Americans Embrace Psychedelics Therapy Amid Lingering Concerns, Reveals UC Berkeley Poll

Psychedelics Therapy Reform: Americans Embrace Change Amid Lingering Concerns, UC <a href="" class="st_tag internal_tag " rel="tag" title="Posts tagged with Berkeley">Berkeley</a> Poll Reveals

Psychedelics Therapy Reform: Americans Embrace Change Amid Lingering Concerns, UC Berkeley Poll Reveals

Psychedelics therapy reform is gaining momentum as public awareness about substances like psilocybin and increases, and more jurisdictions enact progressive legislation. A new poll conducted by UC Berkeley’s for the of Psychedelics (BCSP) sheds light on American voters’ evolving attitudes towards these mind-altering substances and their potential for therapeutic use. The survey, encompassing 1,500 participants from 9 to 15, is one of the most comprehensive examinations of public sentiments toward psychedelics, reflecting the ongoing debates surrounding their regulation at both local and federal levels.

The survey’s top-line findings, released last month, indicated that 61 percent of U.S. registered voters are in favor of “creating a regulated legal framework for the therapeutic use of psychedelics.” Delving deeper into the results, the broader findings offer insights into how people are experiencing psychedelics and their opinions on specific substances and trends.

Among the respondents, 47 percent of Americans have recently heard about psychedelics, with nearly half of them associating the with mental health treatment options. This perception aligns with increased media attention to psychedelics research and a of legislative efforts in recent years.

The survey also explored the familiarity with various psychedelics, revealing that 96 percent of respondents have heard about LSD, followed by MDMA (91 percent), psilocybin (83 percent), peyote/mescaline (67 percent), ketamine (66 percent), DMT (37 percent), ayahuasca (35 percent), and ibogaine (12 percent). For comparison, 99 percent of respondents were familiar with marijuana.

Interestingly, more than half of the participants (52 percent) stated that they or someone close to them had used psychedelics. Out of this group, 48 percent reported using these substances within the last five years.

Participants were asked to characterize their use of entheogens, with 73 percent stating purposes, followed by therapeutic (39 percent), spiritual (32 percent), microdosing (27 percent), artistic (25 percent), and something else (16 percent). These responses were not mutually exclusive, leading the cumulative percentages to exceed 100 percent. However, the survey indicated a significant shift in motives for using psychedelics, with therapeutic use and microdosing on the rise. Among those who had consumed psychedelics over a decade ago, only 21 percent did so for therapeutic reasons, increasing to 53 percent for those who used them within the past five years. Similarly, microdosing increased from 14 percent to 41 percent for these respective categories.

Despite the growing support for psychedelics therapy reform and research, a notable portion of respondents still holds negative views about the drugs. The survey found that 59 percent consider psychedelics as “dangerous,” while an equal percentage believes they can have “long-term negative impacts on health.” Even among the 61 percent who support legalizing and regulating psychedelics therapy, 47 percent opined that these substances are not “good for society,” and 63 percent felt they are not “something for people like me.”

Interestingly, the survey also revealed that individuals with a first-degree connection to psychedelics held more positive perceptions. Fifty-three percent of those with such connections believed that psychedelics could improve creativity, in contrast to only 19 percent among those without such experiences. Moreover, those who had personal encounters with entheogens or had close associations with users were far more likely (70 percent) to view psychedelics as an important topic of scientific research compared to those without such connections (43 percent).

When it comes to trust in providing information about psychedelics, nurses, scientific researchers, and doctors topped the list, followed by psychiatrists, indigenous practitioners, veterans with psychedelic experience, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Conversely, law , parent groups, politicians, and faith leaders were deemed the least trustworthy.

Notably, political affiliation influenced support for legalizing psychedelics for therapeutic purposes, with 80 percent of liberal voters in favor, compared to 66 percent of moderates and 45 percent of conservatives.

“The UC Berkeley Psychedelics Survey provides information vital to understanding where the public stands on psychedelics right now. This is critical for anyone working in the psychedelic field,” Michael Pollan, an author who founded the psychedelics center, said in a press release. “Nuanced debate in media, policy reforms and public education programs will be most effective when informed by -driven insights rather than assumption and conducted in thoughtful response to the hopes, fears, and perceptions held by different communities across the U.S.”

BCSP Executive Director Imran Khan said that “our mission is to support the burgeoning field of psychedelics with vital evidence and trustworthy data and the UC Berkeley Psychedelics Survey provides this much-needed information for policy, business, media, and research now and in the future.”

In conclusion, the UC Berkeley Psychedelics Survey reveals a shifting landscape regarding Americans’ perception of psychedelics therapy reform. With bipartisan support for change and increasing interest in their potential therapeutic use, it is evident that the conversation around these substances will continue to evolve in the coming years.

Malvin Felix
I'm Malvin, a cannabis news enthusiast who finds joy in staying updated about the latest industry trends. My passion led me to become a dedicated writer, entrepreneur, and investor in the cannabis space. Through my writing, I aim to educate and spark discussions, while my entrepreneurial ventures and strategic investments reflect my commitment to driving positive change in the industry.

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