David O'Shaughnessy

David O'Shaughnessy

David O'Shaughnessy

Ayahuasca and addiction: Treatment in the "Singing House"

This presentation will be based on my doctoral research at the Takiwasi Centre in Peru from 2014-2015. In an attempt to understand the evolution of patients undergoing treatment for addiction at Takiwasi, I conducted an observational pilot study using methods drawn from biology, psychology, and anthropology. While the results were positive, understanding Takiwasi itself poses certain philosophical challenges that are not easily solved. In addition to the results of the study, I will discuss these challenges in relation to the use of ayahuasca (and other plants) as medicines.

David O’Shaughnessy is a PhD candidate from the James Cook University medical school in Townsville, Australia. His background is in psychology (Adelaide University), although his current doctoral work at James Cook is an interdisciplinary study of addiction in the modern world, and the subsequent possibilities and implications of traditional Amazonian medicine as a treatment option.