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Marital Status Uniquely Affects Psychedelic Experiences, Study Shows

As it turns out, your marital status could affect the extent to which psychedelics can lower your stress levels. And it appears that single folk may experience the greatest benefit of psychedelics. 

An analysis of data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health revealed that individuals who had used psychedelics at least once in their lives, in general, had lower levels of psychological distress, according to research PLOS ONE. This association was most pronounced among people who were single and significantly weaker among those who were married, widowed, or divorced, PsyPost reports

There’s already loads of research that clearly establishes a positive correlation between psychedelics and mental health. The Department of Veteran Affairs is funding research into psilocybin and MDMA to treat PTSD and depression. The FDA recently recognized LSD’s potential to treat anxiety. And there’s a study suggesting that DMT may be an effective treatment for depression.

The research into the martial status and tripping looked at classical psychedelics like LSD, psilocybin, mescaline, and DMT, in addition to MDMA. 

The study’s author, Sean M. Viña, sought to explore the relationship between psychedelic use, marital status, household size, and psychological distress. He hypothesized that married individuals who have used psychedelics might experience reduced distress and that those in larger households would face increased distress. He also suspected that the beneficial effects of psychedelics on distress would be least pronounced among people with large households.  

Viña analyzed data from the National Survey of Drug Use and Health, which is an annual survey conducted across all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. This survey seeks to measure the pervasiveness of substance use and mental health issues in the United States. 

This analysis looked at data on people’s distress levels over the past month using the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale. The Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K10) is a straightforward tool for measuring psychological distress. It consists of 10 questions about emotional states, each with five possible responses. The K10 can be used as an easy screening method to figure out one’s levels of distress (you can try it here). 

It also considered whether participants had ever used classic psychedelics like DMT, ayahuasca, psilocybin, LSD, mescaline, peyote, or MDMA. It also included information regarding participants’ marital status, household size, and other demographic details.

While single people won in some ways, and we’ll get to that, the results indicated that married individuals experienced lower levels of distress compared to single and divorced people. Married folks’ distress levels were actually comparable to widowed individuals. 

Interestingly, the divorced individuals had the highest levels of drug use, unrelated to the psychedelics, which included cannabis but also tobacco, cocaine, tranquilizers, inhalants, pain relievers, and heroin. They also were more likely to have started drinking at an earlier age. While some of that substance use could be in reaction to divorce, it also may indicate that, unsurprisingly, an unhealthy relationship with drugs could lead to relationship problems. 

Those who reported using classic psychedelics, in general, had generally less psychological distress. This was held true even after considering marital status and household size. But the connection between psychedelic use and reduced distress was strongest in single individuals. It was also significantly weaker in those who were married, widowed, or divorced. So, while being partnered or mourning a partner could lead to less stress in general, such folks may have a reduced benefit from taking psychedelics. 

Notably, and giving child-free people a reason to celebrate, those with the most stress had larger households. If a person using classic psychedelics was married, the connection between living in a large household and experiencing psychological distress was even stronger. 

“The results confirm the predictions that LCPU [lifetime classic psychedelic use] exacerbates the negative consequences of household size for the heads of households who are married, widowed, and divorced. The results also suggest that larger households are associated with harm regardless of marital status, but the negative consequences decrease for single psychedelic users as the household size increases,” Viña explained. 

Viña went on to conclude that: “Widowed psychedelic users may experience some benefits from living with more people, but these benefits decrease as the household size becomes too large. In contrast, among married or divorced psychedelic users, the distress caused by household size worsens as the family sizes increase. Finally, for widowed psychedelic users, there is a negative association between household size and distress, but this association decreases at a decreasing rate.”

So, while, if you’re windowed, it might not be a bad idea to move in with a friend, don’t move in with an entire family. 

“These results can be explained by the increasing responsibilities that heads of households face as their families grow, which are then exacerbated by psychedelic use. On the other hand, single individuals may experience a diffusion of responsibility as their family sizes increase,” Viña said. 

It’s important to remember that while studies like this are fascinating, we don’t always know if they’re demonstrating correlation or causation. In other words, while psychedelics could lead to less stress for single people, compared to overworked and exhausted moms and dads, on the other hand, it could just be that single people are more likely to have less stress and have a free weekend to spend tripping. 

The post Marital Status Uniquely Affects Psychedelic Experiences, Study Shows first appeared on High Times.

Rerolled from a High Times Original Article