Psilocybin Use Correlated with Less Violence

New research examines the association between lifetime psychedelic use and intimate partner violence.

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In May of 2018, a Canadian research team published an article titled “Psychedelic use and intimate partner violence: The role of emotion regulation,” in the Journal of Psychopharmacology.1 The researchers surveyed 1266 community members and examined the association between their lifetime psychedelic use and intimate partner violence.

Men Taking Psilocybin Are Less Likely to Act Violently

The newly published research showed that males reporting any experience using lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin mushrooms, or both had decreased odds of acting violently towards their current partner. Furthermore, the research revealed that male psychedelic users report better emotion regulation when compared to males with no history of psychedelic use.

Forbes recently summarized the study by saying: “men who reported previous use of psychedelic drugs (a.k.a hallucinogens) were less likely to act violently toward their intimate partners, based on their self-reported emotional habits.” The article also pointed out that earlier studies demonstrated “a negative (or inverse) relationship between psychedelics and violence, and suggest that these recreational drugs may offer a meaningful way to help strengthen our emotional regulation skills and end intimate partner violence.” 2

Overall, the Canadian research team observed that men who had any experience using mushrooms or LSD were about half as likely to behave violently against their current partners as men who had no experience with such psychedelic drugs.

The study did not uncover a statistically significant correlation between women who consume psychedelics and a reduced tendency towards violent behavior. In fact, the authors noted that their research “did not extend to females.” Nevertheless, Forbes concluded that “Studies and personal experience suggest that hallucinogens could still be useful to women for plenty of other reasons.”

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    References
  1. Thiessen MS, Walsh Z, Bird BM, Lafrance A. Psychedelic use and intimate partner violence: The role of emotion regulation. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2018;32(7):749-755. doi:10.1177/0269881118771782
  2. Hendricks PS, Crawford MS, Cropsey KL, et al. The relationships of classic psychedelic use with criminal behavior in the United States adult population: Journal of Psychopharmacology. October 2017. doi:10.1177/0269881117735685