LSD Use Linked to Higher Psychological Distress After Job Loss, Study Finds

Recent research challenges the notion that psychedelic use leads to increased psychological resilience. A new study published in PLOS ONE reveals that people who have used LSD in their lifetime are more likely to experience severe psychological distress after losing their job.

Unexpected Findings Contradict Previous Assumptions

The study, conducted by Benjamin Korman, formerly of the University of Konstanz, Germany, analyzed data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health spanning 2008 to 2019. The research focused on 15,854 adults who had recently become unemployed and were seeking work.

Among the respondents, 520 reported using LSD before losing their job. These individuals were approximately 1.6 to 1.7 times more likely to report severe psychological distress in the month following job loss compared to those who had never used LSD. The association held true even after accounting for various sociodemographic factors.

Limitations and Implications for Future Research

Dr. Korman notes that while the study failed to find evidence supporting LSD’s role in building psychological resilience, certain limitations should be considered. The research couldn’t control for the timing between LSD use and job loss, and the results may not apply to other psychedelics, different types of life stressors, or clinical LSD use.

“This study brings into question previous findings linking classic psychedelic use to psychological strengths and resilience by demonstrating that prior use of lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) is associated with greater psychological distress following later job loss,” Dr. Korman stated.

These findings challenge earlier studies suggesting that psychedelic users score higher on scales of favorable psychological traits. The research highlights the need for more nuanced investigations into the long-term psychological effects of psychedelic use, particularly in the context of real-world stressors.

As the debate around psychedelics and mental health continues, this study provides valuable insights that may help shape future research directions and public health policies regarding psychedelic substances.

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