LSD and Other Psychedelics Not Linked With Mental Health Problems, Analysis Suggests



Science Daily

Aug. 19, 2013 — The use of LSD, magic mushrooms, or peyote does not increase a person's risk of developing mental health problems, according to an analysis of information from more than 130,000 randomly chosen people, including 22,000 people who had used psychedelics at least once.

Researcher Teri Krebs and clinical psychologist Pål-Ørjan Johansen, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Department of Neuroscience, used data from a US national health survey to see what association there was, if any, between psychedelic drug use and mental health problems.

The authors found no link between the use of psychedelic drugs and a range of mental health problems. Instead they found some significant associations between the use of psychedelic drugs and fewer mental health problems.

The results are published in the journal PLOS ONE and are freely available online after 19 August.

Symptoms and mental health treatment considered

The researchers relied on data from the 2001-2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, in which participants were asked about mental health treatment and symptoms of a variety of mental health conditions over the past year. The specific symptoms examined were general psychological distress, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and psychosis.

Armed with this information, Krebs and Johansen were able to examine if there were any associations between psychedelic use and general or specific mental health problems. They found none.

"After adjusting for other risk factors, lifetime use of LSD, psilocybin, mescaline or peyote, or past year use of LSD was not associated with a higher rate of mental health problems or receiving mental health treatment," says Johansen.

Could psychedelics be healthy for you?

The researchers found that lifetime use of psilocybin or mescaline and past year use of LSD were associated with lower rates of serious psychological distress. Lifetime use of LSD was also significantly associated with a lower rate of outpatient mental health treatment and psychiatric medicine prescription.

The design of the study makes it impossible to determine exactly why the researchers found what they found.

"We cannot exclude the possibility that use of psychedelics might have a negative effect on mental health for some individuals or groups, perhaps counterbalanced at a population level by a positive effect on mental health in others," they wrote.

Nevertheless, "recent clinical trials have also failed to find any evidence of any lasting harmful effects of psychedelics," the researchers said, which supports the robustness of the PLOS ONE findings.

In fact, says Krebs, "many people report deeply meaningful experiences and lasting beneficial effects from using psychedelics."

"Other studies have found no evidence of health or social problems among people who had used psychedelics hundreds of times in legally-protected religious ceremonies," adds Johansen.

What's the bottom line on psychedelic use?

Psychedelics are different than most other recreational drugs. Experts agree that psychedelics do not cause addiction or compulsive use, and they are not known to harm the brain.

When evaluating psychedelics, as with any activity, it is important to take an objective view of all the evidence and avoid being biased by anecdotal stories either of harm or benefit, the researchers say.

"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," Johansen says, "Psychedelics can elicit temporary feelings of anxiety and confusion, but accidents leading to serious injury are extremely rare."

"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," Krebs explains.

"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.

Both researchers were supported by the Research Council of Norway.[/QUOTE]

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/08/130819185302.htm
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Comments

Time to re-legalize them then.

I wouldn't read too much into the suggestions of enhanced mental health. People who are able to find illegal drugs are usually more socially adept than those who aren't able to find them. Social awkwardness is probably a great predictor of mental health problems.
 
Was worried about trying LSD because of me potentially having some underlying mental health shit, because my mental health isn't always top form. But this article has made me want to try it.

In a safe, comfortable environment with two people I trust of course. Probably gonna get some 125mic tabs and do one.

I'll also have some alprazolam on standby.
 
Seeing a ton of acid casualties in the parking lot of Dead shows in the 90s made me think there might be some link. But that kind of scene attracts misfits and I am sure a survey 20 years later of that crowd would find a majority of successful middle age people. Some people took too much acid and wander the earth, a fine line between homeless and adventurer. If an LSD trip makes someone drop out of society, maybe its society that is messed up. When I drop I laugh at the stupidity of capitalism and the suburban car in driveway lifestyle. It wouldn't make me insane if an acid trip sent me on another alternative life path. Crazy for life in a nut house after a trip is rare. A little different after too much acid is not. But it's often a good different. For every Syd Barret there is a Steve Jobs.
 
Dresden;11774590 said:
LSD induced a psychotic depression lasting 6 months for me in 1995.
What kind of test did they use to show that it was caused by the LSD and not just a ticking time-bomb that was going to go off in your next high-stress situation?
 
Dresden;11774693 said:
The LSD was the spark that lit my fire, so to speak. Trust me, I was there.
I don't doubt that you're telling the truth. I'm just pointing out that there's no way you can know if you were in a mental state where ANY high-stress/high-anxiety situation could have been your spark. Psychotic episodes and other acute mental illnesses are brought on by all sorts of stressful situations or emotional trauma. Yes, an overwhelming psychadelic trip can be pretty emotionally traumatic at the time, but so can any number of life occurrences. If a soldier with PTSD has an episode after hearing a loud noise, is that evidence that loud noises cause PTSD?
 
They now call me crazy, insane.

Let me back up. Before psychedelics I was an atheist, began experimenting with many various psychedelics and dissociatives. The experiences and places those states of consciousness I reached I will never forget, a new vision was branded in my life outlook forever. It had to be a Shulgin ++++; a 'religious experience,' 'divine transformation,' is all I can describe it as. Years have gone by since those trips, but a faith brought to the surface that was buried within myself remains. After the chaos and dust settled, I saw God, and finally presence and revelation.

My new found spirituality has lead me to places in Christianity, Islam, I am still a lost follower, but I seek to someday know the truth and fully trust it. God willing - Inshallah.

Back to the crazy and insane; my atheist, non-substance using friends would say the hallucinogens made me believe nonsense and none of is probably true if I was on drugs.

God bless the broken road that led me straight to him.
 
Daily Mail
Use of psychedelic drugs 'does not increase risk of mental health problems'
By Daily Mail Reporter
PUBLISHED: 03:38, 21 August 2013

With reader comments
  • Researchers in Norway studied data of more than 130,000 people
  • They found 'no link' between the drugs and mental health problems
Psychedelic drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms do not cause mental health problems in users, a new study has claimed. Researchers in Norway have said they in fact found 'significant associations' between the drugs and fewer psychological problems. The team, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Department of Neuroscience, studied more than 130,000 random people, including 22,000 who had used the drugs at least once, included in a health survey in the US.
More: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2398631/Use-psychedelic-drugs-does-increase-risk-mental-health-problems.html
 
pofacedhoe;11774732 said:
it can trigger mania in a big way...
I have bipolar disorder and neither LSD or shrooms have ever triggered mania in me at all and i have taken high doses of both. I have taken about 250 shrooms in one go (people here pick them by the garbage bag full ffs) and didn't get anything close to a manic or mixed state from it. If anything they sort of stabilize my moods oddly enough and definitely help my depression.

But of course everyone is different and some people certainly do loose their heads abit from too much psychedelic use.
 
my3rdeye;11774561 said:
Seeing a ton of acid casualties in the parking lot of Dead shows in the 90s made me think there might be some link. But that kind of scene attracts misfits and I am sure a survey 20 years later of that crowd would find a majority of successful middle age people. Some people took too much acid and wander the earth, a fine line between homeless and adventurer. If an LSD trip makes someone drop out of society, maybe its society that is messed up. When I drop I laugh at the stupidity of capitalism and the suburban car in driveway lifestyle. It wouldn't make me insane if an acid trip sent me on another alternative life path. Crazy for life in a nut house after a trip is rare. A little different after too much acid is not. But it's often a good different. For every Syd Barret there is a Steve Jobs.
Agree with this post... although my screen of reference is SCI/STS9 and Phish. Saw plenty of people that just seemed "off". But like you said, it tends to attract a certain type of person.. hell, I remember plenty of street kids and street punks were following Cheese around in the early 2000s.

Frankly, I would like to see more studies done. Also, what about things like MDMA?

Finally, I sometimes think the "intensity" of an LSD experience can trigger stuff. I have a close friend that kept upping the dose.. over and over. Eventually he just seemed way out there. I saw him recently and he appears to have slowed down and seems much better. I just do not think it is healthy to repeatedly put yourself through the stress that psychedelics can cause over and over again in very little time.
 
Chesh;11774220 said:
Was worried about trying LSD because of me potentially having some underlying mental health shit, because my mental health isn't always top form. But this article has made me want to try it.

In a safe, comfortable environment with two people I trust of course. Probably gonna get some 125mic tabs and do one.

I'll also have some alprazolam on standby.
It will be extremely difficult to impossible to find blotter (or any other form of LSD) at a specific dosage. Best advice is to start low.
 
phactor;11776142 said:
It will be extremely difficult to impossible to find blotter (or any other form of LSD) at a specific dosage. Best advice is to start low.
Not in this day and age. As long as it's accurate to about 10 mics and between 100-125 I'm happy to take that for my first time.
 
Some thoughts:
I am a huge fan of psychedelics, but, based on my experience, if a study doesn't find a link to mental health problems, I would guess that the study is probably flawed, or incomplete, or tentative...
Anyone who has had a full-on psychedelic experience knows that insanity is just part of the picture.
Now, if psychedelics are curing people's mental problems at the same rate they are bringing them out, a study might show that there was no overall effect. But then psychedelics would be highly "linked" with mental health problems - causing and curing them - unlike what the article title here says.

But the actual article says that they saw fewer mental health problems with people who take psychedelics.
So, the curing power is greater than the causing power, though maybe not for all individuals.
Therefore, I would urge caution to those who are mentally unstable.
(and 125 mics is not really, really low, so for a first trip and with suspicions of latent mental problems, I would suggest taking half of that!)
 
whilst i like the idea of a 'positive' psychedelic drug article... i know a lot of people who got fucked up from acid. including myself. Silly article anyway... they're still going to remain illegal
 
To those who disagree (or agree) with the conclusions of the study: here's the full text so you're not dealing with strawmen (some of the above posts become largely irrelevant upon reading the full text).
23536;11773492 said:
I wouldn't read too much into the suggestions of enhanced mental health. People who are able to find illegal drugs are usually more socially adept than those who aren't able to find them. Social awkwardness is probably a great predictor of mental health problems.
Table 4 shows no difference in terms of social phobia for lifetime users of psychedelics, and that coupled with higher income/education and greater risk taking behavior (see below) could be thought of as indicators of "strong" personalities. I'm pretty sure other drug classes are associated with poorer than normal mental health, and so I'm not sure the ability to find drugs is indicative of social aptitude in those cases. Also, the study was consistent with earlier findings, at least with psilocybin: "Eight recent double-blind, placebo-controlled studies of psilocybin in healthy volunteers, with follow-up between 8 and 16 months, reported ‘‘no subsequent drug abuse, persisting perception disorders, prolonged psychosis or other long term impairment of functioning. And two other recent clinical trials of psilocybin in 54 healthy volunteers found no evidence of lasting adverse effects [8,9]," so lifetime psychedelics users seem to be at least the same as non-users according to the limited conclusions that might be drawn from this study.

I wonder how this description from the study matches up with Bluelight psych users (pretty close I imagine):
Compared to respondents with no lifetime use of any psychedelic, respondents with lifetime use of any psychedelic were more likely to be younger, male, white,
Native American, or more than one race, have somewhat higher income and more education, not be married, like to test self by doing risky things, experienced an extremely stressful event, and to have used all classes of illicit drugs.
 
^lol that demographic applies to most psychonauts i know as well as myself.

i think psychedelics are a broad category of substances, what gets included, 5ht2a dominant psychs or 5ht1a and 5ht2a, what about dissociatives, amanita mushrooms, N2O. salvia and other odd substances? they all have very interesting properties as well and have benefits and negatives as well to consider.
 
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