Joanna Schroeder is a contributor at The Good Men Project, a site I read for articles about men, gender issues, and other related issues. I was disappointed see her article this morning with the headline, Beer? No Thanks, I’m Sober. But Pass Me A Hit of Acid. But I read the article anyway, hoping for something serious behind the snarky headline. Yeah . . .not so much.
She is responding to the incredible attention being given to a new meta-study that looked at the use of LSD for alcoholism back before LSD research was banned by the government. It's an open access article, which is rare for Sage Publications, and if one takes a few minutes to read it, the rigorousness of their approach is obvious.
But I suspect Ms. Schroeder did not read the study itself, and was only looking to generate a few laughs with her vacuous post. Other than that, the only reason I can see for this appearing on the Good Men Project is that nearly all of the subjects in the studies were male, which in itself is interesting and worth a more serious examination. Why only men? Were men far more likely to have alcohol issues then? But none of that is mentioned or explored.
She begins (and yes, she appears to be mocking her own headline as well):
Ahh, the allure of the tantalizing headline. I wonder if the Norwegian researchers who went back to the 1960s and 70s to study whether LSD use can help treat alcoholism thought to themselves, People are gonna eat this shit up! when they went into the research archives, because this new look into old research is definitely causing headlines.She then lists some of the reporting, all of which is from the mainstream press, who notoriously get science so wrong that it's painful to read. And upon reading that the study used 536 participants, she observes,
536 participants? Am I the only one who finds that to be a bit flimsy? Though I guess it’s sorta risky to test people with an illegal substance… Researchers aren’t exactly able to dose 5,000 people in multiple studies and create a real meta-analysis of the data on the effects of trippin’ balls.
Sound research or not, LSD to treat Alcoholism is definitely something fun to bring up at your next cocktail party.All of these studies were preliminary in nature, so to get a total of 536 subjects in six individual studies is pretty impressive. But the author clearly has little or no understanding of research methods and standards - and she clearly did not read the original study.
I felt compelled, maybe because my coffee was just kicking in when I read her post, to leave a comment. Here is that comment: