Alcohol, methamphetamine and cocaine have been linked to increased aggression in men, but psychedelics appear to have opposite effect.
Intimate partner violence has been designated a major public health problem by the World Health Organization, affecting at least 25 percent all women in the United States, and 20 percent in Canada, according to recent statistics. Psychedelics may help.
According to research published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, men who have used psychedelics in the past are less likely to be involved in violence against their partners.
There have been numerous studies showing a direct correlation between abuse of substances such as alcohol and cocaine to violence against an intimate partner. But very little research has looked into the association between violence and psychedelics in particular.
Researchers from the University of British Columbia wanted to better understand the what impact psychedelics had on domestic violence, and whether it was similar to the impact other substances had on violence against intimate partners.
For the study, researchers focused on emotion regulation of more than 1,200 study participants. They found that men who had used psilocybin or LSD at some point in their lives were less likely to perpetrate violence against an intimate partner compared to men who had never used psychedelics. They also had less difficulty dealing with negative emotions compared to never-users. This may explain why they are less violent, says clinical psychology graduate student and study lead author Michelle Thiessen.
“Although use of certain drugs like alcohol, methamphetamine or cocaine is associated with increased aggression and partner violence, use of psychedelics appears to have the opposite effect,” Thiessen adds. “We found that among men who have used psychedelics one or more times, the odds of engaging in partner violence was reduced by roughly half. That’s significant.”