Magic Mushrooms are a variety of fungi that contains the compound psilocybin. Psilocybin is what causes the psychedelic effects felt from using magic mushrooms. Ingesting magic mushrooms is sometimes referred to as “tripping”. Many choose to use magic mushrooms for the mental health benefits associated with their use. This could help with anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. Research is still very limited, but awareness is at an all time high. Magic mushrooms are federally illegal to grow and possess, but some states and cities have chosen to decriminalize their use. You can even find magic mushroom therapy in certain areas of the country.
If you have ever considered ingesting magic mushrooms, you have probably also heard of those who have had a “bad trip”. Bad trips are when the user experiences distressing feelings. The effects vary from person to person, but there are several common ones. Someone on a bad trip might experience overwhelming fear and anxiety which can make it difficult to control your thoughts during the experience. They may also feel significantly heightened emotions. Bad trips can also cause a distorted perception of space and time. This could also include disturbing visual effects and hallucinations. Maybe the most common feeling during a bad trip is a loss of control.
It is important to note that not everyone who takes magic mushrooms has a bad trip. You may never have one. But if you do, just know the effects of a bad trip are not permanent. It will end. To help with this, it is also important to know what to do if you or someone else is having a bad trip. In the rest of the article we are going to cover some techniques on what to do during a bad trip...
If you or someone else is having a bad trip and you need to know what to do during a bad trip, there are a few techniques you can use to help calm them down and either get through the bad trip or end it entirely. The first thing you should do is remind the user to stay calm. Practice deep and controlled breathing like when mediating. Remind them that this is temporary and will end.
You also want to change the surroundings. Try to go to a safe and familiar space. If you are at a concert or a party and you can safely get home, then do it. Being in nature can also help. Music can calm the setting as well and help with mindset. In this same respect, it is best to avoid triggers that might upset you. This could be loud sounds or bright lights or crowded groups of people. You may also consider finding distractions such as easy-going movies or artistic activities.
If you are worried about having a bad trip, it can be beneficial to designate a ‘baby-sitter’ who will stay sober and with you throughout the duration of the experience. This person can help you talk it out if you end up on a bad trip. Verbalizing your anxiety during a bad trip can help you work through it.
Through it all, hydration remains of the utmost importance. Proper hydration will keep your physical well-being in check and that makes one less thing to worry about. It is NOT recommended to escalate the situation by taking more substances that could make matters worse.
If things have escalated past a point where you feel safe, seek medical help as soon as possible. Your safety is the most important thing and you will not get into legal trouble just by disclosing to your doctor what substances you are on*.
What To Do During a Bad Trip
You may have heard that drinking milk will end a bad trip on magic mushrooms. Unfortunately there is no evidence that points to this being true. Others may have used this technique and it seemingly worked, but it was most likely the placebo effect. Do not rely on milk to end any potentially bad trips. There are better ways on what to do during a bad trip like the ones listed above.
You may have also heard that drinking alcohol can help to end a bad trip or at least diminish the effects of the magic mushrooms. Unfortunately there is very little research out there looking at the interactions between alcohol and psilocybin. Combining the two can create unpredictable effects. They both can also cause nausea which is not ideal for a bad trip. In addition, they both impair your judgment which can make for an unsafe environment where you might injure yourself. Heightened emotions are common with both alcohol and psilocybin so adding alcohol into the equation when you are having a bad trip could tip you the wrong way and make things worse.
Bad trips happen. They do not happen to everyone who uses magic mushrooms and you may never experience one. Someone on a bad trip may experience heightened emotions, feelings of anxiety and paranoia, a loss of their sense of control, and disturbing hallucinations. It is important to remember that these feelings are not permanent and will end soon.
It is important to familiarize yourself with some techniques on what to do during a bad trip. You may have heard that drinking milk will end a bad trip, but this has no scientific backing. Mixing alcohol consumption with psilocybin consumption can lead to unpredictable and sometimes dangerous circumstances. If you or someone you know is experiencing a bad trip, the first step is to stay calm. Practice breathing or meditation. You can also change your surroundings and move to a safe and familiar place. Being in nature can help as well.
You might also play some calming music, watch a good movie, or do some art as a distraction. Having a trip-buddy that you can talk things out with is never a bad idea on what to do during a bad trip. Ideally this person is sober during your experience. It is also important to avoid triggers like loud music, bright lights, and crowds. Hydration is key to maintaining your physical well being and gives you one less thing to worry about. If things have escalated to a point where you are worried about physical safety, contact a medical professional. Disclosing your substance use to a medical professional is not illegal. The most important thing is your safety.