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A new study indicates psychedelic drugs make people less violent

Peace and love, man

  • Patrick Hinton
  • 20 October 2017

A new study conducted by researchers at the University of Alabama and published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology has discovered that taking psychedelic drugs such as LSD and mushrooms may make people less likely to commit violent crimes such as assault and theft.

As substances closely linked to hippy culture, it’s perhaps unsurprising news.

The study found people who have used hallucinogens were around 12 per cent less likely to have committed assault, 18 per cent less like to have been arrested for a violent crime, and 27 per cent less likely to have committed theft compared to people who had never indulged in psychedelic drugs.

“Simply put, the positive effects associated with classic psychedelic use appear to be reliable,” read the study.

480,000 survey responses were taken into account for the study, collected by the National Survey on Drug Use and health between 20002 to 2014. The study also found takers of other illegal drugs such as cocaine and ecstasy were more likely to commit violent crimes.

The study did find a link between taking hallucinogens and non-violent crimes. Lifetime users were found to be beween 47 to 68 per cent more like to sell drugs, although their motives were described as “prosocial”, believing their actions to be positive for sharing medicinal drugs with therapeutic qualities.

Researchers concluded that despite the positive trends, there’s not enough data to support mandated psychedelic-aided treatment to suppress violent behaviours in criminals, writing: “Mandated treatments are common in correctional settings, yet are generally ineffective.”

A number of studies between the 50s and 70s about forced psychedelic treatment of prisoners did not yield positive results, which the researchers said should serve as a “cautionary tale”.

[Via: Newsweek]

Patrick Hinton is Mixmag's Digital Staff Writer, follow him on Twitter
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