Norwegians on drugs
A new survey shines a light on the pros and cons of psychedelics
Welcome to this week’s Tuesday brunch. It’s been an interesting few days, with a lot of comments on last Friday’s article on the AWE school, mainly from students on the course furious with me for publishing the article. I don’t mind them criticizing me but do have an issue with them attacking the former students who spoke to me, including denying their claims of abusive behaviour by course leaders - when these claims have been validated by third parties. I will be writing more on that story on Friday.
In the meantime, here’s a round-up of the stories that caught my eye on psychedelic and ecstatic integration and harm reduction. First off, a new survey of 770 users of psychedelic drugs in Norway. Some interesing findings:
First the good stuff - 95% of the participants reported increased understanding of the significance of past life events during the psychedelic experience. 94% reported that they uncovered associations between current and past interpersonal relationships during the psychedelic experience. 92% of the participants reported that they discovered new or forgotten ways of dealing with difficulties and challenges during the psychedelic experience.
Then the less good stuff - 23% of respondents experienced persisitent adverse reactions after the psychedelic experience. 10% of the total sample said the adverse reactions only lasted a few days, but 4% said they lasted a few weeks, 3% said a few months, and 4% said they lasted more than a year.
In addition, 25% reported ‘flashbacks’ in the days afterwards (it’s not really defined whether that means visuals or something more emotional), and 50% reported craving for more psychedelic experiences after the trip - an interesting data point on the possibility of psychedelic dependency.
After the paywall, a new study on the importance of post-trial support, an important Daily Beast article on psychedelic harm, an interview with Willoughby Britton, and a great new article on psychedelics as ‘meaning-machines’ which can be abused.