Harm Reduction in Psychedelics

Psychedelics are powerful substances that can cause profound changes to our consciousness. Therefore, there is a lot of wisdom and experience that psychedelic users have developed in order to promote safety and create helpful conditions. For decades, much of this information has been relegated to the “underground” and therefore more difficult to access for the general public. Thankfully, recent changes have led to a more open exchange of education and information. Here are some basic things to think through if you are considering using psychedelics. We also encourage you to speak with individuals who are more experienced in order to answer any questions that you might have relevant to your own unique situation.

Drug Testing

Because most psychedelics remain illegal, they are typically non-commercial products that are grown or manufactured by individuals in the underground market. Drug-testing kits can be purchased for at-home use to determine safety and purity of any purchased drugs. Another option is to mail in some of your substance to a lab for testing. Please note that due to the increase in fentanyl in more and more drugs, it is worthwhile to consider purchasing a testing product that tests especially for fentanyl.

Medication Interactions

Some psychedelics may have interactions with currently prescribed medications. For example, the effects of psilocybin may be blunted for individuals who take an SSRI. We encourage you to speak to your prescriber to discuss any potential interactions with your medications. There are also helpful informational resources that you can use to educate yourself including The Spirit Pharmacist.

Finding a Sitter

If you are new to psychedelics and planning on using psychedelics on your own, it is recommended that you have someone there who plans to be sober and act as a guide or support for you in your journey. While it is preferable to have someone that is experienced with psychedelics or altered states of consciousness, the most important thing is that you feel that you can trust them. When you take psychedelics, you can be in a vulnerable state and it is important to trust that you are in a safe place and are taken care of. There are some information resources that are available for helping newbie guides understand the role.

Fireside Project

Fireside is a psychedelic peer support line that is available for individuals seeking support during or after a psychedelic experience. This can be a helpful option in case one is experiencing distress and would like additional support. The support line is staffed with individuals who have experience with psychedelics and challenging experiences.

While psychedelic substances remain illegal, we do not facilitate access to illegal drugs or those who provide them. Alternatively, we help individuals to make empowered and educated choices, develop internal and external resources, get connected to a community of support to reduce risk and enhance benefits of the psychedelic transformation process.