A Canadian research team has published findings indicating that psychedelic use may lower substance abuse rates among users. The study, whose findings were reported in the “International Journal of Mental Health and Addiction,” sought to understand changes in patterns of substance abuse among Canadians after they took psychedelics.
As in the United States and Australia, Canada has loosened its psychedelic policies in recent years to finally allow researchers to study their potential benefits and risks. These preliminary studies have revealed that several psychedelics can alleviate the symptoms of mental disorders, such as eating disorders, treatment-resistant depression, anxiety and PTSD.
As a result, investors have poured millions of dollars into the research and development of psychedelic-assisted drugs for the psychiatric industry. Psygen Labs Inc. and the Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies Public Benefits Corp. sponsored the recent Canadian study.
The study involved a cross-sectional online poll of more than 1,500 participants aged 19 years and older and was conducted by researchers from several universities. Study participants reported their past and current use of 11 psychedelics including salvia divinorum, MDMA, 2C-B, ibogaine, MDA, ayahuasca, psilocybin, 5-MEO-DMT, mescaline and nitrous oxide. They answered a total of 655 questions with the researchers collecting data on gender, age, relationship status, annual income, employment status, self-identified racial background and education.
The poll revealed that close to 44% of the participants had reduced or completely halted their alcohol consumption, 42.5% reduced or stopped their antidepressant intake, and 42.4% either reduced or stopped taking cocaine. According to the participants, the main reasons for these significant substance use changes were reduced feelings of depression or anxiety and an increased sense of connectedness to the self, others or nature.
According to the researchers, participants more likely to have reported reduced substance use were younger, female, with more micro-and macro-dosing experience and a history with more psychedelics. Furthermore, the participants who reported a drop in substance use were likelier to be younger people who had generally used more psychedelics. More men than women reported a reduction in their drug use and more individuals who identified as nonbinary reported a decrease in substance use.
Interestingly, researchers found that people who took psychedelics with the aim of addressing a medical condition reported reduced substance use at higher rates compared to people who were not motivated to treat a health condition. The study also revealed that psilocybin and LSD were the most effective at either reducing or halting drug use at 58% and 13% respectively.
These studies paint a clearer picture about the potential of psychedelics to combat substance abuse. As companies such as Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) conduct more thorough studies, actual approved treatments for various disorders could soon become available on the market.
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