• Psychedelics-assisted psychotherapy in

    France

    Despite the huge therapeutic potential, psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy is not part of standard medical care yet. Self-medicating with psychedelics can produce undesired results, but despite that, more and more people feel disappointed with the efficacy of the current treatments and they turn to risky, but potentially more beneficial psychedelic-assisted therapy. The goal of this guide is harm reduction for people, who decided to self-medicate, we don’t encourage possession or consumption of illicit substances even for therapeutic endeavours.

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Legal status of psychedelics in France

People caught using drugs are to receive an on-the-spot fine instead of being arrested – a measure voted in in 2018 but deferred several times. Fines are €150 if paid quickly, rising to €450 for late payment. Until now, the law has provided for steep penalties but they involve a court appearance and are often not applied for minor offenses with no dealing involved.

In France, the use and possession of illegal substances are both criminal offenses. The law makes no distinction between personal use and trafficking, or between various types of drugs. The prosecutor, however, can select a charge of use or trafficking depending on the amount of drug detected and the circumstances of the case. An individual charged with personal use faces a maximum sentence of one year in prison and a fine, but in some circumstances, the penalty can be waived or simplified. If the defendant threatened passengers on public transportation or if the crime was committed by a public official while on duty, the mandatory penalty rises.

The safest way to obtain psychedelics in France

The safest way to obtain psychedelics in France is the mushroom hunt, and usage of the drug test kit to identify if mushroom contains psilocin or psilocybin. These are the magic mushrooms, that grow in France:

  • Psilocybe strictipes
  • Psilocybe semilanceata

Read the harm reduction guidelines before considering purchasing illicit substances online.

Harm reduction

Other medication

Many people who want to try magic mushrooms are still on medication and want to know if it’s possible to mix their medication with psychedelics. While psilocybin has been shown to effectively treat depression and a variety of other mental health conditions, some antidepressant drugs can interact with the substance in a dangerous or undesirable way.

Interactions between Psilocybin and other medication

Antidepressant drugs may block the therapeutic effects of Psilocybin. If you are on antidepressants, you need to ask your health provider to help you stop taking them before considering psychedelics. SSRIs function by preventing excess serotonin from being cleared from the brain, resulting in a temporary increase in serotonin levels. Although it has been hypothesized that this may contribute to serotonin syndrome in extreme situations, such risks can be reduced with appropriate guidance and medical supervision.  Most common SSRIs are:

  • Citalopram (Celexa, Cipramil)
  • Escitalopram (Lexapro, Cipralex)
  • Fluoxetine (Prozac, Sarafem)
  • Fluvoxamine (Luvox, Faverin)
  • Paroxetine (Paxil, Seroxat)
  • Sertraline (Zoloft, Lustral)

Health conditions that psilocybin may worsen

At first, the findings revealed that people who had used psychedelic drugs were more likely to have mental health issues. However, the researchers took into account a variety of variables that may have influenced the findings, including the participants’ age, gender, and their experience with any highly stressful life event, all of which may influence the likelihood of mental health problems. When those factors were taken into account, the researchers found that people who had used psychedelics were no more likely to develop mental health problems than those who hadn’t used the drugs.

However, it’s not advisable to use psychedelics if you or your family members had psychotic symptoms.

Dosage
Mushrooms in non-clinical settings are typically eaten orally, either as dried caps and stems or steeped in hot water and drunk as a tea, with a typical dose of 1-2.5 grams, though potency varies depending on the volume. Fresh mushrooms are usually less active than dried mushrooms. There is virtually no chance of accidental deadly overdose with psilocybin mushrooms.

Johns Hopkins study found Psilocybin dosage sweet spot for positive and lasting effects

Researchers found that as higher doses of chemically pure psilocybin were administered, the recorded positive effects increased, but there was also a sharp rise in the negative effects at the very highest dose, which was perhaps unsurprising. At the maximum dose (30 mg/70 kg, p.o. – meaning “per oral” or “by mouth”), 78 percent of the volunteers recorded one of the top five most spiritually important events of their lives, but those experiencing anxiety, stress, and fear episodes increased sixfold, resulting in about a third of those in the study showing signs of psychological distress.

By contrast, only one of the volunteers receiving the second-highest dose (20mg/70 kg, p.o.) reported having negative issues, and all benefited from positive experiences, although with less intensity than at the highest dose. Critically, even the lowest amount used in the study resulted in notable and long-lasting positive changes in the attitudes, behavior, overall satisfaction and spiritual beliefs of the subjects during the period of study. These changes were also noticed by family members and friends.

Psilocybe cubensis

The concentrations of psilocin and psilocybin, as determined by high-performance liquid chromatography, are in the range of 0.14–0.42% and 0.37–1.30% (dry weight) in the whole mushroom, 0.17–0.78%, and 0.44–1.35% in the cap, and 0.09 and 0.30%/0.05–1.27% in the stem, respectively.

Psychedelics-assisted psychotherapy in France

In France, the use of psychedelics is prohibited. Some practitioners use them or want to do so, but in a very secret way, and they risk a lot. One possible way of raising awareness among the public authorities and the medical profession would be to point out that victims of the attacks who suffer from post-traumatic stress do not benefit from current treatments and could perhaps have their symptoms relieved by MDMA. L’Académie de Médecin is such a conservative and “anti-drug” organization that convincing them is a bit of an impossible task. The important goal is to educate patients and therapists in the field.

According to the fifth national report of the TREND system, in France, “hallucinogenic mushrooms are the most widely consumed hallucinogenic product, even if, because of their hallucinogenic nature (which is incompatible with a social life), they are only consumed episodically”.