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Medical practices around the world have been trialling different substances such as psylocibyn and ketamine for depression and PTSD and have come out with positive results under safe and controlled settings. Does halocho allow one to find healing from all other psychoactive substances such as from plants like ayahausca, I.e. the insights in the trip are specifically to find healing and not for some spiritual enlightenment.

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  • ayahausca is a toxin. It causes the user to vomit and poop uncontrollably for hours. Additionally the high effects last for a very long time in which a person would be unfit for learning, mitzvos, and davening.
    – Dude
    Apr 26, 2023 at 22:57
  • How is this different from using any other medication? Apr 27, 2023 at 13:44
  • At risk of being told off for not being an expert, I still recommend this related answer, as even though it doesn't directly deal with taking them for health, some of the points raised are relevant: judaism.stackexchange.com/a/133965/31534
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Apr 27, 2023 at 16:13
  • by the way, see Pesachim 28a
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Apr 30, 2023 at 18:20

2 Answers 2

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Not every substance under the sun is mentioned in our current shulchan aruch. So the general approach is:

  1. Dina demalchuta dina hih: you must obey the law of the country you currently find yourself in.

  2. Once legal, you must consider the proven health effects. Benefit vs. side effects (not according to tale but with proper studies). The Rambam is famously mentioned regarding our duty of caring for our bodies' health.

  3. Finally one should consider one's behavior when taking said medicine. Some make lechaim (i.e. a toast, toasts) with alcoholic beverages and are able to channel it into positive deeds and constructive attitudes.

  4. Once you have covered all three points, ask a competent Halachic authority for permission.

https://twitter.com/HumanRedemption

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  • Welcome to MY! The assumption in this answer is that psychedelic drugs are not dealt with as a category in halacha, but rather fall under the wider category of intoxicants? Is this really true?
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Apr 27, 2023 at 13:03
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The drugs you have mentioned are known to cause psychosis, schizophrenia, and hallucinogen persisting perception disorder. Additionally they can cause serious mental health problems. These are not medications nor are they healing but recreational drugs with very serious risks for ones health. Additionally while someone is intoxicated they are unfit to fulfill the functions required of a Jewish person by Jewish law for a very long time. There is no justification that can be found in Jewish law for abusing such substances.

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    @yosefkorn please also consider that you are making a claim about something as well, and haven't brought any sources. That's actually part of MY guidelines, to bring sources in questions as well. This is a clear case where the studies you reference would vastly improve the quality of the question.
    – Rabbi Kaii
    Apr 27, 2023 at 17:00
  • Dude and yosefkorn, I've deleted all of your comments on this answer, every one of which has included an ad hominem dig at each other. Please assume in all of your interactions here that your interlocutor's intentions are pure, and that we're all working together to share curiosity and knowledge about Judaism.
    – Isaac Moses
    May 19, 2023 at 10:56
  • This post doesn't appear to address the question, which is not about whether the listed substances are safe and therapeutic but whether, assuming a situation in which they are safe and therapeutic, Halacha would permit their use. Mi Yodeya only deals in the type of expertise necessary to address the latter.
    – Isaac Moses
    May 19, 2023 at 11:01

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