Author Archives: Hank

Fentanyl, a Deadly Bait and Switch Game

The United States Fentanyl Crisis

The opioid crisis in the United States has resulted in approximately 192 deaths per day. Oxycodone and heroin were not responsible for these deaths. The drug currently killing people is called fentanyl. Fatal drug overdoses significantly increased from 1999 through 2017 due to fentanyl. This drug is classified as a synthetic opioid between eighty and 100 times stronger than morphine. Fentanyl has been used for many years in anesthesia cocktails and cancer patches to relieve pain. During the fairly recent past, fentanyl has become an extremely popular recreational drug. 

 

The Centers for Disease Control has recently issued a report stating fentanyl is involved in more fatal overdoses than any other drug throughout the United States. In 2016, nearly one-third of all fatalities involved fentanyl. There was an increase of approximately 113 percent of fatal overdoses between 2013 and 2016. A minimum of two-thirds of the deaths related to fentanyl involved a minimum of one additional drug. This is partially due to drug dealers lacing cocaine and heroin with fentanyl to increase potency while cutting costs. 

 

This means when an individual purchases opioids, they are receiving a deadly combination. Fentanyl was involved in two of every five overdose deaths related to cocaine. Almost one-third of all deaths resulting from fentanyl involved heroin as well. Fentanyl overdose has become an extreme legitimate danger. 

 

The Truth About Fentanyl

 

Fentanyl works just like other opioids. The drug binds to the brain’s opioid receptors. These receptors control both emotions and pain. As the individual continues to use fentanyl, the brain adapts. The effects of the drug are weakened which results in the individual using larger quantities. This often results in dependency. Due to the potency of the drug, fentanyl is used for the treatment of chronic pain or severe pain resulting from surgery. 

 

Although a prescription can be written for fentanyl, the most common drug overdose is linked to the fentanyl produced in underground laboratories, manufactured into pills created to look like another prescription, added to nasal sprays and eye droppers, and even just sold as a powder. Drug suppliers and dealers are literally killing people to increase their profits. Fentanyl has a lot of harmful effects and symptoms. This includes:

 

  • Anxiety
  • Heartbeat changes
  • Shallow and slow breathing
  • Drowsiness
  • Depression
  • Seizures
  • Confusion
  • Chest, back and stomach pain
  • Dizziness
  • Itching

 

Continually using or overusing fentanyl can result in fainting, respiratory complications, depression and ultimately overdose, resulting in complications. 

 

The Fentanyl Epidemic

 

The opioid crisis in America is now a fentanyl epidemic spiraling out of control. There is a fentanyl overdose occurring every day. There were painkillers containing fentanyl created using counterfeit prescriptions by a man in Utah. He became a drug kingpin by mailing this deadly drug to people all over the United States. He will be going to trial, along with a small group of individuals, regarding allegations of using the basement of his home to send hundreds of thousands of packages with pills containing fentanyl. 

 

Issues the federal government’s prosecutors will bring to light: the drug is being imported from China, it is being poorly manufactured in to fake pills that are then sold and dispersed throughout every state via the online black market, sequentially killing tens of thousands of people by drug overdose The allegations of the prosecutors state dozens of customers died from a fentanyl overdose. Despite this, the charges for the ringleader include just one death: an individual 21 years of age who died after snorting what was believed to be prescription oxycodone but was laced with fentanyl. 

 

The ringleader began as a workout buff and aspiring entrepreneur. He said he did not realize the danger of his actions and was simply trying to make money. He never saw the people he was harming, just the numbers on his screen. At the time he was arrested, the bust was one of the biggest in the country’s history. According to documents from the court, the raid on his home revealed thousands of pills, a pill press in the basement and garbage bags containing in excess of $1 million in cash. 

 

The group began two years previously, eventually including over a dozen individuals. According to the allegations of the court documents, they met the ringleader while working at an eBay call center. The partnership began with two men. They started out by importing steroids, then reselling them to their friends from the gym. Another man pled guilty for assisting in the development of the recipe and pressing the pills laced with fentanyl. The fentanyl was shipped to several homes of the group’s members directly from China. The authorities stated the residents were then paid to turn over the drug. 

 

The powder was allegedly cut, fillers added and then pressed into pill form. According to the prosecutors, stamps and dyes were used to replicate the appearance of legitimate pills. Public health experts have issued warnings regarding the danger of small drug trafficking networks. Fentanyl is being cut and mixed despite the fact just a few flakes can be deadly. Due to the amateur equipment being used, one pill may only contain a small amount of fentanyl while another may have enough to cause immediate death.

 

According to the prosecutor, the pills being shipped were poison in disguise. Average people purchased these pills such as someone who became addicted due to an injury or surgery. The pills were sold at a dark-web marketplace on the internet called Pharma-Master. Reaching the dark web requires a special browser and is frequently used for dark activity. The dark-web also has user-friendly sites a lot like eBay and Amazon. The court documents stated Pharma-Master is one of the more prominent dealers often processing as many as fifty orders per day.

 

The pills were counted, vacuum-sealed and shipped to homes throughout the United States in envelopes. According to the prosecutors, the packages had phony return addresses and fake invoices. Mailboxes throughout Salt Lake City were used to drop the packages so the group could hide from the police. Some of the orders were smaller while others contained thousands of pills. The prosecutors stated these were sent to drug dealers and gang members who sold them on the streets. The cost of making each pill was less than one cent yet the prosecutors said they sold on the street for $20.

 

Preventing Deaths from Fentanyl

Preventable injuries and deaths such as fatal overdoses are often referred to as accidental. This implies these deaths are unable to be prevented. Overdoses can be prevented when the individual can easily access the help they require. The third highest cause of death in the United States are preventable injuries. As the government attempts to establish control of the opioid epidemic, new chemicals are being produced to subvert the law. Enforcement and strict regulations are not enough to eliminate the market for illicit drugs or prevent access. 

 

Regulations are being pursued to decrease the fentanyl being received in the United States through China. The increasing demand for these types of drugs must also be addressed to ensure a real impact. This means the people must be educated regarding the true dangers including possible overdose and death resulting from fentanyl. The reasons individuals started using these drugs are just as important. If these reasons are not addressed, the war on illegal drugs will never end. 

 

How to Find Work After Rehab

Ways to Find Work After Rehab

 

If you’ve recently progressed through alcohol or drug rehab and have learned how to cope with and manage your addiction, you should feel like a new person. Getting through drug or alcohol treatment can be difficult and will invariably come with numerous obstacles that need to be overcome. Many people who are able to successfully progress through drug rehab find that a weight has been lifted from their shoulders once they leave. However, most of these same individuals quickly discover that there are numerous struggles that they will need to overcome in the real world as well, the primary of which is finding a job. While it might seem overwhelming to enter into a job search following drug or alcohol treatment, there are numerous guidelines that will make it easier to find work after rehab. 

 

Determine What Kind of Job You Want to Pursue

 

The first thing to focus on after completing a drug or alcohol rehab program is identifying what kind of job you want to pursue. While you should definitely broaden your scope when trying to find work after rehab, it’s still important that you have a general idea of what you’d like to do with your work, which should make the job search more straightforward. It’s also recommended that you focus on doing something that’s enjoyable to you. 

 

While some additional training and education might be necessary, working at a job that you actually enjoy will keep stress down and will make it easier to get the results that you want following rehab. It’s also important to understand that working at a job that frustrates you makes it more likely that you will relapse in the future. If you enjoy cooking, consider working at a restaurant. If you’re more interested in fashion, there are many different settings that allow you to explore and delve into this type of job. By knowing what kind of job you want to pursue, your job search will be more focused and regimented. 

 

Make Sure That You Update Your Resume

 

Once you’ve made a decision on the type of job you would like to pursue, it’s time to make the necessary updates to your resume. The resume that you write should correlate with the type of work you want to do and the job that you’re pursuing. If you happen to be applying for a job as a cook at a local restaurant, it’s important that your resume reflects the kinds of characteristics and job experience that a restaurant is looking for. In most cases, this means that any experience you might have as a cook should be emphasized within the resume. 

 

If you don’t have much experience for this job role, you should focus on mentioning some of your characteristics that you believe a restaurant would appreciate in a cook, which include everything from being a leader to being able to take criticism. If you’re applying for the position of a line cook, you’ll need to display that you have great time management skills and that you can stand up for lengthy periods of time without needing a break. 

 

If your resume is tailored to the type of job that you’re applying for, you’ll have a much better chance of getting an interview. Once at the interview, you can use your communication skills in a way that’s not possible on a resume, which is why it’s important that the resume is well-written and thorough. Keep in mind that you will invariably have a gap within your resume since you’ve been attending rehab in the recent months or even years. When updating a resume, you don’t need to fill in these gaps with an explanation. In the event that a prospective employer asks you about this gap, don’t hesitate to provide them with a simple explanation. However, you shouldn’t provide them with too many details since doing so is unnecessary. 

 

Set Realistic Expectations

 

Before you set out to find work after rehab, you need to set realistic expectations for yourself and this process. Finding a job is difficult for anyone, which shouldn’t be viewed as a bad thing. You shouldn’t expect to be given numerous interview opportunities immediately after you’ve sent out your first batch of resumes. If you set realistic expectations, you’ll be able to avoid frustration and should be able to more effectively cope with the inherent difficulties that come with finding a job. 

 

Patience is absolutely essential if you want to get through the job search without experiencing too many hurdles. During your search, it’s recommended that you focus on maintaining your sobriety, which is even more important than finding a job. When you’re looking to set realistic expectations, make sure that you do so for the type of job that you want. For instance, don’t hesitate to take a part-time job or entry-level position at the beginning. In time, you’ll likely be able to get an even better job. However, saying no to the first opportunities that you’re given will make it all the more difficult for you to land any job in the future. 

 

You should also try to detach yourself from the outcomes that will occur during your job search. It’s perfectly fine if you land an interview but aren’t called back afterwards. This happens with everyone and shouldn’t be seen as abnormal. In most situations, finding a job is a lengthy process with many ups and downs, which is why it’s important to keep emotions steady throughout the entirety of this process. 

 

Update Your Skills

 

Upon completing a drug or alcohol treatment program, you should consider updating your job skills to open up new job possibilities. There are a myriad of certificates and education programs that can help you bolster your skills and increase the chances of landing a job that you want. Sharpening your skills now will make it more difficult for a prospective employer to overlook you in the future. Any individuals who haven’t obtained a diploma or GED should consider going back to school to receive these diplomas. Even a non-credited certificate course may be able to provide you with the education necessary to help you get the job that you want. 

 

Consider Obtaining Extra Assistance

 

There are many fantastic resources that offer extra assistance to people who have recently completed a rehab program. For instance, an organization known as America in Recovery will help people find employment after rehab. This help comes in the form of online job boards that are able to pair an individual with a company that’s open to providing employees with second chances. There are also many additional resources that are just like America in Recovery and can help you find work if you’ve been having difficulties doing so. These programs include temp agencies, unemployment offices, the “One Stop Career Center” at The Department of Labor, and The National Skills Coalition. 

 

Additional Tips on Finding Work After Drug or Alcohol Rehab

 

There are also some additional tips that should assist you in finding work after rehab. First of all, it’s important that you always maintain a professional image, which means that you should be neatly groomed appropriately dressed at every job interview that you’re given. You might also want to consider turning to friends and family for work opportunities. They may have the perfect job for you. With these tips and guidelines in mind, your search for a job after rehab should be much less complicated. 

 

Sober Living: Benefits and How to Choose

What is Sober Living?

 

 

Sometimes known as a halfway house, sober home living facilities act as a bridge between the in-patient care facility and going back to the real world. These facilities are designed to assist individuals to learn how to function again in society by participating in various responsible tasks, such as paying bills, household chores, meetings, and participating in events and activities that are drug-free. 

 

Before leaving the drug/alcohol rehab, physicians, mental health professionals, and the client will discuss the rehabilitation and recovery afttercare process. For many who suffers from drug/alcohol addiction, going straight from the in-patient care to the real world is not a good idea. Life issues may arise that may be too challenging to the recovering addict. And as a result, the newly, drug/alcohol-free person can easily return to his/her old ways. So, physicians and mental health experts will usually inform the patient about aftercare at a sober home especially since the recovering addict will stay in the drug/alcohol rehab for only a short period. And if the person has been on drugs/alcohol for a long time, it may be in his/her best interest to get involved in this type of facility to have a better chance in recovering. 

 

The Benefits of Sober Home Living

 

While these types of facilities can be very helpful, these organizations don’t have the same structure level as an in-patient facility. These facilities, however, have curfews, household chores, and other obligations. When living at these facilities, clients will adjust to normal life through accountability, therapy, and support. 

 

Having said this, the following includes the benefits of sober living: 

 

  1. They are a peaceful, warm, and stable living environment.
  2. They are completely free from harmful influences. 
  3. There is usually a house manager of staff who works and lives on-site to assist the residents and run operations. 
  4. There are usually other healthy activities, depending on the type of facility. These activities can include yoga, hiking, mindfulness, or meditation programs. 
  5. Group counseling and individual therapy are required. An example of group counseling is the 12-step sponsorship programs. 
  6. These homes have strict rules which are a good thing. Recovering addicts must get used to following strict guidelines. They typically have random drug testing. 
  7. No overnight guests are allowed. 
  8. There must be sobriety for the entire stay. 

 

How to Choose a Sober Facility?

 

One main thing to do is that the loved ones of recovering addicts must choose a sober home facility that is a safe residing place. When families are choosing a facility for their spouse, their child, or a relative, it must be a safe living environment that is favorable for their recovery. There must be supportive people going through and went through similar issues of substance abuse. There must also be professionals to guide them. The following includes more details in choosing a facility: 

 

  1. Structure

 

It’s imperative to investigate how structuralized these facilities are. Even if some of these programs have the loftiest amenities and perks, they don’t necessarily provide the top-notch structure needed to ensure the clients have the best tools and gain the most strength to be healed and recover holistically. 

 

Having said this, top-notch facilities enforce a zero-tolerance policy toward alcohol and drugs by them establishing random drug tests, regular house check-ins, and a curfew. Clients should always feel comfortable asking team members how they maintain schedules for residents. Every program has its own distinctive routine on an individual and collective scale. 

 

A collective routine for a community can range from assigning chores around the house to group activities. When it comes to an individual scale, many communities assist residents in working toward keeping a schedule that encourages recovery, like attending therapy and a twelve-step program regularly. With this schedule, the client can thrive at school, work- at life! 

 

  1. Safety

 

The neighborhood where the sober home living facility is located, may also have an effect on your decision. Along with your family member staying sober, you want to know that they’re safe at the facility. A house should ensure the safety of residents and have some form of security. Safety within the house is also important. Your family member may need medication management, or you may want to know about specific risk-reduction and plans in case of emergencies. You can always ask the people in charge of a sober living about any of the above and feel that your questions are fully answered.

 

  1. Team

 

Meeting the staff in charge of these facilities will also give a great impact in deciding whether this program is the right choice for the loved one. As previously stated, all places don’t have the same staff structure. Some may have inexperienced team members in handling clients who have a dual-diagnosis. Some communities have a clinical nurse. So, in choosing a high-quality program, clients/their loved ones should consider one with good clinical support, strong administration, and some experienced team members. These team members should be experienced in handling many situations, such as having different personalities under one roof, and remaining calm and diplomatic when handling conflicts and tough situations. Also, there should be some experienced team members with experience in the 12-steps program. These members will understand the addict’s mindset and are helpful in assisting clients with their struggles, and in sharing their own experiences that continually helped them on their successful sobriety path. 

 

  1. Community and Culture

 

There are a different community and culture in every sober home that is based on its residents and staff. A facility with all-female or all-male is highly recommended. However, there are also co-ed facilities available in most cities. Nevertheless, the sober house should foster cooperation, friendship, and unity between residents. A program with regular group meetings provides residents the opportunity to discuss issues in the house and to constructively and openly speak about their feelings to promote a positive environment. The goal here is to assist residents to adjust to this new lifestyle and to let them know that they are not alone in their recovery process. 

 

Conclusion

 

Many times, it is best for people suffering from substance abuse to get afttercare once they complete drug/alcohol rehab. This fact is especially true for those who have been experiencing substance abuse for a long time. Getting involved in a safe and effective sober living community is the way to go. 

 

With these types of facilities, there are various benefits. The most costly ones don’t necessarily mean they are the best ones. And thus, it’s imperative that these facilities meet the qualifications mentioned above to ensure great success in recovery.

 

Understanding, Treating and Preventing Digital Addiction 

 

 

In recent years, the world has been consumed with technology. The digital age has exploded in the modern world, and reliance on technology increases every day. Most people know when to take a break from their laptops, tablets and smartphones to just relax and enjoy the world outside, but some people become too invested in their tech. The issue has become so bad that new mental health problems have developed as a result. 

 

What is Digital Addiction?

 

Addiction is characterized by a need to use digital devices to the point where people do it compulsively and ceasing to do so over a significant period of time causes great emotional and physical duress. When this issue reaches a point where it negatively impacts the person’s life, it becomes a mental health problem and treatment becomes necessary. 

 

Digital addiction is separated into three groups; phone, Internet and social media addiction. Phone addiction is hallmarked by a reliance on a smartphone specifically. People with phone addiction constantly have their phones in their hands, check their phones incessantly, use their phones frequently in social situations and even develop anxiety when they don’t have their phones on them. 

 

Internet addiction is a reliance on the Internet through the use of any device. They spend a bulk of their time online, and some cases get so severe that the sufferer might develop difficulties discerning reality from the virtual world. Internet addiction can also lead to gambling problems or a gaming addiction.

 

Finally, social media addiction is an impulsive need to constantly check, scroll through and update social media pages such as Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and more. Not being able to keep updated on these social media pages causes feelings of depression.

 

How is Digital Addiction Treated?

 

The first step to treating a tech addiction, as with any addiction, is realizing the problem. With tech use being so common in today’s world, it can be very difficult to determine when the line has been crossed into developing an addiction. Friends and family members can help draw the person’s attention to the issue, but, ultimately, the person needs to realize what’s happening for themselves and seek treatment.

 

Once the person is already on the road to seeking help, the next step is making sure this addiction isn’t a symptom of another problem. Tech addiction is commonly a problem branched off from other mental health problems including, but not limited to;

 

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive-compulsive disorder
  • Depression
  • ADHD
  • Schizophrenia

 

If the addiction is the only issue, the next step is digital detox. Just as it sounds, a digital detox involves breaking away fully from the Internet, social media and all manner of Internet-ready devices like phones and tablets. However, it’s not purely about quitting technology altogether. It’s about socializing face to face, getting some fresh air outdoors, enjoying sports and other physical games, taking up a hobby, developing a skill and reestablishing life without the reliance on the digital world.

 

Additionally, going through a digital detox allows for the development of healthy tech use practices. Unlike many other addictions where the addictive behavior can be dropped entirely, like with drugs, alcohol or smoking, it’s difficult to drop Internet, social media and device usage since they’re so deeply ingrained in everyday life. 

 

Developing healthier patterns in tech use allows people to return to the digital realm without becoming leashed to it. 

 

Behavioral therapies have been effective for treating addictions to technology. These therapies introduce healthier alternatives to Internet or device usage to help alleviate feelings of anxiety, depression, stress and more that comes from the deprivation.

 

Group therapies have also been successful in both providing a support network to people with an addiction to technology and giving them the resources to recover on their own time. Some drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities may also provide care for people with non-drug related addictions. 

 

In addition to therapy, several programs have been developed to help cut down on Internet, social media and device usage. For example, there is a software that limits Internet use over the course of a day. Once the limit has been met, the connection shuts off until the following day. Similar software limits the usage of select social media websites, and there are even blocks to prevent access to the Internet and certain websites entirely for however long the user needs.

 

If there are other underlying mental health issues behind the addiction, like anxiety or depression, a therapist may prescribe medication to help deal with the effects. 

 

How to Prevent Tech Addiction

With the prominence of technology in modern day society, anyone could be susceptible to a technology addiction. Avoiding this issue is very possible, and it doesn’t require massive changes to a person’s everyday life.

 

Make it a rule to go out and do something every day. Even if it’s simply a nice walk, playing a game outdoors or relaxing with a book on the porch, substituting one hour a day for some fresh air outside can stave off the urge. If the weather isn’t accommodating, try cleaning a room in the house, spending quality time with a friend or family member or getting some other household chores done.

 

Don’t look to devices as a cure for boredom. Instead, take up a hobby, listen to some music or go to a movie.

 

Part of addiction is a rewards system. Just like drugs and alcohol trigger feelings such as euphoria, using the Internet and social media provide rewards through entertainment, a feeling of achievement through games or enjoying attention through likes on social media. Avoiding addiction through a similar rewards system is very beneficial. For example, for every hour not spent on social media during the day, put a dollar in a savings fund for something fun like a vacation or a new outfit.

 

It’s also a good idea to do everything to stop the rewards system of the addiction. For instance, turn off phone or desktop notifications for social media websites to reduce the constant feeling of rewards when the notification sounds.

 

The same limiting software that help with technology addiction recovery is also a great tool for preventing addiction in the first place. It’s not necessary to utilize software that automatically turns off devices, Internet connections or access to social media pages, but being cognizant of the usage and tracking it through these programs helps people understand when they might be developing a dependency. 

If there is a significant concern over developing a dependency on the Internet or social media, have a friend or family member help with monitoring usage. Not only does having a partner help prevent overusing technology, but they can be a great emotional support to help make it through the rough times and make the successes that much more gratifying. 

 

Ayahuasca Addiction

 

 

For those who may not be familiar with ayahuasca, it is a tea that contains DMT (N, N-Dimethyltryptamine), a hallucinogenic compound. Ayahuasca is derived from the Quechua language and loosely translated means either vine of the soul or vine with a soul. When an individual consumes this tea, it can trigger either a mild sedating effect or lead to extreme hallucinations.

 

HOW DOES AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA AFFECT THE BRAIN?

 

One of the most important things to note when it comes to ayahuasca is that DMT, which is the primary active ingredient in the tea, is very similar to serotonin in terms of chemical structure. To further put this into context, we should first get a better understanding of how serotonin works in the body. Serotonin, which is found primarily in the brain, bowels, and blood platelets, is a chemical and neurotransmitter that is responsible for regulating sleep, mood, appetite, memory, and even sexual function.

 

Low serotonin levels can lead to depression and a host of other mental health disorders. That said, many physicians and psychiatrists will prescribe serotonin-boosting medications like SSRIs (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors), for example, to help patients who are struggling with these symptoms. However, many people will also consume ayahuasca-based tea to achieve the same serotonin-boosting benefits.

 

According to some studies, the mind-altering effects of ayahuasca-based tea can be felt in as little as 30 minutes after an individual consumes it. The hallucinations, which can vary in intensity, can last anywhere from 1 to 6 hours and can be very similar to that of LSD (Lysergic acid diethylamide). In many cases, those who have consumed the tea will perceive certain sounds as being more intense than usual or may hear sounds that do not exist. 

 

While there are a variety of ways to consume ayahuasca-based herbs, many people prefer to consume it in tea form, which introduces small amounts of the mind-altering substance to the brain over a longer timeframe, resulting in a longer and more pleasurable high.

 

AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA AND ADDICTION

 

While ayahuasca-based tea is not physically addictive, it can trigger psychological cravings, which can be just as difficult for some people to overcome. That said, there is very little research available when it comes to the long-term psychological effects of consuming ayahuasca-based tea, and there is even less information available concerning the full extent that the tea has on one’s physical health when consumed long-term. The one thing that most addiction experts will agree on, however, is that the mild to moderate hallucinations associated with these teas in and of itself can lead to psychological dependence for some individuals.

 

AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA AS AN HERBAL OPIATE

 

Although the practice is not recommended or endorsed by the addiction treatment and recovery community, many individuals have turned to ayahuasca-based teas to help them overcome their addiction to prescription-based or street-level opioids. That said, those who choose to consume ayahuasca-based tea to overcome an opioid addiction are urged to proceed with caution. According to Dr. Gerald Thomas, director of alcohol and gambling policy with British Columbia’s Health Ministry, consuming ayahuasca-based tea may be beneficial for those seeking to end their addiction to opioids due to how it temporarily alters brain function.

 

In essence, the changes that take place in the brain once an individual consumes ayahuasca-based tea is similar to that of consuming methadone and suboxone, two of the most commonly prescribed opiate alternative medications, which are used to help individuals overcome severe withdrawal symptoms associated with opioid detox. Nonetheless, Dr. Thomas cautions that more research will be needed to determine the substance’s long-term effects as well as the overall efficacy before it can ever be recommended as an opiate alternative for those needing help ending their addiction to opioids.

 

SIDE EFFECTS OF AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA

Despite being extolled for its calming effects and other therapeutic benefits, there are some side effects associated with consuming ayahuasca-based tea. After all, the psychedelic tea is comprised of DMT, Banisteriopsis caapi (flowering vines), and Psychotria viridis (shrub leaves of the chacruna plant), all of which can trigger a mind-altering experience. Some of the more common physical side effects include

 

  • Agitation

 

  • Chest pain

 

  • Dehydration

 

  • Diarrhea

 

  • Dilated pupils

 

  • Dizziness

 

  • Heart palpitations

 

  • Seizures

 

  • Vomiting

 

Of course, the side effects do not end there as ayahuasca-based tea is also known to trigger a variety of psychological side effects as well, including hallucinations, anxiety, and extreme paranoia. Ironically, some individuals consume ayahuasca-based tea solely to achieve these psychological effects. These same individuals have equated these effects, which may be off-putting to most people, as a way of cleansing their mind and body. Whether these beliefs are misguided or based on tangible evidence is still up for debate, but many people believe they are simply par for the course when consuming these psychedelic teas.

 

WHY IS AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA GROWING IN POPULARITY?

 

Although ayahuasca-based tea has recently started making headlines in North America, it has been a mainstay in South American countries for decades and is often consumed during religious ceremonies among those seeking to benefit from its hallucinogenic properties, which they believe will trigger a spiritual awakening of some sort. In the United States, there are two churches that are known to use ayahuasca-based tea during religious ceremonies. These churches include the UDV church in Santa Fe, New Mexico and also the Santo Daime church in Oregon. Also, more people are turning to this psychedelic tea to help them overcome opioid addiction and as a way to cope with mental health disorders like depression and PTSD, for example.

 

HOW IS AYAHUASCA-BASED TEA MADE?

 

This new trend in ayahuasca-based tea has led to more people brewing the concoction in the privacy of their own homes, and the reasons for doing so can vary greatly from one person to the next. Some people are using it as an herbal opiate alternative to help ease opioid withdrawal symptoms while others are using it as a form of self-care to address a mental health disorder. Most people will take a traditional approach when it comes to brewing their own batch of this psychedelic tea, which entails the use of Banisteriopsis caapi and Psychotria Viridis. 

 

The Psychotria Viridis contains DMT, the most active ingredient, and Banisteriopsis caapi contains MAOIs (monoamine oxidase inhibitors), which protects against stomach upset while the Psychotria Viridis is being absorbed and ultimately broken down in the stomach. The brewing process is not too dissimilar from brewing any other kind of tea. In essence, you will need to combine all of the ingredients into a saucepan, fill the pan with water, and allow the water to come to a boil. From there, carefully pour the combination into a cup using a tea strainer to catch the leaves and stems.

 

BOTTOM LINE

There are also many reports of people becoming psychologically addicted to these teas as well. If you’re thinking about trying ayahuasca-based tea as an herbal opiate to help with opioid cessation, to cope with a mental illness, or for any other reason, you’re strongly encouraged to speak with a physician before making your decision.