Quantcast
Connect with us

Data from U.S. survey casts doubt on U.S. classification of psychedelics as ‘dangerous’

Published

on

Data from a government-sponsored survey indicates that psychedelic drugs like LSD, magic mushrooms, and peyote do not increase a person’s risk of developing mental health problems.

“Everything has some potential for negative effects, but psychedelic use is overall considered to pose a very low risk to the individual and to society,” clinical psychologist Pål-Ørjan Johansen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology said. “Psychedelics can elicit temporary feelings of anxiety and confusion, but accidents leading to serious injury are extremely rare.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The study, published online Tuesday in PLoS One, used data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health survey to investigate psychedelic drug use and mental health problems. The survey is administered annually by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), a branch of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

The researchers found psychedelic use was not associated with a higher rate of mental health problems. In fact, the use of psychedelic drugs appeared to reduce the risk of mental illness, though only slightly.

“Early speculation that psychedelics might lead to mental health problems was based on a small number of case reports and did not take into account either the widespread use of psychedelics or the not infrequent rate of mental health problems in the general population,” researcher Teri Krebs added.

Case reports have indicated that psychedelic drugs can trigger preexisting psychiatric conditions, such as psychosis, panic attacks, anxiety disorders, and depression. Case reports provide important clues to researchers, but unlike scientific studies they cannot be generalized to larger populations.

“Case reports of mental health problems following psychedelics are often comparable to case reports of mental health problems linked to intensive meditation, visiting holy sites, or viewing beautiful artwork and sublime natural scenes,” the researchers wrote.

ADVERTISEMENT

Previous research has established that LSD, magic mushrooms, and peyote are not addictive. They are not known to harm the brain.

Psychedelic drugs have been gaining the attention of medical researchers in recent years.

Scientists at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center have found psilocybin, the active ingredient in magic mushrooms, can safely treat death anxiety in patients with advanced-stage cancer. Scientists at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine have also found psilocybin created positive changes in attitudes, mood, life satisfaction, and behavior that persisted for more than a year.

ADVERTISEMENT

Preliminary research on another drug that is often classified as a psychedelic, MDMA, indicated it could help those suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

The federal Drug Enforcement Administration currently classifies LSD, psilocybin, and peyote as Schedule I substances: a category reserved for very dangerous drugs with no medical value.

ADVERTISEMENT

[Picture of dilated pupil by Flickr user Olivier, Creative Commons-licensed]


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

WATCH LIVE: Trump holds campaign rally to shore up GOP support in Louisiana

Published

on

One day after the first televised impeachment hearing, President Donald Trump traveled to Louisiana for a campaign rally.

The rally is being held at the CenturyLink Center in Bossier City, which has a 14,000 seat capacity.

On Saturday, November 16th, voters will travel to the pools to choose between Governor John Bel Edwards (D-LA) and Trump's pick, Republican businessman Eddie Rispone.

Watch:

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Rudy Giuliani under criminal investigation — and it ‘presents a threat to Trump’s presidency’: report

Published

on

On Thursday, Bloomberg News reported that President Donald Trump's attorney Rudy Giuliani is under federal criminal investigation, according to multiple officials — and that this investigation "presents a threat to Trump's presidency."

Giuliani, who was a central figure in the apparent scheme to extort Ukraine into a politically-motivate investigation of former Vice President Joe Biden's family, could potentially be facing charges under campaign finance law, and for failure to register as a foreign agent.

Continue Reading
 

Breaking Banner

Florida Republican Congressman Ross Spano is under federal criminal investigation: report

Published

on

On Thursday, the House Ethics Committee announced that Rep. Ross Spano (R-FL) is under criminal investigation by the Justice Department.

The investigation, which was triggered by ethics complaints filed in August, centers on allegations that Spano borrowed $180,000 from two people, Carey Carreno and Karen Hunt, then immediately loaned $167,000 of that to his campaign, falsely reporting it as "personal funds."

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image