If you use psychedelics (and even if you don’t) you’ve probably heard the rumors, that D.A.R.E. and psychedelic prohibitionists spin like webs:
“Those drugs melt you brain. Psychedelics make you schizophrenic.”
“I know a guy who had a bad mushroom trip and he’s been depressed ever since.”
“If you take acid your risk of suicide goes up. Period.”
Rumors like these have been pushed by brainwashed drug-war-era patriots, helicopter parents, politicians, teachers, employers and even doctors for as long as psychedelics have been illegal. During which time (strangely enough) almost no legitimate research has been done on the substances or their effects on human beings, our bodies or our minds. There was no evidence to back up these bold claims.
Still, despite that lack of evidence, the anti-psychedelic crowd continued to push their narrative: using psychedelics leads to mental health problems. These drugs ruin your mind.
Anyone who’s ever actually tried psychedelics, though, probably hears their bullshit detector going off at those claims. When you have had real first-hand personal experiences with psychedelics, it’s tough to keep a straight face when someone tries telling you that mushrooms make you depressed, or that acid gives you incurable suicidal anxiety forever.
Well, now, thanks to science, we know better. The truth is finally out, and it does not bode well for pro-prohibitionists.
A new research paper, recently published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology scientists analyzed information from the US National Health Survey (2008-2011), examining over 135,000 randomly selected test subjects, almost 19,000 of whom were psychedelic users. Their goal? To try and establish a connection between psychedelic drug use and mental health disorders.
However, no matter how hard they tried, they simply couldn’t do it. There was no connection to speak of.
“After adjusting for sociodemographics, other drug use and childhood depression, we found 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,” the study says in its abstract. “We failed to find evidence that psychedelic use is an independent risk factor for mental health problems.”
In fact, as the scientists were reviewing their analysis they began to find exactly the opposite. According to their data, it seems like psychedelic users actually have fewer mental health problems than non-users.
“Many people report deeply meaningful experiences and lasting beneficial effects from using psychedelics,” says Teri Krebs, of the Norwegian University of Science and Technology and one of the lead authors of this new research.
This isn't exactly exactly news to psychedelic users. But it is definitely good to finally have science to back up those intuitive suspicions; to defend these drugs from the anti-psychedelic propaganda that’s still spilling out of the government and into society.
The scientists make this final statement in their conclusion, regarding their findings and the current status of psychedelic drugs in America:
“Overall, it is difficult to see how prohibition of psychedelics can be justified from a public health or human rights perspective.”
Which really strikes the core of this issue: if these substances aren't bad for people's mental or physical health, why is the government working so hard to keep them illegal and stigmatized? What is the real motive for keeping these drugs out of The People's hands?
If it has nothing to do with keeping people healthy and safe, then the answers to those questions are truly disconcerting.