Shadows & Challenges Track

How should we use psychedelics? We live in a dynamic and fast changing world that offers many chances but also brings great challenges. Surprising beneficial properties of new tools are accompanied by new risks and possible harms. From history we can see how so many discoveries have been misused and so now there is no reason to think that this time it will be different with psychedelics.

Our history is littered with trials and errors which have resulted in the misuse of discoveries, including psychedelics, altered states of consciousness and technologies. Today, like never before because of how interconnected we are, we have the beautiful opportunity to learn from those errors, but only if we choose to address them and discuss them openly. To evolve further it is essential that we review the dysfunctionalities associated with psychedelic use in conjunction with beneficial strategies. Most of us are probably already aware, either from an individual, global or natural perspective, what happens when psychedelics don’t change anything, or when they make things even worse. Is this something you have seen? Have you realized it is also not just about healing, beauty, and love? Do you know about the malpractices? Risks can lie in non-regulated practices, non-educated self-use, globalization and intercultural misunderstandings, as well as careless and not-competent investigators or clinicians.

Although psychedelics are generally considered to be surprisingly safe, there exist a wide variety of risks associated with the inappropriate use of those substances and altered states of consciousness. In-depth evaluation of these risks should be of our key interest.  

What are the ways of misuse? What challenges do we face to successfully integrate psychedelic therapeutic tools into our societies? What are the obstacles we encounter? What could possibly go wrong? What are the gaps in the current system?


Selected Lectures in Shadows & Challenges Track

Rick Doblin. Ph.D.: Avoiding Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory: Challenges to the Mainstreaming of Psychedelics in the 21st Century
Martin A Lee: LSD and the Black Arts: The CIA’s Use of Hallucinogens in Espionage and Covert Warfare
Jerónimo Mazarrasa: Charging for Ceremony: Polemics around Money in Shamanism
Danny Nemu: The Shadow Side of the Academy: Prejudice. Neo-colonialism and Taboo in the Academic study of Ayahuasca
Fabienne Bâcle: The “cruzadera”: Negative Interference According to the Concept of Traditional Medicine.
Levente Móró. Ph.D.: How (Not) To Have a Bad Trip? A Systematic Categorisation of Difficult Psychedelic Experiences

Full list of Shadows & Challenges Track Lectures