Associations between classic psychedelics and opioid use disorder in a nationally-representative U.S. adult sample

This survey study used data from the U.S. National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2015–2019) (N = 214,505) to assess the association between psychedelic use and opioid use disorder (OUD). Lifetime psilocybin use was associated with lowered odds while no other substances, including other classic psychedelics, were associated with lowered odds of OUD.

Abstract

“Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a major source of morbidity and mortality in the U.S. and there is a pressing need to identify additional treatments for the disorder. Classic psychedelics (psilocybin, peyote, mescaline, LSD) have been linked to the alleviation of various substance use disorders and may hold promise as potential treatments for OUD. The aim of this study was to assess whether the aforementioned classic psychedelic substances conferred lowered odds of OUD. Furthermore, this study aimed to replicate and extend findings from Pisano et al. (2017) who found classic psychedelic use to be linked to lowered odds of OUD in a nationally representative sample. We used recent data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2015–2019) (N = 214,505) and multivariable logistic regression to test whether lifetime use (yes/no) of classic psychedelics was associated with lowered odds of OUD. Lifetime psilocybin use was associated with lowered odds of OUD (aOR: 0.70; 95% CI [0.60, 0.83]). No other substances, including other classic psychedelics, were associated with lowered odds of OUD. Additionally, sensitivity analyses revealed psilocybin use to be associated with lowered odds of seven of the 11 DSM-IV criteria for OUD (aOR range: 0.66–0.83). Future clinical trials and longitudinal studies are needed to determine whether these associations are causal.”

Authors: Grant Jones, Jocelyn A. Ricard, Joshua Lipson & Matthew K. Nock

Study details

Compounds studied
Psilocybin Ayahuasca DMT

Topics studied
Addiction Opioid Use Disorder

Study characteristics
Survey

Participants
2145050 Humans