A new study by researchers at the University of British Columbia, in collaboration with University of Alabama researchers, has determined that psychedelic drugs could possibly be used in order to reduce the rate of domestic violence but the study results are preliminary and further research is needed. The study looked at the U.S. Adult male prison inmate population and discovered that 42% of inmates who did not use psychedelic drugs were arrested for domestic violence within 6 years of their release from prison. Male inmates who used psychedelic drugs such as LSD, magic mushrooms, or ecstasy saw a much smaller 27% who were arrested for domestic violence within 6 years of their release from prison. For the study 302 male inmates, all with a history of substance abuse, were followed for 6 years after being released from prison.
UBC Okanagan’s Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science and Law co-director Assoc. Prof. Zach Walsh explained the study on psychedelic drugs and domestic violence, saying “While not a clinical trial, this study, in stark contrast to prevailing attitudes that views these drugs as harmful, speaks to the public health potential of psychedelic medicine. As existing treatments for intimate partner violence are insufficient, we need to take new perspectives such as this seriously. Intimate partner violence is a major public health problem and existing treatments to reduce reoffending are insufficient. With proper dosage, set, and setting we might see even more profound effects. This definitely warrants further research. The experiences of unity, positivity, and transcendence that characterize the psychedelic experience may be particularly beneficial to groups that are frequently marginalized and isolated, such as the incarcerated men who participated in this study.”
According to study co-author Assoc. Prof. Peter Hendricks with the University of Alabama “Although we’re attempting to better understand how or why these substances may be beneficial, one explanation is that they can transform people’s lives by providing profoundly meaningful spiritual experiences that highlight what matters most. Often, people are struck by the realization that behaving with compassion and kindness toward others is high on the list of what matters.”