A new study published in the recent issue of the Journal of Psychopharmacology revealed that treatment with classic psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin, lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and mescaline could decrease the likelihood of an antisocial criminal behavior.
Peter Hendricks, the associative professor in the Department of Health Behavior, in the University of Alabama at Birmingham School of Public Health, said, that classic psychedelic drugs might offer enduring benefits for criminal justice populations. They certainly suggest that clinical research with classic psychedelics in forensic settings should be considered.
The researchers used data received from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health, which is directed by the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services. The study shows that use of the classic psychedelics, some extent or use of the specific psychedelics drug, psilocybin could reduce the odds of larceny/theft and other property crimes, as well as a decrease possibility of assault and other violent crimes.
The research led by the Hendricks team studied the association between classic psychedelic use and criminal behavior among over 480,000 American adult respondents from the past 13 years of the annual survey. The researchers made questionnaire about the previous use of classic psychedelic drugs such as ayahuasca – a traditional spiritual medicine among the indigenous peoples of the Amazon basin, – LSD, mescaline, dimethyltryptamine, peyote or San Pedro and psilocybin mushrooms.
The use of classic psychedelic was associated with a 27% reduction in the likelihood of committing larceny/theft, a 12% decrease in the odds of engaging assault, a 22% reduction in the odds of arrest for a property crime, and an 18% drop in the odds of arrest for a violent crime in the past year. In contrast, other drug abuses were associated mainly with an increased odds of antisocial criminal behavior at or above the trend level.
“These findings are consistent with a growing body of research suggesting classic psychedelics confer enduring psychological and prosocial benefits,” Hendricks said. “Classic psychedelics can produce primary mystical experiences – also known as primary religious experiences or peak experiences – and have been used for millennia across cultures with therapeutic intention.”
The study findings propose the protective effects of classic psychedelic use that contribute the significant reductions in antisocial criminal behavior rather than reflecting improved evasion of arrest. There could find a positive association between the positive effects and use of classic psychedelic. The costs of criminal behavior, the potential represented by the classic psychedelic treatment paradigm is significant, Hendricks concluded.