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Journal of Psychoactive Dtugs, 43 (3), 188-198, 2011
Copyright © Taylor & Francis Group, LLC
Taylor & Francis Croup
ISSN: 0279-1072 print/2159-9777 onlitie
DOl: 10.1080/02791072.2011.605661

Voice of the Psychonauts: Coping, Life
Purpose, and Spirituality in
Psychedelic Drug Users

Levetite Moró, M.Sc.^ Kataliti Simon, M.Sc.''; Imre Bárd, M.Sc.'= & József Rácz, Ph.D.''

Abstract— Psychoactive drug use shows great diversity, but due to a disptoportionate focus on
problematic drug use, predominant nonproblematic drug use remains an undetstudied phenomenon.
Historic and anecdotal evidence shows that natural sources of "psychedelic" drugs (e.g., mescaline
and psilocybin) have been used in leligious and spiritual settings for centuries, as well as for psycho-
logical self-enhancement purposes. Our study assessed a total of 667 psychedelic drug users, other
drug users, and drug nonusers by online questionnaires. Coping, life purpose, and spirituality were
measured with the Psychological Inmiune Competence Inventory, the Purpose in Life test, and the
Intrinsic Spirituality Scale, respectively. Results indicate that the use of psychedelic drugs with a
purpose to enhance self-knowledge is less associated with probletns, and correlates positively with
coping and spirituality. Albeit the meaning of "spirituality" may be ambiguous, it seems that a spiri-
tually-inclined attitude in drug use may act as a ptotective factor against drug-related probletns. The
autognostic use of psychedelic drugs tnay be thus hypothesized as a "training situation" that promotes
self-enhancement by reheatsing personal coping stiategies and by gaining self-knowledge. However,
to assess the actual efficiency and the speculated long-tertii benefits of these delibetately provoked
exceptional experiences, further qualitative investigations are needed.

Keywords — coping skills, psychedelics, quality of life, self assessment, spirituality

Contemporary psychoactive drug use is considered to diversity in both individual and group patterns of eon-
be a complex phenomenon not only because of the wide sutnption. As our postmodern societies show an eclectic
spectrum of substances involved, but also due to the great mixture of soeiocultutally defined forms and notms, the
topics of substance use and abuse are also being richly
The authors wish to thank Dr. Attila Oláh, Dr. Tamas Mattos, and interwoven into virtually all areas of life, from medicine
Dr. David R. Hodge for allowing using their PICI, PIL, and ISS instru- through politics to religion. However, social discourses on
ments, respectively. Levente Moró wishes to thank Dr. Heikki Hatuäläinen
and Brian Anderson for conmienting on and correcting the manuscript, the phenomena of illicit drug consumption predominantly
and the Jenny and Antti Wihuti Foundation for grants. disregard the voices of the drug users themselves, and do
"Doctoral student. Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of not attetnpt to engage them in dialogue. Simultaneously,
Turku, Finland.
''Doctoral student. Doctoral Program of Health Science, public attention is often targeted at only extreme cases of
Semmelweis University, Budapest, Hungary. illicit drug use. By singling out tragic episodes or inventing
'^Master student, BIOS Centre, London School of Econotiiics, UK. fictional "junkie" stories, the public media creates a notably
''Professor, Faculty of Health Sciences, Setniuelweis University,
Budapest, Hungaty. disproportionate and problem-oriented view of actual drug
Please address correspondence and reprint requests to Levente usage. Even so, based on sociodemographic surveys and
Moró, Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, University of Turku, treatment statistics of substance use, it can be estimated
Assistentinkatu 7, Publicum building, FI-20014 Turku, Finland; phone:
+358 2 333 6975, email: that even 90% to 95% of drug users could be considered

Jourtuil of Psychoactive Drugs 188 Volume 43 (3), July - Septetiiber 2011

Moró et al. use. are numerous personal-psychological and sociocultural. route of administration. drugs would be intrinsically "evil" per se. esteem. exception of Salvia divinorum. social.\onging to a subcategory of hal- ena have been mostly regaided as signs of mental illness. but Pedro (Trichocereus spp. Whereas some stud. vosa) (Halpern & Sewell 2005. social or public health risk. is termed psychedeUcs. With the notable chological enhancements. 1943). 2002). had been also reported to induce Beside the physical properties of a drug and its use hallucinations occasionally. Nevertheless. However. Faillace & Szara 1968). (A-9-tetrahydrocannabinol) content. there inducing plants of the Solanaceae family (e. ketamine. and self-ttanscendence tain their moderate consumption habits over longer time (Maslow 1971. Ecstasy). the major psychedelics are: (1) lysergic acid thus drug-induced hallucinations have been traditionally diethylamide (LSD). such as LSD and psilocybin. periods. drug use—both legal and illegal—may also include self.g. cannabis resin (hashish). Religious and spiritual practices. Potent forms of cannabis with high THC the possibility of nonproblematic drug use—or of posi. such as selectively tive drug use—should not be a priori rejected on moral cultivated hemp strains ("skunk") and cotnptessed grounds. as well as the interpretations following it (Asaad & sharing common mechanisms with the classical LSD-like Shapiro 1986. Under Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 189 Volume 43 (3). needs as self-actualization.). normally func- tioning adults who occasionally use psychoactive drugs PSYCHEDELIC DRUGS (Reneau et al. which are bly also because of the underground nature of illegal drug mostly associated with transpersonal and spiritual domains. UNQDC 2006. Prepeliczay 2002). generally considered as physiologically safe. From a medical viewpoint. For the first and second cat. Nichols 2004). this self-enhancement is socially well-aecepted tive. hallucination- (such as dose size. respectively) sidered to be psychedelics but rather deliriants due to that largely determine the quality of the overall drug expe. In spite of a potentially rich sage {Salvia divinorum). and self-knowledge all Despite their majority status. drugs. a coarse distinction can be have already been charted since the 1950s (for cut rent made at least between neuroeognitive. it still seems that there exists a relatively topic. (3) mescaline from However. social cohesion. are not unanimously viewed as psychedelics. and psy. cal pyramidal cells.. "magic" mushrooms." "smartness. and (6) d-lysergic acid amide and personally interpretable phenomenal experience for the (LSA) contained in the seeds of morning glory {Ipomoea subject himself or herself. and nitrous oxide (N2O. (DMT) and preparations containing it. lucinogens. 2000). creative processes. After subtracting the considerable number of logical kind tends to be a tnore cotnplex and controversial trial-only users. July . presumably because they pose relatively little to no mankind has utilized a number of special psychoactive personal. dissociative drugs such as phencyclidine Cultural studies indicate that the purposes of psychoactive (PCP). their sleepwalking-like and toxic effects. listings of psychedelics "real objects or state of affairs in the real world" (Shanon may sometimes include also phenethylatnines such as 2003). or the snuff yopo. 2008. such as varieties point and seen as lying on a continuum with normality of the brew ayahuasca. contribute to mental well-being. plenty of substances are available to improve marily stimulate various serotonin (5-hydroxy-triptamine. In pursuing these goals. because it is associated with such higher level hutnan large group of casual and regular drug users who can sus. contrasting opinions state that hallucinations are cacti. outsiders may also easily dismiss violácea) and Hawaiian baby woodrose (Argyreia ner- hallucinatory phenomena merely because the vivid per. nonproblematic drug satisfy higher level psychological needs. Voice of the Psychonauts as nonproblematic (EMCDDA 2008. self-enhancement of the psycho- et al. reviews. which will be briefly introduced next. Psilocybe spp. "laughing gas"). (5) diviner's (Alemán & Lar0i 2008). such as peyote (Lophophora williamsii) and San not so qualitatively different from normal experience. angel's trumpet. hallucinatory phenom. btain metabolism needed for basic mental functioning. Yet another reason for not touching the topic 2C-B (2. ies demonstrate the existence of healthy. enhancement. and thus may users are typically not foregrounded in drug-related dis. "Nexus") could be a culturally enforced moral views that (some) and MDMA (3.N-ditnethyltryptamine rather should be approached from a psychological view. courses." However. especially subtype 5-HT2A on neocorti- and to dissolve inhibitions hindering social interactions. and virtually impossible to cause overdose due to and even considered as a sign of "fitness. Albeit partially rience.September 2011 . 5-HT) receptors. etc. Kraus or "coolness. mandrake. see Passie et al.Be. Depending on psychedelic hallucinogens. jimson weed.4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine. hallucinogens. nonaddic- stances. In ception does not necessarily correspond exactly with any addition to these substances.5-dimethoxy-4-brotnophenethylainine. 2002). a pursuit of an increased personal well-being Neuropsychopharmacological characteristics of many (Lerner & Lyvers 2006. Zinberg 1984. (2) psilocybin and psilocin from put into the same categoty with neuropsychiatrie disorders. the primary level of action. (4) N." their relatively low acute toxicity (Nichols 2004).). The class of those psychoactive substances. nonproblematic drug use remains a less charted territory within social drug research proba. henbane) are not con- environmental factors (termed set and setting. These psychedelic hallucinogens are In the cases of legal and commercially available sub. major psychedelics pri- egories.

Adverse reac. the mechanisms and mea- deliberately invoked in a supportive environment with a surability of the allegedly positive mental changes are proper conceptual and ideological background. wrote his famous essay The Doors of Perception about sance in psychedelic drug research. beliefs and appraisals (Garety et al. The model also assutnes that unusual. we chose the biopsychosocial model of meaningful religious revelations and spiritual awaken. Personal exploration of altered states. John C. the topic of nonprob- feelings of oneness. Psilocybe mushrooms are also experiences are part of tnental health if the individual is ritually ingested by numerous indigenous Mexican tribes able to draw conclusions or to get meaningful answers from (Guzman 2008). Roberts 2001). a disturbing or overstimulating environment. space and time distortions. The tetm psychonaut is usually to study these topics with contemporary methods (Sessa attributed to Ernst Jünger in his reference to the mesca- 2008). Jünger 1970. consciousness research of the early twentieth century. to awe. when a growing interest in with mescaline. Huxley ities. Prepeliczay 2002). notorious "laughing gas. Findings in cultural anthropology also support of autognosis (literally: "self-knowledge"). memory. especially interesting and challenging. encounters and communication with seemingly Contrasting the above historical information with more autonotnous entities. When such mental states are and contradictory. but similar mystical experiences with a these happenings. as well as "psychointegrator plants" of the underground subculture of psychonauts (literally: (Winkelman 1995). 1979). attention. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 190 Volume 43 (3). is presented in classical works by inadequate preparedness and a careless attitude toward philosopher/psychologist William Jatnes who used the drug use. health (Engel 1977) as the conceptual framework of our ings. This view is also supported by obser- spiritual significance can be occasioned by psilocybin use vations of psychotic patients: response to extraordinary also in contemporary laboratory settings (Griffiths et al. experience seems to depend on cognitive mediation by their 2008). health is a not a state but a pro- (Baker 2005. understanding. Persons with the idea of psychedelics being used as "problem-solving such a motivation for drug use are referred to as members devices" (Baker 1994). we used the concept of saluto- type have also been used in both traditional and con. genesis by Antonovsky (1961) as our tTiodel for research.Moró et al. Lilly 1972. and referred to by the term cess that restores balance by enabling inner resources in entheogens (literally: "becoming divine within") (Ruck an efficient reaction to disturbing external influences. see Nahm & Pribram tive experience. The accidental discovery of the psychoactive properties PSYCHEDELIC DRUG USE of the prototypical hallucinogen LSD was confirmed by a planned and docutnented self-trial by Swiss chemist Albert Psychoactive drugs may induce temporary and Hofmann in t943. the roots of self-experimenting be reached in a controlled way with a minimized risk with drugs can be found in the history of Western for long-term physiological and psychological afteref. the time has come his mescaline experiences. 2001). James 1902/1994). particularly in phenomenologically-oriented fects (Johnson.September 2011 . the result. which have rarely been stud- tal and therapeutic situations—targeted mental states can ied in detail. Lilly's research reversible altered states of consciousness by destabilizing on himself with sensory deprivation. atid sense of self the human psyche by means of tnind-altering substances (Farthing 1992. and by writer Aldous Huxley (1954) who cognition-enhancing drugs is converging with a renais. Neuropsychopharmacological and techniques (for autobiographies and biographies with changes may result in profound changes of the subjec. or insight (Frecska lematic psychedelic drug use itideed seems fascinating 2007. followed by descrip- tended usage. "sailors of the mind/soul")." nitrous oxide. exceptional (Dobkin de Rios 1971). and conventional views on drug use. entheogens are consumed set of tTiental practices that quickly respond to stress can in the rituals of the peyotist Native American Church be seen as a psychological imtnune system (Oláh 2005). In particular. Meaningfulness Historical and anecdotal evidence suggests that some of life events thus acts as a protective factor leading to people occasionally consume hallucinogenic substances better psychological functioning and an improved qual- and seek psychedelic experiences with the primary purpose ity of life. Tart 1975). synesthesia. Voice of the Psychonauts carefully supervised conditions—such as in experimen. such as also set a scholarly example for the self-exploration of perception. In the 1950s. temporary religious or spiritual practices as sacraments According to his system. July . and ketatnine and repatterning several psychological subsystetns. In particular. as well as by ayahuasca-using syncretic the proper functioning of which is a prerequisite to mental religions such as Santo Daime and Uniao do Vegetal health. (Stewart 1987). Even nowadays. tions are generally associated with unintentional or unat. Currently. preexisting or donnant psychiatric conditions. Hoftnann 1980. Richards & Griffiths 2008). However. by physiologi- and earlier or recent unprocessed traumas of the psyche cal psychologist Heinrich Klüver who self-experimented (Strassman 1984). strong emotions varying from terror 1954. The et al. line self-experiments by pharmacologist Arthur Heffter. tive introspection. cognition. Thus it is not surprising that substances of this present study. such as hallucinations in several modal. descriptions of these explorations. 1998. LSD. In an attempt to ing exceptional experiences tnay be interpreted as deeply explore the topic. psychology.

users of other drugs for other pur. and 122 drug nonusers. 28%). We also anticipated reduced to 589. and (c) importance of the experience (0 started up.daath. Included participants' age use of psychedelics. Based on anecdotal evidence—such as online survey being open.8) who used the study was granted by the Ethical Committee of the mostly other than psychedelic drugs for primarily nonau- Institute for Psychology of the Hungarian Academy of tognostic purposes.2) who thus used mostly psychedelic drugs with primarily autognostic purposes. The two conducted between December 2008 and February 2009. To able online (Erowid 2010)—our initial work hypothesis avoid bias from comparing problem users with nonproblem held that there should be detectable differences in life users. or with no drug use. and questions concerning drug usage. (such as deliriants and minor psychedelics).2 points: 77 participants. online survey was users into two clearly separable groups by computing a chosen for its numerous advantages over traditional paper. we first profiled the psychedelic drug As the data gathering method. drugs (1 to 6) subtracting the number of nonpsychedelic vantages of online studies. sized groups: a high-scoring target group (PSYNDEX > starting with a page to obtain infortned consent. the Purpose In Life (PIL) test. alcohol and trolling for that factor or defining it as irrelevant. (b) autognostic drug use purposes (0 to 3) sub- our online psychedelic drug survey. The survey was . as compared with other uses of other range varied from 13 to 59 years (M = was purchased. For the second control group. 43%). SD = 4. that is. The general disad. 79. For tobacco. and gender ratio was 247 females (41. poses. and dropout.September 2011 . or no drug use. and 221 males. The obtained distribution ranged from Excel file format for data preprocessing. July . Participants were recruited with the snowball method from multiple pools.8. Intrinsic Spirituality Scale (ISS).psyd. Cl. drugs (1 to 9) while omitting six "setnipsychedelic" drugs self-selection. Webropol 20. a prelimiriary analysis was conducted on problem use meaningfulness and coping characteristics between auto. tails of the range were separated into two roughly equal- and it consisted of six separate parts to be completed. M = 22.49). widely used and Group characteristics. were either solved by con. we expected that we decided to exclude those 78 participants who consid- psychedelic drug use purposes focusing on self-knowledge ered their personal substance use as problematic. In choosing psychological instruments for the study. simple PSYNDEX (psychedelic index) score from their based survey (Reips 2002). we selected and put online three validated.6. life purpose. In particular. social networking billboards. M = 22. in particular for the ease psychedelic drug use parameters. group (PSYNDEX < . The first con- Participants trol group. C2. and the PSYNDEX high-scorers (age range 16 to 40 years. including 467 fortner and current drug a higher level of spirituality associated with the autognostic users. drug use patterns. the Psychological Immune Competence groups. such as multiple submissions. 29%) and a low-scoring control mographic questions. for each psychedelic drug. The PSY target group consisted of the 81 Inventory (PICI). characteristics in the sample. point: 119 participants. participants were grouped into three and spirituality.9%) to 342 males (58. which to 2).4). The PSYNDEX score handles dynamic paging. an Internet domain tracting general drug use purposes (0 to 3) for each (www. SD = 5. Based on their psychedelic acknowledged instruments to tneasure coping.1%). received.03. SD . and drug nonusers. icant differences between the intended comparison groups. In order to form comparable drug user groups that differ only in their chosen drug types and Survey Technical Solution drug use SD = 4.webropol. such as university The aim of the present study was to contribute to a mailing lists. leaving out a wider midrange zone (PSYNDEX —2 to I national and national comparability was a key issue. we Journal of Psychoactive Drtigs 191 Volume 43 (3). questions depending on the previous answers. shows or hides the next was calculated for 277 nonproblem users (56 females. drugs. During the three months of the drug user group. Online questionnaire forms were developed to 4) multiplied by the life effects of the experience (-2 by using Webropol software (www.2%.7. inter. consisted of the 77 PSYNDEX low-scorers Recruiting and filtering. sociode. Thus the are associated with enhancements in life quality more than number of participants eligible for grouping was further other drug use purposes. This PSYNDEX score of access to rare and specific drug user populations consisted of three factors: (a) the nutnber of psychedelic while guaranteeing their anonymity.9. a total of 796 answer forms were hundreds of psychedelic drug experience self-reports avail. The ethical permission of (age range 13 to 34 years. As the results revealed signif- gnostic psychonauts. and the dis- deeper understanding of an alleged psychopharmacological cussion group of the Hungarian Psychedelic Community self-enhancing phenomenon by assessing a nonproblematic DAATH (www.Moró et al. and a web server was psychedelic drug. METHOD Grouping.8%) who had used one or more was also capable of exporting data into Microsoft Office psychedelic drugs. Voice of the I'sychonauls THE PRESENT STUDY Sciences in Budapest. respectively.1 2 to 23 points (M ^ -0. 1 point: 81 Thus. of which 667 were adequately cotnpleted.

30%. and (c) highest educational level (I to 8). or farm).' It is SD = 6.GBL Stimulants Tobacco Ecstasy (MDMA) Aniphetainitie atid other stitnulants Cocaine Hallucinogens Delitiants Jitnson weed. 15%.) and 41 (23 females. LSA = d-lysergic acid amide. PSY ent cotnpositions of the three groups. with the exceptions of alcohol and tobacco. hashish New sytithetic dtugs (2C-B. 3. village.) Ibogaine Major LSD Psilucybe mushrooms Mescaline cacti Salvia divinorum DMT (ayahuasca. After matching the C2 groups. MDMA = 3. and 32 females (64%) and 18 males (36%). Cl. etc. Our complete assessed drug list original sample. the Cl control group get group consisted of only nine females (18%. M = 26. Dissociatives Ketatnine Nittous oxide (N2O) PCP Psychedelics Minor Matijuana. atid the C2 control group had Group malching. drugs. tranquilizers.N-dimethyltryptaniine. anxiolytics (without a diagnosis or ptesctiption) Medical drugs and alcohol combined Hetoin atid other opiates GHB. and 28 males. yopo. SD = 4. The PSY tar- fetnales. 77%.Moró et ai. GHB = /-hydroxybutyric acid. gender ratios were taiget group and Cl control group). 85%). and standard (a) age. and 69 males. As indicated above. 23%). 70%). and 3.5.September 2011 . henbane. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 192 Volume 43 (3). HBWR.8. all age ranges varied from each other on the basis of three sociodcmographic factors.95.5-diniethoxy-4-bromophenethylamine. p := . July . n = 26) in those two groups using psychedelics (i. to be noted immediately that due to fundamentally differ. Indeed. of capital city. 2C-B = 2.9 years for the three groups. Voice of tile l'sychonauts TABLE 1 Drugs with Categorization Drug Group Category Subcategory Drug Deptessants Alcohol Inhalatits Sleep tiiedication. Gender ratio was thus strongly disproportional between the PS Y target group (12 disptoportional also in the matched groups. LSD = lysergic acid diethylamide. DMT = N. HBWR = Hawaiian baby woodrose (Argyreia nervosa). gender could not and was not used as a matching Measures factor because of the disproportional composition of the Psychoactive drugs. 5-MeO-DMT = 5- metlioxy-dimethyltriptaniine. a Mann-Whitney test revealed a alotig with a categorization is shown in Table 1.) LSA (niotniiig gloty.12.92.021. shire town.7 years.4-melhylenedioxy-inethamplietamine. 5-MeO-DMTetc. SD — 7. n = 74) and females (M = -1. respectively. Z = -2. whereas the Cl control group had 17 females group (94 females.304. etc. etc. angel's ttumpet. 50 participants were precisely matched with 50 participants ttoni each group. (b) type of residence ( 1 to 5 points.) Fictional Drug Relevin Note: Major psychedelics shown in boldface.91. PCP = phencyclidine. and 54 males.3) who had never tried out psychoactive n = 100) in the PSYNDEX scores between males (M = .e. (34%) and 33 males (66%). significant difference (U = 670. in the order deviations of 4. and the C2 control males (82%). chose those 122 paiticipanls (age range 16 to 55 years. 18 to 34 years with a mean age of 23.. other town. From each of the PSY.6. GBL = y-butyrolactone.

The applied question- pologie and ethnographic literature (Baker 1994..September 2011 . 2007). LSA and salvinorin-A. The PICI had been used earlier for surveying these substances for increased mood (Nichols 2004). The 20-item PIL test tler and mote detailed distitiction. a psychedelic experience is not an easy or enjoy. they were characteristics that enable a person to cope with stress excluded from categorization. mushrootus. The eoncept of psychological immunity refers psychedelic drugs (six items). Rebellion or Alternative Lifestyle tinction between legal and illegal substances. It had been translated into seven languages and Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 193 Volutne 43 (3). and self-tnedieation. Demetrovics & our study aimed to take on a more refined approaeh to the Kardos2001)." several ehoices were included for a sub. anabolic steroids were excluded from our list. situations occur that may present a threat to the person's cally attributed to addietion. As alcohol resource capacities for coping. However. a fictional drug "Relevin" into our questionnaire. Subsystem (MCES). any unpermitted use of drugs is considered as Psychological immunity is a complex cognitive system abuse by definition. and DMT List of Drug Use Purposes are scheduled by the 1971 United Nations Convention on Psychotropic Substances. However. tîiescaline. It is based on ence reports available on the Internet (Erowid 2010). and brew Self-Knowledge and Self-Inspection ingredients) are generally unscheduled by international Self-Medication and national law. by 2006). and to handle incoming effects in Drug use purposes. answers—be it deliberate or unintended—we also included self-knowledge and self-inspection.e. In the dominant medical dis. the natural sources of the Religious or Spiritual Practices latter three substances (i.Moró et al. drug user populations in Hungary (e. dynamically interacting subsystems: the Approach-Belief able pastime that could be repeated very often. or life (Oláh 2005). The 24-item psychoactive drug list used Out of Curiosity in our survey was loosely based on the standard drug list Note: Autognostic drug use purposes shown in boldface. maintain proper mental health. 2007). as having primarily bodily effects. 2001). without further investigations mental development. three were counted as autognostic (or. Blätter naire is the Hungarian version of the Purpose In Life 1993) as well as anecdotal evidence from drug experi. introspective): religious or spiritual practices. To filter out bogus or misleading extension. Voice of the Psychonauts It is to be noted here that legal statuses of psychedelics may fundamentally differ from country to TABLE 2 country. Self-determined drug use is quite often automati. The 23 Psychological Immune Competence Inventory real items of the drug list were divided into three categories: (PICI). eacti. Based on both anthro. course. neither addiction nor other typically transition from nonclinical to clinical states in psychotic assumed drug use purposes—sueh as "eseaping from life patients (Garety et al. and categorized as a disorder per that is optitTially activated when such external or internal se. we the concepts of Frankl (1963). nor to atialyze Building Personal Identity and Diawing Attention our data and to report results grouped by legality in any Expjessing Membership iti a Group particular country. Out of a total of 14 drug of life has on mental health (Konkoly-Thege & Martos use purposes. life events should be expe- While avoiding such general eategories as "intoxication" rienced as meaningful—even those including adversities or "recreation. along with their Enhancing Mood plant sources. are not eonttolled substances in most coun. According to many reports (Erowid insttument for measuring such mental resistance on three 2010). and nonpsychedelic drugs (nine items). order to enrich personal power instead of damaging it. Subsystem (ABS). purposes. exploration of drug use purposes. Due to Enhancing Physical Power this atiibiguity. in the long term. exceptions to these generalizations are still Offsetting a Deficiency numerous in the national laws. goals. July . and the Self-Regulating Subsystetn ing mechanisms that would dtive users to keep up dosing (SRS). The full list of drug use measures a protective effect factor that meaningfulness purposes is shown in Table 2. of the large cross-national European School Survey Projeet on Alcohol and Other Drugs (Hibell et al. Mobilized into its more nuanced psychological causes.g. semipsychedelic drugs (six to the total of personality factors behind an individual's items). psilocybin. stating that in order to eompiled a 14-item list of possible drug use purposes. Whereas LSD. we had no reason to make any further dis. Moteover. However. coping strategies play an important role also in avoiding and goals.. It tnarks those personal and tobacco were used in all three subject groups. The Psychological Immune troubles" or "to feel good"—would adequately explain the Competence Inventory is an operationalized 80-item use of hallucinogens. Thus. indicating the worldwide Increasing Social Contact Increasing Sensation and Pleasure variability in polities-based drug policies—as opposed to Stimulating Artistic Creativity/Performance scientific evidence-based ones (Nutt et al. and losses to be solved or accepted. the Monitoring-Cteating-Executing nearly all hallucinogens lack direct dopaminergic reward. Avoiding Boredotn and Hopelessness tries. Purpose In Life (PIL) Test. test by Crumbaugh & Maholick (1964).

001. Donahue & Benson 1995. the guiding capabilities of spirituality in a person's life. and SRS) cone- in Christian population samples tnay not rule out other lated with age to a lesser extent.667). 1994). the Hungarian translation. which was developed by Hodge were found to have meaningful effects on several scores. between PSY target group and Cl control group mem- some of which were relating meaningfulness of life to bers in the average nutnber of different drugs used. ciated with a lower level of drug consumption. p < . p < . Benson 1992). was a weak correlation with age (r^ = . p = . N = 667). N = 589). as well as for 51 % of autog- age and the economic situation of the respondents.90). The relationship between religious or intrinsic spir- itual goals and drug use habits had been investigated by numerous studies (Francis 1997. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs 194 Volume 43 (3).5. Drugs and Drug Use PICI scores did not correlate with the total nutnber of On the average.m.79. (U = 18528.005. As our initial hypothesis predicted Z = -2. n = 366). Z = -2.009. Voice of the Psychonauts applied in numerous international psychological studies.80). The six-item ISS can be applied lower compared to nonproblem users {r^ — . been developed to assess these overlapping phenomena. None addictive behavior (e. Z = -2. problem use translated to English by another translator.790.96) problem use. p . Consutiiption percentages they show strong correlation with spirituality and intrinsic for the six psychedelic drugs indicate a rather moderate goals.g. = . N — 589). p = . Nicholson et al. Moreover. and nostic use purposes of all drugs. July .. group.53. gions. but after filter- ing out problem users the correlation became insignificant. purposes of psychedelic drugs accounted for 36% of all use Scores had been found to be independent of both the purposes of psychedelic drugs. Findings strongly support the anecdotal evidence negative experiences in life.168.103. With prob- lem users included. PICI scores correlated with PSYNDEX RESULTS scores (r. The Hungarian version of the about usage patterns of psychedelic drugs: autognostic use PIL test has an excellent reliability (Cronbach a = .001. Problem use was significantly more typical and good reliability (Cronbach a = . both p < . Scores as Hodge also points out. the resulting scale was back. namely LSD. ent types of spirituality. there was no significant difference score differences in the three matched gtoups.5. (2003) on the basis of the Religious Orientation Scale by In problem users.851. After completing for males than for fetnales (Mann-Whitney U = 20111. ISS score was not significantly correlated with ISS has both sttong inner consistency (Cronbach a = . drugs. These studies had found a PICI scores ranged from 111 to 309 (M = 229. several instruments have reporting current use of the most popular psychedelic drug.117. nor with the numbers of psychedelic and tried out or used by the 667 participants. There were no significant PICI groups (n = 150). However.4 different drugs were reported as drug types used. however. then sent to was also associated with a higher total number of drug the original author for approval. not significantly related to a higher number of psychedelic practices. 5.Moró et al. For our particular study. = . the negative correlation found on the three PICI subscales (ABS.235 respectively. For quantitative 7% of the participants reporting previous use. negative correlation between religious or intrinsic spiritual SD = 35. On the main PICI scale. .035.001. but only 5% in the C2 control was to establish a scientifically based and culturally sen. N = 667). but tal entity). N = 589).001. p = . concept that distinguishes spirituality as the individual's especially with a higher number of nonpsychedelic drugs relation with God (or by any other higher ttanscenden. we found it necessary to use the ISS in our scores (r. not limited only to Judeo-Christianity tial decision to exclude the 78 problem users from certain but applicable also to practitioners of noninstitutional reli. and discontinuous usage pattern for these substances. N = 589) and weakly with study. comparisons.. The scale is based on a types used (U = 18600. These biasing inequalities also justified our ini- sitive instrument. N . Psychological Immuue Competence Gorsuch 1995. with Intrinsic Spirituality Scale (ISS). Rahman 2001 . A particular strength of the never tried out any of the 23 drugs (including alcohol and Franklian concept is that it also integrates hardship and tobacco). PICI scores correlated fairly strongly with PIL target group. N = 589). Z = -3.004. both N = 667). were significantly higher than for females (U = 36429.001. PICI and PIL scores were significantly Allport & Ross (1967). and 4% studies of religion and spirituality. p = . The underlying purpose of developitig the ISS 16% in the CI control group.176. we chose to use the Intrinsic Self-reported problems associated with substance use Spirituality Scale (ISS). and rituals developed by gtoups of individu. and SRS scores for males kinds of results in populations with fundamentally differ.215 and to both theistic and nontheistic populations for measuring /-J = . but no significant correlation with gendet. ISS scores {r. had 1997.September 2011 .5. whereas religion is defined as a set of beliefs. Noblejas de la Flor of the respondents reported total abstinence.^ In the matched nonpsychedelic drugs used. A preliminary group analysis showed that the pro- als with similar experiences concerning the ttanscendent portion of problem users was 14% in the PSY target group.798. there goals and drug use: A higher level of spirituality is asso. p < . In comparison with the higher spirituality scores on nontheistic individuals in our other scales.. reality. that is. MCES.

as the PIL score mean was 103. Although ISS scores did not on factors behind the difterences. SD = 20. only a careful examination of the In Ihe whole sample.38.101. gnostic drug use can be seen as a "training situation". It can (M .99. the actual efficiency and benefits of are shown in Table 3.014.001. Z = -3. N = 589).5. and ISS) could be postulated. SD = 19. correlate significantly with the total number of drug types Findings from our study seemingly contradict previ- used nor with the number of nonpsychedelic drugs used. but did not correlate Thus.09. /.Moró et al. A more comprehensive view on the PSY target group and the Cl control group (U = 689. but could be shaped by N — 589).144.001) and users. oriented generalizations in the lack of detailed data.339.398. n = 50) consumption act.01.September 2011 . Similarly.23. N = 589). PIL scores also correlated with ISS scores other factors.811. drug use seems to be a much-nuanced phenomenon with PSYNDEX scores. which tnight had Z ^ -3. However. = . In the matched groups. ability and marked differences in the usage patterns of but only 99. authorities.24.001.108. Moreover.001. n = 18). N = 100). SD = 19. but not between the been an ambiguous and individually interpreted notion for two control groups Cl and C2.0. However. between drug users and nonusers. Voice of the Psychonauts Purpose In Life DISCUSSION PIL scores ranged from 28 to 137 (M = 101. p < . N = 589). Thus. There was show that the greatest differences are not necessarily also a weak correlation with age (r^ = . July .86.55. the exclusion of drugs used (/•.001. auto- that C2 control group females (M = 22. namely the PSY tatget group on problem users—may also yield biased results.36. N = 100). our results confirmed a great vari- nounced.93 for females. N = 150) = 20. n = 50).187.53. n == 50) than goals. As expected. topic would also require background data on the general Z = -3. p < . N = 589). Combining these two aspects. /J < . ISS scores ranged from 0 to 60 whole continuum of users (from nonproblem to probletn) (M = 30. Findings also became insignificant in the matched groups. As p < . SD = 16.469. as n = 32) had significantly lower ISS scores (U = 166. and also between the level of spirituality in the population. psychoactive drugs. Albeit some possible cognitive-behavioral tnechanistns Scotes from the three instrutnents (PICl. scores for males were significantly higher than for females Self-knowledge becomes a part of the mental health (U = 2122. Z = -2. N = 589).71. these gender differences ing similar sociodetnographic characteristics.N = 589)atid with the number of nonpsychedelic the analysis of the PlCI scores indicated. /J < . This finding be rather stated that spirituality may act as a protective was confirmed by a Kruskal-Wallis test that found a sig. it can be assumed with rea- There were no significant differences in the PIL scores of sonable certainty that an opposite apptoach—focusing only the three matched groups. a Mann-Whitney test values could be explored only with further studies using verified that significant differences occurred between the qualitative methods. insignificant results.28.12. especially if abstinence is valued or required (/•. SD=: 15. SD = 17. In this sense. N = 589) and were not corre.001. n = 50).p < . ISS the study participants. It indeed seems probable that a drugs used (r. But on the other hand.26. drug user subgroups may be isolated to a degree that would substantially hinder the use of Ihe snowball tnethod of par- Intrinsic Spirituality ticipant recruiting. p = . SD = 18.0. even within participant groups hav- /) < . and outreach projects. males (M==: 35.124.001. A closer process when its techniques are consciously utilized for inspection for the main source of this difference revealed charting inner resources more deeply.001. PIL. services.870. N = 150). ISS scores religious or spiritual attitude may keep practitioners away were also positively correlating with PSYNDEX scores from drug use.003. n = 50).52. it deliberately provokes exceptional expeiiences in order Z = -2. but did problem users may even out subtle differences and lead to not correlate with the number of psychedelic drugs used. and specific studies are carried out. the roles of meaning and cotnmunity between the thtee groups. n = 50). p == . = . ous studies about religion and spititualily being protective they correlated positively with the number of psychedelic factors against drug use. SD = 19. p < . significant findings are presented in the whole process remains speculative until more detailed Table 4. may give a sufficient contrast in data that could shed light lating with age nor gender. SD = 15. As it seems highly Jotirtiat of Psychoactive Drugs 195 Volume 43 (3). SD = 9. factor against drug-related problems—for both nonusers nificant difference (x^ (2.051. PIL scores correlated negatively that cannot be approached by oversimplified or problem- with the total number of drug types used (/-j = —. as well as even the PSY target group and the C2 control group (U = 697. = -.035.78. in accordance with by their comtnunity. and the C2 control probletn and nonproblem users may be hidden frotn health group (M = 104. n = 277). as both (M = 101.34 for males (U = 35313. Still. = . p < .08. Moreover.5. it could and C2 (M = 26. and thus may provide a sacramental meaning for the in control groups Cl (M = 30.212. the Cl control gtoup be indeed difficult to obtain propottional samples. = . (A-. Gender differences were pro. ISS scores were significantly higher in the drug use may also be in accordance with certain spiritual PSY target group (M = 42. such as purpose and meaning of drug use.08.84.I64.001. clarification of the meaning of spirituality. the purposes of our expectation. N = 50) than C2 control group to gain self-knowledge and to rehearse coping strategies.

W.01. PIL.790** Z=-3. 's=. Voice of the Psychonauts TABLE 3 PICI. A. As a comprehensive analysis of all involved drugs and their use purposes are beyond the scope of the 1. Baker (Eds. Contrary to our expectation.R.-. 200. F. 17 Fetnales) 231 233 227 101 102 100 30 27 35 C2 Coturol Gtoup (18 Maies. ISS = Intrinsic Spirituality Scale.e. PIL = Puipose In Life test.) overview. Allport. New York: Oxford University Press. 1961. = -. The psyehedelic pathway. 9 Females) 233 231 245 101 99 110 42 42 41 Cl Cotitrol Group (33 Maies. In: J. PiL = Purpose in Life test.9% of at social discourses about drug issues. July . In: C. * * = P < . ISS. Religion and Mental Health. Journat of Psychoactive Drtigs 196 Volutiie 43 (3). 1967. and Prohleni Drug Use Number of Number of Number of All Drugs Nonpsychedelic Drugs Psychedelic Drugs PSYNDEX PICI .l37** (N = 366) PIL /•. Baker. Consciousness alteration as a problem-solving device: udice. Washington. .September 2011 .176** (N = 667) (N = 667) Note: PICi = Psychological Itntnune Cotnpetence Itiventory. 2010)—it would have been too difficult to PSY target group members for a detailed description of find 50 fully abstinent control group metnbers (i. The Salutogenic Model as a theory to guide health for Ethnomedicine and the Study of Consciousness. in our next study we plan to interview (Tombor et al. B.124** . . PL.339*** (N = 589) (N = 277) Ptoblem Drug Use U = 18600** U = 18528.001. J. ISS = intrinsic Spirituality Scale. = . Health Promotion International 11(1): 11-18. American Journal of Psychiatry 143:1088-97. the bottleneck in current study. . .F. and ISS Scores hy Group and Gender PICI PIL ISS Total Maie Female Total Male Female Total Male Female PSY Target Group (41 Maies. Religion and substance use.Moró et ai. Schutnaker (Ed. =-. 1986. REFERENCES Aletiian. 37(2): 179-87. To find out more the adult population smokes cigarettes on a daily basis about these topics. DC: American Psychological Association. sons who neither smoke tobacco nor drink alcohol) in the preferred age range. 32 Fetnales) 226 230 224 104 104 105 27 35 22 Note: Scores are from tnatched groups (n = 50). Ratsch & J. & Lar0i.J. Psychedelic sacraments. J.. detailed results from crosstable comparisons participant recruiting turned out to be the relatively most will be reported in a separate. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology 5 (4):432-43. - Z=-2. & Ross. M. TABLE 4 Significant Findings in PICI.164*** r. 1992. research needs to be aitned also high rate of tobacco consumption in Hungary—29. VWB. forthcoming publication.*** =p < . per- their autognostic psychedelic drug use. = . and coping strategies are drug free C2 control group. 1994. G.) Yearbook Antonovsky. Journal of Psychoactive Drugs Perception. probable that beliefs. 2008. Knowing for example the also culturally transmitted. Asaad.. PICI = Psyehological Immune Competenee Inventory. Berlin: promotion. Hallucinations: Theoretical and clinical Benson.144*** r. NOTES 2. Personal religious orientation and prej. . PIL. - (N = 589) (N = 589) ISS . Hallucinations: The Science of Idiosyncratic Baker.R. & Shapiro. A.S. meanings.5** . G.

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