Is Using Ayahuasca a Relapse?


Ayahuasca is a traditional Amazonian plant-based medicine known for its profound psychoactive effects. Some people claim ayahuasca treatment can provide spiritual or psychological healing. However, this powerful substance has risks, especially for people in addiction recovery.

What Is Ayahuasca?

Ayahuasca, which means “vine of the soul” in Quechua, is a brew made from the combination of the Banisteriopsis caapi vine and the leaves of the Psychotria viridis plant. Indigenous cultures in the Amazon basin use it for medicinal, ceremonial and spiritual purposes.

Ayahuasca contains a psychedelic drug called dimethyltryptamine, plus monoamine oxidase inhibitors that serve as antidepressants. The MAOIs work by blocking the enzymes that usually break down DMT before it reaches your brain. As a result, ayahuasca triggers changes in consciousness, including intense visions, emotional release and sometimes profound personal revelations. While some people feel more euphoric and peaceful after taking ayahuasca, others have hallucinations that can be frightening or panic-inducing.

Can Ayahuasca Lead to a Relapse?

If you are in addiction recovery, using ayahuasca could constitute a relapse, based on your intent and the context in which you consume the brew.

  1. Recreational use: You can relapse by using ayahuasca in pursuit of a high.
  2. Therapeutic use: Some may argue that using ayahuasca in a controlled, therapeutic setting with professional guidance would not be a relapse. However, this perspective is highly controversial due to the lack of scientific evidence supporting ayahuasca’s efficacy in addiction treatment.

Potential Dangers of Using Ayahuasca

There is no proven safe way to use ayahuasca or any other psychedelic drugs. Ayahuasca’s potency has unique risks, particularly for people working to overcome substance use disorders.

  1. Psychological impact: Ayahuasca can trigger intense emotional reactions, which can be overwhelming or traumatic without adequate support.
  2. Drug interactions: Ayahuasca can interact with other medications or substances, leading to dangerous health effects.
  3. Legal issues: Ayahuasca is illegal in the United States because its psychoactive component is a Schedule I substance.
  4. Potential for abuse: Ayahuasca’s intense experiences might lead some people to keep using it in an unhealthy way.

Experience Nature’s Healing Power at Hope Lodge

At Hope Lodge, we understand the complexities of addiction and recovery. We recognize everyone has different needs, and we’re here to create a tailored treatment plan. At our boutique Lake Arrowhead healing center, you’ll find a complete continuum of care, from medical detoxification to aftercare options.

Are you struggling with substance use related to ayahuasca, or do you have concerns about how this powerful plant brew might affect your recovery? We are here for you. Our experienced team provides a safe and nurturing environment to create the ideal setting for healing.

If you are considering using ayahuasca or struggling with its effects, it’s crucial to seek professional guidance. At Hope Lodge, we prioritize your well-being, offering evidence-based therapies and a compassionate approach. Feel free to reach out to us; we’re here to support you every step of the way.