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Can Psychedelic Drugs Be Good For Mental Health? Study Says Yes

By on August 24, 2013
Psychedelic drugs may be illegal, but that doesn't mean they're bad for you.

Psychedelic drugs may be illegal, but studies have yet to confirm any true dangers – LSD and magic mushrooms may actually do the brain some good, according to a recent study of more than 130,000 people.

Contrary to popular belief, the study found no link between the use of psychedelic drugs and a higher risk of mental health problems. Instead, users seemed to have less issues with mental health than non-users.

The results were published last week in the international science journal PLOS ONE.

“There were no significant associations between lifetime use of any psychedelics, lifetime use of specific psychedelics (LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, peyote), or past year use of LSD and increased rate of any of the mental health outcomes. Rather, in several cases psychedelic use was associated with lower rate of mental health problems.”

Researchers from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology’s (NTNU) Department of Neuroscience conducted the study using data from a US national health survey.

In total, over 130,000 individuals were included – 22,000 who had used LSD, psilocybin mushrooms or peyote at least once.

The researchers found that long-term use of mushrooms or peyote was linked to lower rates of serious psychological distress. Likewise, long-term use of LSD was linked to a lower rate of treatment for mental health issues.

Previous studies seem to confirm the safety of these substances. The study’s authors told Science Daily that “recent clinical trials have also failed to find any evidence of any lasting harmful effects of psychedelics,”

Teri Krebs, a Ph.D candidate and co-author of the new study, says many users actually find the drugs helpful.

“Many people report deeply meaningful experiences and lasting beneficial effects from using psychedelics.”

Krebs also notes the long history of psychedelic drugs, which played a major role in early religious ceremonies.

“Over the past 50 years tens of millions of people have used psychedelics and there just is not much evidence of long-term problems,” she concludes.

[Science Daily]

  • TJMac

    “If the words ‘life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness’ don’t include the right to experiment with your own consciousness, then the Declaration of Independence isn’t worth the hemp it [draft] was written on.”
    ― Terence McKenna