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Examining associations between MDMA/ecstasy and classic psychedelic use and impairments in social functioning in a U.S. adult sample

Impairment in social functioning is a common source of morbidity across many mental health disorders, yet there is a dearth of effective and easily implemented interventions to support social functioning. MDMA/ecstasy and classic psychedelics (psilocybin, LSD, peyote, mescaline) represent two potential treatments for impairments in social functioning, as evidence suggests these compounds may be supportive for alleviating social difficulties.

Lifetime MDMA/ecstasy use was associated with lowered odds of three of our four social impairment outcomes: difficulty dealing with strangers, difficulty participating in social activities, and being prevented from participating in social activities. Lifetime mescaline use was also associated with lowered odds of difficulty dealing with strangers. All other substances either shared no relationship with impairments in social functioning or conferred increased odds of our outcomes. Future experimental studies can assess whether these relationships are causal.


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