Accepted Paper:

has pdf download Alcohol, crack and therapeutic effects of Santo Daime in homelessness   

Authors:

Rubens Adorno (University of São Paulo)
Walter Varanda

Paper short abstract:

We focus on use of ayahuasca among persons who live in the streets of the city of São Paulo. Such experience is related to considerable changes in their lives; also, it helps getting them out of streets. The ritual use of Santo Daime is against the abusive use of alcohol and crack.

Paper long abstract:

The spread of the ayahuasca consumption around the world, regarding spiritual practices from Amazonian region, is strongly linked to processes of self knowledge and therapeutic purposes. We focus on experiences of persons who live in the streets of the city of São Paulo, which promoted both behavioral changes and reevaluations of negative experiences along their lives. Analyzing some cases and information about other similar situations, we saw the cure of the addiction to alcohol and drugs and their reinsertion in productive activities, as already reported in other social categories. The analysis of elements in ritual use of Santo Daime is against the abusive use of alcohol and crack by homeless individuals, commonly treated under psychiatric point of view. Considering homelessness as an experience of social liminality, the use of ayahuasca in the ritual context operates as an important transitional element.

Panel W014
From medical pluralism to therapeutic plurality: medical anthropology and the politics of diversity, knowledge, and experience from multiple perspectives