Brazil is Offering Its Prisoners Ayahuasca for Rehabilitation
By Heather Callaghan, Editor
How would society change if instead of suffering, punishment and recidivism – we embraced love, healing and restoration?
Some Brazilian prisoners are getting the opportunity to embark on their own ayahuasca journeys and turn their lives around. The powerful herbal combination that produces DMT and a hallucinogenic experience is said to be cutting recidivism rates in the prison.
The ayahuasca tea made from the ayahuasca vine, Banisteriopsis caapi, and the Psychotria viridis plant both from the Amazon. The spiritual ritual is said to be an ancient practice among indigenous peoples. It has now garnered international attention for what people say after their experiences. People have reported relief from depression, PTSD, trauma and even physical conditions.
…Services offered to selected Brazilian prisoners include guided healing practices like yoga, reiki, meditation, and in some locations, ayahuasca journeying. The goal is to provide rehabilitation to violent criminals and reduce the rates of recidivism after prisoners are released.
Brazilian prisons started to offer ayahuasca through the prisoners’ rights advocacy group Acuda, based in in Porto Velho.
As Aaron Kase notes in a 2015 article:
“The ayahuasca program serves a dual purpose. Prison populations in Brazil have doubled since 2000, and conditions are grossly overcrowded, so the retreats are a kind of pilot to try to reduce recidivism rates. For now, it’s just a few inmates participating, and it’s too early to tell whether the treatments will help keep them from reentering the criminal justice system, but it’s at least a starting point.”
A 2015 New York Times article noted that Acuda supervisors who get permission from a judge will transport about 15 prisoners each month to a temple for ayahuasca ceremony.
A murder convict spoke about his rehabilitation experience and reflected:
I’m finally realizing I was on the wrong path in this life. Each experience helps me communicate with my victim to beg for forgiveness.
We wholeheartedly support such programs as long as they remain completely voluntary.
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DISCLAIMER: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment
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