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Assessing Attitudes and Beliefs about Psychedelics and Indigenous Plant Medicines Among an Urban Indigenous Community

Principal Investigator (PI) / Project Lead:


Funding Organization:

University of Utah Research Foundation & College of Social Work


Research Incentive Seed Grant Program – College of Social Work

Award Number:


Project Period:

4/1/2024 – 3/31/2025

Total Funding:


Project Status:

In progress


Project Description:

This study will measure attitudes, beliefs, knowledge, and openness to use of psychedelics and indigenous plant medicines in therapy among a regionally (NYC tri state) recruited sample of Indigenous adults. Indigenous communities have historically used psychedelics and indigenous plant medicines, but have been left out of current research, while disproportionately experiencing negative mental health outcomes that could be addressed using psychedelics in therapy.



Therapeutic use of psychedelics and indigenous plant medicines has seen broad success in the improvement of mental health (e.g., depression, anxiety and substance use conditions. However, psychedelic-focused research has left Indigenous people out at alarming rates despite their historic use of psychedelics and indigenous plant medicines for physical and spiritual health. Additionally, Indigenous populations in the US disproportionately experience negative mental health outcomes (e.g., substance use disorder, posttraumatic stress disorder) related to the enduring effects of settler colonialism. Thus, a limited inclusion in burgeoning psychedelics research means that results are not generalizable to Indigenous people, and they are in turn potentially left out of the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics and indigenous plant medicines used in therapy.

This study uses a sequential explanatory mixed methods approach with 1) primary survey data using an adapted Attitudes on Psychedelics Questionnaire (APQ) 2) primary qualitative follow-up data with focus group participants to inform findings from the quantitative data analysis.

This study will serve as the pilot of a national survey of attitudes towards psychedelics and indigenous plant medicines among Indigenous people, inform the creation of culturally-tailored informational materials, inform training programs for mental health practitioners, and ultimately increase access to the therapeutic benefits of psychedelic-assisted therapy among Indigenous people.



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Last Updated: 4/25/24