guide to a good psychedelics trip
guide to a good psychedelics trip

The Psychonauts' Guide to Bad Trips - Advice to the Permatripper as Well as the Novice Psychedelics Beginner

A bad trip on psychedelics is no fun, so if you start going down that road, what can you do?

Posted by:
Reginald Reefer on Sunday Mar 24, 2024

guide to a bad trip on acid

Psychonaut Guide to Bad Trips & Advice to the Permatripper


The realm of psychedelics is a fascinating and profound rabbit hole that has captivated countless individuals throughout human history. These mind-altering substances have the incredible ability to shatter our conventional ways of perceiving reality, propelling us into uncharted territories of consciousness exploration.


For many psychonauts, psychedelic journeys can be deeply transformative experiences, offering profound insights, emotional healing, and even spiritual awakenings. The veil of everyday perception is lifted, unveiling the sublime beauty and interconnectedness of all things. These transcendent states can instill a renewed sense of wonder, gratitude, and appreciation for the preciousness of life itself.


However, it's crucial to approach this domain with the utmost respect and caution. Psychedelics are powerful tools that should not be trifled with. While they can catalyze immense personal growth, they also carry the potential for harm, especially when misused or taken in unsafe settings.


The cautionary tale that inspired this article comes from a fellow traveler who shared their unsettling experience on Reddit after accidentally ingesting what was likely an NBOMe compound, a dangerous synthetic psychedelic. Their harrowing journey was marred by physical discomfort, terrifying visuals, and lasting perceptual disturbances, serving as a sobering reminder of the risks associated with these powerful substances.


It is stories like these that underscore the importance of harm reduction, education, and responsible use within the psychedelic community. We must approach these sacred medicines with reverence, preparation, and a commitment to safety, lest we fall victim to their darker potentials.


In this article, we aim to impart wisdom and guidance to fellow psychonauts, drawing from both personal experiences and the collective knowledge of the psychedelic community. Our goal is to empower individuals with the tools and understanding necessary to navigate these realms safely and responsibly, minimizing potential harm while maximizing the profound benefits these substances can offer.


Lesson One: Know thine Drugs!


It's crucial to understand that we're dealing with a vast array of compounds, both natural and synthetic. The psychonaut who shared their harrowing experience serves as a stark reminder of the potential dangers lurking within this realm.


The legendary chemist Sasha Shulgin, often referred to as the "Godfather of Psychedelics," dedicated his life to exploring the fascinating world of psychoactive compounds. Through his groundbreaking work detailed in books like "PiHKAL" and "TiHKAL," Shulgin synthesized and bioassayed thousands of different substances, many of which exhibited psychedelic properties.


While Shulgin's contributions have expanded our understanding of these compounds, they also highlight a sobering reality: there are potentially thousands of synthetic psychedelics out there, many of which are legal and can be produced in clandestine laboratories. These substances may resemble classic psychedelics like LSD or psilocybin in their chemical structure, but their effects and potential consequences remain largely unknown.


The classic psychedelics, such as LSD, psilocybin, and DMT, have undergone extensive human testing and research, albeit often in less-than-ideal conditions due to their legal status. However, with these synthetics, we lack crucial data on their safety, dosage, and potential long-term effects. Ingesting these compounds without proper knowledge and precautions can lead to disastrous consequences, as our Reddit friend painfully discovered.


The age-old adage, "If it's bitter, it's a spitter," is a good rule of thumb when it comes to identifying potential impostors, as LSD is generally tasteless. However, relying solely on taste can be a risky gamble, and we should strive for more reliable methods of substance identification.


One relatively simple and inexpensive way to test for the presence of LSD is to use Ehrlich's reagent, a chemical solution that changes color in the presence of certain indole compounds, including LSD. By applying a small amount of the reagent to a sample of the suspected substance, a purple color will indicate the presence of LSD, providing a much higher degree of certainty than relying on taste alone.


Moreover, it's crucial to establish a trusted and reliable source for obtaining your desired psychedelic compounds. Building relationships with reputable individuals within the psychedelic community and cross-checking their credibility can go a long way in ensuring you're getting what you expect. Additionally, exercising caution and performing thorough research before ingesting any new substance is an absolute must.


Drug prohibition has undoubtedly made it more difficult to access accurate information and reliable testing methods, but it's our collective responsibility as psychonauts to prioritize harm reduction and safety. By empowering ourselves with knowledge, fostering community support, and advocating for sensible drug policies, we can navigate the psychedelic realms with greater confidence and mitigate the risks associated with these powerful substances.


Lesson 2: Don’t Panic! What goes up must come down…mostly!


Even with the utmost preparation and precautions, psychedelic journeys can sometimes veer off course, leading to unsettling or overwhelming experiences. In such moments, it's crucial to remain grounded and avoid succumbing to panic, no matter how tempting it may be when faced with hallucinatory demons mocking your every move.


The first step in regaining control is to stop, take a deep breath, and focus on the simple act of breathing. As your mind races at a thousand miles per minute, consciously following the flow of air entering and exiting your body can serve as an anchor, grounding you in the present moment. Relax your body, accept the situation you find yourself in, and let go of any resistance.


One of the biggest catalysts for exacerbating the intensity of a challenging trip is fear and panic. The more you fight against the experience, the more it will fight back. Instead, embracing a mindset of acceptance and surrender can be the key to weathering the storm. Accept that you're in an altered state, acknowledge that you're not feeling your best, and simply be present with whatever arises, without judgment or resistance.


It's often helpful to find a quiet, comfortable space where you can ride out the experience without external distractions or stimuli. Enlist the support of a trusted friend or trip-sitter who can periodically check in on you while giving you the space you need to navigate the inner realms.


Remind yourself of the mantra, "What goes up must come down." While the intensity of a psychedelic experience can feel eternal in the moment, it's important to remember that it is a temporary state. The effects will eventually subside, typically within 12 to 16 hours, depending on the dose and substance consumed. In some cases, the journey may extend even longer, but with patience and acceptance, the turbulence will eventually give way to calmer waters.


I once found myself in an extraordinarily prolonged state after consuming a substantial amount of peyote, tripping for an entire month. While challenging, this experience taught me the importance of surrendering to the experience, acknowledging that my body and nervous system were in a heightened state of alert. By embracing a mindset of acceptance and focusing on self-care practices like deep breathing and relaxation, I was able to shift back into a parasympathetic mode and eventually return to baseline.


Relaxing amidst the chaos of a psychedelic experience is no easy feat, but it can be the key to transforming a nightmare into a more manageable, even insightful, journey. By letting go of resistance, grounding yourself in the present moment, and trusting in the temporary nature of the experience, you can navigate even the roughest of trips with greater ease and grace.


Lesson 3: Don't Chase the Trip!


While the novelty and excitement of a psychedelic experience can be alluring, it's crucial to recognize that the true value of these substances extends far beyond mere recreational "tripping." A psychedelic journey has the potential to catalyze profound internal transformation, facilitate the processing of past traumas, and offer a profound sense of connection to the universe and the very fabric of consciousness itself.


However, millions of individuals approach these substances with the sole intention of "tripping out," treating them as little more than a means to an entertaining high. This mindset inherently disrespects the sacred nature of the psychedelic experience and increases the risk of encountering its darker aspects.


Throughout history, shamans and visionaries have been the true stewards of psychedelic wisdom, navigating the turbulent waters of these realms with reverence and purpose. They understood that these experiences were not mere "trips" but profound journeys, undertaken with the utmost respect and intention.


One of the quickest paths to encountering the more challenging aspects of psychedelics is to approach them casually, dismissing their power and treating them as a source of mere pleasure or entertainment. This disregard for their transformative potential can lead to harrowing experiences, as I discovered firsthand during a month-long peyote journey. Afterward, a shaman imparted the wisdom that the "Spirit of Peyote" had prolonged my trip as a lesson in respecting these sacred medicines.


Since then, I have adopted a stance of humility and reverence, patiently waiting for the invitation of the plant allies before embarking on a psychedelic experience. I cross-check that all factors align – set, setting, timing, and intention – before proceeding. When the conditions are right, I approach the experience with the understanding that I am undertaking a transformational journey, one that demands my utmost respect and dedication.


The true power of psychedelics lies not in the fleeting thrill of the "trip" itself but in the ability to integrate the lessons and insights gained into our waking lives. By approaching these experiences with humility and intention, we can uncover profound treasures within the realms of psychedelia and bring them back to this plane of existence in a functional and applicable manner.


Chasing the trip for its own sake is akin to playing Russian roulette with a bad experience. Sooner or later, the ego will be humbled, and a profoundly challenging journey may ensue. However, even in the face of such adversity, if we maintain an open and humble mindset, these experiences can catalyze significant positive change and personal growth.


Psychedelics are not mere recreational toys but powerful tools for self-exploration and transformation. By honoring their sacred nature, approaching them with reverence and intention, and committing to the integration of their lessons, we can unlock their full potential for personal growth and spiritual awakening.


The Sticky Bottom Line


The harrowing experience shared by our fellow psychonaut serves as a sobering reminder of the importance of responsibility, respect, and caution when venturing into the realms of psychedelia. Through the three lessons outlined in this article – knowing your substances, remaining grounded during challenging experiences, and approaching these journeys with reverence and intention – we aim to empower others to navigate these powerful territories safely and purposefully.


To the courageous individual who inspired this piece, we wish you a speedy recovery and integration of the lessons learned from your ordeal. Your willingness to share your story, no matter how difficult, has the potential to prevent others from falling into similar situations and to inspire a deeper appreciation for the sanctity of psychedelic experiences.


While your journey was undoubtedly challenging, may it ultimately serve as a catalyst for personal growth, wisdom, and a renewed commitment to treading these paths with the utmost care and respect. Your experience has not been in vain, for it has sparked a ripple of awareness that may guide countless others towards more mindful and transformative explorations of consciousness.





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