Experiences of microdosing psychedelics in an attempt to support wellbeing and mental health

BMC Psychiatry. 2023 Mar 14;23(1):160. doi: 10.1186/s12888-023-04628-9.


BACKGROUND: Microdosing psychedelic drugs is a growing phenomenon, but little is known about the experiences surrounding this. Research broadly suggests that people may use psychedelics in an attempt to self-medicate for mental health and wellbeing. However, the precise details, rationale and meaning of such attempts remains unclear, and would benefit from clarification, using tailored experiential methods. This research therefore aimed to explore the way that users make sense of microdosing psychedelics, with a particular focus on the experience of any perceived mental health or wellbeing changes.

METHOD: Participants were recruited via websites and online forums. An internet text-based, semi-structured interview was conducted anonymously with 13 participants regarding their experiences of microdosing psychedelic drugs. Interpretive Phenomenological Analysis was used to analyse the transcripts.

RESULTS: Three superordinate themes were identified through the interviews: 1) Seeking a solution: Agency and rationale; 2) Microdosers as scientists; 3) Catalysing desirable and beneficial effects.

CONCLUSIONS: All participants approached microdosing methodically and with purpose. Participants reported that they had experienced beneficial effects of microdosing on their mental health, alongside cognitive, physical and social changes. By microdosing, participants reported that they had supported their own mental health and wellbeing, with microdosing described as a catalyst to achieving their aims in this area. This study provided additional knowledge and understanding of the experience, rationale and personal meaning of the microdosing phenomenon which can be used to inform future investigations in the areas of psychedelic use and mental health.

PMID:36918852 | DOI:10.1186/s12888-023-04628-9


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