In Canada, First Nations and Aboriginal peoples have been disproportionately affected by illnesses and adverse social conditions that are the legacies of colonialism and territorial/cultural dislocation. .
Among these is substance dependence. However, current methods for treating substance addictions are of limited success.
Since 2009, the collaborative “Working with Addiction and Stress” project between public health and addiction research institutes at UBC and University of Victoria have launched experimental therapies in addictions medicine.
In this study, they cooperated with a BC First Nations band to host a retreat featuring four days of group counselling and two traditional ayahuasca ceremonies for 12 First Nations participants with psychological and behavioral issues related to substance use. They found that the ceremony participants showed statistically significant (p
Although cannabis and opiate use did not decline, alcohol, tobacco, and cocaine use was reduced over the six-month follow-up (see 2nd pic). This project paves the way for future research on the potential of ayahuasca-assisted therapies for decreasing personal suffering and social costs associated with addiction.