DEC 30, 2020 8:30 AM PST

Do Psychedelics Reduce Trauma from Racial Injustice?

WRITTEN BY: Annie Lennon

Researchers from Ohio State University have found that a single positive experience on psychedelics may reduce stress, depression, and anxiety in those with racial trauma. 

For the study, the researchers recruited 313 people who reported taking a psychedelic drug in the past that they believed contributed to a ‘relief from the challenging effects of racial discrimination’. The sample included people who identified as Black, Asian, Hispanic, Native American/ Indigenous Canadaian, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander. 

Once recruited, they completed surveys describing their experiences with racial trauma, psychedelic use, alongside mental health symptoms. This included recalling a memorable psychedelic experience alongside their experience of mental health factors, including anxiety, depression, and stress linked to racial injustice 30 days prior and afterward.  

They were also asked to report on the intensity of three common kinds of psychedelic experience: mystical, insightful, or challenging. While mystical experiences were defined as ego dissolution and a spiritual connection to the divine, insightful experiences were described as increased self-awareness and challenging experiences; those that are difficult to go through and may induce anxiety or difficulty breathing. 

All in all, the researchers found that the more mystical and insightful experience each participant had, the greater the mental health benefits they received. They also found an inverse correlation between challenging experiences and mental health benefits- less challenging experiences correlated more with positive mental health outcomes. 

While interesting findings, the researchers note that their study was limited due to its retrospective nature, and the bias among their volunteers- all having been recruited on the basis of reporting beneficial psychedelic experiences. As such, the researchers are now working on proposals for clinical trials to further investigate the effects of psychedelics on mental health among people of color. 

 

Sources: Ohio State NewsDrugs: Education, Prevention and Policy

About the Author
  • Science writer with keen interests in technology and behavioral biology. Her current focus is on the interplay between these fields to create meaningful interactions, applications and environments.
You May Also Like
OCT 22, 2020
Neuroscience
Psychedelic Experiences Reduce Narcissistic Personality Traits
OCT 22, 2020
Psychedelic Experiences Reduce Narcissistic Personality Traits
Researchers from the UK have found that psychedelic drugs can positively affect narcissistic personality traits- by redu ...
OCT 24, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Software Flags Elevated Cerebral Palsy Risk in Premies
OCT 24, 2020
Software Flags Elevated Cerebral Palsy Risk in Premies
Diagnostic imaging scientists have developed a software tool for predicting the future onset of cerebral palsy in babies ...
NOV 08, 2020
Drug Discovery & Development
Psychedelic Mushrooms Effectively Treat Major Depression
NOV 08, 2020
Psychedelic Mushrooms Effectively Treat Major Depression
Over 17 million people in the US and 300 million people worldwide are estimated to have experienced major depression. No ...
JAN 01, 2021
Genetics & Genomics
Common Brain Disorder Has a Genetic Influence
JAN 01, 2021
Common Brain Disorder Has a Genetic Influence
It's thought that as many as one in one hundred people are born with a brain disorder known as Chiari 1 malformation, bu ...
JAN 05, 2021
Neuroscience
Synthetic Psychedelic Treats Depression Without Hallucinations
JAN 05, 2021
Synthetic Psychedelic Treats Depression Without Hallucinations
Psychedelics are receiving an increasing amount of attention- both in research and in the media- for their potential to ...
JAN 08, 2021
Neuroscience
Brain Scans Show Why Comedy-News Shows are More Memorable
JAN 08, 2021
Brain Scans Show Why Comedy-News Shows are More Memorable
Comedy-news shows such as those by Trevor Noah, John Oliver, and Samantha Bee on the rise and are especially popular amo ...
Loading Comments...