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Enhancing Well-Being Through Psychedelics

Article Title: “Improvements in Well-being Following Naturalistic Psychedelic Use and Underlying Mechanisms of Change in Older Adults: A Prospective Cohort Study”

Authors: Hannes Kettner, Leor Roseman, Adam Gazzaley, Robin Carhart-Harris, Lorenzo Pasquini

Publication Date: March 8th, 2024

DOI: 10.21203/

Background and Study Overview

Affective disorders, like anxiety and loneliness, are significantly debilitating in older adults. These conditions often diminish well-being and may herald more severe neuropsychiatric issues. 

The study explored the impact of serotonergic psychedelics, which are emerging as novel treatments for these conditions. Older and younger adults participated in guided psychedelic sessions and their well-being was tracked prior to, and after, psychedelic intake.  

Key Findings

Significant improvements in well-being were observed in most participants. Stronger improvements were present in older participants, particularly those with a psychiatric diagnosis, despite the generally less intense psychedelic experiences reported compared to younger adults.


The study highlighted that while traditional intersubjective effects of psychedelics were less pronounced, the social and relational aspects, especially feelings of togetherness (Communitas), played a crucial role in enhancing well-being among older adults.


These findings suggest a shift in the therapeutic approaches towards enhancing social connections and tailored psychedelic interventions for older adults, which could be pivotal in managing and potentially improving mental health conditions prevalent in this demographic.

Potential Application

The results could lead to refined psychedelic therapy protocols focusing more on the communal and supportive aspects rather than just the pharmacological effects, catering specifically to the needs of older adults.


Psychedelic use in a controlled, communal setting appears to offer a valuable therapeutic avenue for improving mental health in older adults, warranting further research and consideration in clinical practices.



Kettner, H., Roseman, L., Gazzaley, A., Carhart-Harris, R., & Pasquini, L. (2024). Improvements in well-being following naturalistic psychedelic use and underlying mechanisms of change in older adults: A prospective cohort study. Research Square.

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