New Study Finds That Psychedelic Drugs Can Alleviate Racial Discrimination Related Trauma

In Education

In recent times, there has been growing research on the therapeutic benefits that psychedelic drugs such as LSD and mushrooms can offer. A research team from Ohio State University has found that psychedelic drugs can help traumatized individuals that have previously encountered racism. The team published the study in the journal Drugs: Education, Prevention and Policy.

Psychedelics can relieve anxiety and depression related to racism

The researchers indicated that a single psychedelic trip helped lower anxiety, stress, and depression associated with racist events in indigenous, African-Americans, and people of color. According to the study, participants reportedly experienced the benefits after 30 days of receiving an LSD, MDMA (ecstasy), or psilocybin dose.

Alan Davis, the study’s co-author, said that the experience the individual felt with the drugs was powerful in that they remembered and reported changes in symptoms from racial trauma they experienced. Davis said that afterward the individuals even remembered that the psychedelic drugs even had a considerable impact on their mental health issues. Most importantly, the more profound or “intensely spiritual” the psychedelic experience the more beneficial it was in helping trauma-related symptoms.

The first study of the impact of psychedelic drugs on racial trauma

Although research in the role of psychedelic drugs in therapy continues to grow, this study was the first to test the influence of psychedelics in trauma related to racism. Monica Williams, the study’s co-author, said that there is a lack of empirically supported treatments for racial trauma. Therefore, this study is important as it demonstrates that psychedelics can be a vital avenue of healing racial trauma.

The researchers conducted the study on 313 people in Canada and the US. All individuals indicated that they had taken a psychedelic drug before, which helped offer relief from racial discrimination trauma. The study drew participants from different racial backgrounds including Asian, Black, Native American, Hispanic, Pacific Islander, and Native Hawaiian. Although the psychedelic drug encounters were most recent for some subjects, they nonetheless recalled events from several years. In general, the participants indicated that after they took psychedelic drugs they felt better mentally. 

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