Just as there are things you can do to minimize the likelihood of a bad trip from happening when taking hallucinogenic drugs, there are also ways to treat this type of reaction, both professionally and at home. However, there is no way to ensure that a bad trip will not occur, which is very important to remember before taking drugs of this type.
Treating a Bad Trip at Home
If you notice that your friend or loved one––or even someone you do not know––may be suffering from a bad trip as the result of taking LSD, psychedelic mushrooms, or another type of hallucinogen, there are ways in which you can help them to minimize the severity of their experience.
- Encourage the person to lie down or rest. They likely will not be able to sleep, but they can possibly come to a point of relaxation that will help the symptoms become less acute.
- Speak calmly to them to ground them. Playing soothing music can also be very helpful.
- Discourage them from taking more drugs or self-medicating in any way, as this can increase the negative side effects of the drugs they have already taken.
- Keep them safe and do not leave them alone.
- According to Brown University, you can also “reassure them that their bad emotions, sensations, and visions are just the effects of the drug and will wear off in time.” Continuing to tell them this can be helpful, even if they are not able to stop feeling or seeing upsetting things right away.
However, if the person becomes highly agitated or violent, it is important to remove yourself from the situation to avoid getting hurt. In this instance, or in the case that the individual is experiencing severe psychological or physical issues from their bad trip that may be hazardous to their health, you must call 911 so they can receive professional treatment immediately.
Professional Treatment of a Bad Trip
According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, professional treatment is “usually supportive” similar to the kind of treatment a person would receive at home: “provision of a quiet room with little sensory stimulation.” This can help the individual get through the worst of their bad trip safely and without the kind of stimulation that would intensify or prolong it. “Occasionally, benzodiazepines are used to control extreme agitation or seizures.”
Many hallucinogens are not addictive, so there is usually not a strong need for addiction treatment after the bad trip subsides. However, certain individuals who have been abusing large amounts of drugs heavily and for a long time may need further care after their initial treatment.
Bad Trips Can Be Treated But Not Prevented
To try and reduce the risk of having a bad trip, you can control your environment and only use hallucinogens around friends. Unfortunately, though, these precautions cannot guarantee that the issue won’t occur, even if you have taken the drug before. If you do notice that a bad trip is occurring, try to stay calm and remember that it will pass. If you have more questions about hallucinogens and their effects, call 800-411-9312 (Who Answers?) .
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