Rita Kočárová, MSc, is a researcher at National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) in the research program of Social Psychiatry, PhD student of clinical psychology at Charles University in Prague, trainee of MDMA-assisted therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), Gestalt therapy, founder of Beyond Psychedelics and executive director of multidisciplinary global conference Beyond Psychedelics 2018. She is also a co-founder of Czech Psychedelic Society.
As a researcher she is interested mainly in psychedelics: psilocybin, ayahuasca, MDMA and 5-MeO-DMT containing secretion from Bufo alvarius toad. She focuses on their mechanism of functioning, effect on mental health, their potential therapeutic use, studies with psychedelics and deliriants conducted in 60s in former Czechoslovakia and also complex approach to the addictions.
She actively lectures at conferences, festivals and public events around the world. As a Chief Coordinator or Member of the Executive Committee, she has been involved in organizing a number of international scientific conferences: Beyond Psychedelics 2018; Rational Drug Regulation 2017; International Transpersonal Conference 2017; Young Psychiatrists Network Meeting 2017; Czech transpersonal conferences; Beyond Stigma, Toward Equity; Beyond Psychedelics 2016.
Ritual Use of Bufo alvarius secretion and Mental Health
The secretions of the Colorado River Toad (Lat. Bufo alvarius [BA]) is subject to a fast resurgence in popularity in western societies, probably also due to the effects of globalization and the legal availability of 5-methoxy-dimethyltryptamine (5-MeO-DMT) through webshops, which is believed to be the main psychoactive substance in BA secretion.
BA secretion is used in a ritual setting in order to treat mental illness, to improve well-being and to stimulate psychological growth.
Yet, despite the growing popularity of BA secretion, there currently is a notable lack of scientific evidence. Available information is merely anecdotal and can vary significantly with reports stating improvements, but sometimes also deterioration in well-being and mental health.
This study provides a reliable way of ascertaining the validity of such reports and the presence of potential other effects on mental health, creativity and cognition; in particular shedding further light on the risks and benefits involved in their use.
The goal of our study was to test whether users will show changes in mental health and mental flexibility after the use of BA secretion.