People throughout the Americas and around the world have used psychedelics like LSD and psilocybin for centuries. But despite countless positive accounts from experienced psychedelic users, some still question whether psychedelics could be hazardous to mental health. General panic relating to the use of “illicit” drugs stigmatizes all substances. It also lumps psychedelics in with opioids, cocaine, and alcohol abuse.
The idea of linking psychedelics to psychosis has become a popular one among the uninitiated and uninformed. This, despite the fact that there’s little to no evidence to associate mental health problems with psychedelic drug use.
Researchers from the Department of Neuroscience at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim surveyed more than 130,000 participants in order to collect data regarding lifetime psychedelic use and mental health. They published this population study as a result of their research. Of the surveyed participants, a little more than 13%, or around 21,967 participants, reported having used psychedelics at some point in their lifetime.
Those individuals who self-reported psychedelic drug use did not have a higher incidence of mental health problems. Nor did they report seeking help for their mental health at a higher rate than those that did not report lifetime psychedelic use. To corroborate these findings, another study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology further assessed the original population study. It examined how higher incidents of childhood trauma and additional substance use could impact the overall results. The final conclusions of both studies were the same.
“The study shows, in agreement with previous studies, that we probably have exaggerated the danger of the use of psychedelics in general, and LSD in particular, at least if we are to judge on the basis of drug laws.”—Jørgen Bramness
Mental Health Day Meditation with Meet Delic
Join Meet Delic as we host a mental health mediation lead by Barbara Branaman. Celebrate World Mental Health Day with action and self care. Tune into Meet Delic on Instagram Saturday, October 10th at 4pm. To learn more about Barbara, visit Medicine Yoga.
Also check out the Reality Sandwich articles, Psychedelic Therapy Guide: General Effects and Common Approaches and Utilizing Psychedelics for Personal Growth to learn more about how psychedelics are helping people take control of their mental health.