Researchers at New York University studied 93 men and women with alcohol dependence. They found that people treated with two doses of psilocybin reduced heavy drinking by 83% within 8 months, compared with 51% among those who received an antihistamine placebo. Participants in both groups had 12 psychotherapy sessions over 12 weeks, which took place both before and after receiving the treatment or placebo.
The study found that 8 months after their first dose, 48% of those who received psilocybin stopped drinking altogether, compared with 24% of the placebo group.
“Our findings strongly suggest that psilocybin therapy is a promising means of treating alcohol use disorder, a complex disease that has proven notoriously difficult to manage,” study senior author Michael P. Bogenschutz, MD, director of NYU Langone’s Center for Psychedelic Medicine, said in a news release.