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Sonoma County Man Dies After Participating in Ayahuasca Ritual in Peruvian Jungle

It was supposed to be a transformative experience to open the mind of a young man just starting out in life. Instead, it went terribly wrong.

An 18-year-year-old man Sebastopol man is dead after ingesting ayahuasca, a psychedelic substance, at a shamanic retreat center in Peru, the Press Democrat is reporting.

Last month, Kyle Nolan, whose father, Sean Nolan, lives in Petaluma, traveled to the jungles of Peru to participate in a 10-day spiritual retreat meant to “open his mind.”

He had taken a year off school following his 2011 graduation from Analy High and had saved money for a trip he hoped would be a transformative experience, according to the story.

But the ayahuasca ceremony went terribly wrong when Nolan was found dead the following morning. No one at the center notified the Nolan family, who grew worried when Kyle did not return on August 26. They traveled to Peru and questioned a shaman who told Kyle’s parents that he had simply walked off the grounds with his luggage during the ceremony.

Police later questioned the shaman, who admitted that Nolan had died after drinking a brew made out of ayahuasca, an herb widely used by indigenous people in Amazon and which contains dimethyltryptamine, a psychedelic substance that is illegal in the United States.

Ayahuasca also has cardiovascular effects and can increase the heart rate and diastolic blood pressure and in some cases cause significant psychological stress.

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Active Thinker September 18, 2012 at 06:14 PM
So sorry to hear.
molly campbell September 19, 2012 at 02:04 AM
I am so sorry. Sending the family love.
Fenella Das Gupta PhD Neuroscience, MFT September 19, 2012 at 05:33 PM
This is very sad, heartbreaking. The insult to injury is that no one told the family....so traumatically tragic.... And I guess this is a good reminder that while there are many shamanic rituals that are " enlightening", it is still important to understand how chemicals can personally affect you.
Betty Harrison September 19, 2012 at 07:49 PM
Unfortunately, kids don't believe much of anything we have to say about drugs... time for them to change arenas from politics to medicine.

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