushrooms. There is a growing body of literature on the potential benefits and risks of using psychedelics to treat mental conditions such as anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders, proving that psychedelics could be safe and effective alternatives to traditional mental health treatments.

For patients such as Amanda, clinical trials and preliminary programs are among the few legal ways they can access psychedelics. Swiss doctors can apply for an official exemption from the government if they want to prescribe illegal substances such as MDMA and LSD to their patients.

It was this process that allowed Amanda to finally access a somewhat effective treatment after years of failed therapies and forced psychiatric ward commitments due to suicide attempts. After watching a documentary about treating alcoholics with psychedelics, Amanda signed up and was referred to Swiss doctor Livia Granata, who had her go through six 8-hour sessions while under the influence of psilocybin.

Amanda says she has experienced a ‘huge improvement’ in her severe anxiety and depression and has begun to slowly rebuild her social life. Most importantly, Amanda doesn’t feel the urge to drink and has abstained since last April, the longest she has ever gone without alcohol in two decades.

These testimonies from people who have benefited from psychedelics when nothing else could offer any help are a strong indicator that entities that are running psychedelic drug-development programs, such as Seelos Therapeutics Inc. (NASDAQ: SEEL), could deliver medicines that may change the current paradigm of mental health treatment.

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