The Pulse

Ayahuasca

DANGER SCALE

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Unlikely
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Ayahuasca

It is a botanical hallucinogen from the Amazon, made from a combination of the Banisteriopsis caapi plant and Psychotria Viridis shrub. It is a traditional psychoactive sacrament that has been used for shamanic ceremonies for centuries and is acclaimed for spiritual and psychotherapeutic benefits. It is now gaining popularity in the US.

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Other names:

Caapi, yaje, yage

Where do people get it?

It can be purchased online.

How is it dangerous?

Although it is not illegal in the US, one of the active ingredients, DMT (from the Psychotria Viridis shrub) is classified as a Schedule I drug by the DEA. The risks with the use of this plant are psychotic episodes related to serotonin syndrome, which can be life-threatening. Consequences due to long-term use remain unknown. One of the plants used to make Ayahuasca acts as an MAOI, which has many serious drug interactions, especially if taken concomitantly by a multitude of medications, including SSRIs, tricyclic antidepressants, SNRIs, Trazodone, St John’s Wort, Lithium, metoclopramide, and many others.

There have also been fatalities caused by the use of methamphetamines, mescaline, bath salts, or LSD.

If you or a loved one is struggling with substance use, call Gallus at
(888) 306-3122.