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Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Authors:
Riley D. Kirk
,
Olivia M. Uhley
,
Paloma Lehfeldt
,
C. Miyabe Shields
,
Marné Garretson
,
Alanna Collins
,
Helané Wahbeh
, and
Stephen Dahmer

Abstract

Background

Entheogen use is becoming increasingly popular and a potential option for treatment or adjuvant treatment for various medical conditions. Clinical studies are needed to determine the efficacy, safety, and possible role of these traditional medicines in the context of modern society and the Western medicine paradigm. The willingness of patients to participate in such studies is currently unknown.

Materials and Methods

In September 2021 we implemented an anonymous, observational pilot survey to determine the general public's willingness to participate in future entheogen research. All participants were English-speaking adults and had participated in therapy or a retreat utilizing entheogens in a naturalistic setting in the last five (5) years. Participants were recruited through community outreach via email.

Results

The response rate for this data set was estimated to be 48.3% (n = 84/174). Nearly all (95.5%) participants believed this research should be done and 86.9% said they would participate in entheogen research that lasted longer than one year. A greater proportion of participants were willing to participate in remote interviews (73.5%) rather than in-person surveys (64.7%). A majority of participants (78%) also noted the importance of financial compensation for their time influencing the willingness to participate in future entheogen studies.

Conclusions

The willingness to participate in research involving traditional entheogens is not the limiting factor in facilitating further studies. Participants held overwhelmingly positive perceptions indicating that they believed this research should be done. Future longitudinal clinical studies with financial compensation and controlled set and settings will be necessary to expand the evidence base for naturalistic entheogen use.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Silvana Melissa Romero Saletti
,
Stephan Van den Broucke
,
Joël Billieux
,
Laurent Karila
,
Daria J. Kuss
,
José Manuel Rivera Espejo
,
Pavica Sheldon
,
Cathryne P. Lang
,
Melanie J. Zimmer-Gembeck
,
Palmyra Zollo
,
Clara Courboin
,
Dominica Diez
,
T. Phillip Madison
,
Jano Ramos-Diaz
,
César Augusto Eguia Elias
, and
Fiorella Otiniano

Abstract

Background and aims

Social network use is widespread, and the study of Instagram seems to have captured more attention in recent years. However, scale development and validation in the field has fallen short of providing sound scales of Instagram motives and usage patterns that consider the uniqueness of Instagram-related behavior. This paper describes the development, psychometric and cross-cultural validation of two new measurement instruments: the “Instagram Motives Questionnaire” (IMQ) and the “Instagram Uses and Patterns Questionnaire” (IUPQ).

Methods and results

A preliminary set of items was developed for each questionnaire based on a previous qualitative interview study on Instagram motives, uses, and consequences. In the first study, the questionnaires were distributed to a sample of 312 participants aged 18–35 years (M = 23.81; SD = 4.49), and an exploratory factor analysis was performed. A parsimonious and interpretable 6-factor solution that displayed adequate factor loadings and adequate Omega coefficients for both instruments were found. In a second study, the two instruments and other measures of known social network usage correlates and mental health consequences were administered online to 1,418 English-speaking participants aged 18–34 years (M = 21.35; SD = 3.89). Both scales showed good psychometric properties and the factor structure identified in study 1 was reproduced through confirmatory factor analysis. Omega reliability coefficients were adequate. Finally, when performing multi-group CFA along with a French (n = 1,826) and a Spanish (n = 3,040) sample, language and gender invariance were supported. Correlations with other relevant measures indicate good convergent validity of both scales.

Conclusions

The present research provides psychometrically sound instruments for further investigations on Instagram use behaviors.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Matthew Browne
,
Paul Delfabbro
,
Hannah B. Thorne
,
Catherine Tulloch
,
Matthew J. Rockloff
,
Nerilee Hing
,
Nicki A Dowling
, and
Matthew Stevens

Abstract

Background and aims

It is well understood that engagement with some forms of gambling, like EGMs, is riskier than other forms. However, while reports of associations are common, few studies have attempted to evaluate and compare the relative risk of all available forms, and none have estimated the relative contribution of each form to the total burden of gambling problems (GP) in a population.

Methods

Using an aggregated dataset of national and state-based prevalence studies in Australia (N = 71,103), we estimated prevalence and unique effects of frequency of engagement on each form on GP. Two alternative numerical methods were then applied to infer the relative contribution of each form to the total amount of GP.

Results

EGMs are responsible for 51%–57% of gambling problems in Australia, and 90% of gambling problems are attributable to EGMs, casino, race, and sports betting. Casino table games and EGMs are equally risky at the individual level, but the former contribute far less to problems due to low participation. Bingo and lottery play show no statistically detectable risk for GP.

Discussion and conclusion

The results illustrate which forms present the greatest population burden and illuminate the reasons why. EGMs have an outsized impact. EGM uniquely combines high risk conditional on play, with a high participation rate and a high frequency of play among participants. This is in contrast to risky but less commonly played casino games, and prevalent but non-risky forms like lotteries. We conclude that EGM regulation should be a primary focus of policy action in Australia. More innovative policy ideas relating to EGMs should be tested due to the disproportionate impact of this product type.

Open access
Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Authors:
Benjamin R. Lewis
,
Kevin Byrne
,
John Hendrick
,
Eric L. Garland
,
Paul Thielking
, and
Anna Beck

Abstract

Background

Psilocybin-assisted psychotherapy has demonstrated significant promise as a treatment for depression, anxiety, and existential distress associated with serious medical illness and has generally been employed on an individual basis, which presents challenges for scaling and resource availability. There are also compelling theoretical reasons to suggest that group-based formats-if utilized in a thoughtful fashion-might offer unique or enhanced therapeutic benefits for certain conditions or populations. The HOPE trial is an IRB-approved open-label feasibility and safety pilot study of psilocybin enhanced group therapy in patients with a DSM-5 depressive disorder associated with a cancer diagnosis completed at the Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) in Salt Lake City, Utah (HOPE: A Pilot Study of Psilocybin Enhanced Group Psychotherapy in Patients with Cancer). We report here qualitative survey-based data, impressions, and suggestions for group-based psychedelic-assisted therapy interventions based on our observations to inform future studies.

Methods

Patients with a DSM-5 depressive disorder with an underlying cancer diagnosis were recruited from HCI by referral from oncology providers, palliative care, and social work. Following screening and consenting, 4-6 participants per cohort (with three total cohorts) were enrolled in a protocol involving 3 120 min group preparatory sessions, a single high-dose (25 mg) group psilocybin session, and 3 subsequent group integration sessions. Primary clinical outcomes are still in process of data collection and analysis. Qualitative data was gathered from patient written reports and a survey administered at 2 weeks post intervention. Qualitative reports were also gathered from the therapist team at a post-study group process session.

Findings

We report here results from a qualitative survey of participant experiences with group format study design, as well as impressions and guidelines for group format and group psychotherapeutic process to inform other studies pursuing group-based interventions in psychedelic therapy. Suggestions are provided for protocol design, screening processes, space considerations, therapist team structure, group process, music, timeline, as well as potential issues and challenges.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Previous research has proposed that microdosing, i.e., the repeated use of sub-threshold doses of serotonergic hallucinogens, has an impact on mood by increasing emotional awareness. We propose that increased emotional awareness could translate into higher emodiversity, a balanced experience of emotions in which emotions are experienced with more similarity in intensity and duration. We examine the effect of microdosing, the day after, as well as the cumulative effect of microdosing on overall, positive and negative emodiversity.

Methods

We use data collected over a period of 28 days sampled between February to June 2020 from 18 users that already had an active practice of microdosing at the start of the data collection. We assessed emotional states using ESM methods, i.e., signal-contingent sampling with triggers sent 5 times a day. The working dataset has a number of 224 observations days. We used mixed effects models to test our hypotheses.

Results

When taking into account the level of average affect, we found that during microdosing days positive and overall emodiversity were significantly lower. No evidence was found for a mediating role of the level of average affect. Higher cumulative instances of microdosing were not related to any of the emodiversity indexes. Participants experienced more “awe, wonder, or amazement”, “ashamed, humiliated, or disgraced” as well as less “joyful, glad, or happy” emotions during microdosing days.

Conclusion

A microdosing practice may increase the centrality of certain emotions on microdosing days, resulting in a decrease in emotional diversity.

Open access

Abstract

This article reports on integration challenges that were experienced by nine individuals who attended a three-day legal psilocybin truffle retreat in the Netherlands. The study employed a qualitative phenomenological approach, using semi-structured interviews to gain an understanding of participants' (n = 30) psilocybin experiences and their after-effects. While the study did not actively seek to measure integration issues or unexpected side effects, nine out of thirty participants (30%) spontaneously reported a post-experience integration challenge. These challenges included: mood fluctuations, ‘post-ecstatic blues’, disconnection from community, re-experiencing symptoms, spiritual bypass and perceived lack of support. Integration challenges were transient; they occurred immediately after the psilocybin experience (once the main psychedelic effects had worn off) and in the days and weeks following the retreat, and resolved with time. Integration challenges were also correlated with positive after-effects including long-term remission of significant health conditions. The experiences related in this article align with existing literature that describes the ‘spiritual emergency’ phenomenon; that is, the potential challenges that can arise after ecstatic experiences and how these challenges may be integral to the transformative potential of such experiences. We discuss the implications for psychedelic integration and harm reduction practices and for future psychedelic research.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Although large-scale population studies have linked the use of classic psychedelics (lysergic acid diethylamide, psilocybin, or mescaline) to reduced odds of physical health problems, mental health problems, and criminal behavior, the roughly 35 million adults in the United States who have used classic psychedelics are nonetheless stigmatized in the American job market. Various federal organizations in the United States automatically reject applicants on the sole basis of prior psychedelic use, thereby practicing an open form of legal discrimination against these applicants. The present study investigates whether this discrimination can be justified based on associations between lifetime classic psychedelic use and motivationally-based workplace absenteeism.

Methods

Using pooled cross-sectional data from the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (2013–2019) on 193,320 employed adults in the United States, this study tests whether lifetime classic psychedelic use predicts the number of workdays employees skipped in the last month (i.e., motivationally-based workplace absenteeism).

Results

After adjusting for sociodemographics, physical health indicators, and other substance use, no significant association between lifetime classic psychedelic use and motivationally-based workplace absenteeism is found.

Conclusion

This study builds on classic psychedelic research that is just beginning to take work-specific outcomes into account and offers empirical justification for the elimination of arbitrary drug-based recruitment policies in the workplace.

Open access
Journal of Psychedelic Studies
Authors:
Madeline Brendle
,
Anya Ragnhildstveit
,
Matthew Slayton
,
Leo Smart
,
Sarah Cunningham
,
Mackenzie H. Zimmerman
,
Paul Seli
,
Michael Santo Gaffrey
,
Lynnette Astrid Averill
, and
Reid Robison

Abstract

Background and Aims

Ketamine and esketamine have garnered interest in both psychiatric research and clinical practice for treatment-resistant depression (TRD). In this review, we examined registered trials investigating the therapeutic use of ketamine or esketamine for TRD, with the aim of characterizing emerging trends and knowledge gaps.

Methods

The ClinicalTrials.gov electronic registry and results database was queried from inception to February 5, 2022, adhering to elements of the PRISMA guideline, we evaluated trial eligibility in the qualitative synthesis. Data regarding study design, drug regimens, and measures were subsequently abstracted and descriptively analyzed.

Results

The search returned 86 records, of which 56 trials were included in the final review. The number of trials investigating ketamine and esketamine for TRD increased since 2008, with higher peaks observed in 2015 (n = 9) and 2021 (n = 9). Most trials were Phase 2 (13, 23.2%) or Phase 3 (11, 19.6%), gathering preliminary data on efficacy and/or further data on safety and efficacy with variant dosing and pharmacological approaches. By and large, trials examined ketamine and esketamine as individual versus combination treatments (45% and 25%, respectively). The Montgomery-Asberg Depression Rating Scale (MADRS) was most commonly used to assess clinical outcomes (75%).

Conclusions

There are increasingly large-scale and late-phase trials of esketamine over ketamine for TRD, coupled with efforts to centralize evidence on these medications. Yet several trials do not assess patient characteristics that may affect treatment response, such as age, sex, and race. By understanding these design limitations, scientists and clinicians can avoid research waste and funding bodies can judiciously direct support towards high priority research.

Open access

Abstract

Background and aims

Youth gambling research mainly focuses on the illegal use of age-restricted machines, but coin pusher and crane grab machines are gambling machines that can be used by people of any age in the UK, and are also in use internationally. Previous cross-sectional evidence has associated recollected childhood usage of these machines with adult gambling participation and levels of problem gambling amongst adult gamblers. We attempted to conceptually replicate the findings of one of these studies (Newall et al., 2021), while addressing some limitations of that study.

Methods

A cross-sectional survey of 2,000 UK-based and -born participants aged 19–24 years. The measures were participants' recollected usage of coin pusher and crane grab machines as a child, whether they had gambled in the past 12-months or not, and the PGSI for past 12-month gamblers.

Results

Overall, 5 of 7 tested associations were significant and in the hypothesized direction. Logistic regression models showed that adult gamblers were more likely to recollect using, and used at higher levels of frequency, coin pusher and crane grab machines, than non-gamblers. Then, negative binomial regression analysis showed that adults who recollected using crane grab machines at higher levels of frequency showed more gambling-related problems.

Discussion and Conclusions

These results suggest that childhood usage of coin pusher and crane grab machines may act as an underappreciated risk factor for the development of gambling-related harm across the lifespan. This information may be considered for further youth gambling research and policy.

Open access
Journal of Behavioral Addictions
Authors:
Simon Marmet
,
Matthias Wicki
,
Marc Dupuis
,
Stéphanie Baggio
,
Magali Dufour
,
Catherine Gatineau
,
Gerhard Gmel
, and
Joseph Studer

Abstract

Background

Video gaming is a popular activity among young people. Time spent with gaming was found to be only moderately associated with gaming disorder. However, patterns of binge gaming (playing more than 5 h consecutively) were rarely considered in research on gaming. This study explores how binge gaming frequency is related with gaming disorder and mental health.

Methods

The sample came from the Cohort study on substance use risk factors (C-SURF) and comprised 5,358 young men aged 28.26 years (SD = 1.27). ANCOVA was conducted to estimate the association between binge gaming frequency (gaming at least 5 h consecutively) and gaming disorder (measured with the Game Addiction Scale) as well as indicators of mental health.

Results

A total of 33.3% of the sample engaged in binge gaming at least once in the previous year, and 6.1% at least weekly. Frequency of binge gaming was associated with gaming disorder score in a linear dose-response relationship (linear trend = 2.30 [2.14, 2.46]) even if adjusted for time spent gaming (linear trend = 1.24 [1.03, 1.45). More frequent binge gaming was associated with lower life satisfaction and sleep quality, and with more major depression and social anxiety disorder symptoms.

Conclusions

Binge gaming patterns, especially daily or almost daily binge gaming, are important to consider with regard to gaming disorder and mental health. Asking about binge gaming may be a promising screening question for gaming related problems. Encouraging regular breaks from gaming may be a valuable prevention strategy to reduce negative outcomes of gaming.

Open access