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Psychedelic Treatment For Addiction – Is It Safe?


Ibogaine, ayahuasca, psilocybin and other psychedelics can produce extremely powerful effects, and should therefore not be taken lightly. Making sure that you are using these substances safely is an absolute necessity, not only for the obvious health reasons but also to ensure the best possible chance of achieving a positive outcome and actually getting clean.


Using psychedelics recklessly, without taking the necessary precautions to make sure that all safety issues have been addressed, is a classic example of not treating oneself with the respect that one deserves – and it’s this lack of self-worth that so often underlies addiction in the first place. Approaching treatment without the necessary respect and reverence therefore tends to undermine the whole process, which then ceases to be a genuine rite of passage and instead achieves nothing more than a temporary alteration of consciousness that fails to transform the mind’s patterns.


On the whole, psilocybin is considered a very safe substance, and research shows that it is in fact responsible for less medical emergencies than any other recreational drug. However, mixing it with medications like antidepressants – particularly SSRI’s – or anti-psychotics can still be extremely dangerous, potentially leading to serotonin syndrome or a psychotic episode.


With ibogaine, the situation is a little more complicated. Because ibogaine prolongs the phase of the heartbeat known as the QT interval – referring to the period of time it takes the ventricles of the heart to electrically recharge – it is essential to have one’s heart tested before treatment. Any heartbeat irregularities should be regarded as a sign that it is not safe to take ibogaine.


Elevated liver enzymes – which often results from excessive alcohol consumption – are also not compatible with ibogaine, as this will alter the way that the substance is metabolised. For this and many other reasons, it is completely essential to consult with an experienced ibogaine provider before proceeding with treatment, and to ensure that all treatments are medically supervised.


Ayahuasca, meanwhile, does not put the heart under as much strain as ibogaine, but does produce many intense physical effects. As with all psychedelics, it should not be mixed with psychiatric medication, and those suffering from other health defects should speak at length to an experienced psychedelic treatment provider before going ahead with any treatment.