• Psychedelic-assisted psychotherapy in

    Austria

    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 Austria
The Narcotic Substances Act came into force in 1998 and, in line with the Austrian drug policy approach, distinguishes between criminal offenders (such as those trafficking drugs) and people with drug-related health problems. The law sets out several criteria that differentiate the two categories, with the quantity of drugs involved (above or below the threshold defined in a Ministry of Health decree) being the most relevant factor. Penalties may vary according to whether the drug is classed as a narcotic or a psychotropic drug. Special provisions exist for cannabis and hallucinogenic mushrooms. The use of drugs is not mentioned as an offence. The penalty for the possession of drugs for personal use consists of a fine or a prison sentence that does not exceed 6 months, provided the quantity of drugs is not above the defined threshold (the ‘limit’ quantity). A range of alternatives to punishment are in place, including mandatory suspension of proceedings in certain cases involving possession or acquisition of small amounts of drugs for personal use; this procedure was streamlined in 2016, with the police now sending offenders directly to health authorities. Therapy as an alternative to imprisonment may also be offered to drug users who have committed more serious offences and are willing to undergo treatment.

Find out more about the Austrian drug laws

The safest way to obtain psychedelics in Austria
Cultivation is technically legal as long as the mushrooms are not harvested. Growkits can legally be bought over the internet or in shops in Vienna.
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 Austria

Psychedelic psychotherapy is not legal in Austria, so in order to design it for yourself, you need to find professionals who can help to reduce possible harm. We encourage you to study each following step carefully and not to experiment with psychoactive substances without the proper support and information.

Following are the 3 steps, that can help you to navigate the therapeutic usage of psychedelics: