ayahuasca therapy for substance abuse – MAPS (website)


This website resource, Multidisciplinary Association For Psychedelic Studies (MAPS) supports research into the safety and effectiveness of ayahuasca-assisted treatment for drug addiction and PTSD.

NOTE: NEU does not condone the use of mind-altering drugs without proper medical supervision.  The pharmacology of ayahuasca is not completely understood yet, and therefore there are physiological and psychological risks associated with its use. Anyone considering using ayahuasca in a therapeutic, spiritual, or religious context must carefully weigh the risks and benefits, and ensure that medical assistance is available.

Banisteriopsis caapi

Other resources to supplement your educational studies on this topic:


The first North American observational study of the safety and long-term effectiveness of ayahuasca treatment for addiction and dependence was published June 2013 in, Current Drug Abuse Reviews.


What is it?  Ayahuasca is a psychoactive brew or tea most commonly derived from Banisteriopsis caapi, a vine containing monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOIs), and the leaves of Psychotria viridis or other plant containing N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT), and often several other admixture plants.

Ayahuasca is legal in some countries in South America.


The United States Supreme Court has unanimously ruled in favor of the legal religious use of ayahuasca by the União do Vegetal, and the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has affirmed the Santo Daime Church’s freedom to use ayahuasca for religious purposes.

Ayahuasca’s principally active ingredient—DMT—remains a “Schedule 1” controlled substance, ie, illegal in the USA.

International researchers have been exploring the effects of ayahuasca on brain function as well as the potential use of ayahuasca-assisted therapy as a treatment for substance abuse and other disorders. Although preliminary, current research suggests that when administered in therapeutic settings, ayahuasca may help reduce problematic substance use by helping promote personal or spiritual insights or self-knowledge.

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