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  • Writer's pictureJesse Harless

Psychedelics in Recovery?

“Oftentimes the greatest stigma exists inside of the recovery community. People who are recovering often judge another’s individual path to recovery. How does a person who has been through the messiness of addiction judge another’s path to recovery? This often happens because of their own fear or perception. Honoring every path to recovery eliminates this stigma. The stigma and negative attitudes surrounding addiction and mental health are killing thousands of people.”

When it comes to healing from addiction, I’ve learned that people will try almost anything to get well, including therapy, medications, 12-step groups, yoga, meditation, diet, breathing, religion, exercise, and much more. I’ve used all of these methods, and many I still practice today. But there’s one type of recovery method from addiction and trauma that’s getting attention at the moment: psychedelics.

There’s a tremendous amount of fear and concern regarding psychedelics. It makes sense. Consuming these substances without proper guidance and knowledge can cause harm. But even with proper care, guidance, education, and integration, people in addiction recovery tend to judge someone’s choice to utilize psychedelics because of their mind-altering effects. But I would argue that each healing remedy I mentioned above is also mind-altering.

A few years ago, a close friend decided to try plant medicines to deepen his healing journey. I was triggered when he first told me since I didn’t understand how psychedelics would help. He was 8 years into his addiction recovery journey, and I thought his life would fall apart back to where he once was. However, his life, mood, and circumstances improved, and we became closer than ever.

Over the last several years, I researched this healing modality and found that many people in long-term recovery have used psychedelics for trauma healing, clarity, depression, and deepening their intuition, to name a few. I’ve spoken to doctors who’ve been working with these medicines and who’ve also shared similar success stories. More and more research is becoming available, sharing the potential of these molecules. I recommend doing your research and reaching out to people with experience in psychedelic-assisted therapy before deciding to incorporate psychedelics into your healing journey. I’m not encouraging you to experiment or utilize psychedelics in your recovery journey, as this might not be good for every person. I’m sharing my own experiences in order to reduce harm, stigma, and bring awareness to those who feel lost and confused.

In my 17-year journey of healing from addiction, I also learned that many people who’ve managed or healed their addiction don’t identify with the word ‘recovery.’ The word recovery triggers people. I get it. People do not like to believe they are recovering from something because this might mean they’re broken or need healing from something. Words are powerful. The words I chose in my book were based on 15 years of my healing journey with addiction, trauma, and mental health. Use words that honor your own healing process and path.

My last book was written for the people I surrounded myself with for 15 years of meetings, conferences, speaking, and facilitation work. As I celebrate the second anniversary of my book, I’m happy to say I did the best writing I could with my level of consciousness at the time. My next book will explore the discoveries and deeper levels of healing I’ve experienced since writing If Not You, Then Who? Things like inner child therapy, EMDR, entheogens, and deep integration work.

To learn more, check out the Psychedelic Medicine Association, John Hopkins Center for Psychedelic & Consciousness Research,, the book “How To Change Your Mind,” Gabor Mate, and Being True to You.

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