New York, Feb 7 (IANS) A drug that causes hallucinations may have therapeutic potential for reducing intimate partner violence, says a study.
“Although we are attempting to better understand how or why these substances may be beneficial, one explanation is that they can transform people’s lives by providing profoundly meaningful spiritual experiences that highlight what matters most,” said one of the researchers, Peter Hendricks from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in the US.
“Often, people are struck by the realisation that behaving with compassion and kindness toward others is high on the list of what matters,” Hendricks noted.
The researchers explored the therapeutic potential for hallucinogens such as psilocybin or LSD.
The study looked at 302 men aged 17-40 in the criminal justice system. Of the 56 percent of participants who reported using hallucinogens, only 27 percent were arrested for later intimate partner violence (IPV) as opposed to 42 percent of the group who reported no hallucinogen use being arrested for IPV within seven years.
From the 1950s through the early 1970s, thousands of studies reported on the medical use of hallucinogens, mostly LSD.
Due to the classification of the most prominent hallucinogens as Schedule I controlled substances in 1970, research on health benefits was suspended, causing many of these studies to be forgotten.
However, research with hallucinogens has experienced a rebirth, the study pointed out.
“Recent studies have shown that psilocybin and related compounds could revolutionise the mental health field,” Hendricks said.
“However, additional research is needed. This study suggests that hallucinogens could be a useful avenue for reducing IPV, meaning this topic deserves further attention.”