Saturday, January 22, 2005

Headline that Startles Reader

Hallucinogen may reduce alcohol cravings, reads one of the headlines on one of the sites that I go to regularly.  Hmmm.  Treat an alcohol problem by administering an hallucinogen?  Seems to no make sense.  Thinking that it must be a joke, but realizing that the site never publishes jokes, and also thinking that perhaps the headline was one of those that only makes sense when you know what the story is about, but which otherwise seems to mean something else, I satisfied my curiosity by clicking on the link.  It turns out that it is not a joke, and that the headline means exactly what it appears to mean. 

There are private clinics in the Caribbean and Mexico that use an hallucinogen to treat addictions.  It turns out, though, that the treatment is not really the point of the article.  Rather, the article is about the mechanism by which the drug acts, and how that might sometime lead to a treatment for addiction that is credible and clinically useful. 

Regular readers know that I always am skeptical of such claims.  Even so, the article is interesting, even if the claim of clinical relevance is an exaggeration.  Read the rest at The Rest of the Story.