Effect Index

Effect Index serves as the platform for the Subjective Effect Index (SEI), a resource containing formalised documentation of the vast number of distinct subjective states that may occur under the influence of hallucinogens. We strive to comprehensively document and describe the wide variety of potential hallucinogenic experiences. The SEI is presented in an easily readable format that contains not only descriptions, but also image, video, and audio replications of these effects. We believe that in pioneering formalised subjective effect documentation, we may demystify the psychedelic experience. This has the potential to allow hallucinogen usage to become more culturally acceptable, better understood, and create a platform on top of which these substances may be more easily studied. Effect Index was initially founded as a side project on 30 June, 2017 by Josie Kins, the founder of PsychonautWiki and DisregardEverythingISay. It serves as a platform for content that has been in constant development for the previous six years on these sites. However, the aforementioned content is now hosted on its own dedicated platform with the hope of further spreading the documentation and creating a universal terminology set that gives people the vernacular to fully describe experiences that were previously considered ineffable.

Psychedelic Experience

Psychedelic Experience (PEx) is a comprehensive online resource for information surrounding psychedelic substances. We are a community based non-profit organization, created by and for psychedelic and plant medicine communities. Our mission is to support and facilitate global healing and personal growth through safe, responsible and legal use of plant medicines and psychedelic-assisted treatments. We are opposed to the commercialization of psychedelics and believe that profiteering and opportunism go against the very heart of the psychedelic experience. That’s why we are a non-profit and will never be driven by corporate interests or shareholder greed. Our website and global directory service of psychedelic-related organizations seeks to promote the safe, responsible use of psychedelics. We provide accurate, evidence-based information regarding retreat centers, facilitators, shamans, therapeutic modalities, and organizations.

Hallucinogens and dissociative agents naturally growing in the United States

It is usually believed that drugs of abuse are smuggled into the United States or are clandestinely produced for illicit distribution. Less well known is that many hallucinogens and dissociative agents can be obtained from plants and fungi growing wild or in gardens. Some of these botanical sources can be located throughout the United States; others have a more narrow distribution. This article reviews plants containing N,N-dimethyltryptamine, reversible type A monoamine oxidase inhibitors (MAOI), lysergic acid amide, the anticholinergic drugs atropine and scopolamine, or the diterpene salvinorin-A (Salvia divinorum). Also reviewed are mescaline-containing cacti, psilocybin/psilocin-containing mushrooms, and the Amanita muscaria and Amanita pantherina mushrooms that contain muscimol and ibotenic acid. Dangerous misidentification is most common with the mushrooms, but even a novice forager can quickly learn how to properly identify and prepare for ingestion many of these plants. Moreover, through the ever-expanding dissemination of information via the Internet, this knowledge is being obtained and acted upon by more and more individuals. This general overview includes information on the geographical range, drug content, preparation, intoxication, and the special health risks associated with some of these plants. Information is also offered on the unique issue of when bona fide religions use such plants as sacraments in the United States. In addition to the Native American Church’s (NAC) longstanding right to peyote, two religions of Brazilian origin, the Santo Daime and the Uniao do Vegetal (UDV), are seeking legal protection in the United States for their use of sacramental dimethyltryptamine-containing “ayahuasca.”

Ethical and legal issues in psychedelic harm reduction and integration therapy

Psychedelic-assisted therapy may represent an upcoming paradigm shift in the treatment of mental health problems as recent clinical trials have demonstrated strong evidence of their therapeutic benefits. While psychedelics are currently prohibited substances in most countries, the growing popularity of their therapeutic potential is leading many people to use psychedelics on their own rather than waiting for legal medical access. Therapists therefore have an ethical duty to meet this need by providing support for clients using psychedelics. However, incorporating psychedelics into traditional psychotherapy poses some risk given their prohibited status and many therapists are unsure of how they might practice in this area. This paper explicates such risks and describes ways in which therapists can mitigate them and strive to practice within legal and ethical boundaries. A harm reduction approach will be emphasized as a useful framework for conducting therapy around clients’ use of psychedelics. It is argued that therapists can meet with clients before and after their own personal psychedelic experiences in order to help clients minimize risk and maximize benefit. Common clinical scenarios in this growing clinical area will also be discussed.

Council on Spiritual Practices

The Council on Spiritual Practices is a collaboration among spiritual guides, experts in the behavioral and biomedical sciences, and scholars of religion, dedicated to making direct experience of the sacred more available to more people. There is evidence that such encounters can have profound benefits for those who experience them, for their neighbors, and for the world. CSP has a twofold mission: to identify and develop approaches to primary religious experience that can be used safely and effectively, and to help individuals and spiritual communities bring the insights, grace, and joy that arise from direct perception of the divine into their daily lives. The Council on Spiritual Practices has no doctrine or liturgy of its own.

Survey of subjective “God encounter experiences”: Comparisons among naturally occurring experiences and those occasioned by the classic psychedelics psilocybin, LSD, ayahuasca, or DMT

Naturally occurring and psychedelic drug–occasioned experiences interpreted as personal encounters with God are well described but have not been systematically compared. In this study, five groups of individuals participated in an online survey with detailed questions characterizing the subjective phenomena, interpretation, and persisting changes attributed to their single most memorable God encounter experience (n = 809 Non-Drug, 1184 psilocybin, 1251 lysergic acid diethylamide (LSD), 435 ayahuasca, and 606 N,N-dimethyltryptamine (DMT)). Analyses of differences in experiences were adjusted statistically for demographic differences between groups. The Non-Drug Group was most likely to choose “God” as the best descriptor of that which was encountered while the psychedelic groups were most likely to choose “Ultimate Reality.” Although there were some other differences between non-drug and the combined psychedelic group, as well as between the four psychedelic groups, the similarities among these groups were most striking. Most participants reported vivid memories of the encounter experience, which frequently involved communication with something having the attributes of being conscious, benevolent, intelligent, sacred, eternal, and all-knowing. The encounter experience fulfilled a priori criteria for being a complete mystical experience in approximately half of the participants. More than two-thirds of those who identified as atheist before the experience no longer identified as atheist afterwards. These experiences were rated as among the most personally meaningful and spiritually significant lifetime experiences, with moderate to strong persisting positive changes in life satisfaction, purpose, and meaning attributed to these experiences. Among the four groups of psychedelic users, the psilocybin and LSD groups were most similar and the ayahuasca group tended to have the highest rates of endorsing positive features and enduring consequences of the experience. Future exploration of predisposing factors and phenomenological and neural correlates of such experiences may provide new insights into religious and spiritual beliefs that have been integral to shaping human culture since time immemorial.

Psychedelic Mystical Experience: A New Agenda for Theology

When the link between psychedelic drugs and mystical states of experience was first discovered in the 1960s, Huston Smith challenged scholars in religion and philosophy to consider the implications. Very few took up his challenge. Beginning in 2006, hundreds of studies have linked psychedelics not just to mystical states of experience but to potential treatments for many mental health disorders. Regulatory approval for therapies is on the horizon, and hundreds of millions of people worldwide could be treated. Research findings challenge the underlying rationale of the War on Drugs, leading to decriminalization of specific psychedelic drugs or to authorization of their use in mental health contexts. Religious institutions are slowly adapting, with some referring to psychedelics as sacraments or as pathways to deeper spirituality. Religious leaders are also beginning to speak out publicly in support of careful use of these drugs, and some are training to become “psychedelic chaplains” to work alongside mental health professionals administering these drugs. Scholars in theology and religion are encouraged to engage these trends, to explore challenging philosophical and theological issues surrounding mystical states of experience in general, and to consider the long-term cultural impact of the most recent psychedelic research

Entheogens: A Brief History of Their Spiritual Use

To many people, the words psychedelic and spiritual are dissonant on first hearing. Yet the use of psychoactive sacraments in shamanic and religious practices is found throughout history. The word entheogen, used to describe certain plants and chemicals when used for spiritual purposes, emphasizes this long-established relationship. Following is a survey of the most historically prominent and widely used entheogens.

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