Drug Alcohol Rev. 2022 Mar 30. doi: 10.1111/dar.13464. Online ahead of print.
INTRODUCTION: Digital drugs, or binaural beats claimed to elicit specific cognitive or emotional states, are a phenomenon about which little is known. In this brief report, we describe demographic and drug use correlates of binaural beat use, patterns of use, reasons for use and methods of access.
METHODS: The Global Drug Survey 2021 was translated into 11 languages; 30 896 responses were gathered from 22 countries.
RESULTS: The use of binaural beats to experience altered states was reported by 5.3% of the sample (median age 27; 60.5% male), with the highest rates from the United States, Mexico, Brazil, Poland, Romania and the United Kingdom. Controlling for all variables, age and non-male gender predicted binaural beat use, as did the recent use of cannabis, psychedelics and novel/new drugs. Respondents most commonly used binaural beats ‘to relax or fall asleep’ (72.2%) and ‘to change my mood’ (34.7%), while 11.7% reported trying ‘to get a similar effect to that of other drugs’. This latter motivation was more commonly reported among those who used classic psychedelics (16.5% vs. 7.9%; P < 0.001). The majority sought to connect with themselves (53.1%) or ‘something bigger than themselves’ (22.5%) through the experience. Binaural beats were accessed primarily through video streaming sites via mobile phones.
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSIONS: This paper establishes the existence of the phenomenon of listening to binaural beats to elicit changes in embodied and psychological states. Future research directions include the cultural context for consumption and proximate experiences, including co-use with ingestible drugs and other auditory phenomena.
Source: ncbi 2