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Use of Hallucinogens Could Protect Against Intimate Partner Violence

by Dr. Trupti Shirole on February 8, 2016 at 7:14 AM
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Use of Hallucinogens Could Protect Against Intimate Partner Violence

Thousands of studies on the medical use of hallucinogens, mostly LSD were reported, from the 1950s through the early 1970s. Hallucinogens such as psilocybin or LSD may have therapeutic potential for reducing intimate partner violence, or IPV, suggests a new study led by researchers at the University of British Columbia along with School of Public Health Associate Professor Peter S. Hendricks.

Hendricks says the identification of risk and protective factors for IPV is an important goal for public health research. He said, "A body of evidence suggests that substances such as psilocybin may have a range of clinical indications. Although we're attempting to better understand how or why these substances may be beneficial, one explanation is that they can transform people's lives by providing profoundly meaningful spiritual experiences that highlight what matters most. Often, people are struck by the realization that behaving with compassion and kindness toward others is high on the list of what matters."

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The study looked at 302 men ages 17-40 in the criminal justice system. Of the 56% of participants who reported using hallucinogens, only 27% were arrested for later IPV as opposed to 42% of the group who reported no hallucinogen use being arrested for IPV within seven years.

Due to the classification of the most prominent hallucinogens as Schedule I controlled substances in 1970, research on health benefits was suspended, causing many of these studies to be forgotten. However, research with hallucinogens has experienced a rebirth.
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Hendricks said, "Recent studies have shown that psilocybin and related compounds could revolutionize the mental health field. However, additional research is needed. This study suggests that hallucinogens could be a useful avenue for reducing IPV, meaning this topic deserves further attention."

Source: Newswise
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