Location

Portland State University

Start Date

2-5-2018 11:00 AM

End Date

2-5-2018 1:00 PM

Subjects

Psychopharmacology, Ayahuasca

Abstract

Stimulant use disorder presents an enormous epidemic in our society; further research on new treatment methods remains necessary. Ayahuasca (an entheogenic medicinal plant extract distinguished by the serotonergic psychedelic N,N-dimethyltryptamine in combination with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor) may potentially be such a treatment for stimulant use disorder. Four theories hypothesize the biochemical, physiological, psychological, and transcendent mechanisms describing ayahuasca’s potential as a therapeutic treatment. To investigate ayahuasca’s potential as a mechanism of treatment, we propose a placebo-controlled experimental design comprising of 50 participants who are moderate daily consumers of methamphetamine. We expect that ayahuasca treatment will result in reduced substance use, explained by biophysiological and psychotranscendent mechanisms. Specifically, we hypothesize that the ayahuasca condition’s participants will have a lower concentration of methamphetamine in their bloodstream, which will be explained via a reduced average variability of dopamine, a reduced concentration of dopamine in the mesolimbic pathway, an increase in behavioral health, and an increase in measures of self transcendence. If the results of this experiment support our hypotheses, this research study would be evidence that ayahuasca is an effective mechanism of treatment for stimulant use disorder. Adjustment of N,N-dimethyltryptamine's schedule is necessary for ayahuasca therapy to be a viable treatment method. Future studies should consider ayahuasca’s efficacy in relation to various substance use disorders compared to conventional pharmacological substance treatment methods. Finally, we propose that future research should test the relationship between ayahuasca treatment and the demographic characteristics of the participants.

Persistent Identifier

http://archives.pdx.edu/ds/psu/25153

Included in

Psychology Commons

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May 2nd, 11:00 AM May 2nd, 1:00 PM

Exploration of Ayahuasca’s Mechanisms in the Treatment of Stimulant Use Disorder

Portland State University

Stimulant use disorder presents an enormous epidemic in our society; further research on new treatment methods remains necessary. Ayahuasca (an entheogenic medicinal plant extract distinguished by the serotonergic psychedelic N,N-dimethyltryptamine in combination with a monoamine oxidase inhibitor) may potentially be such a treatment for stimulant use disorder. Four theories hypothesize the biochemical, physiological, psychological, and transcendent mechanisms describing ayahuasca’s potential as a therapeutic treatment. To investigate ayahuasca’s potential as a mechanism of treatment, we propose a placebo-controlled experimental design comprising of 50 participants who are moderate daily consumers of methamphetamine. We expect that ayahuasca treatment will result in reduced substance use, explained by biophysiological and psychotranscendent mechanisms. Specifically, we hypothesize that the ayahuasca condition’s participants will have a lower concentration of methamphetamine in their bloodstream, which will be explained via a reduced average variability of dopamine, a reduced concentration of dopamine in the mesolimbic pathway, an increase in behavioral health, and an increase in measures of self transcendence. If the results of this experiment support our hypotheses, this research study would be evidence that ayahuasca is an effective mechanism of treatment for stimulant use disorder. Adjustment of N,N-dimethyltryptamine's schedule is necessary for ayahuasca therapy to be a viable treatment method. Future studies should consider ayahuasca’s efficacy in relation to various substance use disorders compared to conventional pharmacological substance treatment methods. Finally, we propose that future research should test the relationship between ayahuasca treatment and the demographic characteristics of the participants.