OPEN Foundation

Ayahuasca Treatment Center Safety for the Western Seeker

Share This Post

Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on twitter
Share on email


Ayahuasca, an ancient Amazonian psychedelic tea traditionally used ceremonially among indigenous peoples, has recently become known as a possible treatment for a wide range of disorders. The awareness of this sacred medicine has grown exponentially over the past decade, attracting westerners from a wide variety of backgrounds, hoping to find treatment for a myriad of emotional and physical illnesses, as well as spiritual needs. In the wake of the commercialization and westernization of the use of ayahuasca, and the subsequent proliferation of ayahuasca treatment centers, this paper examines the benefits and possible risks of this form of therapy in an effort to create a safety protocol for Westerners in this context. The most practical approach to increasing safety for Westerners attending these Amazonian treatment centers is to educate the seeker prior to treatment and to provide access to specialized therapeutic aftercare services.

Ray, R. R., & Lassiter, K. S. (2016). Ayahuasca Treatment Center Safety for the Western Seeker. Anthropology of Consciousness, 27(2), 121-150. 10.1111/anoc.12060
Link to full text

OPEN Foundation

Attend the Interdisciplinary Conference on Psychedelic Research

ICPR features world-leading experts from many academic disciplines, including psychiatry, psychology, neuroscience, anthropology, ethnobotany, and philosophy who come together to give a scientific conference for academics, therapists, researchers, clinicians, policymakers, and members of the public. Get your ICPR 2022 ticket here and use the code OPENBLOG100 at checkout for a €100 discount on all tickets.

More Info


Subscribe to our new OPEN-Minded newsletter to stay in the loop, hear about our events, and become a part of a community dedicated to advancing psychedelics.

By clicking subscribe, I confirm to receive emails from the OPEN Foundation and agree with its privacy policy.