Friday, August 23, 2013

Use of psychedelic drugs like LSD and magic mushrooms 'does NOT increase risk of mental health problems' - and may even help (?)

I wonder how well these researchers know the people they describe.  I am surprised that they seem unaware of defensiveness among drug users.  In my observations, users of hallucinogens can be quite defensive about what they do.  And a major aspect of that defensiveness is to deny any adverse health effects on themselves of what they do.  Since the data below is self-report, it is my view that the researchers have simply discovered evidence in support of my observations.  They have discovered defensiveness, nothing else

Psychedelic drugs such as LSD and magic mushrooms do not cause mental health problems in users, a new study has claimed.   Researchers in Norway have said they in fact found 'significant associations' between the drugs and fewer psychological problems.

The team, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology's (NTNU) Department of Neuroscience, studied more than 130,000 random people, including 22,000 who had used the drugs at least once, included in a health survey in the US.

Clinical psychologist Pål-Ørjan Johansen, who carried out the study with researcher Teri Krebs, said: 'After adjusting for other risk factors, lifetime use of LSD, psilocybin, mescaline or peyote, or past year use of LSD was not associated with a higher rate of mental health problems or receiving mental health treatment.'

The team studied the 2001-2004 National Survey on Drug Use and Health which asked people about mental health conditions including general psychological distress, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and psychosis.

Krebs and Johansen used the data to investigate connections between the use of psychedelic drugs and the mental health issues.

The researchers said rather than finding a connection between their use and an increase in problems, they discovered long-term use of drugs such as psilocybin or mescaline was linked to 'lower rates of serious psychological distress'.

Meanwhile, people who had used LSD in the last 12 months were also associated with lower rates of distress, while those who had used the drug long-term had a lower rate of treatment for mental health issues.

The researchers have said it is not possible to determine the reason behind their discoveries, because of the nature of the study, and warned the drugs could be harmful to some.

They wrote: 'We cannot exclude the possibility that use of psychedelics might have a negative effect on mental health for some individuals or groups, perhaps counterbalanced at a population level by a positive effect on mental health in others.'

The researchers pointed out that recent trials 'have also failed to find any evidence of any lasting harmful effects of psychedelics'.

Krebs said: 'Everything has some potential for negative effects, but psychedelic use is overall considered to pose a very low risk to the individual and to society.'

The results are published in the journal PLOS One.


Mums-to-be with unhealthy diets are 'more likely to have badly behaved children'

What utter rubbish!  They have simply discovered that poor people have worse health and behaviour while  poor people are also likely to eat what they like, not what is "approved".  No relationship between diet and health is shown.

Pregnant mums with unhealthy diets are more likely to have children with behavioural problems, a new study has revealed.

Children with a high intake of junk food also have increased symptoms of depression and anxiety and are more susceptible to aggressive outbursts and tantrums.

The study is the first to tackle the impact of early life nutrition as an individual’s diet is already related to common mental disorders in adults and adolescents.

The study involved more than 23,000 mothers and children participating in the ongoing Norwegian Mother and Child Cohort Study.

Researchers from Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, worked with Norwegian collaborators on the project. Associate Professor Felice Jacka, researcher with Deakin University’s IMPACT Strategic Research Centre, was the lead author of the study.

She said: 'Early life nutrition, including the nutrition received while the child is in utero, is related to physical health outcomes in children - their risk for later heart disease or diabetes for example.  'It is now more clear than ever that diet matters to mental health right across the age spectrum.

Details of a mother’s diet during pregnancy and their children’s diets at 18 months and three years were recorded using questionnaires.

Their children’s symptoms of depression, anxiety, conduct disorder and ADHD were also measured at 18 months, three years and five years of age.

Socioeconomic factors and the mental health of parents were not included in the research to help determine a clearer relationship between diet and mental health.

Now Professor Jacka believes governments must act to tackle the mental and physical issues caused by eating junk food.

She said: 'There is an urgent need for governments everywhere to take note of the evidence and amend food policy.

'The shift to more high-energy, low nutrition foods developed and marketed by the processed food industry, have led to a massive increase in obesity-related illnesses everywhere.

'They must restrict the marketing and availability of unhealthy food products to the community.'


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

“And a major aspect of that defensiveness is to deny any adverse health effects on themselves of what they do.”

Ecstacy is neurotoxic but a Prozac taken before or even after use knocks it back out of the receptor it otherwise “suicide inhibits.” Lack of knowledge of this is tragic, as is the fact that a non-neurotoxic version exists with a carbon linking the two ring oxygen atoms into a pentagon instead of there being two independent methylated oxygens, but this version can't be as readily “cooked up” by underground chemists.

A serious study of ayahuasca use in South American churches suggested that members of all ages used the church experience as effective treatment of lingering psychological torments:

“Ayahuasca users were found to measure significantly lower than the controls on all nine psychopathology scales, including significantly less somatization, depression, anxiety, hostility, paranoid ideation, and phobias.”

Harm from hallucinogens must also be considered in the overall context of drug use and misuse, namely concerning how these drugs have strong anti-addictive and anti-depressive influence towards highly addictive narcotic abuse and chronic burnout.

Worst of all is the devastating opportunity cost of lingering Drug War era oppression of real research into psychiatric drugs in human volunteers instead of a red tape hell that stunts progress by restricting initial studies to mere rodants. Not only does this stop existing scientists from using vast advances in synthetic chemistry to survey thousands of new compounds for effects on *higher* conscious funtion, but it very much discourages the most profound thinkers from careers in neuroscience. Overall, the shutting down of this natural frontier is alone responsible for the sad rise of careerism in science in general.

-=NikFromNYC=-, Ph.D. in chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)