Resources 2019-05-05T02:33:51+00:00

Psychedelic Retreats and legal exemptions

If you’re thinking of traveling to the Amazon for a retreat, read this (ICEERS).


Openmindtrips
Explore facilitators, travel guides, work exchange, events, retreats, shamans and ceremonies throughout the world, with testimonials.

AyaAdvisors
Search and sort by highest rated, most affordable, and by category: Ayahuasca, Iboga, Magic Mushroom, Peyote, San Pedro and Kambo retreats.

TripSitters
Directory of psilocybin retreats and private sessions.

Retreat.Guru
Search psychedelic teachers, leaders, retreats and centers with reviews around the world.

Trusted Retreat Finder
Personal retreat curator that gets you personalized recommendations within a week.

Ayamundo
Search for ayahuasca retreats and reviews by country and by city.


Religious organizations with legal exemption to use psychedelics in Canada:

Céu do Montréal / The Eclectic Centre for the Universal Flowing Light

Céu da Divina Luz do Montreal

Église Santo Daime Céu do Vale de Vida in Val-David, Quebec

Céu de Toronto

Beneficient Spiritist Center União do Vegetal

Risks and safety

Resources:

If you plan on traveling for a retreat, read this (ICEERS)

MAPS: How to Work with Difficult Psychedelic Experiences

The Zendo Harm Reduction Manual (pdf)

Harm Reduction International – Global State of Harm Reduction 2018 (pdf)

The Manual of Psychedelic Support (pdf)

Psychedelics can be used safely…

  • The Global Drug Survey[1] has consistently found psilocybin and LSD to be the least addictive of all drugs.
  • The UK Independent Scientific Committee on Drugs deemed classical psychedelics to be among the least damaging to the self and to society, compared to all other drugs.[2]
  • In over 2000 carefully controlled clinical trials, where participants were properly screened for predisposition to psychosis and other contraindications, no serious adverse events were recorded,[3] and cases of Hallucinogen Persisting Perceptual Disorder (HPPD) are rare.[4]
  • Psilocybin used in the clinical setting is considered safe, well tolerated, showing no signs of neurotoxicity.[3]
  • Psychedelic use does not appear to be associated to negative mental health. In fact data suggest the opposite may be true.[5]
  • A deluge of research demonstrates that these experiences are often rated in 7/10 cases as the single or among the top five most meaningful experiences in the lives of participants, and a single experience in a controlled setting can provide profound and sustained relief to those suffering from addictions, depression, and anxiety.[6]

but they do carry risks.
In uncontrolled sets and settings, and in those predisposed to psychotic disorders, psychedelics can lead to significant problems. Psychedelics

  • may induce Hallucinogen Persisting Perceptual Disorder (HPPD) under circumstances involving intense fear or panic that goes unsoothed during the psychedelic experience.[4] See A Very Brief Summary of HPPD, based on Halpern, Lerner & Passie (2016).
  • should not be used by those with schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, or history of these in immediate family.[3]
  • can interact with antidepressant and other medication, (such as SSRIs, MAOIs and UDG enzyme modulators)[3]
  • decrease the threshold for seizures[3]
  • may affect a quarter of the population more dramatically due to a known serotonin 2A genetic polymorphism that disrupts sensory gating.[7]
  • may lead to anxiety, dysphoria, hypertension, exhaustion and general incapacitation, and disrupt vigilance, working memory, cognitive flexibility, and communication, and may lead to paranoid ideation or ideas of reference; at the highest doses, may lead to sense of disconnection from body and environment, and the loss of ability to distinguish fantasy from reality.[3][8]
  • may produce experiences beyond the user’s ability to conceptualize using existing world-models and language, and require a period of integration that may be understood as extending off into the following days, weeks or years, and may require specialized social support.

Benzodiazepines, antipsychotics and hypertension medication are typically kept on hand in case of emergencies.[3] Interruptions and uncertain environments & people should be completely eliminated, and the user should not operate heavy machinery or engage in activities that require sustained attention and carry a hazard.

Find support providers at Psychedelic.Support and PsychedelicsToday

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References

[1] Global Drug Survey (2018)

[2] Nutt, D. J., King, L. A., & Phillips, L. D. (2010). Drug harms in the UK: a multicriteria decision analysis. The. Lancet, 376(9752), 1558–1565. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(10)61462-6

[3] Huston, P., Cozzi, N., Vollenweider, F., Nichols, D., Greer, G., Johnson, M., May, D., Ross, S., Jerome, I. (2018) Psilocybin Investoator’s Brochure V2.0.  Usona Institute. 

[4] Halpern, J. H., Lerner, A. G., & Passie, T. (2016). A Review of Hallucinogen Persisting Perception Disorder (HPPD) and an Exploratory Study of Subjects Claiming Symptoms of HPPD. In A. Halberstadt, D. Nichols, F. X. Vollenweide (Eds), Behavioral Neurobiology of Psychedelic Drugs (pp. 333-360). doi:10.1007/7854_2016_457

[5] Johansen, P., & Krebs, T. S. (2015). Psychedelics not linked to mental health problems or suicidal behavior: a population study. J. Psychopharmacol., 29(3), 270–279. doi: 10.1177/0269881114568039

[6] Carhart-Harris, R. L., & Goodwin, G. M. (2017). The Therapeutic Potential of Psychedelic Drugs: Past, Present, and Future. Neuropsychopharmacology, 42(11), 2105-2113. doi:10.1038/npp.2017.84

[7]  Vollenweider, F. X. [Horizons]. (2011). Neuronal Networks and Neurotransmitter Dynamics underlying Altered States of Consciousness. Retrieved from https://vimeo.com/11258033

[8] Preller, K. H., & Vollenweider, F. X. (2016). Phenomenology, Structure, and Dynamic of Psychedelic States. in Behavioral Neurobiology of Psychedelic Drugs. Current Topics in Behavioral Neurosciences, 221-256. doi:10.1007/7854_2016_459