Psychedelic Therapy for Psychedelics Addiction

“I understood myself only after I had destroyed myself. And only in the process of fixing myself did I know who I really was.” – Sade Andria Zabala

What Are Psychedelics?

Psychedelics (also known as hallucinogens) are a group of psychoactive substances that alter one’s perception of time, the environment, and themselves. Acting primarily on the serotonin 2A receptor, these compounds, whether derived from nature in the form of ayahuasca, peyote, or mushrooms, or synthesized in the lab to their active compounds (N,N-dimethyltryptamine, mescaline, and psilocybin, respectively), produce powerful alterations in perception, mood, and cognition. They are known for producing powerful visionary states where users see, hear, or experience things that cannot be verified in consensual reality. The experiences are very intense, often described as being more real than waking life. 

Signs of Habitual Psychedelic or Dissociative Use:

  • Increased isolation
  • Difficulty distinguishing between inner and outer process/reality
  • Deteriorating personal appearance or hygiene
  • Erratic sleep patterns
  • Risky behavior and decisions
  • Inability to concentrate or be present
  • Mood swings

Common Psychedelics and Dissociatives

Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD or acid)

An incredibly potent psychedelic compound, a significant dose is less than 1/5 of one thousandth of a gram. It has potent effects on the user’s state of consciousness. LSD is clear or white and is put onto small squares of paper often referred to as “blotters.”

Effects of LSD:

  • Altered sense of self
  • Altered perception of time 
  • Powerful emotional experiences
  • Synesthesia (hearing colors, tasting sounds)
  • At higher doses, ego death or loss of sense of separate self
  • Lasts approximately 8-12 hours

Psilocybin (4-phosphoryloxy-N,N-dimethyltryptamine)

Found in mushrooms species all over the world, primarily in tropical and subtropical climates. Mushrooms have a history of human use that spans millennia and geography, from the ancienty Mayans in Central America to the Aryans that crossed over into India many thousands of years ago. 

Effects of Psilocybin

  • Drowsiness or lethargy
  • Tachycardia (increased heart rate)
  • Nausea
  • Anxiety
  • Hallucinations or visions
  • Lasts approximately 6-8 hours

N,N – Dimethyltryptamine (DMT)

Easily extracted from certain plant species, and the active component in the indigenous brew ayahuasca, DMT is one of the most powerful visionary substances on the planet. It produces powerful hallucinations where users report visiting other planes of existence, encountering alien and advanced intelligences or entities, and dissolving their separate sense of self. 

Effects of DMT:

  • Out of body experiences
  • Intense hallucinations
  • Dizziness
  • Unitive experiences
  • Lasts approximately 15 minutes

Phencyclidine (PCP)

Developed in the 1950s as a general anesthetic and similar to ketamine, PCP is a powerful dissociative drug. 

Effects of PCP:

  • Numbness of extremities
  • Amnesia
  • Profuse sweating
  • Exaggerated gait
  • Violence
  • Blurred Vision

Ketamine

A dissociative drug that is used as a general anesthetic and one of the World Health Organization’s 10 vital medicines. Larger doses produce full loss of consciousness, while smaller ones produce a dissociated and deeply relaxed state. It acts on the NMDA-glutamate receptors in the brain. 

Effects of Ketamine:

  • Dreamlike sensations
  • Confusion
  • Memory Loss
  • Depressed breathing
  • Stomach pain
  • Kidney issues

How Can Ketamine-Assisted Therapy Help?

It may seem counterintuitive to use psychedelics to treat psychedelic addiction, but we have a method! As any experienced psychonaut will tell you, the setting in which the drug is taken in and the intention of the user (referred to as set) are just as important as the substance being taken. At Within, these powerful agents are not being used to “get high” or escape from pain, but to delve into unresolved pain and trauma so that it can be fully experienced from a new, empowered perspective. By introducing those struggling with psychedelics or dissociative addiction to ketamine therapy, we reorient the patient to a new way of experiencing and revering these sacred medicines, one that is focused on healing and confronting pain and difficulty, not escaping it.

Schedule an initial consultation with us today

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