While substances such as ibogaine have become renowned for their ability to remove withdrawals and cravings from opioids and other drugs, the true power of psychedelics lies in their capacity to generate feelings of connection, oneness and wholeness. The self-esteem and contentedness that result from this experience are central to the recovery process, but these insights won’t last forever unless certain steps are taken to integrate them after treatment.
More often than not, addiction arises out of a sense of disconnection; we continually find ourselves coming up against a roadblock that prevents us from getting where we want to be in life or feeling what we want to feel, and turn to drugs in an attempt to escape this prison. When on psychedelics, however, the dissolution of the ego makes it possible to momentarily shed all these needs and desires, and experience perfect harmony with whatever is in that moment.
Of course, this feeling does not last forever, and it isn’t long before our inner narrative kicks in again and starts judging and shaming us for not being good enough, not achieving the things we had our heart set on, or simply not having what we want – all of which are rocket fuel for our addiction, and quickly become twisted into an excuse to use again.
Integration is therefore all about reinforcing the wisdom gained during the psychedelic experience and learning to see life as a process rather than a fixed state of affairs; just because things are not as we wish them to be in a given moment does not mean that we have failed at life. Similarly, when things are going well, we have not arrived at our final destination. Everything is in constant flux, and freedom means being able to enjoy the journey without beating yourself up for not having arrived.
Yet our culturally-conditioned inner narrative is normally what stops us from flowing with this process, as it refuses to allow us to accept ourselves until it gets what it wants; it tells us what we are supposed to be and where we are supposed to get to, and demands that we arrive immediately at our destination.
Engaging in activities that re-connect us to life in a healthier way is therefore essential when it comes to psychedelic integration. This often requires spending time away from our home environment where we are surrounded by people, places and situations that reinforce our inner narratives and trigger our addiction. Ideally, this period should be spent convening with nature, whether swimming in rivers, stargazing at night or simply walking through the forest. Experiencing oneself as part of the universe, which itself is in constant motion and has no final goal or destination, is the perfect way to integrate the cosmic insights attained through psychedelics.
It is also vital to have a support network in place after psychedelic treatment for addiction. This can be family, friends or even a counselling group. The purpose of this community is to support your growth in a non-judgemental way, giving you the space to explore life and find yourself without being subjected to any judgement or demands while in recovery.
Ultimately, it’s about learning to celebrate life regardless of the current situation and understanding that our condition in any given moment is only temporary and does not define who we are. The freedom to do so only comes when we are not being harassed by our own narratives or those of others.
To learn more about integration after psychedelic treatment for addiction, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +44 7873 331 882.