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MEDICAL

Use LSD to combat alcoholism: experts

A team of Norwegian researchers has established that the psychedelic drug LSD is an effective medicine for the treatment of alcoholism, arguing that it should be used more widely.

Use LSD to combat alcoholism: experts
Paul-Oliver Johansen and Teri Krebs, researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim, have analyzed previous research into LSD and have come to the conclusion that a single dose of the drug may work just as well against alcohol addiction as daily doses of medications currently in use today.
 
As a result of their work, the researchers have argued that LSD should be included in the range of medications for treating alcoholism in Norway, according to a report by the Aftenposten daily.
 
"You should consider offering LSD therapy in combination with other therapeutic treatment to patients who have not been helped by current methods," they said.

The research which supports their conclusions was carried out in the 1950s, 60s and 70s, with the scientists coming across a total of six studies that met contemporary scientific standards.

After examining the six studies it was established that 59 percent of patients who had received LSD, had either quit drinking, or were drinking less than before.

"Treatment with a single dose of LSD seems to give equally good results as the daily use of medications used to treat alcoholism today. It is unusual that a drug has therapeutic effect for six months after one dose," the researchers explained.

The results of the study were published on Friday in the prestigious British Journal of Psychopharmacology, and by Nature News.

LSD can cause altered states of consciousness and sensory experiences. It is prohibited in Norway as a narcotic substance, but is permitted for use as a medicine.

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DRUGS

Norway politician charged for drugs and child abuse images

A former politician from Norway’s anti-immigration Progress Party has been charged with possession of illegal drugs and images of child abuse.

Norway politician charged for drugs and child abuse images
Police found 19 grams of MDMA. Photo: Gorm Kallestad / NTB scanpix
The man, who is in his 40s, previously held positions in the party at both the national and local level, but stepped down after he was arrested in 2016. 
 
The politician’s defence lawyer Gunhild Lærum told Norwegian broadcaster NRK that she did not yet have a clear response from her client to the charge over the child abuse images. 
 
“We have not yet been able to look through this together,” she said. “He is slightly unsure if this is something he has downloaded consciously and willingly.” 
 
She said the identities of the children in the pictures were “completely unknown”. 
 
The man has been held in pre-trial detention for nearly two years, as police carried out a long-drawn out investigation after finding large quantities of drugs in his house in May 2016. 
 
“We are both pleased at least that something has finally happened in the case,“ Lærum said. 
 
When the police searched the man’s house in May 2016, they found 90 grams of amphetamine, 16 grams of cocaine, 19 grams of MDMA, 274 ml of GHB, 22 tablets containing clonazepam, four tablets containing diazepam, five tablets containing MDMA and two tablets containing mCPP. 
 
The man has already pleaded guilty to the drugs charges. 
 
“He has acknowledged that he had a problem and he is glad that it has been discovered and that he has managed to get over it. He has been helped for a long, long period now.” 
 
The case is scheduled to go to trial on September 4.