Psychedelic drug use associated with reduced partner violence in men, says study

A new study published by Kelowna researchers tested 1,266 people

Men who have used psychedelic drugs are less likely to be violent towards their partners, according to a new study published by UBCO researchers.

In a new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, researchers from UBC’s Okanagan campus discovered that men who have used psychedelic drugs in the past have a lower likelihood of engaging in violence against their intimate partners, according to a UBCO news release.

“Although use of certain drugs like alcohol, methamphetamine or cocaine is associated with increased aggression and partner violence, use of psychedelics appears to have the opposite effect,” says clinical psychology graduate student and study lead author Michelle Thiessen. “We found that among men who have used psychedelics one or more times, the odds of engaging in partner violence was reduced by roughly half. That’s significant.”

Related: How can we change the public discussion on drug addiction?

Psychedelic drugs act on serotonin receptors in the brain. Classic psychedelics include lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), psilocybin (magic mushrooms), mescaline, and dimethyltryptamine (DMT). The effects vary but can produce mystical experiences and changes in perception, emotion, cognition and the sense of self. Classic psychedelics are not considered to be addictive, the release said.

“Previous research from our lab that looked at men in the criminal justice system found that hallucinogen users were substantially less likely to perpetrate violence against their intimate partners,” said UBC professor and supervising author Zach Walsh. “Our new study is important because it suggests that these effects might also apply to the general population”

Thiessen, Walsh and colleagues Adele LaFrance and Brian Bird from Laurentian University based their results on an anonymous online survey of 1,266 people recruited from universities and through social media. Respondents were asked to disclose their lifetime use of LSD and psilocybin mushrooms and then complete a questionnaire that assessed multiple aspects of their emotion regulation.

“Past research found a clear association between psychedelic drug use and reduced partner violence, but the reasons for this effect remained unclear,” Thiessen said. “We found that better ability to manage negative emotions may help explain why the hallucinogen users were less violent.”

Thiessen says her results could one day lead to novel treatments to reduce violence.

“These findings add to the literature on the positive use of psychedelics and suggest that future research should explore the potential for psychedelic therapies to help address the international public health priority of reducing domestic violence.”

The study was published with funding in part from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada.


edit@kelownacapnews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Jill Carley new vice-principal at Mt. Baker Secondary

Following the announcement of a new principal for Cranbrook’s high school, a… Continue reading

Cranbrook city council approves agreement with RecycleBC for curbside collection

Cranbrook city council has taken another step towards curbside recycling collection, unanimously… Continue reading

Kelowna glider pilot crashes in the Columbia Valley

The Transportation Safety Board is investigating the circumstances of the crash

Cranbrook Pride society organizes different kind of event this year due to COVID-19

The Cranbrook Pride Society had to be creative in planning this year’s… Continue reading

MP Morrison pushes for accountability following federal fiscal update

Kootenay-Columbia parliamentarian says it is time to restart the economy

Sources say Canada, U.S. likely to extend mutual travel ban into late August

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau hinted at the possibility after a phone call with U.S. President

B.C.’s potential deficit $12.5 billion as spending spikes, taxes drop

Finance Minister Carole James gives COVID-19 outlook

Commercial huckleberry harvesting restricted in Kootenays

The province of B.C. has banned commercial-scale picking from July 15 to October 15

Canadians torn on scaling back COVID-19 benefits to save money: poll

Of those surveyed, 78 per cent said they were worried about the size of the deficit

‘Trauma equals addiction’: Why some seek solace in illicit drugs

Part 2: Many pushed into addiction by ‘toxic stress,’ says White Rock psychologist

Hotel rooms for B.C. homeless too hasty, NDP government told

Businesses forced out, but crime goes down, minister says

Wage subsidy will be extended until December amid post-COVID reopening: Trudeau

Trudeau said the extension will ‘give greater certainty and support to businesses’

B.C. government prepares for COVID-19 economic recovery efforts

New measures after July consultation, Carole James says

Most Read