There has been a recent surge in scientific publications documenting the therapeutic applications of psychedelic drugs (e.g., LSD, psilocybin). Emerging research has demonstrated the potential for medicinal use of psychedelic drugs to mitigate psychiatric concerns, including depression, anxiety, and addiction. While research into psychedelics suggests promise for these atypical substances to address psychiatric concerns, additional research is needed to focus on the associated consequences of recreational psychedelic use (i.e., use of psychedelics for fun or to get “high”) engaged in outside the observation and guidance of a trained mental health practitioner. The present proposal used an archival dataset collected from a sample of undergraduate students that completed an assessment battery evaluating drug-use and mental health variables. In the current project, the study focus was restricted to student participants that endorsed recreational use of any kind (n=711). Of the stratified sample, participants that endorsed past year of psychedelic drug use (PSY; n=38) were compared to recreational drug-alcohol users not endorsing prior psychedelic drug-use (REC; n=673). No statistically significant differences were observed between PSY and REC groups on age, GPA or stress. However, the PSY group evidenced statistically significant higher levels of alcohol use, cannabis use, depression and anxiety (p < .05). Although findings are relational and do not suggest causation, they suggest potentially greater mental health conflicts among individuals reporting recreational psychedelic drug use. Follow-up analyses will further stratify the sample compare none-PSY drug users to PSY users on variables of interest and will included expanded discussion of study implications.
Colligan, S., Engle, Z., & Gawrysiak, M. (2021). Evaluating Differences between Psychedelic Drug-Users and Non-Psychedelic Drug Users among College Students. Retrieved from https://digitalcommons.wcupa.edu/psych_stuwork/21