Psychedelics users less likely to commit domestic violence

Psychedelics users less likely to commit domestic violence

VicesJune 05, 2018 By Reilly Capps

Get messed up, get in a fight with your lady. These things are connected.

Around 50 percent of domestic violence is related to the use of substancesmostly alcohol, but also cocaine and meth

But not all mind-alterers are created equal. One class of illicit drugs may actually keep domestic peace ...

psychedelics. 

A new study by Canadian researchers, published in the "Journal of Psychopharmacology," surveyed more than 1,200 people and found that men who had used LSD or magic mushrooms in the past were less likely to be involved in domestic violence than a guy who had never used psychedelics. 

In fact, they were half as likely.

"A person who uses psychedelics may be less likely to engage in partner violence than someone who uses alcohol," psychologist and psychedelic researcher Adele LaFrance, one of the paper's co-authors, tells us. (LaFrance has also done research on how ayahuasca treats eating disorders.)

It's not just that dudes don't hit their ladies while they're messed up on psychedelics (How could they? There are too many dancing elves to dodge.), it's that they're less likely to hit their partners for the rest of their lives.

Is this correlation or causation? Are dudes who like to get twiggy on psychedelics just more chilled out to begin with?

LaFrance doesn't think so. She says the study suggests that, by taking psychedelics, men are changed in a way that helps them regulate their emotions. 

LaFrance says, "Psychedelic psychotherapy might be a replacement for anger management — and perhaps more effective."  

Why? Her paper cites other research that psychedelics put folks in touch with their softer side, possibly by calming down the amygdala, the lizard part of the brain that makes guys punch and kick.

And we know that, in the '70s, LSD turned into an entire generation into a bunch of peace-worshipping hippies.

Older studies showed that prisoners, after they are released, are about half as likely to beat up their partners if they have used hallucinogens, too.

Psychedelics are not without risks; in a sketchy situation, with a bad mindset, users can get spun out. What these studies suggest again, is that there are better drugs and worse drugs, and psychedelics are probably more helpful than they are destructive. 

"Psychedelic use has a bad reputation," LaFrance says. "The more research we do, the more we learn that, in fact, it can be related to positive outcomes."