Santo Daime church ceremony in Germany’s Harz region. The sacrament of this syncretic religious community is Ayahuasca, a brew made out of psychoactive rainforest plants. The potion is used during fixed rituals for divine experiences, to heal and to strengthen the community.
Goa-Festivals, like the OZORA in Hungary, are comparable to huge Trance-Rituals. Music and decoration are trying to imitate the neurologic effects of LSD. After hours of dancing to the monotonous rhythm and in combination with psychedelic substances, people get into a Trance-like state.
Here though, Ayahuasca is not just used by religious groups. So-called neo-shamans travel major European cities, and offer retreats spanning several days which focus on self-healing and self-optimization.
Every year cannabis activists, recreational smokers and medical users demonstrate in Berlin for the legalisation of grass.
Berlin’s cannabis expo primarily presents utensils which are technically legal but serve illegal purposes. Visitors take part in a joint rolling competition, where the first prize is a bong.
Now also approved for medicinal purposes in Germany, cannabis can be prescribed for conditions such as chronic pain, multiple sclerosis and ADHD. Claudia discovered the benefits of cannabis after a course of chemotherapy, where other pain medication had done more harm than good.
Redecorated hospital room used in LSD studies at Imperial College London. This is where for the first time computer tomography scans were used to record brain activity while under the influence of LSD, and the impacts of music on therapy were investigated.
The active compound psilocybin, which occurs naturally in psychedelic mushrooms, is being researched at Maastricht University. Brain scans and cognitive tests are used to find out whether this substance can boost creativity and help change learned behavior patterns.
Another study by Maastricht University seeks to determine the impact of cannabis on the reliability of eyewitness testimony after crimes or accidents. Virtual reality is used to simulate a scenario for participants, who are then questioned.
In Poland a group meet with the intention of using psychoactive substances therapeutically. Under the supervision of therapists, doctors and experienced attendants, they take Mescaline, MDMA and 2-CB on two consecutive evenings.
The Munich Oktoberfest is second to none. Every year around 6 million people flock to the world’s largest beer festival. Over 3 weeks, some 7.5 million litres of beer cross the counters inside the festival’s 14 tents.
Pepa travels in the summer to the poppy fields on the edge of the city to tap the poppy capsules’ milky sap, which contains morphine. At a small camp in the woods, he prepares the substance by boiling it before injecting it.
In 2016, the world’s largest drug consumption facility for serious addicts opened in Copenhagen. Every day, around 400 individual doses of cocaine or heroin are consumed here under clean conditions and medical supervision. The visitors also have the opportunity to rest in the warm or seek advice from social workers.
At a Zurich night club, visitors can have the purity and quality of their substances tested. A city initiative sets up this mobile laboratory at selected events. Visitors are also asked about their consumption habits and told about the risks and dangers.