When Gen X thinks back to their teens and early 20s images of raves and dance clubs where they may have experimented with substances like ecstasy and LSD come to mind. This may explain why this age group has also experienced a recent increase in hallucinogen use from 2% in 2021 to 4% in 2022. Dr. Harris Stratyner, a licensed New York State psychologist and addiction specialist says he’s seen this uptick in patients looking for ways to get high first-hand. “I think a lot of it has to do with the relaxed laws about marijuana,” says Harris. “I also think that a lot of people are micro-dosing hallucinogens and that older people are doing it because it goes back to their generation when they were using things like Ecstasy, LSD and other hallucinogens.”
Data also shows that some of the other hallucinogens people between the ages of 35 to 50 are using at an increased rate include MDMA, peyote, psilocybin and ketamine. Dr. Joseph Palamar, an associate professor and substance use expert in the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone says that similar to marijuana the increase in usage can also be attributed to the potential health benefits that come from the recreational use of hallucinogens like ketamine.