Psychedelic drugs such as LSD or magic mushrooms have been used for centuries to promote an altered state of mind, especially in tribal and spiritual communions. Psychedelic substances are applauded by some tribes for their therapeutic effects and in many religious ceremonies for their ability to help the user dissociate and become “spiritually” awakened. These psychedelic facts have derived from many years of psychedelic use on the part of individuals from all walks of life.
Fact #1: Risks are Psychological
Psychedelics have little known risk of causing serious physical side effects unless the user is injured as a result of accident or behavioral outburst while under the influence of these drugs. Otherwise, psychedelics tend to produce mostly psychological effects such as instability or reduced mental clarity but this tends only to be a major problem if the user already had some form of mental instability prior to using the drugs.
Fact #2: Effects Vary
Psychedelics effects vary significantly and are highly unpredictable. They can produce highly different states of consciousness even from one use to the next which can be dangerous for the user. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, these drugs can lead to consciousness of suppressed memories or thoughts that may have otherwise been untouched or unthought of for quite some time. People who take psychedelics must be prepared to encounter suppressed thoughts, memories or emotions that they otherwise may not think about regularly.
Fact #3: Experience is Influenced by Setting
The setting in which an individual takes psychedelic drugs is very much to blame for the outcome that the user has. In other words, if a user takes psychedelics with the belief that the event will be fun and then the user is in a setting in which the environment around them is “fun” there will likely be a good outcome. On the flip side, if the user is in an environment in which there is chaos, threats, fear or similar potential environmental hazards there is an increased risk that the user will have a chaotic experience.
Fact #4: Thoughts can be Overwhelming
One of the primary reasons that many people who take psychedelics wind up in the hospital for treatment is because they are suffering from overwhelming thoughts that have them thinking crazy things. The emotions and underlying thought processes that we naturally suppress in order to keep ourselves comfortable and content can quickly come out when psychedelic drugs are being used and this can lead to an array of potential hazards for the user.
Fact #5: Though Not Addicting they Are Dangerous
Psychedelic drugs, though generally considered non-addictive, can pose real dangers for the user. Taken in the wrong setting or with the wrong attitude, there is a risk for a “bad trip” or serious emotional outbursts to occur. Taken around the wrong people, there is a risk of serious danger for the user including the potential for rape or injury to occur without even realizing what is happening. Taken around people who upset the user could lead to serious dangers to those people as the user may react in a negative way possibly harming the individuals whom they are unhappy with.
It’s important to recognize the dangers that surround psychedelic use and to avoid such risky behaviors whenever possible. Some tribes and spiritual events insist on the use of these drugs but generally speaking, in the United States, psychedelic use is considered illegal and dangerous. While this doesn’t stop people from taking things like LSD or mescaline to produce an altered state of mind, it has helped to cut down on the number of people who abuse these substances and end up hurt.