Study: Men Who Have Used Psychedelics Are Half As Likely to Be Violent to Their Partners

LSD blotter (Source: Wikimedia)

New evidence suggests that men who have used psychedelic drugs are around half as likely to be violent against their intimate partners as men who have never used such substances.

The results came from a study undertaken at the University of British Columbia, and published by the Journal of Psychopharmacology on May 29. Researchers aimed to examine the association between the perpetration of "intimate partner violence" and lifetime psychedelic use. The latter variable refers to whether someone - at any time in their life - has used LSD or psilocybin "magic" mushrooms. After anonymously surveying 1,266 adults, researchers found a significant negative relationship between perpetrating partner violence and psychedelic use among men. However, the study did not find a relationship between partner violence perpetration and psychedelic use among women.

"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”, according to Michelle Thiessen, the study’s lead author.

The lower likelihood of partner violence among men who had used psychedelics may be related to improved “emotion regulation”, the study suggests. This term broadly refers to a person’s ability to effectively manage and respond to emotional experiences.

“Our analyses revealed that male psychedelic users reported better emotion regulation when compared to males with no history of psychedelic use. Better emotion regulation mediated the relationship between psychedelic use and lower perpetration of intimate partner violence”, the study’s results state.

As men who use psychedelics reported better emotion regulation than those who did not, psychedelic drugs could potentially be used to help men improve how they respond to negative emotions. Therefore, Thiessen believes that therapeutically-administer psychedelics could potentially reduce partner violence across society:

"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. […] Future research should explore the potential for psychedelic therapies to help address the international public health priority of reducing domestic violence".

The illegality of the manufacture or possession of LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, and other psychedelics limits the extent of clinical research that can take place with the drugs. Nonetheless, research that has taken place suggests life-changing potential in psilocybin, LSD, and MDMA in treating various ailments – including PTSD, depression, and alcohol dependency. The results of this latest study seems to be indicative of a continuing rise in prominence of psychedelic science.