Things You Need To Know About Ayahuasca (DMT)

Ayahuasca addictionAyahuasca is a natural substance from a plant that people have long used for its psychedelic effects. It is common and legal in much of South America and is used for ceremonies, rituals and medicinal purposes. These ceremonies are now common in Europe as well. Many people from different parts of the world decide to obtain a guide and have an Ayahuasca experience, which is described as similar to a near-death or out-of-body experience.

Ayahuasca is the name of a drink brewed from the ayahuasca and chacruna plants. It includes the substance dimethyltryptamine (DMT), which is hallucinogenic and illegal in the United States and various other countries. When people drink this psychoactive beverage, they tend to have an experience that can last hours and that many consider emotionally and spiritually enlightening and healing. However, while people often say they have a positive experience, others have found their “trip” fearful and unhealthy.

Ayahuasca has shown potential for helping people with addiction and mental health disorders, and it does not lead to a physical dependency. However, certain precautions should be taken with it, and it’s possible for the substance to cause problems in your life. If you’re experiencing problems from Ayahuasca use or need support for a separate addiction, an addiction treatment program can assess your situation and find ways to help.

Ayahuasca’s Potential Benefit for Addiction and Mental Health Disorders

Ayahuasca is studied for its potential in helping people work through addiction and mental health disorders. It could be used to facilitate exploring people’s mental and emotional health to encourage healing.

While many people say they benefit from having Ayahuasca ceremonies, there are people who are not able to handle the emotions the experience brings up, and it seems to trigger mental health problems in others. This is a danger to going on a retreat with Ayahuasca or trying to use it on your own.

Mental health experts note that it could potentially be beneficial for a medical form of Ayahuasca to be used with the support of professionals who could help you work through the experiences the substance creates. However, this is not yet a reality.

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Is Ayahuasca Addictive?

It may not always be easy to have an Ayahuasca experience on your own when it involves a ceremony and a guide, which often requires traveling to another country. Nonetheless, it is possible to find a version of Ayahuasca tea online or make a homemade version. Experts recommend not doing this until you have already gone through the ceremony with an experienced guide, due to the risk of dredging up buried emotions without proper support.

If you gain access to Ayahuasca and use it over and over, you might come to rely on it, especially to help you with exploring your emotions. This beverage is not a substance that your brain and body would become dependent on and cause you to have withdrawal symptoms when you stop using it. Nonetheless, it’s possible to develop changes in your thoughts and behaviors that are associated with addiction. Your situation could be characterized as addiction if your use of Ayahuasca is affecting your life in a negative way but you continue to use it anyway. For example, it might have consequences for your health, your relationships and your job but that isn’t enough to get you to stop going after the Ayahuasca experience.

Further, you might find that you’re relying on Ayahuasca to help you cope with problems in life or delve into your memories and mental health to work through it. This is the main purpose of the substance. Yet relying on it to help you in this way has the potential to create reinforcing behavior. You might come to feel like you can’t work on your emotions without it.

It’s also possible that your Ayahuasca use could be connected to a separate addiction. Maybe you use this beverage to help you manage an addiction to another substance. Or maybe you liked the psychedelic experience that Ayahuasca provided and decided to explore the same feelings with psychoactive drugs that have the potential for dependency and addiction.

Support from Professionals

While it’s possible that Ayahuasca could help explore emotions and promote healing for addiction and mental health disorders, it’s good to be cautious about its use and rely on the support of professionals to help you manage your difficult emotions. Also, keep in mind that the active ingredient DMT is illegal in many places.

It’s possible that Ayahuasca—or some component of it—will be included in official mental health and addiction treatment programs at some point in the future, but it is not currently an approved medication for this purpose. Many other options are currently approved and in use, such as therapy to work through emotions, and specific medications to help with withdrawal and mental health symptoms.

Treatment with the guidance of professionals could help you learn healthier coping strategies, and therapists can help you work on your mental health and past in a healthy, safe way that doesn’t rely on a substance. Professional treatment can also provide tools and support to help you with an addiction to a different substance or with a mental health disorder.

Transformations Treatment Center provides detoxification through Summit Detox, individualized rehab programs and aftercare to help you through every stage of the recovery process. If you are relying on Ayahuasca to cope with problems and emotions, if your Ayahuasca experience brought up emotions you can’t handle or if you think you might have an addiction to another substance, we can help. Contact us at Transformations Treatment Center to discuss your situation and the customized treatment plans available to you.

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