While many people take psychedelic drugs for their ‘mind-opening’ and spiritual effects, they are not necessarily ‘safe’ drugs. Psychedelics abuse has very unpredictable effects, and has some long-term effects that should be noted. These drugs alter one’s perception and cognition, and some last for as long as 12 hours. Making the decision to take psychedelics should not be taken lightly, and these potential dangers should be considered first.
Having a Bad Trip
Some people who take psychedelics end up having a bad trip. This does not necessarily have to do with chronic abuse of the drugs and can happen with any drug experience. According to Princeton University, a bad trip involves a range of emotions and thoughts that are very frightening, and that cause extreme anxiety. These thoughts and emotions range widely, with some of the worst being that people anticipate their imminent death, or the end of the universe itself. They may experience intense fear and panic about this and other things, and may contemplate ending their own life. Others, though, can have a bad trip and feel that they will never recover from the drug’s effects and will never be the same, or will end up having feelings of fear and anxiety for the duration of the drug experience.
A bad trip is dangerous because it can lead people to want to or take action to harm themselves or others, and to act in generally irresponsible ways. In addition, it can have an intense emotional effect on people.
Self Harm, Harm to Others
Whether you are having a bad trip or not, psychedelics abuse may make you have thoughts of harming yourself or others, or can lead you to do things that harm people although you didn’t realize they would harm anyone. Psychedelics alter the user’s cognition and perception, affecting depth perception, perception of one’s own abilities, of space and time, and more. They cause hallucinations that can make people believe something is there that is not, or that something is different than it actually is.
The effects of psychedelics abuse can make someone, for example, believe that their abilities are greater than what they are. They may believe they can fly, and with this belief jump off of a roof or other high surface and cause harm to themself or others. Psychedelics have been known to sometimes make people harm themselves on purpose, or harm others. They can also make people reckless, for example driving a car into a crowd of people either because of hallucinations or some other effect of the drugs.
If you are planning on taking psychedelics, it is important that you do not drive, and that you are in a safe environment. The effects of psychedelic drugs are very unpredictable, and it is important that you do everything you can to stay safe.
Long-term Effects of Psychedelics
Psychedelics abuse is also dangerous because of the long-term effects of the drugs. When someone uses psychedelics often, they may experience flashbacks where they temporarily transition into a state similar to being under the influence of psychedelics. This is very dangerous because it is so unpredictable, and can happen in undesirable situations. According to Bryn Mawr College, other long-term effects include mood swings, impaired thinking, unexpected outbursts of violence, and the possibility of eventual depression, which can lead to its own share of issues.
These are especially dangerous to one’s emotional well-being, work or school performance, and relationships. If you are often having mood swings, and outbursts of violence, it could make it difficult for others to be around you. In addition, violent behavior and impaired thinking can damage your performance in work or school. Bursts of violence can lead to confrontations that harm you or others, or get you in trouble with the law.