The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Why aren't there more ways to treat alcoholism?

By Katherine Ellison

06 Nov 2022 · 5 min read

Editor's Note

Yearly, it is estimated that alcohol contributes to around 3 million deaths worldwide. Treatments for alcoholism are limited. The Post explains why this is.

News organizations were quick to trumpet the recent findings of a small study suggesting that "magic mushrooms" could be part of a breakthrough treatment for alcoholism.

It's no wonder. Every year, alcohol abuse kills more than 140,000 Americans and affects millions more, with a steep increase in deaths in recent years, according to data published by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Nov. 4. But excitement about the psilocybin study also raises a question: Why aren't there more medical treatments for such an obviously devastating problem?

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