Magic mushrooms may discourage people from committing crimes

ANI | Updated: Oct 24, 2017 13:16 IST

Washington D.C. [USA], Oct 24 (ANI): People using magic mushrooms, lysergic acid diethylamide or LSD, which is a powerful hallucinogenic drug and mescaline (a substance derived from the peyote cactus) are less likely to engage in criminal offences and anti-social behaviour.

According to researchers, psychedelic drugs are associated with a decreased likelihood of anti-social behaviour.

Lead author Peter Hendricks from the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, USA analysed 480,000 American adult respondents from the past 13 years to explore the connection between the use of classic psychedelic substances and criminal behaviour.

The findings indicated that the respondents, who have used psychedelic drugs, had 27 percent decreased odds of larceny or theft and 22 percent decreased odds of arrest for a violent crime in the past year.

At the same time, lifetime use of other illicit substances was generally associated with increased odds of criminal behaviour.

Hendricks stated that psilocybin and related compounds could revolutionise the mental health field.

"The development of innovative and effective interventions to prevent criminal behaviour is an obvious priority," Hendricks added.

The findings suggested that the protective effects of classic psychedelic use are attributable to genuine reductions in antisocial behaviour rather than reflecting improved evasion of arrest.

"These findings add to a growing body of research suggesting that use of classic psychedelics may have positive effects for reducing antisocial behaviour," said co-author of the study Zach Walsh from University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus in Canada.

"They certainly highlight the need for further research into the potentially beneficial effects of these stigmatized substances for both individual and public health," Walsh added. (ANI)