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J Psychopharmacol. 2017 May;31(5):606-613. doi: 10.1177/0269881117691453. Epub 2017 Feb 14.

The association of psychedelic use and opioid use disorders among illicit users in the United States.

Author information

1
1 Laboratory for Integrative Psychiatry, McLean Hospital, Belmont, USA.
2
2 Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, New York, USA.
3
3 School of Social Work, Boston University, Boston, USA.
4
4 Multidisciplinary Association of Psychedelic Studies, Santa Cruz, USA.
5
5 The New School for Social Research, New York, USA.
6
6 The Boston Center for Addiction Treatment, A Recovery Center of America Company, Danvers, USA.
7
7 Harvard Medical School, Laboratory for Integrative Psychiatry, Division of Alcohol and Drug Abuse, McLean Hospital, Belmont, USA.
8
8 University of New England, School of Osteopathic Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, USA.
9
9 Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Preliminary studies show psychedelic compounds administered with psychotherapy are potentially effective and durable substance misuse interventions. However, little is known about the association between psychedelic use and substance misuse in the general population. This study investigated the association between psychedelic use and past year opioid use disorders within illicit opioid users.

METHODS:

While controlling for socio-demographic covariates and the use of other substances, the relationship between classic psychedelic use and past year opioid use disorders was analyzed within 44,000 illicit opioid users who completed the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from 2008 to 2013.

RESULTS:

Among respondents with a history of illicit opioid use, psychedelic drug use is associated with 27% reduced risk of past year opioid dependence (weighted risk ratio = 0.73 (0.60-0.89) p = 0.002) and 40% reduced risk of past year opioid abuse (weighted risk ratio = 0.60 (0.41-0.86) p = 0.006). Other than marijuana use, which was associated with 55% reduced risk of past year opioid abuse (weighted risk ratio = 0.45 (0.30-0.66) p < 0.001), no other illicit drug was associated with reduced risk of past year opioid dependence or abuse.

CONCLUSION:

Experience with psychedelic drugs is associated with decreased risk of opioid abuse and dependence. Conversely, other illicit drug use history is largely associated with increased risk of opioid abuse and dependence. These findings suggest that psychedelics are associated with positive psychological characteristics and are consistent with prior reports suggesting efficacy in treatment of substance use disorders.

KEYWORDS:

Abuse; dependence; heroin; opioid; psychedelics

PMID:
28196428
DOI:
10.1177/0269881117691453
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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