What? Researchers have found that using psychedelic drugs (i.e., drugs such as LSD, magic mushrooms, and ecstasy) may help reduce domestic violence committed by men with substance abuse issues. In a study of 302 males aged 17 to 40 serving time in the U.S., 42 percent of those who did not take psychedelic drugs were arrested within six years of their release for domestic battery, compared to 27 percent of those who had taken them.
So what? Research on the benefits of psychedelic drugs was popular from the 1950s to the 1970s, and there has been a resurgence in recent years. Until now, most studies have focused on potential medical benefits, such as treatment of psychiatric conditions. This new study challenges the prevailing focus on the harms and risks of psychedelic drugs, and speaks to a potential expanded range of unexpected therapeutic effects, including pro-social ones. Further studies capitalizing on the growing trend of micro-dosing (a technique for studying the behaviour of drugs in humans through the administration of low doses), could enable researchers to continue uncovering promising societal benefits. Such findings could stimulate more nuanced discussions about drug use. They could also augment public support for legalizing illicit drugs beyond cannabis.