Study Shows Psychedelics Can Help Treat Those Suffering From Racial Trauma

Study Shows Psychedelics Can Help Treat Those Suffering From Racial Trauma

Researchers from Ohio State University, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, University of Ottawa, and the University of Connecticut have published a new study in the journal Chronic Stress which studies the use of psychedelics like psilocybin and MDMA, and whether they can mitigate psychological distress resulting from systemic racism. The authors of the study also point out that people of color have been historically underrepresented in studies related to mental health treatment with psychedelics (a data point that itself is an example of intrinsic racism).

“POC face substantial health disparities, including unique and often under-treated mental health challenges. Among these, trauma and racial trauma are particularly debilitating and difficult to treat,” the authors wrote. “(Psychedelics) represent a promising path ahead for developing novel, tailored interventions for POC that incorporate the current wave of research and clinical interest in psychedelic-assisted therapies. “

More than three hundred people of color participated in a series of surveys seeking to measure psychological insights, ethnic discrimination, and psychedelic/mystical experiences.

“Although psychedelic-assisted interventions may not directly impact systemic factors such as poverty, unemployment, and criminal justice inequity that greatly contribute to current mental health disparities, they do comprise a critical potential avenue for improving mental health outcomes in POC, which is urgently needed,” the authors wrote.

“This research suggests psychedelics confer potential benefits in decreasing [racial trauma] symptoms among BIPOC and psychological flexibility may be an important mediator of these effects,” they wrote. “This work also highlights a much-needed expansion of research efforts to include racial/ethnic and other minoritized populations in assessing psychedelics’ therapeutic potentials for underserved communities.”

While the study obviously doesn’t suggest that taking psychedelics does anything to repair the systemic issues causing racial trauma it does suggest that these substances could be a useful tool for healing or mitigating resulting symptoms like anxiety and depression.

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