Objective. This article aims to offer a vision of the centers at a global level that use derivatives of plants or animals for the treatment of substance use disorders, and to offer a reflection on the concept of drugs as medicinal or toxicant agents depending on the context of use, culture and policy. Methodology. Some practices coming from Africa, Asia, Europe and the Americas were considered, carrying out a research based on scientific literature, exchange of information with treatment centers, internet search and the personal experience of the authors. Results and Discussion. Different cases of the use of natural medicines are described including psychoactive derivatives of Tabernanthe iboga and Bufo alvarius. Conclusions. The blurred boundaries between considering drug consumption as a crime or as a health issue could be overcome by being inspired by the ancient wisdom of traditional medicines.
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