Findings from a new study show that the use of psychedelics may improve an individual’s mental health. The research, which was published in the “Journal of Humanistic Psychology,” discovered evidence of a pathway that facilitates the increase of spirituality after using psychedelics, which in turn causes better emotion regulation. It is this improvement in emotion regulation that researchers believe decreases disordered eating and symptoms of anxiety and depression.
For centuries now, various indigenous tribes of the Amazon as well as other non-Western cultures have used psychedelic substances, including ayahuasca and psilocybin, in spiritual ceremonies. Their medicinal benefits are currently being studied by researchers, but while more studies discover their therapeutic effects, the mechanisms behind the drugs’ effects remain unknown.
The study was led by Adele Lafrance, who stated that improvements in emotion regulation and increased spirituality were some of the side effects of using psychedelics. For their study, the researchers recruited 159 users of psychedelics aged 18 to 69 who were each asked to fill a questionnaire that rated their spirituality and recorded their lifetime use of psychedelics.
Participants were also asked to complete measures of disordered eating, anxiety, depression and emotion regulation difficulties. The researchers found that about 33% of participants had used more than one psychedelic drug before while a whopping 95% had used psilocybin in the past. They also discovered that participants who had more difficulty with emotion regulation had higher scores for disordered eating, anxiety and depression. This is in addition to discovering that participants who used psychedelic drugs frequently had higher levels of spirituality, which led to lesser difficulty with emotion regulation.
The researchers also used a mediation model to show that the use of psychedelics was indirectly associated with disordered eating, anxiety and depression through emotion regulation and spirituality.
In an interview, Lafrance explained that the results of their population-based study suggested the positive effects of psychedelics, even when they weren’t used in therapeutic settings, noting that this was crucial for policy as well as legislators who were considering the legalization of these drugs. The study’s discoveries add to evidence that these substances provide therapeutic benefits.
The researchers hope that experimental and longitudinal controlled trials will be conducted soon to help establish causality, as they couldn’t infer causality between variables given the cross-sectional nature of their study. They also specify the need to carry out research on more diverse samples and increase the representation of Indigenous, Black and people of color as psychedelic substances originated from said communities.
These studies provide clear proof that sector companies such as Delic Holdings Corp. (CSE: DELC) (OTCQB: DELCF) are likely to play a huge role in revolutionizing mental health treatment through the use of various psychedelic compounds like ketamine and psilocybin.
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