By Hugh Finlay
Drug-related deaths fell by 30.4% nationwide during the period 2007–2010, yet another confirmation of the benefits of the Maharishi Effect – and now the third study to be published on the results of research on the Invincible America Assembly.
A study a year ago found a reduction in homicide and violent crime, and a study published last month found a reduction in motor vehicle fatalities and other accidental deaths. Two additional studies have been accepted for publication.
The surge in drug-related deaths began in 1990, fueled by skyrocketing rates of drug overdose, largely from prescription painkillers and anxiety drugs. Drug deaths exceeded motor vehicle accidents as a cause of death in 2009, killing more than 37,000 people a year nationwide.
The study, published in SAGE Open, found that during the four-year period 2007 through 2010 this upward trend in the rate of drug-related deaths was interrupted by a highly significant shift to a greatly reduced, flatter trend. As a result, the drug-related fatality rate was reduced 30.4% relative to the 2002–2006 baseline average. The researchers estimated that 26,425 drug-related fatalities were averted by the significantly reduced trend in fatality rates.
The probability that the reduced trend in rates of drug-related fatalities could simply be due to chance was reported to be 3.1 in 10 billion.
During 2007-2010, the size of the group practicing the Transcendental Meditation and TM-Sidhi® programs on campus and in Maharishi Vedic City was above or near 1,725 participants, the size predicted to have a positive influence on the US quality of life. This predicted threshold represents the square root of 1% of the US population.
"It's a bold claim, but there are now 14 peer-reviewed studies that suggest that one's individual consciousness is directly connected to an underlying, universal field of consciousness, and that by collectively tapping into that field through Transcendental Meditation, we can have a positive effect on the environment," said lead author Michael Dillbeck.
According to coauthor Ken Cavanaugh, the researchers were able to rule out alternative explanations, such as unemployment and national economic conditions, increased public and professional medical awareness of the hazards of opioid painkillers, and sales of such painkillers.