By April Murphy
Opioid addiction has reached a crisis point in Australia in which issues are no longer heroin specific, with many addicts trapped on prescription medication with no clear path forward.
The feature film “Dosed” tackles one woman’s personal journey to overcome her opioid addiction, depression and anxiety through experimenting with illegal psychedelic medicine like magic mushrooms and iboga.
The piece captures the life and traumas of a heroin user, Adrianne, who has been an addict for over twenty years. The film is a showcase of her struggle to be sober. Her journey, like that of most addicts, is a constant battle of withdrawal and relapse. The main character confides in a friend and the filmmaker of “Dosed”, Tyler Chandler, that she is having suicidal thoughts as she can no longer handle her destructive lifestyle.
It was at that point she was introduced to psychedelic treatment. “We didn’t know what we were getting ourselves into,” says Chandler. “We didn’t know that this whole world of plant medicine and using psychedelics in a therapeutic context existed. It exists quite strongly around the world.”
The film “Dosed” suggests that Iboga and ibogaine are about 10 times more effective for opioid addiction than conventional rehab, at a fraction of the cost. Research studies on psychedelic drugs have said to improve the lives of millions who suffer needlessly and could potentially bring an end to the opioid crisis. The plant medicines are redefining our understanding of mental health.
Dr Rosalind Watts, Clinical Psychologist at the Imperial College Psychedelic Research Group and cast member in the film “Dosed”, is an advocate for psychedelic medicine. “After we performed studies, we found that the most common theme was that depression felt like a disconnection and after the psychedelic session participants felt connected, and they could feel a whole range of emotions rather than apathy or sadness. The Psychedelic experience can break ridged thought patterns and the default mode network,” Watts says.
Everyone knows someone affected by these mental health issues and “Dosed” presents new solutions and offers hope through revealing Adrianne’s remarkable and very personal journey. The film is a story about how trauma impacts us in the deepest ways and how diving into consciousness could be a way to end the pain.