An often overlooked part of planning a psychedelic experience is considerations for what you are going to do afterwards. If you are taking psychedelics in a location that involves driving how are you going to get home? Do you have a designated driver? Aftercare and integration is also worth spending some time considering. Is there an integration circle coming up soon after your planned experience? A psychedelic coach can be a great tool to successfully integrate information gained into your daily life. Planning to have a story session after a night-out with your friends can be a great nightcap. There are no right answers for how to successfully take care of yourself after a big psychedelic experience but putting some thought into it before dosing can be super helpful. After-all, how can you have a huge breakfast feast if no-one had the foresight to bring bacon and fruits to consume?
A little bit of careful consideration of set and setting can go a long way to producing the healing results desired. Medical and therapeutic contexts are going to have a stricter structure than a fun psychedelic experience with your friends. There is no correct way to engage with psychedelics but proper planning reduces the risk of something negative occurring.
Potential mental health uses:
Research conducted in the last decade suggests that psilocybin, typically taken in pill form, has the potential to treat substance use disorders, including alcoholism and nicotine addiction, as well as depression.
That research isn’t conclusive yet, said Paul Hutson, a professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison who studies psilocybin and leads the school’s center for psychedelics research. But he anticipates there will soon be enough evidence for the Food and Drug Administration to approve psilocybin capsules to treat at least some of these disorders — most likely in the next five years or so.
In the meantime, clinical trials of psilocybin for a variety of conditions are taking place across the country, though they can be difficult to find or have long waiting lists. Still, it’s safer, Dr. Hutson said, to try psilocybin as part of a study than on your own or in one of the treatment clinics that have popped up. In these trials, patients attend appointments to prepare for and process their psychedelic trip with a professional in an environment where any side effects can be managed.
What it does: According to users who have participated in trials, a mushroom trip may induce euphoria and an increased awareness of parts of their environment. For instance, solid objects might seem to breathe in and out. A trip can last more than six hours, and some people describe a positive “afterglow” lasting for months.
Risks: Psilocybin can cause distressing hallucinations or feelings of panic and anxiety in some patients, especially at high doses. You can’t be guaranteed safety standards — having a trained professional who can reassure you, protect you and even administer drugs during a bad trip — in therapy outside of a research trial, Dr. Harris said.
One use of psilocybin, which should not be confused with standard treatment described above, is microdosing. By taking small doses — perhaps 10 percent of a standard dose — every few days, some people might experience mental health benefits without the high. But microdosing psilocybin can be harmful, and there is some evidence that it can damage the heart over time. Recent research also suggests that the positive impacts of microdosing in humans may be largely caused by the placebo effect.