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9 Out Of 10 Americans Support Psilocybin For Therapeutic Use

Emily Mullins

by Emily Mullins

March 12, 2024 12:07 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 3 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho
9 Out Of 10 Americans Support Psilocybin For Therapeutic Use

Psychedelic reform is continuing to sweep the nation, with more states passing or considering bills allowing it for use in therapeutic settings. The number of studies and research surrounding psychedelics is also growing at a rapid pace, demonstrating the benefits of substances like psilocybin (magic mushrooms), DMT, and ayahuasca as treatments for depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and more.

Support for the legalization and decriminalization of these substances is also increasing quickly, as demonstrated by a recent psilocybin study published last month in the American Journal of Bioethics (AJOB) Neuroscience. Researchers from colleges including Oxford, Yale, John Hopkins, and Grenada polled nearly 800 people on the topic, asking them for their views on supervised psilocybin use for therapy and well-being enhancement.

“Our results revealed strong bipartisan support for supervised psilocybin use for either treatment (89%) or enhancement (85%) in a demographically representative sample of US Americans,” the authors wrote. “Overall, support for treatment was very high in both political groups: 91% of liberals and 86% of conservatives reported favorable attitudes toward treatment uses of psilocybin.”

States like Oregon and Colorado have already passed laws allowing for psilocybin to be used in therapeutic settings, and both states have legalized the possession of shrooms. Other states, such as Arizona, New York, Washington, Rhode Island, and Michigan, have decriminalized or are considering passing similar laws.

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To ensure respondents were well-versed on the issue, researchers provided them with information on the psychedelic properties of psilocybin and Oregon’s current laws regarding the substance. They were then asked to “imagine a future in which such a law has been passed at the federal level.”

Researchers wrote on, saying, “Participants were provided with scientifically accurate information on psilocybin, which stated that psilocybin has been shown to be medically safe and non-addictive if administered in an appropriately controlled setting, both for those with certain mental health disorders and for healthy individuals.”

They found that mushrooms for therapy have bipartisan support, with both liberal and conservative groups largely approving of its use. Younger people were generally more supportive, but all age groups displayed positive reactions regarding the topic.

“Our findings do suggest that the safe and supervised use of psychedelics under conditions of legalization has the potential to find wide public acceptance,” researchers finish. “If the field can overcome scientific inaccuracies, pursue rigorous research, and build trust—then psychedelics such as psilocybin may one day be seen as a mainstream means to treat mental illness and possibly also to promote overall well-being.”

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