Use of Benefit Enhancement Strategies among 5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) Users: Associations with Mystical, Challenging, and Enduring Effects

This observational survey study (n = 515) examines the prevalence of benefit enhancement (BE) strategies using secondary data from a survey of 5-MeO-DMT users and its associations with “mystical”, challenging, and enduring effects. It concluded that the BE strategies were common in use and BE strategies were linked to increases in positive mystical-type and enduring effects.

Abstract

Introduction: 5-Methoxy-N,N-Dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) is a potent, fast-acting psychedelic. Anecdotal reports from 5-MeO-DMT users suggest that they employ a variety of benefit enhancement (BE) strategies aimed to increase positive effects and decrease any potential challenging effects of the substance, but no empirical study has investigated this claim.

Methods: We examined the prevalence of BE strategy use using secondary data from a survey of 5-MeO-DMT users (n = 515; Mage = 35.4, SD = 11.7; Male = 79%; White/Caucasian = 86%). As a secondary aim, we assessed whether the use of BE strategies was associated with acute subjective (i.e., mystical-type, challenging) and persisting effects of 5-MeO-DMT among a subset of respondents who reported using 5-MeO-DMT once in their lifetime (n = 116).

Results: Results indicated that BE strategy use was common in this sample. Results showed that the use of several BE strategies were associated with significantly more intense mystical-type effects and enduring beliefs about the personal meaning and spiritual significance of their experience, and some BE strategies were associated with less intense or challenging experiences.

Discussion: Data suggests that BE strategies are commonly used, and that the use of BE strategies may be associated with increases in positive mystical-type and enduring effects. The causal influence of BE strategies on acute/persisting effects of 5-MeO-DMT should be examined in longitudinal research.”

Authors: Rafael L. Lancelotta & Alan K. Davis

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