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    Dr. Paddo - Wednesday 30 April 2023

    What is a bad trip, and can you prevent it?

    Anyone who is interested in using a psychedelic substance may be held back by the fear of having a bad trip. The use of magic mushrooms, weed or mescaline can provide a wonderful experience. But what about a bad trip, is there a good chance you will get one, and what can you do? In this blog, we will look for answers to these questions.


    What is a bad trip?

    So many people, so many opinions, and that certainly applies to mind-altering drugs. There is a lot of prejudice and misinformation about psychedelics, and the anti-drug media has done a lot to spread fear of these substances. Especially when it comes to bad trips and their consequences. In fact, we can reassure you: the chance of a bad trip is not great at all.


    But what exactly is a bad trip? This term refers to a trip (caused by a psychedelic substance, such as magic mushrooms, LSD, mescaline cacti or even weed), where the experience cannot immediately be described as positive. Feelings emerge such as fear, paranoia, confusion, and the feeling of losing control. Repressed memories may surface, or you may feel like you are going crazy. The hallucinations can be frightening and intense.


    Clinically speaking, you can call a bad trip a temporary drug-induced psychosis. How you react to this depends of course on how you stand in this. Is a trip really "bad", or can it also be good? We call something bad when we feel uncomfortable or when something hurts. But sometimes it may be necessary to experience pain or sadness in order to end up in a better situation. Like a runner during a marathon, struggles against cramps or pain, perseveres and finally crosses the finish line first. “I struggle and emerge", could well apply to a bad trip.

    What a bad trip can bring you

    Some of the people who use psychedelic drugs have had a bad trip. So you could conclude that going through fear and discomfort is inextricably linked to tripping. The fact is, if you are going to trip, you have no control over the course of your cosmonaut journey. So you're going to step out of your comfort zone anyway.


    During a trip, you may be confronted with deep fears or with unpleasant sides of your personality. You can't get away from this, but if you can get through it, you can let go of many fixed patterns of thinking, opinions, or viewpoints. So you can also look at bad trips very differently. They can provide profound healing, both mentally and physically. And this healing is often also for the long term. Sometimes healing isn't easy, and it hurts, but it's the only way you can make a change.


    When you are in pain, suffering mentally, it is necessary to face your traumas, pain points and patterns that you get stuck in. Psychedelics can help with that. These resources are not called mind-expanding for nothing: they open your mind, they show you where your pain points are. This way you suddenly get a view of the light, but also the dark sides of yourself. This allows you to gain insights and after such a "bad" trip, you have the opportunity to grow further.


    A bad trip therefore has a certain power that you can benefit from. This is not to say that you should look for a bad trip. Such journeys are tough and can also throw you off balance, even for experienced cosmonauts. Always consider what you can handle.

    Preventing a bad trip

    If you want to avoid a bad trip, pay attention to the following. Whether it's cannabis, magic mushrooms or other psychedelics, once you've taken a drug, you can't stop the trip. Each drug works for several hours, until the effects wear off. If there is a bad trip, you cannot just get out of it. You can try to bend the experience. That is why it is also advisable to always trip with a tripsitter near. It can help you calm down and remind you that a trip always ends.


    Can you prevent a bad trip? You can make the chance of it as small as possible. The set and setting plays a major role in this. The setting relates to the environment: make sure you trip in a place where you feel comfortable and safe, with friendly people and a comfortable couch or bed to sit on. An unsafe environment can lead to negative emotions, which can lead to a bad trip. The set revolves around your state of mind. Only use psychedelics when you feel good about yourself. Violent emotions such as anger, sadness or when you are stressed can lead to a bad trip.


    Do not mix drugs with other drugs or with alcohol. The effects of this can be unpredictable and also cause a bad trip. Hopefully you are now a bit more relaxed, and you know that the chance of a bad trip is not very high. You also have a lot of control yourself, by keeping a close eye on the set and setting. We wish you a safe trip!

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