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Devil's Advocate
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FAQ 26. How do I avoid a bad trip?
    #3058698 - 08/27/04 05:09 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Tripper's FAQ

26. How do I avoid a bad trip?

Please post any helpful opinions, links and comments.


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Re: FAQ 15. How do I avoid a bad trip? [Re: Rose]
    #3059308 - 08/27/04 08:19 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Beyond the basics of set and setting, I feel better when I occasionally remind myself that I just took a perfectly harmless drug and it will end. This seems pretty basic, but actually "checking in" every so often will keep you from spiraling down the path of confusion and worry.

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Re: FAQ 15. How do I avoid a bad trip? [Re: Rose]
    #3059873 - 08/27/04 10:52 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Don't trip :smile:

Actually, I'm quite serious. It's important for new people to understand that a bad trip is ALWAYS a possiblity.


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Re: FAQ 15. How do I avoid a bad trip? [Re: Rose]
    #3060133 - 08/27/04 11:54 PM (13 years, 7 months ago)

Only take mushrooms when you are both mentally, physically, and socially fit. If you're stressed out, have a ton problems in your life etc, don't take them. You must have clear mind and motivation to enjoy the experience.

Be somewhere where you are comfortable like a friend's house or your own house so if something does go bad you have everything you need near you. Also be somewhere where you know it won't be crashed by police, parents, etc

Don't be around people you don't know or don't trust. Only be around positive people.

Bring some really good suckers, wear comfortable clothes, and music that you enjoy.

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Re: FAQ 15. How do I avoid a bad trip? [Re: Rose]
    #3061289 - 08/28/04 09:34 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

The last time I felt like I was starting to have a bad time whilst tripping I just told myself "Right now, at this moment, I have absolutely nothing to worry about", and it was awesome from then on. If that statement wasn't true going into a trip, I wouldn't do it.

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Re: FAQ 15. How do I avoid a bad trip? [Re: Rose]
    #3061326 - 08/28/04 10:01 AM (13 years, 7 months ago)

setting is very important.. you cant over-emphisise how important it is.. even very minor usually trivial things such as lighting play a very important part in the direction of a psychadelic experience. Ive found doing simple things such as playing with the lights and changing the music work in avioding bad trips.. also make sure you are surrounded by people you are VERY comfortable with.. There is nothing worse then tripping with a bunch of strangers.. but one thing to realise.. everyone is different and everyone has different mental strengths/weaknesses that are virtually impossible to forecast sometimes. Also go into the experience with a positive mind. realise that the substance you take is not mearly to get a kick. Respect your substance and it will usually respect you.. I have had a bad trip before and once you get one, your view on psychadelics will never be the same.. however this isnt all bad.. you must realise that sometimes bad trips are the best trips..

Happy tripping!

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Re: FAQ 26. How do I avoid a bad trip? [Re: Rose]
    #4015647 - 04/05/05 03:37 AM (13 years, 22 days ago)

Here is the answer so far. Please feel free to edit any FAQ answers yourself. Just click EDIT PAGE. Keep this discussion alive.

How to I avoid a bad trip

I plan to post some mushroom trip reports here, but, since
advice from others has helped me avoid any bad trips to date, I
feel it's my "civic duty" to post my precautions for newbies.

I like to compare psychedelic drugs with rock climbing. In
neither case should you attempt the adventure without proper
preparation. You should thoroughly educate yourself about what
you're doing, preferably from somebody experiened whom you
trust. Make sure you are fully cognizant of the dangers
involved. Treat the activity with the respect it deserves.
Understand that things do not always go as planned, and be
prepared for the worst. Just as you wouldn't try to go out and
try to conquer Mt. Everest on your first rock climbing
excursion, you wouldn't want to go out and eat 3 grams of
mushrooms or drop a hit of acid (I choose to abastain from
acid/LSD after my own research) as your first foray into

The only two pschedelics I've researched and experimented with
thoroughly are marijuanna (pot) and Psilocybin mushrooms; these
are the only two I personally can say are relatively safe,
benign, and enjoyable. I recommend against LSD and Ecstacy, and
in fact most other drugs, as too too strong or as having (known
or believed) medical dangers, or has having inadequate research
and/or history (although others who are willing to take greater
risk than I (or who are foolhardy) will choose to take LSD.
Other (naturally) occuring psyhchedelicssuch as peyote and DMT
may be candidates for safe research/exploration (but are much
stronger than pot and shrooms). I have read and heard often that
while cigarettes and alchohol are known to cause hundreds of
thousands of deaths per year in America alone, nobody has ever
died from marijuanna usage. I also read recently that the
required dosage to die of a Psiloscybin overdose would be 20
pounds of mushrooms - about 700 times the typical dosage - and
you'd die of stomach distension long before you could ingest
that much. (the greatest (and real) risk of taking mushrooms is
ending up eating the wrong kind, the kind that causes total
kidney failure and/or death. It is only their illegality that
creates this danger, it is worthy to note, as otherwise we'd
have safe, regulated supplies).

The key to safe, wise and fun recreational drug use is
KNOWLEDGE. Research the drug the thoroughly before you try it.
You should educate yourself to:

* How to get the drug you think you're getting in the dosage

you think you're getting (generally only get it from somebody
you know and trust, and who has experience with the drug,
preferably with the same batch as you'll be using).

* How to make sure the drug has no other undesired drugs

intermixed (for example, if you take enough Tylenol Cough Syrup
to "trip" on its DXM, you're also getting so much Acetomenophine
(sp?) as to ensure total kidney failure in about 16 hours.

* What dosage you should take for your first time.

* The effects of the drug (what you may expect to


* The side-effects of the drug (what else you may expect to

experience, or what else might happen to you that you may not
even know).

* Any known dangers using the drug (besides the obvious

danger of addiction and abuse inhernet to any drug).

* Possibility of "bad trips" on the drug - how frequently to

users of the drug panic due to its (potentially scary) effects

* Any rumored dangers. The final word is not in on all

drugs. It pays to educate yourself about what is believed to be
potentially dangerous about the drug, even if it may not yet be
proven; for instance, LSD has been suspected of causing
genetic damange, though this claim has been retracted as there was no scientific evidence and simply research done in a climate of uncertainty. For the full info, click here.
Ecstacy (MDMA) was suspected of causing
brain damage in the form of neurotoxicity from one recreational dose. This rumored-danger was fueled largely by the flawed, government-funded Ricaurte study. This study and all findings related to it have been retracted. The jury is still out on this one

Only when you know all the potential dangers are you capable of
making an intelligent, educated choice, as an adult, as to
whether or not to risk the experiment (I naturally don't
recommend the use of heavy psychedelics by minors). Also,
knowing all the effects in advance, as well as potentials for
bad trips, can help you to avoid having scary or unpleasant

Only an intelligent, rational adult, with all the appropriate
information, is qualified to make the personal decision as to
what risks they personally are prepared to accept in order to
use "mind-expanding" or psychedelic drugs recreationally and/or

Somebody considering trying mushrooms or any other psychedelic
drug for the first time should be mature, stable, and fairly
confident in their ability to flow with the experience, to
manage fear if it arises, and not panic and create a big mess.
The way to avoid a bad trip is thoroughly educate yourself as to
what effects to expect, and then plan what you'll do if you
start to get scared. Whenever I start to panic on a trip, I say
to myself "No, I don't want to do this. I want to feel good.
Then I just focus my mind on relaxing and the fact that
everything's okay, and I'm safe and sound, and I just need to
relax, I know what drug I took, I know how much I took, I know
it's safe, I know I'm going to come down, so why stress out?
That usually does it, and boy does it feel good to put down a
panic and feel relaxed and mellow. Another thing I sometimes say
to myself, vehmently, is "I CHOSE to do this, and I'm going to
brave it out!" almost like a parent scolding a child.

Again, the most valuable thing you can do to avoid a bad trip is
to study the drug in depth before you use it; read as many trip
reports as you can (or talk to as many people as possible who've
tripped). That way, when something really wierd happens, instead
of saying to yourself, "Holy shit, what is happening to me" and
getting all worried, you say to yourself "Oh, okay, yeah I've
heard about this, what a trip." The key is not to allow yourself
to be taken by surprise. Recently I was tripping on a new drug
(DXM), alone, and started to panic. As the drug was coming on
stronger and stronger I asked myself a dumb question ("Should I
be doing this?" - it was too late to be asking that). All of a
sudden I felt like I was sinking deeper and deeper to I knew not
where. I started to panic.

I quickly regained control of my mind and brought it back to
tranquility (by saying to myself the things I recommend above).
That felt so incredible I grabbed my pen and wrote
enthusiastically in my notebook "Relaxation is the gateway!".
Tripping more than anything else has taught me that relaxation
is the key to solving any distressing problem. Later on in the
trip my mind was really exaggerating things. I was writing in my
notebook all sorts of interesting or heavy things that came to
mind. Suddenly it occurred to me that if I died my writings
would be interpreted as a suicide note. From this my mind
somehow jumped to "Maybe I am dying, maybe this is a suicide
note." I started freaking out again. I started thinking about
calling up a friend or a relative and confessing I'd taken a
drug and I was scared. Then I thought of the look on their faces
and the ensuing consequences and that brought me back to
reality. Before doing anything on a bad trip, you might think to
yourself "How will this look tomorrow, when it's all over." That
should snap you back to reality. This goes for any interaction
with non-trippers you may be considering. For instance, on the
above trip, I got it into my mind that I'd seriously wronged a
co-worker of mine. I was tempted to pick up the phone right then
and there and call and apologize, even though it was late in the
evening. Then I said to myself "No, I'm not going to do anything
stupid while under the influence of a drug." (The next day I
could see that I was correct in that I'd been unfair to this
co-worker, but it was not as serious as it had seemed a the
time, and was of course very glad I had not made the call).
Later, I almost went looking for one of my neighbors to explain
to them that I'd discovered the meaning of life. Thinking about
the consequences the next day of what you're considering can
often provide a necessary perspective. But the biggest key of
all, once again, is knowing what effects to expect. This
particular drug had dissociative effects. There was one point
where I looked down and my arm and leg did not appear to be part
of me. They looked foreign. If I had not read in advance about
this, I probably would have thought for sure that I was dying.
This drug in heavier doses also is said to make you feel like
your heart has stopped beating (you can no longer hear or feel
it). Imagine having that happen to you if you weren't expecting

Make sure you're tripping ideally with others who are more
experienced and whom you trust. Also, take a smaller dose than
them so you know you're "safer" than them. If you're not
tripping with more experienced users, you should still try to
trip with a trusted friend. Another option is to trip by
yourself, but have a sober friend who knows what you're up to
stay with you in case you get into rough waters. Unless you're
really brave, I don't recommend tripping alone for you first

Make sure you have a safe sanctuary you can retreat to if you
start losing control (laughing uncontrollably or getting
scared). I would never trip, for example, on an airplane, or at
work. If you intend to venture out into public, have a retreat
plan mapped out in advance. Camping trips are very popular for

NEVER, EVER take a psychedelic drug if you're feeling down. It
will only magnify your negative feelings 1000 times. Take it
only if you're feeling relaxed and positive. You should only
trip on a day when you don't have to work (don't trip before or
after work). Preferably after at least one full day off of
relaxation. Some like to prepare for a trip by fasting before
the trip (possibly eating fruit and other very light foods
only), and meditating. Another bad trip avoidance guide I read
recommended packing well (your mind) the day before the trip -
fill your mind with beautiful sights, sounds, thoughts, and
feelings. The worst thing you could do is to take a drug while
depressed in order to help you feel better. In some cases it
might work, but that's an inappropriate use of drugs which leads
quickly to habit or addiction, but more than likely it will only
make you feel worse and lead to a bad trip. If you have a
borderline mental illness, a trip could send you over the edge
into mental illness that does not go away when the drug wears

I recommend against mixing in other drugs on your first trip.
Don't drink after eating shrooms, or get stoned after dropping
acid (if you choose to drop acid (take LSD) - which in my
educated opinion is overly dangerous). Marijuanna sometimes
causes things to take on an extremely deep, serious, intense
look (as well certain things should appear to us, not the least
of which is simply being alive, a mortal being on a fragile
planet hurtling at 60,000 miles per hour around a burning star
which is in the arm of a gargantuan galaxy which itself is
rotating (at our radius) at billions of miles per hour), but you
don't want to view the world from such an intense, romantic,
existential look on life when you're already embarking on trip
of the mind/imagination with the other drug. Alcohol is a
depressant and also can cloud your judgement, thinking, and
overall stability. This is the opposite of the direction you
want your mind to go in on a psychedellic trip (you want it
bright, light, cheery, happy, and bouncy, vibrant, inside of you
and without). I ususally smoke pot, even on a trip, but only
becuase I'm very, very experienced with pot.

Potency of mushrooms is said to vary widely, and if you
accidentally get ahold of the wrong kind, you could get very
sick or die. Accordingly, always start out with a very small
dose as an experiment with any new batch. The more unsure you
are, the smaller the piece of your first bite should be. Wait at
least two hours after a tiny bite to see what happens. If you're
really unsure (such as if you picked the mushrooms yourself),
I'd wait at least 24 hours after a small bite to make sure its
not toxic. And under all circumstances, don't panic, realize
that you will come down in a few hours and everything will be
back to normal, so if you go freaking out you're only needlessly
causing yourself alot of grief, and drawing undue attention to
yourself. The peak of a shroom trip doesn't last for more than
about 2 hours (but I suppose that can be a long time if you've
never experienced an altered state of consciousness and decide
you don't like it or get nervous or scared, or just decide you
don't like it). After eating shrooms, your stomach will fill a
little upset. You may feel naseous, and you may even vomit and
feel really sick. However, the nausea is usually very brief and
mild. You also may feel short of breath, like you can't seem to
get enough air, and you might feel a little dizzy. This phase is
when the shrooms are starting to come on. In about 15 minutes,
all of these effects will subside and you'll start feeling
flowing, relaxed, giggly, and generally good.

Rock climbing is inherently dangerous. It can and sometimes does
result in injury or even death (most often by those who took
foolish risks or weren't adequately prepared - but rarely also
with even safe and experienced climbers). This does not mean
that rock climbing should be outlawed or its crazy to do it. It
means that it should be entered into only with proper knowledge,
training, and respect. All the same is true for psychedelic

A safe and experiened climber or tripper maintains a calm,
relaxed, and focused mind, manages fear if it arises, and makes
only smooth, fluid movements of body and mind, never allowing
her/himself to be swept away with sudden thoughts, emotions, or
circumstances into reckless deeds or senseless panics.

Here's to safe, sane and enjoyable tripping!


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