Pubdate: Wed, 27 Apr 2016
Source: Province, The (CN BC)
Page: 10
Copyright: 2016 Postmedia Network Inc.
Author: Tiffany Crawford


UBC Study: Project Uncovers Some Surprising Results

Psychedelic drugs such as acid, ecstasy and magic mushrooms have been
making a resurgence as a medicine to treat a range of illnesses from
post traumatic stress disorder to end of life anxiety.

Now researchers at the University of B.C. say the drugs may help curb
domestic violence committed by men with substance abuse problems.

The UBC Okanagan study, published in the Journal of
Psychopharmacology, found that 42 per cent of U.S. adult male prison
inmates who did not take psychedelic drugs were arrested within six
years for domestic battery after their release, compared to a rate of
27 per cent for those who had taken drugs such as LSD, psilocybin
(magic mushrooms) and MDMA (ecstasy.)

The observational study followed 302 inmates between the ages of 17
and 40 for an average of six years after they were released. All those
observed were serving sentences of one year or less at a jail in
Illinois, and all had histories of substance use disorders, according
to the study.

The participants were interviewed during incarceration about their
past hallucinogen use. Of those who had experimented with
hallucinogenic drugs, most (87 per cent) had tried more than one of
the more well-known psychedelic drugs.

One of the researchers was Zach Walsh, co-director for UBC Okanagan's
Centre for the Advancement of Psychological Science and Law.

Walsh said that, overall, the study speaks to the public health
potential of psychedelic medicine in contrast to prevailing attitudes
that these drugs are harmful.

"As existing treatments for intimate partner violence are
insufficient, we need to take new perspectives such as this
seriously," he said.

Walsh said with proper dosage, set, and setting, scientists might see
"even more profound effects."

Most of the participants who tried psychedelics had tried more than
one type, but the team did not extrapolate which drug they believed to
be having the most impact on reducing violence. The study does note,
however, that there is evidence to suggest MDMA may foster intimacy
and improve communication, which may lead to less violence. 
- ---
MAP posted-by: Jo-D