1 in 3 Americans currently in therapy are willing to try psychedelics to help with mental health
NEW YORK, Oct. 25, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, Verywell Mind released a new survey, Psychedelics & Mental Health, examining Americans' awareness and opinions of psychedelics used in the context of mental health treatment. The survey was conducted as research from the past year suggests options such as Ketamine and Psilocybin show promising results in treating various conditions including addiction, depression and PTSD. Additionally, the growing influx of psychedelic-assisted therapy, such as online ketamine-therapy providers, has made new treatments more available than ever before.
The Psychedelics & Mental Health survey shows awareness and acceptance of psychedelic therapy overall was greater among those currently in therapy, but others are catching on. Thirty-six percent of Americans who have seen a therapist in the last 30 days feel positively about psychedelics being used as part of a treatment for mental health (compared to 24% overall), and 34% would be willing to try psychedelics as part of treatment for a mental health condition (compared to 17% overall). Concerning access, 45% of those surveyed say they'd support legalization of at least some psychedelics for treatment of a mental health condition under the supervision of a professional, and they'd be more likely to consider taking psychedelics if they were recommended by a doctor or therapist (35%), or if the specific drug were FDA-approved (30%).
"In 2019, the FDA approved Ketamine for the treatment of depression, and since then, a few cities and states have enacted legislation that may allow other psychedelics to be used for mental health treatment in the near future," said Amy Morin, LCSW, editor-in-chief, Verywell Mind. "According to our survey, consumers may welcome the opportunity to explore psychedelics as part of their treatment. One in five people who are in therapy said they would try psychedelics specifically because other treatment options have left them feeling discouraged, signaling that people are interested in alternative treatment options."
Findings and analysis of the survey can be found on Verywell Mind, detailing sentiments around the use and impact of psychedelic therapy as viable mental health treatment options. Some of the most significant survey results include:
- Awareness and acceptance is slowly growing:
- Over 1 in 3 Americans (34%) have heard about psychedelics being used as treatment for a mental health condition.
- 29% of Americans have heard of psychedelics being used to treat a specific condition.
- The most common conditions Americans associate with psychedelics are Depression (20%) and PTSD (20%).
- Among those who've seen a therapist in the last 30 days, 1 in 4 have heard about psychedelics being used for mental health from a mental health professional (24%) and word of mouth (23%), while 1 in 5 have learned about it on social media (22%).
- Americans support legality of psychedelics for mental health treatment but some hesitancy remains:
- 45% say they'd support legalization of at least some psychedelics for treatment of a mental health condition under the supervision of a professional.
- 23% of Americans would be more open to trying psychedelics for mental health if they're legal.
- Support for legalization for mental health purposes is greatest among those who have seen a therapist in the last 30 days (61%).
- For each of the individual psychedelics, overall support is around 1 in 5 (much smaller than cannabis which is 3 in 4).
- Americans more open to psychedelics if recommended by a doctor or therapist:
- Americans would be more likely to consider taking psychedelics, as part of treatment for a mental health condition, if they were recommended by a doctor or therapist (35%), if the specific drug were FDA-approved (30%), also if they were taking them in the office of a mental health or medical professional (30%).
- Among those who've seen a therapist in the last 30 days, 46% said they'd be more likely to consider upon doctor recommendation and 45% would be more likely to consider if FDA approved.
- While 40% agree that people should only use psychedelics under the supervision of a mental health or medical professional, another 36% also feel not enough is known about psychedelics to use them as treatment for mental health conditions.
For more information on the Psychedelics & Mental Health survey, visit Verywell Mind.
Verywell Mind surveyed over 1,800 Americans age 18+ across a wide range of demographics including age, race, income, geographic location, and sexual orientation.
About Verywell Mind
Verywell Mind is one of the largest mental health sites in the world, serving 6 million people a year during their moments of need. The award-winning publication is committed to providing inclusive mental health information through thousands of expert-written, medically-reviewed articles across hundreds of topics and empowers readers to get the mental health treatment they deserve. Verywell Mind is part of the Dotdash Meredith publishing family.