Psychedelic Therapy as a Treatment for Alcoholism


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Trina Lewis ’21
Majors: Psychology
Faculty Mentor: Dr. Victoria Templer, Psychology

Psychedelic therapy is a seldom studied, but promising treatment for substance abuse disorder. A previous study assessed the success of psychedelic therapy in treating alcoholism, with encouraging results (Garcia-Romeu et al.,). We will also study psychedelic therapy as a treatment for alcoholism, with the addition of a comparative control group who will undergo cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), a common treatment for alcoholism. This experiment will examine 62 participants, male and female, who suffer from alcoholism between the ages of 21 and 65, with 31 participants in each group. The control group will undergo CBT with one of two therapists who specialize in addiction treatment for one hour, once a week, for four weeks. The experimental group will also undergo CBT with the same therapists for one hour, once a week, for four weeks, with each session followed by a psychedelic trip induced by a standard (20mg/70kg) dose of psilocybin. Both the control group and the experimental group will take the Alcohol Abstinence Self-Efficacy Scale before beginning therapy, directly after their final session, and at 3 months, 6 months, and one year after their final session. The experimental group will additionally take a Mystical Experience Questionnaire (MEQ) following each of their trips. We predict that the experimental group will have a significantly higher number of participants remain abstinent from alcohol with fewer and less severe withdrawal symptoms in comparison to the control group. We also predict that a significant percentage of the experimental group who remained abstinent through one year will have had at least two complete mystical experiences. The goal of this experiment is to improve the validity of psychedelic therapy as an effective treatment for alcoholism, as well as addiction in general.


Providence College





Start Date

4-29-2021 12:00 AM




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