Episode 455 – How Do You Feel About Ayahuasca and Other Plant Medicines?



Today we have Chris. He is 40 years old and lives in Austin, TX. He took his last drink on February 16th, 2007.


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[02:16] Highlights from Paul:


Today is episode 9 out of 10 in the Q&A series.


Today’s question comes from Krista B, in our Café RE group. She says:


“How Paul is feeling about ayahuasca and other plant medicines. Are you still as passionate about its benefits today as a few years ago? Has the treatment worked in a sustained way, in your opinion?”


Paul shared his initial experience with ayahuasca in episode 170. He believes that plant medicines have a place in the world of addiction and mental health. Do not buy it on the internet and try it solo; set and setting is everything. There is so much preparation that needs to go into an ayahuasca ceremony and under the right circumstances, it will answer many questions. A big one being why you drink. Paul shares how ayahuasca still impacts his everyday life.


While Paul found plant medicine helpful on his journey, he recognizes it’s not for everyone, nor does he think everyone should try plant medicine. If you are interested, please do your own research before trying it.


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[11:59] Paul introduces Chris:


Chris lives in Austin Texas; he is married with two children aged 8 and 9. He is an entrepreneur and enjoys being creative through many avenues.


Chris always felt like an outsider that didn’t belong while he was growing up. His parents divorced when he was young, and he blamed himself and ended up distancing himself from people.  He craved connections and ended up starting drinking with a group of friends. Chris felt like alcohol was the solution to his feelings of not belonging. His drinking increased and over time he lost all those connections that he used alcohol to find and was drinking alone. At age 23 he went to treatment where they helped him recognize that he had some mental health issues, the main ones being social anxiety and depression.


Some alumni from the group accepted Chris, helped him go to meetings and then they would all socialize afterwards. He finally felt he was making connections that he had craved all his life.


Seeing people that were staying sober and succeeding was a big boost to Chris’ confidence, and he felt like it was possible for him to do the same. His life in sobriety was becoming so great that he never had a desire to go back to drinking.


Chris started going to school to become a counselor and immediately started working in the recovery field. He knew it was important to maintain and strengthen his recovery to do the job successfully.


Chris started Sans Bar in 2018 as a pop-up bar when there were very few options in the alcohol-free arena. The pop-ups grew, and more and more people were interested in what Chris was doing, mostly through word of mouth. He feels it came along at the right time as the sober curious movement was beginning. Chris says doing this gave him the same feelings that his first sip of booze did – he was forming connections. He feels Sans Bar is for everyone, not just people in recovery.


Chris’s favorite resources in recovery: The Luckiest Club, 12 step programs, podcasts.


Chris’s parting piece of guidance: you can’t fail. The point of sobriety is not abstinence, it’s growth.



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