People who use Psychedelics Less Likely to Commit Violent Crimes
A new study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology on Tuesday found that people who use psychedelic drugs such as mescaline, LSD, peyote and psilocybin are less likely to commit violent crimes.
The University of Alabama at Birmingham along with the University of British Columbia conducted the study which examined almost half a million lifetime users of psychedelics and compared the data with crimes committed within the last year. They found that the odds were decreased in assault, theft and violent crimes when psychedelics were involved. The only crimes that indicated high numbers of psychedelics users were drug-related crimes. Researchers believe that psychedelics could help prevent criminal behavior.
Dr. Peter Hendricks said that "These findings, coupled with both older and emerging bodies of evidence, make a case that classic psychedelics may provide enduring benefits for criminal justice populations. They certainly suggest that clinical research with classic psychedelics in forensic settings should be considered."
He added that the findings show that those who specifically used psilocybin are not likely to commit assault, theft or property crimes, and that the results are evidence that clinical trials should be done with psychedelics. “Simply put, the positive effects associated with classic psychedelic use appear to be reliable. Given the costs of criminal behavior, the potential represented by this treatment paradigm is significant." The doctor is also an associate professor in the Department of Health Behavior for the School of Public Health.
People who used psychedelics decreased the odds of larceny by 27 percent. Assault was reduced by 12 percent and violent crime was reduced by 18 percent. Other substances increased the chance of theft or violent crimes.
Psychedelics have also recently been found to have health benefits. Another recent study showed that psilocybin (mushrooms) can help with depression. Imperial College London researchers found that small doses reset patient’s brain activity.