Anything can be dangerous if used improperly and psychedelics are no exception.
This is a guide on how to use psychedelics responsibly and safely. These are sacred tools that can be used for personal development but they must be respected and used properly.
I find it a sign of respect to the "drug" or plant medicine to learn as much about it as possible. Educating yourself on the positive/negative side effects, history of use, medical use, etc can better prepare you for a safe trip.
Everything is about intention. If you go to school to party then you may not learn as much as someone who takes it seriously and goes to school to learn. Psychedelics are the same way. If you only use it to party then you may not understand the lessons that these medicines offer. If you use it with good intention, to better yourself and heal then good things will come of it.
If you use these medicines irresponsibly, as a "party drug" then you may not get the positive benefits that can be achieved. Irresponsible use could lead to hurting yourself or others. Don't get me wrong, having fun and laughing is a therapy in itself. I'm just saying that they should be used safely with good intentions.
How Safe are Psychedelics?
Psychedelics are currently Schedule I drugs which means "The drug or other substance has a high potential for abuse. The drug or other substance has no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States."
Psychedelics are incorrectly scheduled drugs because there is no evidence for a high potential for abuse. In fact, many psychedelics are so intense that the user would not want to try them too often and also many psychedelics give you a high tolerance once you've taken it. In my experience, if I eat 2 grams of mushrooms one day than I would have to take twice as much to feel those same effects the next day. I think this is the mushrooms way of preventing abuse.
According to the Global Drug Survey of 2017, mushrooms are actually safer than cannabis. I find it interesting that users of synthetic cannabis seek medical treatment more than alcohol users.
Addiction to psychedelics is rare.
You can become addicted to nearly anything but addiction to psychedelics is rare because larger doses aren't necessarily fun.
Always know exactly what you are taking and make sure it is from a trusted source. I am more of a fan of natural psychedelics like mushrooms which I can easily identify and confirm their validity. Synthetic drugs like MDMA, ecstasy, LSD, etc can be questionable in their potency and safety. You can buy drug testing kits to confirm what you are about to take is legitimate.
When I was a budtender, I would recommend that new cannabis users start off with low doses and work their way up. I think it could be beneficial to do the same for psychedelics. Edibles, just like psychedelics will affect everyone differently in different doses.
Microdosing is taking a small amount of a psychedelic (for example less than a gram of mushrooms) to enjoy the effects while still being in control of yourself. This is a great way to relieve the anxiety of trying psychedelics for the first time. Everyone is different and affected by psychedelics differently. By starting with a small dose, you can test out how it will affect you and whether or not it's something for you. In my opinion, microdosing mushrooms has a similar feeling to cannabis.
Bad trips are potentially the most dangerous part of psychedelics because you may act out on hallucinations which could hurt yourself or others. But bad trips can be avoided with some careful planning.
Set and Setting- Where you are and what mindset you are in when you trip is very important. Personally, I cannot be around large crowds of people when I'm on psychedelics because I get very anxious. I need to be in nature or at my house to feel comfortable.
The mindset you are in is very important because it will lead your trip. Most people say to only use psychedelics when you are feeling happy but honestly I have had the most helpful trips when I take it during a difficult time in my life. I'm not saying this is recommended for everyone but it worked for me.
Trip Sitter- If you are intending on taking larger doses of psychedelics, it is recommended to have a "trip sitter" or a trustworthy friend nearby to make sure you are safe. It is important to pick someone that you feel safe and comfortable around. This person should be ready to talk you out of anxiety, get food/water/blankets if necessary, and monitor your behavior so you don't hurt yourself.
Benefits of a "Bad Trip"
All of the most meaningful, life changing trips for me have come from "bad" or uncomfortable trips. These are the kind of trips that can show you who you really are and what you need to change in yourself.
One of the worst trips I had, convinced me to break up with an abusive boyfriend and move to Colorado. I would not be the person I am today without some of these "bad" trips. Sometimes, you have to go through something uncomfortable to grow as a person.
While not all "bad" trips can be helpful, I think it is important to analyze your bad trips and see if you can find something positive from it. As far as I'm concerned, the only true bad trip is a trip where you hurt yourself or others, which is extremely rare.
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Have a Safe Trip!