Skip to main content

In recent years, psychedelic retreats have gained popularity as a unique and promising method for mental health and addiction treatment. Psychedelic substances like psilocybin and LSD, once seen as dangerous and illegal drugs, are now being used in carefully controlled environments to promote healing and personal growth. 

While this may seem like a new approach, the use of psychedelics in therapeutic settings has a long history dating back to the 1950s. 

In this article, we will delve into the science behind psychedelic retreats, define what they are, and explore how these substances are helping individuals heal and transform their lives.  Longevity Live Paid Content.

Before you read this post, which is not intended for persons under the age of 18, it’s important to note that psychedelics are not legal in most countries for medical or any other use. It is a criminal offense in many countries to use this substance. Readers should independently check which countries accept legalized medical assisted retreats. This is an independently submitted post and should not be construed as an endorsement by

What Is A Psychedelic Retreat?

A psychedelic retreat is an organized event in which participants take a psychedelic substance in a controlled setting with the guidance of experienced facilitators. During these retreats, participants typically stay at a specific location for several days with one or more facilitators, who may be therapists or shamans. 

Most psychedelic retreats aim to provide an immersive experience that helps participants gain insight into their emotional and personal growth needs. Participants are encouraged to explore their inner world through meditation, yoga, chanting, or other activities such as art therapy or bodywork.

Retreat | Longevity LiveThe Science Behind Psychedelic Therapy

Recent research indicates that psychedelics possess immense therapeutic potential. Psilocybin, the active component in magic mushrooms, can be a useful tool in treating depression, anxiety, and addiction. Additionally, MDMA, also known as ecstasy, has demonstrated promise in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

The mechanism by which psychedelics induce psychological healing involves altering brain function. For example, psilocybin has been observed to reduce activity in the default mode network, a hyperactive brain network in individuals with depression and anxiety. By reducing activity in this network, psilocybin may potentially alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Similarly, MDMA is thought to work by increasing the release of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. Serotonin is involved in mood regulation, and its release can alleviate symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Research has also indicated that psychedelics can significantly reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression in individuals with mental health disorders such as PTSD and major depressive disorder (MDD). Additionally, psychedelics have been found to enhance quality of life measures, including creativity, productivity, self-esteem, and spirituality, in individuals suffering from depression.

retreat | Longevity LIVE

The Benefits Of Psychedelic Retreats

Psychedelic retreats offer several potential benefits for participants beyond their therapeutic effects. These retreats provide a safe and supportive environment for exploring the effects of psychedelics. Experienced facilitators are available to help participants work through difficult emotions and experiences that may arise during a psychedelic session.

In addition, psychedelic retreats provide a sense of community and support for participants, fostering connections with others going through similar experiences. This sense of community can be particularly helpful for people who feel isolated or disconnected in their daily lives. Some participants even report spirituality and profound mystical experiences that have significantly improved their worldview.

Further studies have suggested that psychedelics may also help reduce cravings and provide insight into behavior patterns for those struggling with addiction. They may also help individuals effectively address trauma-related issues by providing access to deeper levels of consciousness than traditional forms of psychotherapy can offer. 

Finally, psychedelic-assisted therapy sessions have been shown to improve relationships among couples, and they can enhance creative exploration by promoting greater openness during problem-solving tasks.

Notably, the science behind psychedelic therapy is intriguing, and ongoing research indicates that psychedelics may offer a new frontier in treating various mental health conditions. 

Potential Risks and Considerations

While psychedelic retreats can offer significant benefits, they are not without risk. Psychedelics can be unpredictable, and they can cause intense emotional and psychological experiences.

For this reason, it is essential to only participate in psychedelic retreats with experienced facilitators who are trained to handle difficult situations that may arise.

Additionally, not everyone is a good candidate for psychedelic therapy. For example, people with a history of psychosis or severe mental illness may be at increased risk of negative side effects from psychedelic substances.


There is promising evidence that psychedelics can offer therapeutic benefits when taken under carefully supervised conditions by trained professionals. However, much more research is needed before fully understanding how best to leverage them for safe and effective therapeutic use.

As with any potential therapeutic approach, it’s important to discuss your concerns thoroughly with your healthcare provider before deciding whether this type of activity might benefit you.


“Psychedelic-assisted therapy: a review of the literature” by Yuliya Lysenko and Natasha L. Mulligan, Journal of Psychoactive Drugs (2020):

Griffiths RR, Johnson MW, Carducci MA, et al. Psilocybin produces substantial and sustained decreases in depression and anxiety in patients with life-threatening cancer: A randomized double-blind trial. Journal of Psychopharmacology. 2016;30(12):1181-1197. doi: 10.1177/0269881116675512

Carhart-Harris RL, Bolstridge M, Rucker J, et al. Psilocybin with psychological support for treatment-resistant depression: an open-label feasibility study. Lancet Psychiatry. 2016;3(7):619-627. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(16)30065-7

Ross S, Bossis A, Guss J, et al. Rapid and sustained symptom reduction following psilocybin treatment for anxiety and depression in patients with life-threatening cancer: a randomized controlled trial. J Psychopharmacol. 2016;30(12):1165-1180. doi: 10.1177/0269881116675513

Mithoefer MC, Grob CS, Brewerton TD. Novel psychopharmacological therapies for psychiatric disorders: psilocybin and MDMA. The Lancet Psychiatry. 2016;3(5):481-488. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00576-3

Mithoefer MC, Wagner MT, Mithoefer AT, Jerome L, Doblin R. The safety and efficacy of {+/-}3,4-methylenedioxymethamphetamine-assisted psychotherapy in subjects with chronic, treatment-resistant posttraumatic stress disorder: the first randomized controlled pilot study. J Psychopharmacol. 2011;25(4):439-452. doi: 10.1177/0269881110378371

Griffiths RR, Richards WA, Johnson MW, McCann UD, Jesse R. Mystical-type experiences occasioned by psilocybin mediate the attribution of personal meaning and spiritual significance 14 months later. J Psychopharmacol. 2008;22(6):621-632. doi: 10.1177/0269881108094300

Bogenschutz MP, Forcehimes AA, Pommy JA, Wilcox CE, Barbosa PC, Strassman RJ. Psilocybin-assisted treatment for alcohol dependence: a proof-of-concept study. J Psychopharmacol. 2015;29(3):289-299. doi: 10.1177/0269881114565144[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Nicholas Gonzales

Nicholas Gonzales

Nick is an online health and fitness coach with a fierce, newly discovered passion for freelance writing. If he isn't writing, working out, or handing out the advice of the healthy kind, Nick can be found reclining in his favorite armchair playing Xbox with his friends, or jogging around the block with his dog.


This content, developed through collaboration with licensed medical professionals and external contributors, including text, graphics, images, and other material contained on the website, apps, newsletter, and products (“Content”), is general in nature and for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice; the Content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

Always consult your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition, procedure, or treatment, whether it is a prescription medication, over-the-counter drug, vitamin, supplement, or herbal alternative.

Longevity Live makes no guarantees about the efficacy or safety of products or treatments described in any of our posts. Any information on supplements, related services and drug information contained in our posts are subject to change and are not intended to cover all possible uses, directions, precautions, warnings, drug interactions, allergic reactions, or adverse effects.

Longevity does not recommend or endorse any specific test, clinician, clinical care provider, product, procedure, opinion, service, or other information that may be mentioned on Longevity’s websites, apps, and Content.