Updated: Jan 9
The world's largest annual drug survey, The Global Drug Survey (GDS) recently published the results of their 2021 survey which found that half the individuals who microdosed for mental health had reduced or stopped using prescription drugs.
The GDS 2021 report included findings on how individuals utilized safety practices during COVID-19 and emergency medical treatments. Considering the increased interest in psychedelic microdosing for mental health, they included this category in their assessments.
GDS surveyed 32,022 individuals from 22 countries. The participants were predominantly male-identified (62.4%). Participants from Germany (36%), New Zealand (11%), and the United States (6%) formed the significant nationalities represented. The age breakdown included 31.8% aged 25 to 34 years, 19.2% aged 35 to 44 years, 19.3% aged 45 years+). Half worked full-time, and the majority had at least a college certificate or diploma. Notable mental health conditions included depression (28.2%), with anxiety, panic attacks, or phobias accounting for 21.6%.
Here were their key findings:
A majority of psilocybin and LSD microdosers had also taken larger doses over the past 12 months.
About 30% of the individuals had also experimented with microdosing other substances like ketamine, DMT, MDMA, and 1P-LSD.
25% reported undesirable or adverse effects predominantly involving taking too high of a dose. About a third of these individuals stopped microdosing due to the adverse effects.
75% of microdosers reported engaging with the practice for improving mental health
Half of those who microdosed for mental health said they reduced or stopped taking their prescribed medications.
These findings suggest a significant success rate with the reduction and/or elimination of psychiatric prescription drugs by microdosers. Meanwhile, other studies are being published suggesting that microdosing is no better than a placebo effect, leaving microdosers, mental health professionals, and clinical researchers with more questions than answers.
Psychedelics function is a variety of complex and not yet fully understood ways. While science attempts to better understand and explain these statistically significant outcomes, some important factors to consider include:
How does microdosing affect those with periodic larger dose experiences in comparison to those with no such experience?
How do body chemistry, lifestyle, spirituality, and history impact the variable outcomes?
How do race, gender, and age impact the outcomes? Unfortunately, most clinical research is conducted with white male participants leading to biased and unreliable reporting.
How does a clinical setting impact the outcomes as opposed to a guided ceremony or a personal experience in nature or meditation?
Considering the mental health pandemic, the long-term inefficacy of most psychiatric medications, the extremely limited access and high costs associated with psychedelic-assisted therapies, and the consistent positive reports of microdosing on mental health, investing significant resources to better understand and possibly replicate these positive outcomes can have a vastly positive impact on the global mental health.
If you are currently taking prescription medications, please DO NOT change your dose or stop taking them without consulting your prescribing doctor! You can be endangering your life by doing so. If you would like to explore complementary holistic options, schedule a free consultation with a certified Mental Health Integrative Medicine provider to explore the possibilities.