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Narrative identity, rationality, and microdosing classic psychedelics

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Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Microdosing involves ingesting a small dose of a classic psychedelic (e.g., LSD and psilocybin) at regular intervals for prolonged periods. The practice is said to reduce anxiety, improve mood, and offer several creative and practical benefits to users. Using the narrative identity theoretical framework, our aim was to explore the experiences of those who microdosed classic psychedelics. Specifically, we sought to understand how and why they began microdosing and how they made sense of their actions in the context of their conventional lives.

METHODS:

To understand the experiences of those who microdose classic psychedelics, we rely on data collected from semi-structured interviews with 30 people who had microdosed.

RESULTS:

Participants saw themselves as conventional citizens who microdosed for rational and instrumental purposes. They emphasized the rationality of microdosing by discussing (1) the practicality of their procurement and administration processes, (2) the connection between their microdosing practice and their general awareness in health and wellness, and (3) the benefits of the practice.

CONCLUSION:

Participants described their microdosing in the context of embracing traditional middle-class values. This created social distance between themselves and those who use drugs recreationally. While people who use drugs recreationally typically construct boundaries by distancing themselves from symbolic others (i.e., “crackheads,” “meth heads,” “junkies”), microdosers constructed boundaries by emphasizing connections to conventional citizens who embrace middle-class values. This connection to conventional citizens allows them to normalize their drug use and facilitates persistence.

Webb, M., Copes, H., & Hendricks, P. S. (2019). Narrative identity, rationality, and microdosing classic psychedelics. International Journal of Drug Policy70, 33-39., 10.1016/j.drugpo.2019.04.013
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