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Harm Reduction

Psychedelics are not for everyone! These powerful substances can be very helpful for some but dangerous to others. Please consider your current mental state before ingesting any substances. Be informed and educated of the risks and effects.

 

"Set and setting" are pivotal in the psychedelic realm. "Set" denotes one's mental state, including emotions and expectations, while "setting" refers to the physical and social environment. Both significantly influence the outcome of a psychedelic experience, whether therapeutic or recreational. Proper attention to these ensures a more positive journey.

Please Note: if you or someone you know is in the United States that needs mental health support either during or after a psychedelic experience, Call the FIRESIDE hotline (62-FIRESIDE). Open everyday 11:00 AM - 11:00 PM PT.

Staying Safe with Psychedelics

Psychedelics, while offering profound experiences, can also present risks. Here's some general information and harm reduction advice for those considering their use:

  1. Set and Setting: As previously mentioned, your mindset ("set") and environment ("setting") play vital roles in influencing the outcome of a psychedelic experience. Ensure you're in a safe, comfortable place, preferably with a trusted, sober friend or guide.

  2. Research the Substance: Different psychedelics have varying effects, duration, and risks. It's essential to research any substance thoroughly before consuming it.

  3. Start with a Low Dose: Especially if you're unfamiliar with a substance, start with a low dose to see how your body reacts. This reduces the risk of an overwhelming or negative experience. (Learn more about Microdosing)

  4. Test the Substance: Due to the illegality of many psychedelics, there's a risk of getting adulterated or mislabeled products. Testing kits can help verify the substance and purity. You can find these online and sometimes in headshops.

  5. Stay Hydrated: Drink enough water, but avoid drinking excessively to prevent hyponatremia.

  6. Avoid Mixing Substances: Combining psychedelics with other drugs, including alcohol and prescription drugs, can be unpredictable and dangerous. Ask your doctor if you have concerns of drug interactions.

  7. Have a Trip Sitter: Especially for higher doses or unfamiliar substances, have a trusted, sober individual nearby to help guide the experience and intervene if necessary.

  8. Plan Ahead: Ensure you have a full day (or more, depending on the substance) free from obligations. Driving or making important decisions while under the influence is risky and ill-advised.

  9. Mind your Mental Health: If you have a history of mental health challenges, especially conditions like psychosis or schizophrenia, it's important to understand that psychedelics may intensify these issues. The nature of these substances is such that they can reveal or deepen the exploration of complex emotions, uncover past traumas, and present significant mental challenges. This underscores the importance of having a supportive trip sitter by your side to offer guidance and reassurance throughout your journey. Always consult a healthcare professional before deciding to use psychedelics to ensure it's safe for you. Should you find yourself feeling overwhelmed during the experience, it's crucial to remind yourself that you have consumed psychedelics and that the sensations you're experiencing are temporary. Adopting a mindset of relaxation, rather than resistance, can be beneficial. Enhance your environment to support this by adjusting the lighting to something soothing, playing calming music, and making sure you're in a comfortable setting. Look into our page on integration and find a trusted professional to guide you post-trip.

  10. Aftercare: The experience can continue to affect one's emotions and cognition days or weeks after. Ensure you have time to rest, reflect, and integrate the experience. Talking with a friend or therapist can help process the journey.

  11. Legal Implications: Be aware of the legal status of the substance in your jurisdiction. Possession, sale, or use of many psychedelics is illegal in many places and can lead to criminal charges. This is why it is critically important to practice safe consumption habits if you have chosen to do so.

  12. Seek Immediate Help if Necessary: If someone has a dangerous reaction, is suicidal, or exhibits other alarming behaviors, seek medical attention immediately. Call 911 if you're having an emergency and need help immediately.

 

Remember, while many find psychedelics enlightening or therapeutic, they aren't suitable for everyone, and there's no guarantee of a positive experience. Always prioritize safety and well-being. Staying safe is our number one priority for all of our Friends!

Harm
Reduction
& Support

Dance Safe

Harm reduction organization that can test drugs to make sure that they are adulterant free and also sells drug-checking kits.

https://dancesafe.org/drug-checking/

Chacruna
Writings on psychedelic plant medicine and science, culture and spirituality.

https://chacruna.net/

Erowid
A massive collection of information about psychoactive drugs, plants and chemicals. Read the trip reports to learn about people's first hand experiences.

https://erowid.org

Fireside Project
Operates the Psychedelic Peer Support Line, which offers free 24/7 support by phone and text message from diverse volunteers to people in the midst of psychedelic experiences and the process of integrating those experiences. Open daily from 11AM - 11PM PST.

https://firesideproject.org/

Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies (MAPS)
A research and educational organization that develops medical, legal, and cultural contexts for people to benefit from the careful uses of psychedelics and marijuana.

https://maps.org/

The Open Hyperspace Traveler

Educational resources about harm reduction, testing for adulterants, and how to deal with difficult trips.

https://www.oht.me/

Psychedelic Experience

A comprehensive website with resources on psychedelic medicines, practitioners, and experiences.

https://www.psychedelicexperience.net/

Psychedelic Support

Provides resources and information about therapists that have worked with psychedelics in clinical trials or are experienced in helping people integrate or process their own psychedelic experiences.

https://psychedelic.support/

Psychedelic Times
News, research, and happenings around the study of psychedelics as tools of healing, recovery, and therapy.

https://psychedelictimes.com/

Psychonaut Wiki
A site documenting drug and non-drug methods for expanding consciousness.

https://psychonautwiki.org/wiki/Main_Page

Psymposia
Discussions of current issues in psychedelia.

https://www.psymposia.com/

The Third Wave

A site providing clear, well-referenced information about psychedelics to the general public.

https://thethirdwave.co/

Trip Safe
Psychedelic education resources for having a safe psychedelic journey.

https://tripsafe.org/

Zendo Project
A psychedelic harm reduction project that aims to “transform difficult psychedelic experiences into valuable learning opportunities".

https://zendoproject.org/

Heartland Alliance
Psychedelic Harm Reduction & Integration in the Community.

https://www.heartlandalliance.org/mhri/wp-content/uploads/sites/20/2018/10/Psychedelic-Harm-Reduction.pdf

National Harm Reduction Coalition
Creates spaces for dialogue and action that help heal the harms caused by racialized drug policies.

https://harmreduction.org/

Trip Sitters
Psilocybin community and education hub. Information for Journeyers, Trip Sitters and Growers.

https://www.tripsitters.org/

Harm Reduction Journal
Ethical and legal issues in psychedelic harm reduction and integration therapy.

https://harmreductionjournal.biomedcentral.com/articles/10.1186/s12954-021-00489-1

Psychedelic Science Review
Psychedelic Science Review provides an exclusively scientific perspective on psychedelics. We are not proponents or opponents of political or social change, nor do we offer moral commentary. While there is a place for those voices, our goal is to offer factual information on the basis of scientific relevance.

https://psychedelicreview.com/

Spiritual Emergence Network

SEN delivers a dedicated service for individuals facing psychospiritual difficulties, offering referrals to specialized mental health support. The service connects those in need with licensed and/or specially trained mental health professionals, ideally located within the individual's area, though many are equipped to offer their expertise via phone or secure video communication. These experts have a deep understanding of various psychospiritual challenges.

https://www.spiritualemergence.org/

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