This series on the psychedelic treatment of addiction is written by Benjamin Taub from psychedelicsforaddiction.com. Here, part one offers an introduction to psychedelic therapy as a treatment for addiction – and subsequent parts provide details on preparing yourself for treatment, undergoing the treatment itself, and post-treatment integration.
Psychedelics provide access to realms of consciousness that mainstream therapies simply can’t reach, and have been used to treat a range of mental health issues for centuries. A small but growing body of research is now revealing the power of psychedelics to facilitate recovery from addiction; although a lack of cultural wisdom regarding the use of these substances means the role they play in the healing process is often misunderstood.
Ibogaine, for instance, has been wrongly labelled a “cure” for addiction due to its capacity to eliminate withdrawal symptoms from opioids and other drugs, while a smattering of small studies indicates that LSD, psilocybin, and ayahuasca may also have a part to play in the treatment of the condition. While none of these substances should be considered “magic bullets,” when used correctly they can facilitate experiences that provide people with the tools to construct their own recovery.
Understanding how psychedelics fit into this process first requires an appreciation of the nature of addiction.