Study: Prohibition on Psychedelics a Violation of Human Rights, Their Use not a Risk Factor for Mental Health Problems

A psilocybin mushroom, which produces a hallucinogenic response when consumed.
A psilocybin mushroom, which produces a hallucinogenic response when consumed.

A study of over 130,000 adults, published this month by the Journal of Psychopharmacology, has found that the use of psychedelics such as LSD and magic mushrooms is not a risk factor for mental health problems. Researchers conclude that the prohibition on such drugs is difficult to justify, and is a violation against human rights.

Using a data set consisting of 135,095 randomly selected United States adults, including 19,299 psychedelic users, researchers examined “the associations between psychedelic use and mental health.”

Researchers found that after adjusting for sociodemographics, other drug use and childhood depression, there was “no significant associations between lifetime use of psychedelics and increased likelihood of past year serious psychological distress, mental health treatment, suicidal thoughts, suicidal plans and suicide attempt, depression and anxiety. We failed to find evidence that psychedelic use is an independent risk factor for mental health problems.”

According to the study’s lead researcher Dr. Pal-Orjan Johansen of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology; “Over 30 million US adults have tried psychedelics and there just is not much evidence of health problems.” He notes that; “Concerns have been raised the ban on use of psychedelics is a violation of the human rights to belief and spiritual practice, full development of the personality, and free time and play.”

The study concludes; “Psychedelics are not known to harm the brain or other body organs or to cause addiction or compulsive use; serious adverse events involving psychedelics are extremely rare. Overall, it is difficult to see how prohibition of psychedelics can be justified as a public health measure”

The full text of the study can be found by clicking here.


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