Bad trips start small and can snowball into anxiety, fear, paranoia, and paralysis. People experiencing a bad trip may appear withdrawn and silent or visibly upset, scared or wild. They may curl up into foetal position.
You may feel like you are going insane, or losing control or dying. You may get caught in circular thoughts, like a hall of mirrors. The anxiety may trigger breathlessness or even a full-blown panic attack.
Any drug can bring on a bad trip even E, even alcohol. (never got home, drunk, and cried?).
The more powerful psychedelic drugs (LSD, magic mushrooms, ketamine) are most likely to cause a bad trip, but ‘lesser’ mind drugs such as amphetamines, cannabis, and cocaine can all induce paranoia and weirdness.
Avoid a bad trip
- The most important thing to remember in the midst of a bad trip is not to panic. Bad trips can be diverted, lessened, and stopped by certain careful techniques. Now that you’ve pulled yourself together again, read on…
reducing your chances of having a bad trip:
- You can reduce the chance of a bad trip by ensuring you are in a safe comfortable environment with someone you trust.
- Read up on the drug you are taking.
- Be informed and be careful.
- Measure the dosage accurately and when trying a new drug or a new supply always start low to guage its strength.
- Don’t do this if you do not feel up to it. Never let your friends decide what to do.
I am having a Bad trip: What to do now?
- change the music to something light and familiar
- change the location go outside, into another room, or find a quiet, non-threatening environment
- talk to a friend someone you are close to who you can trust
- concentrate on your breathing a bad trip can be worsened if you try to resist it. Instead divert your mind by counting your breaths in and out.
- the drug will not harm you! repeat to yourself the phrase ‘I am immortal’. Your anxiety is purely an effect of the drug and will pass. Let go of the fear and try to relax. You will be okay. Really… No kidding…
Help! My friend is having a bad trip!
- change something – the location, music, lighting. do not force anyone to move if they do not want to. Gently coax, invite or encourage instead
- reassure them they have taken a drug, the trip will end, and they will be okay.
- tell them the time with their sense of time distorted, bad trippers often feel caught in eternity. Give them a schedule for when they will feel better
- relaxing and breathing the fear is often heightened by the tensing and trying to resist. Letting go will make them feel better. Try to relax, let go of the fear. It will go away…Breathing will relax them and give them something to focus on
- don’t leave them alone but don’t crowd them either
- follow these guidelines and your friend will be okay. Really… No kidding…