People with low mental wellbeing benefit most from psychedelics, new study states

A recent study published in the journal Drug Science, Policy and Law has uncovered some interesting information surrounding psychedelic drug use and psychological wellbeing. 

The research tells us that people with low psychological wellbeing are more likely to report positive outcomes after psychedelic use.

psychedelics wellbeing

Those with low psychological wellbeing are more likely to have an enjoyable experience taking psychedelic drugs such as LSD, psilocybin, or MDMA. 

The study published in the journal Drug Science, Policy and Law worked to examine how psychedelic use outcomes were related to personal, emotional, and environmental circumstances.

Study author Natasha L. Mason, shed some light on what the new research really means:

“There is a renewed interest in the use of psychedelics in the treatment of certain psychiatric conditions, like PTSD, anxiety, and depression. Importantly, it has been suggested that factors aside from the drug can influence the acute experience and mediate long-term effects. These factors include set (or, the internal state of the individual, like mood and wellbeing and certain personality traits), and setting (the environment in which the individual is taking the drug in.)

With this renewed interest in the (therapeutic) use of psychedelics, it is important to define optimal circumstances for administration of these substances. Specifically, as psychiatric populations often display clinical characteristics that are suggested to negatively impact the psychedelic experience, it is important to establish whether psychedelics are still a suitable therapeutic option, not leading to (more) negative, unwanted effects.”

While knowledge surrounding the therapeutic use of psychedelics is somewhat limited, Mason was able to find a wealth of information from recreational users who report using the substance in various emotional and environmental circumstances, and for a number of different reasons. Researchers recruited 1,967 psychedelic users from online forums and had them complete an extensive questionnaire about their drug use, subjective wellbeing, personality, and other factors. 

Based on the questionnaire, 1,324 participants were classified as having ‘normal’ wellbeing, while 643 participants were classified as having ‘low’ wellbeing. Those who demonstrated characteristics of low psychological wellbeing were more likely to report a positive mood change or other positive outcomes after taking psychedelic drugs recreationally. 

This new information could bring researchers one step closer towards the trial of psychedelics for therapeutic treatment of a number of conditions such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression. The full study can be read here.