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    ayahuasca alcohol

    Ayahuasca and Harmful Alcohol Use


    Subjective Effects of a Single Dose of Ayahuasca among College Students with Harmful Alcohol Use: Qualitative Analysis of Participant Accounts

    Anna Beatriz Vicentini Zacharias, Lucas Silva Rodrigues, Giordano Novak Rossi, Juliana Mendes Rocha, Lorena T. L. Guerra, Jos茅 Augusto Silva Reis, Renan Massanobu Maekawa, Fl谩via de Lima Os贸rio, Jos茅 Carlos Bouso, Fabiana Pereira Santos, Beatriz Aparecida Passos Bismara Paranhos, Mauricio Yonamine, Jaime Eduardo Cecilio Hallak, and Rafael Guimar茫es dos Santos.




    About the study

    Ayahuasca, a psychoactive brew, has shown potential for treating various disorders, including substance abuse. This study focuses on its effects on harmful alcohol use among college students. Six male university students with harmful alcohol use (identified using the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test – AUDIT) participated in the study. A single oral dose of ayahuasca was administered in a single-blind trial, with follow-up interviews conducted 21 days later.

    A notable decrease in alcohol consumption was observed in some participants post ayahuasca administration. Participants reported a reduction in anxiety, an increase in feelings of tranquility and lightness, and shifts in mental patterns. Moreover, many participants experienced significant insights during the session, which they perceived as life-altering and contributing to changes in their life choices and substance use patterns.

    The study suggests that ayahuasca may have a transformative potential for individuals with harmful alcohol use, leading to reduced substance use and improved mental well-being. Insights gained during the ayahuasca experience appeared to be a key factor in these changes.



    Alcohol is the recreational drug most frequently consumed, and its high frequency of use can lead to worsening social, psychological, and domestic issues. The age group most susceptible to alcohol dependence is 18- to 24-year-old youths, demanding interventional tools to target early involvement risks. Ayahuasca seems to be a promising therapeutic tool since evidence suggests it presents potential for the treatment of depression, anxiety, and substance abuse, among other disorders. This study aimed to analyze subjective reports of university students with harmful alcohol use participating in a single-blind study evaluating the effects of one ayahuasca dose (1 mL/kg). Twenty-one days after ayahuasca administration, semi-structured interviews were conducted (n = 6) to identify peer psychological elements linked to its therapeutic potential. Subsequently, content analysis methodology was employed to define the main categories: Self-perception of experience, Positive Impacts (PI), Substances Use Pattern (SUP), Insights (I), Visual Effects, Transient Derealization, and Sleep Pattern. Among these, the most pertinent categories for this study were PI, SUP, and I, as, together, they suggest a potential link between insights and/or positive emotions and reduced alcohol consumption due to their internal transformation potential, which could be linked to a decrease in consumption.


    Link to the study


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    Categories: Studies & papers , Ayahuasca
    Tags: ayahuasca , scientific research , study , alcoholism , psychedelics , hallucinogens , subjective effects , substance use disorders