psychedelics and mental health

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psychedelics and mental health

Post by entheogenic-gnosis » Thu Jan 22, 2015 5:49 am

Cut and pasted from: ... s-suicide/

People who have used psychedelic drugs are less likely to suffer from depression, psychological distress, or suicidal thinking, according to a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

The research was led by Peter Hendricks, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, using data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Survey responses from over 190,000 adults were analyzed and the respondents were divided into two groups — lifetime psychedelic users and non-users. Lifetime users were defined as those who had ever, even once, tried DMT, ayahuasca, mescaline, psilocybin mushrooms, or LSD. 13.6% of survey respondents fell into this category (percentages have been weighted to correct for confounding variables).

Psychedelic users showed a significantly lower likelihood of recent psychological distress, as well as less suicidal thinking and fewer suicide attempts, than non-users. Users were 36% less likely to have attempted suicide in the past year.

Use of other illicit substances, say the researchers, are “by and large associated with an increased likelihood of psychological distress and suicidality.” The use of non-psychedelic substances is a suicide risk factor, they conclude, but psychedelics appear to have the reverse effect.

Correlation does not necessarily imply causation, however. “It might be that those who use psychedelics are inherently curious or spiritual, and that’s why they have better mental health,” Hendricks told “We can’t control for that.”

“No one study is going to answer every question,” he continued. “But we need to be able to go where the studies lead us. Right now that suggests that these substances can be protective for mental health.”

Psychedelic users were 36% less likely to have attempted suicide in the past year.

The results align with another recent study, completed by a Norwegian team in 2013, which also linked psychedelic use to improved mental health. In that study, psychedelic users were shown to have a lower incidence of psychosis, anxiety, mood disorders, social phobia, and PTSD. Users also had lower rates of psychological distress, outpatient mental health treatment, and psychiatric medications.

The authors of the new study do not shy away from criticizing the policy of prohibition that continues to impede psychedelic research:

Despite millennia of use in sacred healing rituals, and accruing scientific evidence suggesting safety and efficacy when administered in clinical settings with appropriate safeguards (Johnson et al., 2008), classic psychedelics remain Schedule I substances. … These legal restrictions were enacted in the absence of a compelling medical or scientific rationale, and contemporary analysis suggests that classic psychedelics are among the least harmful of misused drugs, with limited dependence potential.

Like David Nutt and other researchers, Hendricks calls for psychedelics to be reclassified: “The designation of these substances,” he writes, “should be reconsidered to allow further scientific inquiry.”

Hendricks concedes that, although psychedelics are associated with improved mental health in general, using them still carries personal risks and may occasionally do more harm than good. (In particular, psychedelics should not be taken by those with schizophrenia or other psychotic disorders.) He elaborates on the possibility of individual harms, writing:

If individual-level harms occurred, they failed to obscure the apparent protective effect of classic psychedelic use on psychological distress and suicidality at the population level. Considering that carefully controlled conditions are ideal in the administration of classic psychedelics (Johnson et al., 2008), it is noteworthy that naturalistic classic psychedelic use demonstrated evidence of benefit. Not only could classic psychedelic users have used in suboptimal settings, they could have ingested substances of unknown purity and/or at sub- or supratherapeutic doses.

He adds that the apparent benefits of psychedelic may be even greater if we utilized “specialized treatment settings designed to maximize safety and efficacy.” If we can limit the negative effects associated with illicit drugs — namely purity and dosage — the benefits may be incredible.

The veils of ignorance and propaganda are not enough to dim the light of the psychedelic experience. Even in the form of black market drugs, taken in recreational settings and without any formal preparation or education, psychedelics appear to improve mental health in the general population. Now imagine a culture that emphasized responsible use, educated its youth about the importance of set and setting, and imposed a system of sane regulation to guarantee purity and accurate dosage.

What benefits would come to a society focused on the therapeutic use of psychedelics, rather than their prohibition?

I hope someday we find out.

Joined:Thu May 07, 2015 2:26 pm

Re: psychedelics and mental health

Post by eithan0693 » Tue Aug 25, 2015 10:22 pm

Ibogain , Dmt, and tetrahydraharmine, enough said aha

Joined:Sat Nov 28, 2020 8:52 am

Re: psychedelics and mental health

Post by caylon » Sat Nov 28, 2020 9:11 am


I've just written my undergraduate dissertation (as a mature student) on psychedelics and mental health, and the interplay with nature connectedness and pro-environmental behavior. I'm currently working on making a short film, communicating and advocating for the integration of psychedelics into western culture for mental wellness, and ultimately overall planetary health.

Im looking for individuals who would be willing to contribute their personal stories of how psychedelics have helped them radically shift into better mental health, who would be willing to be interviewed (online is fine).

( I do have extensive personal experience - psychedelics have bought be back from suicide, helped me find meaning and purpose in my life, deepened my understanding, self-awareness and connectedness profoundly, but I cant use my own story! Just wanted to note that)

I'm new to this forum (and forums in general), perhaps you have some advice or leads into how I could find people who share these experiences and would be willing to share? perhaps you yourself have something you might like to share?

Thank you! hope to hear from you soon


Joined:Sat Jul 30, 2022 5:51 am

Re: psychedelics and mental health

Post by donaldpen56 » Sat Jul 30, 2022 6:01 am

There are children, and it is not really different, and adolescents can be a great responsibility! My son suffers from autism myths, he is so unique that he is very soft and is not really a big problem, we are talking and we do many things together. I don't complain, but one day if you can't do it alone in society. In the early 1980s, the incidence of autism was 1 in 10,000 years. In 2005, the incidence had jumped at 1 in 250 births and today, it was 1 in 150 births and rising more. One of the strongest links with this terrible set of disorders was a radical change in vaccine programs in the United States and many other countries, which included a spectacular increase in the number of vaccines administered at a very early age. No other explanation was published by the medical elite.

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