Evolutionary considerations on the emerging subculture of the E-psychonauts and the novel psychoactive substances: A comeback to the shamanism?

McQueen, Daniel and Orsolini, Laura and St John-Smith, Paul and Papanti, Duccio and Corkery, John and Schifano, Fabrizio (2017) Evolutionary considerations on the emerging subculture of the E-psychonauts and the novel psychoactive substances: A comeback to the shamanism? Current Neuropharmacology, 15 (5). pp. 731-737. ISSN 1875-6190 (Online)

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Abstract/Book Review

Background: Evolutionary research on drug abuse has hitherto been restricted to proximate studies, considering aetiology, mechanism, and ontogeny. However, in order to explain the recent emergency of a new behavioral pattern (e.g. ‘the e-psychonaut style’) of novel psychoactive substances’ (NPS) intake, a complementary evolutionary model may be needed. Objective: A range of evolutionary interpretations on the ‘psychonaut style’ and the recent emergency of NPS were here considered. Method: The PubMed database was searched in order to elicit evolutionary theory-based documents commenting on NPS/NPS users/e-psychonauts. Results: The traditional ‘shamanic style’ use of entheogens/plant-derived compounds may present with a range of similarities with the ‘e-psychonauts’ use of mostly of hallucinogen/psychedelic NPS. These users consider themselves as ‘new/technological’ shamans. Conclusion: Indeed, a range of evolutionary mechanisms, such as: optimal foraging, costly signaling, and reproduction at the expense of health may all cooperate to explain the recent spread and diffusion of the NPS market, and this may represent a reason of concern.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Published online: July 2017
Uncontrolled Keywords: Drug Use
Subjects: Disabilities & Disorders (mental & physical) > Addictions
Department/People: Children, Young Adult and Family Services
Depositing User: Ms Linda Dolben
Date Deposited: 09 Oct 2018 11:22
Last Modified: 09 Oct 2018 11:22
URI: http://repository.tavistockandportman.ac.uk/id/eprint/1841

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