PsyCare UK

Psychedelics at Festivals

Staying safe when using psychedelics at festivals & events

Preparation

Have a safe space in mind that you can retreat to if you need some quiet time. If there is no PsyCare service or similar, perhaps a secluded spot around some trees or a calm cafe.

Make sure you are with people you trust and feel comfortable with and have experience with psychedelic drugs. Ideally you would have a sober trip sitter accompanying you, this is recommended particularly highly if it’s your first time.

Only take psychedelics if you are in the right frame of mind. Ask yourself “do I have the strength and energy to deal with an intense emotional experience should it arise.”

Know your dosage and tolerance. Around 100 micrograms is the average strength for an LSD trip, however some tabs and drops are 250 micrograms or more, so be sure to check the strength and start with a low dose, particular if it’s your first time (perhaps 30-50 micrograms) For other psychedelics, make sure you do your research in advance. Erowid.org is a good resource for this.

Be aware that the effects of psychedelics can be long lasting. Research the duration of the substance you are taking. This will vary from person to person but in general LSD can last 8-12 hours, mushrooms 4-6 hours and some phenethylamines like DOB can last up to 30 hours. So make sure you have enough free time and energy for the duration of your trip.

Avoid mixing different substances. If you are planning to use more than one substance make sure you do as much research as possible about any interaction that might occur. Tripsit have a comprehensive drug combination chart here. Are you taking any medication? Some medications can also interact with psychedelics.

If you are having a difficult experience

Find your safe space, whether it is a PsyCare service or simply a cosy spot somewhere around the festival.

Breathe – Try not to panic, focus on your breath, take slow deep breaths, try to relax.

Let Go – Try not to control or resist the experience, this can make things more difficult. Try to let go, surrender and trust the experience. Remember, you have taken a drug and how you feel will pass.

Be Open – Try to be open to whatever the experience brings, even if it is not what you expected, or wanted.

Tell your friends how you are feeling. The simple process of sharing your feelings and experiences with another person often helps dramatically.

“It must be remembered that they (psychedelics) help reveal the unconscious, and most of us have made its contents unconscious for very specific reasons. We may not welcome the appearance of repressed, painful feelings, or of evidence that our values and lifestyles might be considerably improved. Nor is it always easy to accept the spaciousness of our being, our immense potential, and the responsibility that these entail.” – MYRON STOLAROFF, Using Psychedelics Wisely

Remember that every difficult experience can be an opportunity for growth.

After the experience / integration

The psychedelic experience can bring about intense emotions and feelings, both positive and negative. It is therefore useful to take time after the experience to process what has happened and to integrate it into everyday life. Try to ensure you have time after using psychedelics to re-adjust, ideally a day or more.

Some people like to keep a journal, or talking to like minded people about your experience can help to make sense of it.