Extended difficulties following the use of psychedelic drugs

by | Oct 30, 2023

A recently published study by Evans et al. (2023) has investigated long-term psychological distress following the use of psychedelic drugs.

Long-term adverse experiences following psychedelic use can persist for weeks, months, or even years, and are relatively unexplored in psychedelic research. This mixed-method study which included data from 608 participants reports that most common forms of extended difficulty were feelings of anxiety and fear, existential struggle, social disconnection, depersonalization and derealization. For approximately one-third of the participants, problems persisted for over a year, and for a sixth, they endured for more than three years. It was found that a shorter duration of difficulties was predicted by knowledge of dose, drug type and lower levels of difficulty reported during the psychoactive experience, while a narrower range of difficulties was predicted by taking the drug in a guided setting. Implications for psychedelic harm reduction are discussed.

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