Shashi Dansanghani, overcame his 20-year heroin addiction using ayahuasca and has become a strong believer in the #ThankYouPlantMedicine movement. We are grateful he has come out to share his inspiring and life-affirming experience, and that he is helping us promote this important campaign which is rapidly spreading across the world.
The 39-year-old was once suicidal and had given up hope of beating his addiction to heroin – a drug that has claimed an average of 15,000 lives per year in the US since 2015.
Fortunately, Shashi’s life was transformed after drinking ayahuasca, the Amazonian brew that has been used for healing in indigenous cultures for thousands of years. Ayahuasca is illegal in most Western countries due to its psychedelic effects, yet Shashi and countless others across the world are now speaking out about their healing experiences using this alternative treatment.
The #ThankYouPlantMedicine grassroots movement (#TYPM) is on a mission to remove the societal stigma surrounding psychedelics and raise awareness about their potential healing properties. These plant medicines are being studied to potentially heal a variety of illnesses ranging from severe depression and PTSD to sexual abuse trauma, drug addictions, and more.
Shashi lives in Bangkok, Thailand with his wife and three kids, and now runs his own fashion textiles business. He said, “I was addicted to heroin for twenty years, starting at the age of 16. I turned to plant medicine as a last resort because nothing else worked.
“I’d been to rehab several times and tried various support groups, but they just didn’t help. I became suicidal and was giving up on myself. There didn’t seem to be many other options apart from the ones I’d already exhausted.
“Fortunately, I came across some stories on YouTube about ayahuasca having a positive success rate in reversing addictions, and I decided I had to try this before giving up.”
As part of his healing journey, Shashi has also utilized other plant medicines, including ibogaine, which studies have shown is also highly effective in beating heroin addiction with no withdrawal symptoms.
Shashi said: “The impact plant medicines have had on me has been utterly incredible. There was a total transformation of my life in the very first encounter with ayahuasca. I have been free from addiction for three-and-a-half years. I live a healthier lifestyle, I eat better, sleep better, and lead a much happier life.
“I’m now a better father, husband, son, brother, and have an overall sense of gratitude in almost all situations. This is why I’m so thankful for plant medicines. The #ThankYouPlantMedicine campaign is perhaps the most important movement for our species on this planet.
“Our level of consciousness is now at a point where we have a lot of the tools necessary to make major positive changes towards the broken models that have been failing society as a whole,” said Shashi.
“It’s time for mainstream society to accept these plants for the medicine that they are. We have seen huge steps forward with cannabis in treating various illnesses in the last decade, and hopefully, this can help pave the way for other plant medicines being responsibly used for healing.”
Psychoactive plant medicines and psychedelics are all currently illegal in most Western countries, but the #ThankYouPlantMedicine leaders are researching how these substances have been previously misunderstood and misjudged by various governments and health organizations. A shift is happening: scientists and academics around the world have been studying the therapeutic effects of natural and synthetic psychedelics and finding a range of positive results.
Emily Sinclair, an ayahuasca expert who has spent six years living and working in Iquitos, Peru, has committed her PhD study to the benefits of plant medicine. She is also a member of the Chacruna Institute of Psychedelic Plant Medicines, which produces high-quality research and properly educates the public on these substances.
Emily said: “Ayahuasca can help people to get to the root causes of their addiction and seems to encourage better self-care. Most importantly, perhaps, ayahuasca enables spiritual experiences that can completely transform someone’s perspective of themselves. In my experience, miracle recoveries from addiction are rare though. Usually, the process is more gradual with periods of sobriety and relapse, but there’s no doubt that ayahuasca can be an incredible tool for treatment and recovery.”
Meanwhile, the powerful plant medicine, studies reveal ibogaine has been effective in breaking heroin addiction because it affects opioid receptors in the brain and removes withdrawal symptoms. However, this medicine has to be used in a safe and clinical setting and is not suitable for people with heart conditions.
The #ThankYouPlantMedicine movement was formed in June 2019 by friends David Grillot and Jonathan Glazer, who live in Costa Rica, and it has since grown into an expanding grassroots movement. There are now more than 500 volunteers in 55 countries dedicated to raising awareness about the healing potential of psychoactive plant medicines.
*Want to join the #ThankYouPlantMedicine movement on Facebook? You can learn more about the community by clicking here.
* DISCLAIMER & IMPORTANT SAFETY MESSAGE
The #TYPM movement does not encourage any illegal use or abuse of plant medicines and psychedelics, whether cultivated in nature or lab synthesized. Psychedelics and plant medicines, even within the confines of applicable laws, are not appropriate or beneficial for everyone.
They are not magical cures; they are tools that, when used properly – with respect, clear intentions, guidance, and a safe, supportive environment – can catalyze personal growth and healing.
To minimize harm and increase therapeutic potential, it is imperative that one performs sufficient research, adequately prepares, and integrates their own experience.