Are psychedelics going mainstream?

Are psychedelics going mainstream?

28% of Americans have tried at least one psychedelic drug, new poll reveals

Bright red psychedelic mushrooms. The dabbing technique near the edges gives a soft focus effect due to the altered surface roughness of the paper.

This article was written by Nina Zdinjak and originally published on Benzinga.

As people are becoming more open to experimenting with alternative treatments for various health issues, or simply for wellness purposes, both cannabis and psychedelics are coming into play. While it has been confirmed that cannabis is the world’s most consumed substance, with around 209 million people using it in 2022, psychedelics are another story. At least for now.

Nevertheless, things seem to be changing. 

According to a new poll by YouGov, some 28% of Americans have tried at least one psychedelic drug. The poll, which questions 1,000 adults between 22-25, revealed that the most used psychedelic substance is LSD and that 14% of participants confirmed trying it, followed closely by psilocybin with 13%.

Psychedelics poll highlights 

  • 9% of participants have tried MDMA, 6% ketamine, 6% DMT, and 5% salvia;
  • 51% of those self-defining as very liberal have tried at least one psychedelic substance;
  • 42% of those with a family income of at least $100,000 have tried at least one psychedelic substance; 
  • 42% of participants with a postgraduate degree confirm they tried one psychedelic drug;
  • Out of those who have tried one, 39% belonged to the 30-44 age group, and 37% were Americans living in the Western part of the U.S.;
  • Among those questioned, the following groups showed the lowest propensity for trying psychedelic substances: Black Americans – 14% have tried; seniors (aged 65 and older) – 14%; Protestants – 19%; people living in rural areas – 19%; conservative people – 21%.

Stances on decriminalization 

While progress on psychedelic decriminalization and research has been noticed over the last couple of years, most Americans are still against it, and many don’t even know why the poll reveals.

  • By 44% to 27%, Americans oppose decriminalizing psilocybin (mushrooms);
  • By 53% to 20%, Americans oppose decriminalizing LSD (acid);
  • By 53% to 19%, Americans oppose decriminalizing MDMA (ecstasy);

Those who have tried one of these three drugs are more inclined toward backing their decriminalization. 

  • 68% of people who have tried psilocybin say it should be legal;
  • 48% of people who’ve tried MDMA say it should be legal;
  • 43% of people who have tried LSD say it should be legal;

House Reps. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) and Dan Crenshaw (R-Texas) recently filed separate bills toward further advancing research on psychedelic-assisted post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) treatments for veterans. Based on the poll, some 54% of Americans support that type of research, while 18% are against it.

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