LSD Is Making a Comeback Among Young Americans

New research estimates that the use of mind-altering LSD rose from less than 1% in 2002 to 4% in 2019 among people aged 18 to 25. And, overall, 5.5 million Americans used some kind of hallucinogen in 2019.

“According to our results, hallucinogen use pengolahan minyak atsiri is a growing public health concern, warranting prevention strategies given the growing risk of unsupervised use,” said lead researcher Dr. Ofir Livne. He’s a postdoctoral fellow in the department of epidemiology at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health in New York City.

The increase in hallucinogen use is likely caused by a decrease in the perception of the drug as risky, Livne noted.

“Studies now indicate that certain hallucinogens, such as LSD and psilocybin, can improve cognitive [mental] function, productivity and mental health,” Livne explained. “Nowadays, we see ‘micro-doser’ communities, essentially individuals who are exploring the reported positive effects of micro-doses of LSD without experiencing any negative effects.”

Still, “in light of our findings, we believe there is a need for a comprehensive examination of the motives behind the use of LSD and other hallucinogens, especially since previous studies have reported increased risks of negative outcomes, such as cognitive impairments and mood disorders,” Livne added. “Before hallucinogen use becomes ‘normalized,’ there needs to be a larger body of literature that can help discern safe use from hazardous use.”

The research was published online Aug. 22 in the journal Addiction .

These findings mirror those of a new federal government study published this week that found that the use of hallucinogens like LSD, MDMA, mescaline, peyote, “shrooms,” psilocybin and PCP started to increase in 2021 after staying relatively stable until 2020.

In 2021, 8% of young adults used a hallucinogen in the past year, an all-time high, that study found. In comparison, only 5% of young adults reported using a hallucinogen in the past year in 2016, while only 3% used one in 2011. The only hallucinogen that saw a decrease in use was MDMA (ecstasy or Molly), where use dropped from 5% in 2016 and 2020 to 3% in 2021.

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