This survey study (n=354) sought to characterize the knowledge, perceptions and past use of psychedelics among people with fibromyalgia (FM). It was found that 29.9% of respondents reported past use of a psychedelic, and perceptions of benefit from use were generally neutral (59.4%) or positive (36.8%). Less than 3% reported that using psychedelics negatively impacted their overall health or pain symptoms. 11 out of 12 patients using psychedelics specifically to treat pain reported improvements in their symptoms.
Abstract of Knowledge, Perceptions, and Use of Psychedelics among Individuals with Fibromyalgia
“Fibromyalgia (FM) is a difficult to treat chronic pain condition for which there is strong interest in alternative treatments. There is growing interest in the potential of psychedelic substances (e.g., psilocybin) in conjunction with psychotherapy to treat chronic pain. Via a cross-sectional, anonymous, online survey, we aimed to characterize knowledge, perceptions, and past use of serotonergic (“classic”) and non-serotonergic psychedelics among a population of individuals with FM, and to investigate interest in psychedelic-based FM treatments. Among a North American population of 354 participants with FM, 29.9% reported past use of a psychedelic, with lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) and psilocybin mushrooms being most commonly used. Perceptions of benefit from psychedelic use were generally neutral (59.4%) or positive (36.8%), with <3% reporting negative impacts on overall health or pain symptoms. Among 12 participants who used psychedelics with intentions of treating chronic pain, 11 reported improved symptoms. Regardless of past use, the majority of participants believed that psychedelics have the potential for chronic pain treatments and would be willing to participate in a psychedelic-based clinical trial for their pain. These findings support the need for additional studies to understand the potential and effectiveness of psychedelic substances in managing FM symptoms.”
Authors: Nicolas G. Glynos, Jennifer Pierce, Alan K. Davis, Jenna McAfee & Kevin F. Boehnke
Summary of Knowledge, Perceptions, and Use of Psychedelics among Individuals with Fibromyalgia
Fibromyalgia (FM) is a chronic pain condition affecting 2 – 4% of the population. Psychedelic therapy is an alternative approach combining a psychedelic drug (e.g., psilocybin, ketamine, MDMA) with psychotherapy to help manage symptoms.
There are several studies on using psychedelics for treating pain, including psilocybin for cluster headaches and lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD) for phantom limb pain.
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Glynos, N. G., Pierce, J., Davis, A. K., McAfee, J., & Boehnke, K. F. (2022). Knowledge, perceptions, and use of psychedelics among individuals with fibromyalgia. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs, 1-12.