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NEW YORK — Does the United States have a growing drug problem? Researchers from Columbia University suggest that more American adults than ever are experimenting with hallucinogens. Their study finds hallucinogen use has increased noticeably since 2015 among Americans over the age of 26.
Conversely, adolescents between 12 and 17 are using fewer hallucinogens. In 2019, estimates show that more than 5.5 million Americans used hallucinogens, accounting for 2.2 percent of the U.S. population over the age of 12. For comparison, roughly 1.7 percent of the population used hallucinogens in 2002.
More specifically, LSD use between 2002 and 2019 increased across all age groups. The past 12-month rate of use increased from 0.9 percent in 2002 to four percent in 2019 among Americans between 18 and 25.
Meanwhile, PCP use among Americans has declined since 2002, and ecstasy rates have seen a similar drop since 2015. This project is the first ever to formally perform a series of statistical analyses examining the prevalence of overall hallucinogen use while assessing different age groups over the past two decades.
To research this topic, study authors analyzed data provided by the National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) pertaining to 2002-2019 for participants 12 and older.
What are hallucinogens?
The term “hallucinogen” covers a large array of psychoactive substances, including drugs like LSD. The United States classifies most hallucinogens as Schedule I drugs, which often cause adverse side-effects such as anxiety, confusion, acute delusional states, and a prolonged sense of fear and dread. Additionally, studies have connected LSD, ecstasy, and many other hallucinogens to an increased risk of autonomic, endocrine, cardiovascular, and neurological side-effects like high blood pressure, elevated heart rate, loss of appetite, tremors, and seizures. PCP is one of the most dangerous hallucinogens, due to its tendency to cause hostile and violent actions in users.
To Read The Rest Of This Article By John Anderer on Study Finds
Published: August 23, 2022
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