Psilocybin, the psychoactive compound in magic mushrooms, is increasingly discussed in terms of its psychotherapeutic potential; however, little is known about community attitudes towards psilocybin assisted therapy (PAT).
To address the question: What are the public's attitudes towards psilocybin and psilocybin-assisted therapy? And what factors explain these attitudes?
This study investigated the attitudes of 118 young adults in the Australian Capital Territory through an online survey.
Participants who were more open to experience and who had used recreational drugs were more likely to have positive attitudes towards all aspects of PAT. Additionally, psychedelic drug use and agreeableness was positively associated with attitudes towards psilocybin safety, legality, and research; and psilocybin use was positively associated with attitudes towards psilocybin knowledge and acceptability.
This convenience sample of young adults was generally positively disposed towards PAT. People who were more open to experience and who had used recreational or psychedelic drugs had more favourable attitudes towards PAT.
Electronic gaming machines (EGMs) are one of the most harmful forms of gambling at an individual level. It is unclear whether restriction of EGM functions and accessibility results in meaningful reductions in population-level gambling harm.
A natural policy experiment using a large (N = 15,000) national dataset weighted to standard population variables was employed to compare estimates of gambling problems between Australian residents in Western Australia (WA), where EGMs are restricted to one venue and have different structural features, to residents in other Australian jurisdictions where EGMs are widely accessible in casinos, hotels and clubs. Accessibility of other gambling forms is similar across jurisdictions.
Gambling participation was higher in WA, but EGM participation was approximately half that of the rest of Australia. Aggregate gambling problems and harm were about one-third lower in WA, and self-reported attribution of harm from EGMs by gamblers and affected others was 2.7× and 4× lower, respectively. Mediation analyses found that less frequent EGM use in WA accounted for the vast majority of the discrepancy in gambling problems (indirect path = −0.055, 95% CI −0.071; −0.038). Moderation analyses found that EGMs are the form most strongly associated with problems, and the strength of this relationship did not differ significantly across jurisdictions.
Lower harm from gambling in WA is attributable to restricted accessibility of EGMs, rather than different structural features. There appears to be little transfer of problems to other gambling forms. These results suggest that restricting the accessibility of EGMs substantially reduces gambling harm.
Both Peyote and San Pedro cacti contain mescaline, a classical psychedelic eliciting mystical and visual effects, but only Peyote is a vulnerable species. We sought to address the questions 1; do people who use Peyote substitute with San Pedro, and vice versa, and; 2. how popular is the use of wild harvested mescaline cactus compared with the use of cultivated plants?
Data were collected as part of the 2022 Global Drug Survey, a self-report survey distributed internationally in 11 languages. We asked mescaline cacti consumers about consumption practices, preferences and conservation and conducted chi square tests of associations comparing all motivations by preferred mescaline source.
Of participants who reported using mescaline in the last 12 months (N = 284; 73.2% male, 21.8% female, 5.0% other gender; mean age 36.3, SD 12.5), 20.0% reported consuming Peyote collected from native habitats. Of participants specifying Peyote as their preferred source of mescaline, 82.2% had consumed Peyote in the past 12 months. Indigenous cultural traditions (57.8%), availability (40.0%) and environmental sustainability (33.3%) were the most commonly reported motivations for Peyote preference (n = 45), whereas for San Pedro (n = 86), availability (54.7%), potency (45.3%) and indigenous cultural traditions (44.2%) were most the commonly reported San Pedro preference motivations. Price and potency were significantly more likely to be chosen by those preferring San Pedro compared with Peyote. Less than 7% of participants who consumed San Pedro in the past 12 months had consumed San Pedro from native habitats. Of the participants who specified San Pedro as their preferred source of mescaline, 96.5% had consumed San Pedro in past 12 months. San Pedro was the most commonly reported source of mescaline product consumed (56.1%) with Trichocereus bridgesii being the most reported preferred San Pedro species. Mescaline cacti consumed in the last 12 months rarely deviated from mescaline cacti of preference.
Wild Peyote is not the most popular mescaline source, but consumption of related products remains unsustainable. Promoting San Pedro as a Peyote substitute may act as an intervention to reduce Peyote consumption.
Loot boxes are digital containers of randomised rewards available in many video games. Individuals with problem gambling symptomatology spend more on loot boxes than individuals without such symptoms. This study investigated whether other psychopathological symptomatology, specifically symptoms of obsessive-compulsive behaviour and hoarding may also be associated with increased loot box spending.
In a large cross-sectional, cross-national survey (N = 1,049 after exclusions), participants recruited from Prolific, living in Aotearoa New Zealand, Australia, and the United States, provided self-reported loot box spending, obsessive-compulsive and hoarding symptomatology, problem gambling symptomatology, and consumer regret levels.
There was a moderate positive relationship between loot box spending and obsessive-compulsive symptoms and hoarding. Additionally, greater purchasing of loot boxes was associated with increased consumer regret.
Discussion and Conclusion
Results identified that those with OCD and hoarding symptomatology may spend more on loot boxes than individuals without OCD and hoarding symptomatology. This information helps identify disproportionate spending to more groups of vulnerable players and may assist in helping consumers make informed choices and also aid policy discussions around the potentialities of harm.
Despite the inclusion of Compulsive Sexual Behavior (CSB) as a diagnostic entity in the ICD-11 and the increasing number of studies addressing psychological factors leading to its onset and maintenance, little is known about the role of hormonal factors when accounting for this clinical condition (especially in women). This study aimed to provide insights into the association between testosterone levels (i.e., the androgen more intimately linked to sexual desire and arousability) and CSB in both men and women.
A total of 80 participants (40 men [Mage = 22.31; SD = 2.93] and 40 women [Mage = 21.79; SD = 2.06]) provided a saliva sample for the estimation of the level of free testosterone and completed a battery of measures assessing CSB and other related sexual domains (sexual sensation seeking and online/offline sexual behavior).
In men, salivary testosterone had a positive and significant correlation with three scales assessing CSB (r between 0.316 and 0.334). In women, these correlations were small and non-significant (r between 0.011 and 0.079). In both men and women, the level of salivary testosterone had small non-significant correlations with the other domains of sexual behavior assessed.
Discussion and conclusions
Individuals' level of testosterone may contribute to the etiopathogenesis of CSB, but only in men. In women, alternative psychological –i.e., motivational, behavioral, or cognitive– processes may be playing a more central role in the expression of this condition.
When individuals recover from gambling disorder, their involvement in other potentially addictive substances and behaviors may also subsequently increase (substitution) or decrease (concurrent recovery). The objectives of this study were to identify and compare recovery processes associated with substitution and concurrent recovery in gambling disorder.
A mixed-method study was conducted with 185 people who were recovered from gambling disorder. Semi-structured interviews were used to: (i) establish onset and recovery of gambling disorder as well as other substance and behavioral addictions; and (ii) assess processes (e.g., reasons, emotional state, helpfulness) associated with addiction substitution and concurrent recovery. Participants also completed a survey assessing demographic characteristics, gambling behaviors, and psychological characteristics to compare demographic and clinical differences between participants who engaged in addiction substitution, concurrent recovery, or neither (controls).
The most frequently reported reason for engaging in addiction substitution was as a substitute coping mechanism. The most reported reason for engaging in concurrent recovery was due to the addictions being mutually influenced. Negative emotional states were common when engaging in both addiction substitution and concurrent recovery. Although the three groups did not differ on gambling characteristics, addiction substitution was associated with greater underlying vulnerabilities including childhood adversity, impulsivity, emotion dysregulation, and, maladaptive coping skills.
Transdiagnostic treatments that target the underlying mechanisms of addictions may reduce the likelihood of engaging in addiction substitution.
Research into the social aspects of set and setting have demonstrated that race is a significant factor in psychedelic experiences for racially marginalized populations. Yet, many studies of psychedelic-induced experiences continue to proceed without collecting data on or considering the influence of race or other social categories. These approaches abstract subjectivity from its embodied and historical conditions, isolating consciousness in ways that do not accord with lived experience.
This article draws on critical phenomenology, anthropology, and treatments of race in the field of psychedelic studies to outline how social categories mediate subjective experience in historically specific ways through the framework of embodiment.
I argue that consciousness is fundamentally intersubjective, including during psychedelic-induced experiences. Intersubjectivity is an existential condition that makes possible meaning, communication, and socialization, processes which rely on and are perpetually (re)enacted through social categories. Therefore, studies of psychedelic-induced experiences must account for the foundational role that social categories play in constituting such embodied experiences and their effects.
This approach makes embodied differences matter to the study of psychedelic-induced experiences, opening new avenues of inquiry that foreground identity, power, and context in both clinical and naturalistic research.
The neurobiological mechanisms of gambling disorder are not yet fully characterized, limiting the development of treatments. Defects in frontostriatal connections have been shown to play a major role in substance use disorders, but data on behavioral addictions, such as gambling disorder, are scarce. The aim of this study was to 1) investigate whether gambling disorder is associated with abnormal frontostriatal connectivity and 2) characterize the key neurotransmitter systems underlying the connectivity abnormalities.
Fifteen individuals with gambling disorder and 17 matched healthy controls were studied with resting-state functional connectivity MRI and three brain positron emission tomography scans, investigating dopamine (18F-FDOPA), opioid (11C-carfentanil) and serotonin (11C-MADAM) function. Frontostriatal connectivity was investigated using striatal seed-to-voxel connectivity and compared between the groups. Neurotransmitter systems underlying the identified connectivity differences were investigated using region-of-interest and voxelwise approaches.
Individuals with gambling disorder showed loss of functional connectivity between the right nucleus accumbens (NAcc) and a region in the right dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) (PFWE <0.05). Similarly, there was a significant Group x right NAcc interaction in right DLPFC 11C-MADAM binding (p = 0.03) but not in 18F-FDOPA uptake or 11C-carfentanil binding. This was confirmed in voxelwise analyses showing a widespread Group x right NAcc interaction in the prefrontal cortex 11C-MADAM binding (PFWE <0.05). Right NAcc 11C-MADAM binding potential correlated with attentional impulsivity in individuals with gambling disorder (r = −0.73, p = 0.005).
Gambling disorder is associated with right hemisphere abnormal frontostriatal connectivity and serotonergic function. These findings will contribute to understanding the neurobiological mechanism and may help identify potential treatment targets for gambling disorder.
Elméleti háttér: Az italozásra vonatkozó visszautasítási énhatékonyság az egyén saját magára vonatkozó vélekedése azzal kapcsolatban, hogy bizonyos helyzetekben mennyire lesz képes ellenállni az alkoholfogyasztásnak. A konstruktum egyik leggyakrabban használt mérőeszköze az Italozásra vonatkozó Visszautasítási Énhatékonyság Kérdőív Módosított változata (Drinking Refusal Self-Efficacy Questionnaire – Revised, DRSEQ-R). Cél: A tanulmány célja volt (1) a DRSEQ-R elméleti faktorstruktúrájának tesztelése magyar mintán, (2) az italozásra vonatkozó visszautasítási énhatékonyság együttjárásának a vizsgálata az alkohollal kapcsolatos elvárásokkal és a káros alkoholhasználattal, valamint (3) az italozásra vonatkozó visszautasítási énhatékonyság közvetítő hatásának a vizsgálata az alkoholelvárások és a káros alkoholfogyasztás között. Módszerek: A keresztmetszeti kutatás során a résztvevőknek egy önbeszámolón alapuló, online kérdőívcsomagot kellett kitölteniük. A kényelmi mintavétel révén nyert végső mintát 579, az elmúlt év folyamán alkoholt fogyasztó felnőtt személy alkotta (a férfiak aránya 50,6% [n = 293], átlagéletkor: 25 év [SD = 7,99 év, terjedelem: 18–69 év]). Mérőeszközök: Italozásra vonatkozó Visszautasítási Énhatékonyság Kérdőív Módosított változata, Alkoholkövetkezmények Elvárása Kérdőív, Alkoholhasználat Zavarainak Szűrőtesztje. Eredmények: A megerősítő faktorelemzés eredményei szerint kiváló illeszkedés volt látható a DRSEQ-R kérdőív háromfaktoros modellje (szociális nyomás, érzelmi megkönnyebbülés, italozásra való lehetőség faktorok), illetve az azzal statisztikailag ekvivalens alternatív, másodrendű faktort is tartalmazó modell esetében is (χ2 = 138,539, df = 149, p = 0,720; RMSEA = 0,00; CFI = 1,00; TLI = 1,00). A DRSEQ-R teljes skálája és alskálái egyaránt szignifikáns, negatív irányú és gyenge–közepes együttjárást mutattak a káros alkoholhasználattal (rS = –0,231 – –0,440; p < 0,001), illetve a pozitív és negatív alkoholelvárásokkal (rS = –0,303 – –0,474; p < 0,001). A mediációs elemzés eredményeképpen kimutatható volt az italozásra vonatkozó visszautasítási énhatékonyság közvetítő hatása a pozitív alkoholelvárások és a káros alkoholfogyasztás között (indirekt hatásméret: b [95% CI] = 0,051 [0,033–0,071]). Következtetések: A DRSEQ-R magyar változata megbízható és érvényes mérőeszköznek bizonyult, így javasolt lehet a kérdőív felhasználása a hazai klinikai és kutatási gyakorlatban. Az italozásra vonatkozó visszautasítási énhatékonyságnak fontos szerepe lehet – az alkoholelvárások mellett – az alkoholfogyasztás és az abból eredő problémák magyarázatában.