13 Jan 2012

Hallucinogenic drug 'could help reduce cravings'

1:58 pm on 13 January 2012

Researchers at Victoria University are studying a hallucinogenic drug they believe may hold the key to helping people defeat addiction.

The researchers and a chemist from the University of Kansas in the United States are investigating ways of altering people's perception of mood, reward and pain to help prevent addicts from relapsing.

A senior lecturer in the School of Biological Sciences, Bronwyn Kivell, says they're focusing on a hallucinogen known as salvia, or Mexican tripping weed.

She says the drug has a unique structure and contains compounds which they think could reduce cravings.

Dr Kivell says the compounds could ultimately form the basis for anti-addiction medication.