How to prepare for a psychedelic experience
What should you keep in mind if you’re tripping at home?
Well begun is half done
If you do decide to trip, make sure you are well prepared and read enough material about the subject. We have some tips that can help you. We have divided them into categories:
- Are you going to trip at home, or alone? Do some research about the substance. Read trip reports and basic information, such as dosage, length, risks, do’s and don’ts. An experience at home can be very different than it would be outside or at a festival or party.
- If you have enough space, arrange several rooms so that you have different settings. Set up each room with its own atmosphere and music.
- Then think in advance what you want to get out of the experience. Do you want to have some fun? Or do you want to go in and explore the depths of your mind? Plan some things in advance that you can do to reach that goal. You may want to meditate. If so, create a quiet place where you can do that. If you want to get creative, prepare coloring equipment, paint, notepads for those brilliant ideas and turn on a nice screensaver for some extra visual input.
- Are you going to trip with a roommate or trip sitter? Before you go on the trip, discuss what is going on with you personally and how your roommate or trip sitter can best deal with it. Leave you alone for a bit? A hug? Or would you rather discuss your feelings?
- If you take a substance that lasts longer than 4-5 hours, make sure you prepare food in advance. If you get hungry during your trip, putting together a meal can be quite a challenge. Even throwing some vegetables together for a salad is hard work!
- Do you want to go outside for a breath of fresh air? Make a plan for where you want to go. And then have a bag ready with a hearty snack and something to drink. Then you don’t have to think about what to take with you, and you will have everything you need when you are out and about.
When we talk about a drug, we are talking about the chosen substance, the dosage, the purity, cutting agents, combination use and the way of taking it.
- Start at a low dose if you are using a substance for the first time. Experimenting with high doses may be better for another time.
- It is often better to stick with psychedelics that you have experience with. New drugs may have different effects than you know or expect. This can make it harder to keep the experience fun.
- Choose a psychedelic that does not last too long. It’s much easier to keep things fun for 4 hours, than for 12+ hours.
- Do not take psychedelics that also have physical risks. Most psychedelics have few physical risks, but some do have those risks, such as ayahuasca (MAO inhibitors), iboga (heart problems), NBOMe’s (extreme vasoconstriction, heart problems), NBOH’s (vascular constriction) or difinedine (not much is known; anecdotal reports of paralysis).
- Avoid combinations. That just makes it more difficult.
- We have drug checking services in the Netherlands, so take advantage of them! This is important to keep an eye on the drug markets. Only use something you’ve had tested or friends’ stuff that has already been tested. A responsible and fun experience 😉Check how it works, and the nearest location here!
When we talk about the set we mean all the characteristics of the person using it. So, how are you feeling? What kind of expectations do you have for the drug? Are you physically and mentally healthy? Do you take medication? Are you hydrated and have you eaten and slept enough in the past few days? Are you wearing appropriate clothing for the situation? Do you have any obligations on the day of your trip? Or the day after?
- Make sure you feel good and have enough energy when you trip.
- It is better not to trip alone. Get a travel companion or sober tripsitter. Tripping alone is very different from tripping with a group of friends. When you’re alone, there’s no one to help you organize your thoughts and keep things manageable when you’re having a hard time. A trip sitter can help you with this better than a travel companion could. He/she is also better able to assess with a sober eye whether it is necessary to call in help.
- Are you tripping alone? And is it not possible to arrange for a sober tripsitter? Then ask someone to be a backup over the phone. If you don’t feel well, you can call him/her. Preferably someone you feel comfortable with and who lives close by.
- Make sure you eat and drink well, so that your energy stays up during your trip.
- Turn your phone off, or at least set it to Do Not Disturb, so that you have some peace and quiet before your trip.
- Do you feel a bit cramped inside? That’s okay! You have already thought about where you can go outside. So you can now execute that plan. The bag with drinks and a hearty snack that is already ready on your back and go!
- Quiet places in nature are best. That one beautiful park around the corner where no one normally comes is better than the beach at Zandvoort…
Okay… you did your best but you are not doing well. Don’t panic!
- Don’t wait until you’re really not feeling well anymore, but call in the tripsitter or that friend who keeps an eye on his phone for you. But don’t call your entire circle of friends. And a message in the friends app group with 32 friends does not work either. Then you have 32 concerned friends on the line. One or two close friends are enough to help you.
- Keep in mind that you’ve taken drugs and you’ll be sober within a few hours (depending on the drug). It always passes! Even though you are now in a perpetual Rick & Morty loop between two thoughts.
- Do not take other drugs to relax. Not even cannabis. This can also make the bad feeling worse.
- Change your environment. If you’re inside, go for a walk (see above; after all, your plan was already ready) or even a different room or some different music can help.
- Eat a meal. Try to eat a lot, more than just one bite. Then your digestive system goes to work and you automatically feel a bit more relaxed because, among other things, your heart rate drops and your stress level follows quickly. Your body sees a decrease in your heart rate as relaxation. You come out of fight or flight mode and can chill.