Drug Abuse as Part of Sacred Rituals

While the more recent drugs that tend to influence communities alike across the United States, drug usage and its affiliation can be traced back to thousands of years. Surprisingly, associated to sacred rituals and religion / cultural practices that involved a number of drug associations to their mere methods of worship of such gods. It is understood that the drug association provided the ability for the fellow-worshipers to “feel” a certain type of way that creates a superficial unique intact with their common ancestors and common / mutual idols. This experience was understood as supernatural effects, “blessing” in which is believed to be granted by the “higher-gods” when associating the figment of worship alongside the drug. In this review, we will be diving into the aspect of how drugs were made part of a sacred ritual, which many may not be aware of.

Types of Drugs That Were Commonly Used


According to many societies from around the world, groups of worshipers usually use drugs that stimulate a psychoactive influence over the mind, providing visions as part of their healing process. Mushrooms happen to be one type of drug that traces back to communities that still consider the association of mushrooms into the involvement of their worship forms. Visions that portray figures of their idols, helps to bring individual closer to the belief system, leading to further enlightenment.


A unique drug identified as Tabernanthe Iboga is a powerful stimulant and hallucinogen. Its effects can vary, thus greatly depending on the type of person that using it, and the quantity level consumed. Factors like user’s diet, and the user’s tolerance level all play an essential role of the condition the effect the drug gives.

Types of effects experienced;

Under the same condition, iboga can also act as an extreme-stimulant source. According to users, the effect creates a heighten sense of awareness, helps to stay more alert and are usually tied to activities such as hunting. For example, in Africa, locals of Gabon and Congo usually consume some amounts of iboga that usually requires an all-night village ceremony that range a number of physical activities such as dancing, jumping, etc.


In the United States, the Native American Church, also known as NAC, associates Peyote alongside with their Peyote Religion and religion affairs. The drug is also known as Lophophora Williamsii, and is administer “legal” in the United States, under specific rules and regulations. The common dosage associated to each usage consists of low levels of the peyote, which prevents individuals to experiencing dramatic visual / hallucinogenic effects.

According the NAC members, the drug is consumed during all-night meetings and ceremonies, inviting both young and the common adult in participation of the event. It is associated to influence spiritual well-being, the release of feeling guilt, and to find a sense of purpose in life.


Some South American tribes once associated to combination of two different plants into a single-powerful drug, also known as Ayahuasca. It was believed that the drug was associated with acts of religion and traditional activities to influence the ability to make contact with the spirits of the dead, achieving clairvoyance, and making diagnostics over common types of illness, considering the insights to prophecies and healing.  Till this day, Several Christian Churches in Brazil consider ayahuasca as a sacrament. Currently, they battle against legal rights over freedom of religion that associates the usage of drugs. Experts believe that this alone may be an essential way to draw an enormous amount of crowds to join such belief system through the empowerment and the influence of drugs.


Datura is a drug that is commonly partnered with ayahuasca drug. It obtained its nick name from the town of Jametown, specifically the soldiers whom used the drug alongside training. Though Datura isn’t a true hallucinogen, it still produces visionary experiences, thus depending on the amount and quantity associated to the dosage measure of ayahuasca. Today, the drug is still widely used throughout the United States and if found to cause death every year.

Final Conclusion

To conclude, it is understandable that drug association may be tied to the relationship of drug abuse, a vital “hidden” excuse to including the administration of using drugs alongside the modes of worship. While the legal battle continues in some parts of the United States, the practice of using drugs alongside sacred rituals continues to thrive.



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