Survey: One-Third of Those Under 50 Open to Psychedelic Mental Health Treatments

Whether young, old or middle age, there appears to be a significant openness to the idea of psychedelic mental health treatments, according to findings from a new survey.

A poll from YouGov “found that a significant percentage of respondents across different age groups, including 18-24 year olds (36%) and 25-49 year olds (30%), expressed interest in trialing psilocybin and other currently illegal substances like ketamine, MDMA, and DMT for treating mental health conditions,” Psychedelic Spotlight reported.

The outlet noted that the YouGov poll was commissioned by a London-based clinical trials startup called Lindus Health, which has a proclaimed mission to “use software to help innovative companies run faster, more reliable, and patient-friendly clinical trials.”

“Aside from psilocybin,  those aged between 18-24 were most interested in trialing ketamine (27%) and for 25-49 year olds the next highest was MDMA (26%),” Psychedelic Spotlight reported. “Interestingly, Psilocybin came out on top for all age groups – including 54-60 year olds (17%) and those aged above 65+ (10%).”

The survey’s findings are yet more evidence of the growing acceptance of psychedelic treatment options.

A poll in June from the University of California, Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics revealed that a solid majority of Americans support the idea of providing access to psychedelic therapies.

“More than six out of 10 (61%) American registered voters support legalizing regulated therapeutic access to psychedelics, including 35% who report ‘strong’ support,” the pollsters wrote in their analysis. “In addition, more than three-quarters of voters (78%) support making it easier for researchers to study psychedelic substances. Almost half (49%) support removing criminal penalties for personal use and possession.”

Imran Khan, the executive director of the UC Berkeley Center for the Science of Psychedelics (BCSP), said that the survey’s findings represented the “the first clear picture we have of what the American public think and feel about psychedelics.”

“The Berkeley Psychedelics Survey shows that the majority of American voters are interested in, and supportive of, the field. They want fewer barriers to research for scientists, and they want regulated, therapeutic access for the public,” Khan said. “Amidst all the stigma and the hype about these powerful substances, it’s vital that researchers, policy-makers, and practitioners can understand and respond to the public’s hopes and fears. We’re excited to reveal the full results of the Berkeley Psychedelics Survey in the coming weeks.”

Berkeley, California has proven to be an epicenter for psychedelic reform.

Earlier this summer, city officials there approved a measure to decriminalize both psilocybin mushrooms and ayahuasca.

The widening acceptance of psychedelics has also led to a flowering of research, particularly into their potential as an effective treatment for mental health.

A recent study explored how psychedelics activate the Default Mode Network (DMN) of the brain, defined as “a system of connected brain areas that show increased activity when a person is not focused on what is happening around them.”

“The DMN is especially active, research shows, when one engages in introspective activities such as daydreaming, contemplating the past or the future, or thinking about the perspective of another person. Unfettered daydreaming can often lead to creativity. The default mode network is also active when a person is awake. However, in a resting state, when a person is not engaged in any demanding, externally oriented mental task, the mind shifts into ‘default,’” the publication Psychology Today said in its report on the study.

A study in May found that microdosing “could increase state authenticity through influencing people’s mood … and satisfaction with daily activities.”

“We propose that feeling and behaving authentically could have a central role in explaining the positive effects of microdosing on health and wellbeing that are reported by current research,” the authors of that study wrote in their analysis. “In conclusion, we have found evidence that the microdosing practice was related to higher ratings of state authenticity and that a behavioural mechanism is most likely at work. Our study opens the door to a new line of research as we propose that feeling and behaving authentically could have a central role in explaining the positive effects of microdosing on health and wellbeing that are reported by current research.”

Psychedelics are already widely accepted among the world’s upper-crust, with much of Silicon Valley’s elite regularly microdosing.

A story published earlier this summer by the Wall Street Journal said that Elon Musk takes ketamine, while Google co-founder Sergey Brin is known to take psychedelic mushrooms.

“Routine drug use has moved from an after-hours activity squarely into corporate culture, leaving boards and business leaders to wrestle with their responsibilities for a workforce that frequently uses. At the vanguard are tech executives and employees who see psychedelics and similar substances, among them psilocybin, ketamine and LSD, as gateways to business breakthroughs,” the Journal said

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