Dosed: Can hallucinogens cure drug dependency?

Documentary by Tyler Chandler
In cinemas

The makers of this documentary advocate using psychedelic drugs such as psilocybin mushrooms and an African hallucinogen called iboga in the treatment of opioid addiction and other drug dependencies.

The scale of opioid addiction in Northern America is astronomical and the human cost is hideous. In the opening credits we are informed that in the 87 minutes it takes to view the film more than 200 people will suicide in despair at their addiction.

The film centres on Adrianne, an addict for more than 20 years. She is a “high functioning” addict, as most are, we are told. She can hold down jobs and get along in society.

But she has reached a point where, after many failed attempts at rehab, all she can see before her is suicide. I have known two people who died similarly; this film shook me to the core.

Particularly upsetting is a sequence in which Adrianne swallows a large number of morphine capsules, but decides to induce vomiting before they have time to dissolve in her stomach. But then, feeling anxious, she decides to take them after all -- eating her own vomit.

It is clear from this film that all the pharmacological and government programs meant to cure addiction actually perpetuate it.

I can’t form an opinion about the effectiveness of hallucinogens from watching this documentary. But the horror of addiction is shown up close.