How to Survive a Bad Trip on Shrooms
For thousands of years, people have consumed substances with the ability to alter consciousness. Among other things, traditional communities employed them in initiation rites, healing rituals, and contact with the afterlife. The naturally occurring substances psilocybin (found in “magic mushrooms”), DMT, mescaline, the hallucinogenic tea Ayahuasca (used by indigenous peoples in the Amazon basin), and the hallucinogenic shrub Iboga (found in West Africa) are now referred to as psychedelics.
In the 20th century, synthetic hallucinogenic substances—most notably LSD—became available. Although technically not psychedelics, the synthetic ‘party drugs’ MDMA (commonly known as ecstasy) and ketamine (a substance used as an anesthetic in medicine), alter consciousness and are frequently grouped with traditional psychedelics.
We are currently experiencing what has been dubbed a “psychedelic renaissance,” which started in the 1990s. Research teams from all over the world (particularly those at Imperial College London and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore) have been publishing studies that explore the apparent therapeutic benefits of the drugs and their neural underpinnings, particularly when used as a supplement to psychotherapy.
According to research trials, the advantages of psychedelics when used in psychotherapy include, but are not limited to, reducing anxiety and depression (including for those who have not found relief from other types of therapy or drug treatment), addressing persistent symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder, treating addiction, and reducing existential distress in patients with terminal illnesses.
Many participants report having a mystical or transcendent experience. In fact, a lot of users of psychedelic drugs say the experience was one of the most profoundly personal of their lives. Many people are changed by their trip, exhibiting more humility, openness, and a sense of connection to other people and the wider world.
What’s Going On In Your Brain During a Trip?
Different psychedelic substances affect the brain in different ways, even if they might provide subjectively comparable experiences. Psilocybin, mescaline, and LSD, for example, primarily affect the 5-HT2A receptor system (5-HT, commonly known as serotonin, is a neurotransmitter involved in mood and perception), but DMT affects both the 5-HT2A system and sigma-1 receptors, which are involved in neural signaling. By inhibiting the NMDA receptors that glutamate, another brain chemical, typically binds to, ketamine interacts with glutamate.
Globally, the effects of psychedelic drugs are similar in that they increase the amount of entropy in the brain by permitting communication across neural regions that don’t typically interact and by decreasing activity in the section of the brain known as the “default mode network,” which is engaged in self-conscious thought. The mystical sensations of oneness and transcendence that are common to many trips are thought to be facilitated by these brain changes that cause “ego breakdown” and lead to these transformations.
A regular stream of newspaper articles outlining their potential has resulted from the increase in scientific interest in psychedelic drugs and claims of their transcendent, life-altering effects. A number of well-known books about psychedelics have also been published. It begs the question of whether it’s possible for people to take these substances safely – and, if so, how – as interest in these medications and their advantageous effects keeps growing.
6 Tips to Avoid a Bad Trip
- Choose a safe and comfortable setting: The surroundings in which a person experiences a psychedelic drug trip can affect their experience. That entails creating a serene, quiet, and distraction-free space where the user may concentrate. If it isn’t feeling safe, quiet, and reliable where you are, then we don’t suggest going through with it.
- Be aware of your mindset beforehand: Before engaging in a psychedelic experience, feeling nervous, afraid, or generally uneasy could be an indication that the trip will be unpleasant. Prior to a psychedelic experience, it’s crucial for anxious individuals to calm down so they may concentrate on healing rather than becoming paralyzed by stimuli. Try meditating or journaling beforehand, and switching any negative emotions inside of you to more positive ones. It’s very, very important to be in a positive mindset before a trip as this is one of the most important factors in determining how your trip will turn out.
- Set intentions right before your trip: It is crucial to prepare for a trip with a therapy-like session. People who have recently experienced a breakup, a funeral, or a major upheaval in their lives and haven’t addressed their grief or trauma risk being taken by surprise when they trip. Pent-up negative emotions will almost always find a way to come out during your trip for your own attention, but if you aren’t prepared for that, it might be perceived as too intense and negative.
- Cutting out alcohol and marijuana beforehand can enhance your experience of the trip: Although it’s not necessary, cutting out cannabis and alcohol two weeks before a trip can help people be more deliberate about the experience so they receive the desired outcomes. We always advise doing some kind of detox before as well, as a clean vessel is always the best way to begin a psychedelic experience.
- Start small and work your way up: If you’re a first-time/amateur user, we always advise starting with the lowest dose available and slowly increasing your doses over time to allow your body to adjust. Microdosing is a great way to start as you are ingesting very low doses at first and allowing your body to get used to the sensations without any hallucinogenic effects. Once you feel ready to experience the psychedelic side of it, you can move on to higher doses.
- Drinky plenty of water and fluids during your trip: Make sure you have plenty of water and fluids nearby to stay hydrated during your trip. Having some snacks and food can be helpful to bring down the intensity of your trip if you feel it’s getting too much at any point.
We at Get Magic Mushrooms hope this article was helpful to anyone needing some tips and advice on how to prepare for a trip and how to make it safe, comfortable, and enjoyable. Have a safe and happy trip!