Study: Those Who Use Psychedelics Less Likely to Commit Crimes

Consumers of psychedelics drugs such as magic mushrooms are less likely to commit various crimes, according to a new study published by the Journal of Psychopharmacology.

Psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms.

“Some evidence suggests classic psychedelics may inhibit criminal behavior, but the extent of these effects has not been comprehensively explored”, states the study’s abstract. “In this study, we tested the relationships of classic psychedelic use and psilocybin use per se with criminal behavior among over 480,000 United States adult respondents pooled from the last 13 available years of the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2002 through 2014) while controlling for numerous covariates.”

Lifetime classic psychedelic use “was associated with a reduced odds of past year larceny/theft, past year assault, past year arrest for a property crime , and past year arrest for a violent crime.” In contrast, “lifetime illicit use of other drugs was, by and large, associated with an increased odds of these outcomes. Lifetime classic psychedelic use, like lifetime illicit use of almost all other substances, was associated with an increased odds of past year drug distribution.”

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Studies: Magic Mushrooms Reduce Depression and Anxiety in Cancer Patients

By Kai Kupferschmidt, Science Magazine (republished with special permission)

Psilocybin ("magic") mushrooms.
Psilocybin (“magic”) mushrooms.

Could a psychedelic drug help people who are dying of cancer face their fears? Two long awaited studies suggest that the hallucinogenic compound in magic mushrooms, psilocybin, could do just that. “They are the most rigorous double-blind placebo-controlled trials of a psychedelic drug in the past 50 years,” writes David Nutt, a pharmacologist at Imperial College London who was not involved in the work, in an editorial accompanying the papers.

Both studies, published today in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, combined a psychedelic trip with several sessions of psychotherapy. In one, at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, 51 cancer patients received two doses of the drug 5 weeks apart, one relatively high and one so low that it was unlikely to have any effect. In the second study, at New York University (NYU), 29 cancer patients randomly received either psilocybin or niacin, a compound that mimics some side effects of psilocybin—including a flushed, hot feeling—but without the hallucinogenic properties. Seven weeks later, the patients received the other compound.

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