Poll States 28% of Americans Have Tried At Least One Psychedelic Substance

A new poll released by YouGov explored how many Americans have tried psychedelic drugs, their support of decriminalization, and much more.
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The poll asked 1,000 adults to answer questions online between July 22-25, which revealed that 28% of Americans have used at least one of the seven psychedelic drugs included in the questionnaire. In order of most used to least used, the list of substances included LSD (14% of participants), psilocybin (13%), MDMA (9%), ketamine (6%), DMT (6%), and salvia (5%).

The poll notes that psychedelic acceptance is increasing, and more legislation is being proposed. “Recent shifts, both in policy and public opinion, suggest the tide in the United States may be turning toward increasingly favoring psychedelic drugs,” YouGov states. “In the past few years, a number of cities across the U.S., such as Oakland, California, have decriminalized psilocybin, also known as psychedelic mushrooms. This November, Coloradans will vote on whether to legalize the drug state-wide, and by January 2023, Oregon is expected to begin allowing its use for mental-health treatment in supervised settings.”

According to the poll, 42% percent of those who have tried psychedelics at least once have a family income of $100,000 or more, while only 34% have an income of $50,000 to $100,000, and 23% reported having an income of $50,000 or less. Forty-two percent also said they had earned a postgraduate degree, with 26% having graduated with an undergraduate degree, and 24% who have a high school degree or less.

In terms of age, 39% of participants who have tried psychedelics range between 30-44 years old, whereas 35% range between 18-29 years of age, and only 14% were over 65. Thirty-four percent of participants who have tried a substance identified as men, while 22% identified as women.

Regionally, the pattern of acceptance follows areas that have enacted psychedelics-related legislation. Thirty-seven percent of participants who have tried substances live in the western United States, with 34% in the Northeast, 23% in the South (other regions were not specified). Those who have experimented with psychedelics often live in cities (36%), compared to those who live in suburbs (26%), and rural areas (19%).

Other categories of definition explored people from different religions, those who live in other regions of the country, age, and other identifiers such as “very conservative,” “conservative” or “liberal.” The poll data shows that those who are liberal, which is defined by the 52% of participants, said that they have tried at least one psychedelic drug.

However, many of the participants still showed opposition to decriminalizing of some of these substances. Forty-four percent oppose decriminalization of psilocybin, 53% oppose decriminalizing LSD, and 53% oppose MDMA decriminalization. Overall, those who have tried one of these substances are more likely to agree that it should be decriminalized. “And while support for legalizing psychedelic drugs is relatively low among Americans overall, it’s much higher among people who have personal experiences with the substances—especially in the case of people who have used mushrooms.”

Those who have tried these substances also expressed support for medical initiatives that promote psychedelics as a medical treatment. “Recently proposed bipartisan amendments to the annual National Defense Authorization Act, suggested by Reps. Dan Crenshaw and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, relax federal restrictions on research into psychedelic-assisted post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatment for veterans,” YouGov wrote. When participants were asked about their support of research such as that initiative, 54% said they supported it and 18% said they were opposed. Sixty-three percent of those who hold a college degree supported research efforts for at least one psychedelic drug, but 49% of those without a college degree also support research. Sixty percent of participants who aligned as Democrat said they were more likely to favor psychedelic research, versus 54% of Independents and 45% of Republicans.

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