Psychedelics for Therapy: More Risks Than Benefits?

Psychedelics are the talk of the town, with both positive and negative attention. In case you’re unaware, psychedelics are a class of psychoactive drugs that induce feelings of euphoria and hallucinations.

While some studies suggest that they can aid in the treatment of certain mental health conditions, others warn that they pose a risk when misused or may even lead to dependence.

But before you decide to jump on the psychedelic bandwagon for therapy, here are some risks you should know about that might make you think twice.

Changing Beliefs and Perspectives

Psychedelics can alter a person’s beliefs, attitudes, perspectives, and worldview. These changes, while positive, can still make it challenging to incorporate new outlooks with old beliefs. This can result in difficulty returning to relationships and work after a psychedelic experience.

Challenging Emotions and Experiences

With psychedelics gaining popularity in the media, it’s easy to see them as a panacea. However, they can also trigger difficult memories and emotions, and bring forth issues that the person may be trying to avoid. If you’re not ready for this possibility, you may experience additional distress and challenges.

Purity Concerns

Unless bought from well-regulated systems, the purity of drugs cannot be guaranteed. Substances like MDMA have been found to be adulterated with other substances like methamphetamine.

Interaction with Medications

Some psychedelics may interact with prescribed medications. For example, taking ayahuasca while on certain antidepressants may lead to serotonin syndrome. Always consult a medical professional before using psychedelics for therapy while on prescribed drugs.

Enduring Distress

Certain psychedelic experiences may evoke painful memories or emotions, which may take time to address. However, with proper support, these experiences can lead to growth and healing. It’s important to be aware of this possibility to avoid getting upset when it happens.

Risk of Mania or Psychosis

The use of psychedelics may pose serious risks to those with a personal or family history of psychosis such as bipolar disorder or schizophrenia. While there is still no evidence that psychedelics cause psychosis or mania, they may activate underlying conditions when present.

Before trying psychedelics for therapy, make sure to do your research and educate yourself on the potential risks. Your safety and well-being should always be a top priority.