Dr. Oz on the Surprising Link Between LSD...and Alcoholics Anonymous

While guesting on ‘Jimmy Kimmel Live!’ this Tuesday, Dr. Oz held forth on vaccinations, medical details that the media gets wrong - and hallucinogens. 

Love him or hate him, Dr. Oz has a passionate following. So when he speaks on subjects like medical marijuana or LSD, people listen. 

“I’ll tell you what’s interesting, Dr. Oz begins. "When you find solutions that have been out there in our species for hundreds of years…you get curious.” He goes on to discuss the efforts of Alcoholics Anonymous founder Bill Wilson (long known only as ‘Bill W.’ in keeping with the organization’s tradition of anonymity), who expressed a serious interest in LSD as a means of healing. 

“I began realizing, my goodness, up until the 60s we were researching this stuff - we thought it worked,” said Dr. Oz.

Indeed, As The Guardian reported in 2012, author Don Lattin made the discovery of Wilson’s interest in LSD while reading Wilson’s letters in preparation for a book called ‘Distilled Spirits’. 

One letter, from psychologist Betty Eisner (who supervised LSD experiments involving Wilson), states that “alcoholics get to a point in [Alcoholics Anonymous] where they need a spiritual experience but not all of them are able to have one.” This is a reference to the program’s second step: believing "that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity."

In a letter, Wilson himself acknowledged that LSD "is only a temporary ego-reducer,” but he would go on to say that “the vision and insights given by LSD could create a large incentive – at least in a considerable number of people."

As more people speak up about the potential benefits of psychedelics - including activists in the city of Denver - expect to hear more about unique ways of thinking about these unusual substances. 

Check out the full clip of Dr. Oz on Kimmel below: 

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