How To Prepare For A Safe Psychedelic Trip?
4 min

Most Common Mistakes When Ingesting Psychedelics

4 min

By avoiding these common mistakes when using psychedelics, you can ensure a joyful and perhaps life-changing experience. Magic mushrooms have been safely used by millions throughout history—but you must respect their power.

Recreationally and spiritually, psychedelics have been appreciated by humans for millennia, and these practices continue to this day. However, they can have a downside when not respected or when used out of context. Kissing the face of the divine can be a wonderful and life-changing experience; but if things go sour, it can be a challenge to the sanity of even the strongest psyche. Informed and responsible use of psychedelics is of utmost importance for the psychonaut.


Magic Mushrooms Are Deemed Relatively Safe

Magic mushrooms and their subterranean cousins magic truffles have been proven to be one of the safest drugs available. After surveying 120,000 regular drug users, the 2017 Global Drug Survey concluded that mushrooms were the least harmful recreational drug. The gauge used to determine safety was the amount of emergency hospital visits that were required. Only 0.2% of the nearly 10,000 mushroom users surveyed had ever required emergency care, compared to the 1.0% of users of harder drugs like LSD or cocaine. However, a bad shroom trip can still occur when used under the wrong circumstances. Please read on to discover what to avoid when taking magic mushrooms.

Related article

Magic Mushrooms Are The Safest Drug


Most Common Mistakes When Ingesting PsychedelicsAvoiding the following mistakes will ensure that your psychedelic experience is uplifting and beneficial, rather than intensely the opposite.


Wrong Set And Setting

Timothy Leary could not accentuate enough the importance of set and setting during his research into psychedelics. Before tripping, you need to cultivate a calm and safe tripping environment. Unless you are experienced, it pays to avoid unfamiliar or stressful environments—busy streets and packed venues may cause over-stimulation.

Your own home, or that of a trusted friend, is ideal, perhaps with some access to nature if you feel like kissing flowers and appreciating the swirling sky. Try to avoid places where someone you don’t know might show up. Anxiety, angst, and annoyance prior to tripping can turn into a bad trip. Being calm and open-minded are the keys to joy.


Tripping In Bad Company

Being amongst bad company is bad at the best of times, but can be an absolute nightmare when tripping. Sharing your experience with people who do not appreciate the power of the psychedelic realms can be a waste of good shrooms, and lead to you freaking out.

You want sincere fellow travellers for company, not people who are going to be noisy and boisterous—or who may laugh at your expressions of wonder or tease you because you have to purge, which is quite natural and expected. Having a trip-sitter is highly recommended. This is a person who stays sobre and can care for you while you are out in the cosmos—someone who can fetch a blanket for you if necessary, calm you down if you panic, or just listen to you with a compassionate ear.

Related article

The Psychedelic Trip Sitter's Guide


Mixing With Alcohol Or Other Drugs

Taking magic mushrooms is best done without the presence of other substances, with the exception of cannabis, which can have positive effects. Magic mushrooms are powerful in themselves and don’t need to be combined with anything else to enhance or modify the experience, especially if you are a novice.

Alcohol can exacerbate delirium, disorientation, and perhaps induce violent thoughts. Getting drunk prior to taking shrooms can intensify the inherent nausea and make you vomit. Apart from being unnecessarily uncomfortable, vomiting during a trip can significantly reduce the intensity and length of the trip. Other drugs are also strong enough on their own, and mixing them with magic mushrooms can lead to bad experiences. If you want more intensity, take higher doses of shrooms, but ease into things if you are new to the scene.


Being In A Bad Mood

Psilocybin can be considered a mood amplifier—so being in a bad mood can well lead to a bad experience. Although magic mushrooms are well documented as catalysing states of positivity, outside of a clinical setting, taking them when your thoughts are dark or when having an existential crisis can be more of a bane than a boon. If you can’t be happy, or have at least a neutral and open mindset prior to tripping, it is best to forgo the experience until you can access a more positive state of mind.


Looking At Disturbing Images

Hallucinations are a big part of the magic mushroom experience, and their intensity depends on the amount taken. They can manifest as everything from mild visual distortions and enhancement of colours to synaesthesia and experiencing whole other dimensions. The psyche is a powerful thing.

Exposing yourself to disturbing or negative images can lead to a bad experience. When observing things under the influence of mushrooms, you not only perceive them—you take on the feelings associated with them, often magnified. When looking at disturbing images or listening to spooky music, the psyche can amplify the associated feelings so much as to cause a freak-out.


Talking Too Much

It is tempting to describe your trip, the colours, distortions, and all the wonders of an unfettered psyche. But talking too much gets in the way of the essence of the trip. Blabbing on and on prevents the psyche from deep explorations of the subconscious, which is the whole point. Enthusiasm is understandable—tripping is an amazing thing to experience—but it’s better to keep somewhat quiet and calm to foster a deep inner journey. There will be plenty of time to talk about your experience later. You don’t want to get a reputation for being bad tripping company because of your motor mouth.

Related article

What To Do When You Have A Bad Trip


Not Scheduling Enough Time

A psilocybin trip will last at least 6 hours, so allowing over 8 hours is recommended. Feeling pressed for time can cause paranoia, which is the fear of fear itself, and can be devastating to a psychedelic experience. During a trip, you will discover many things about yourself and the nature of reality. Allow yourself the time to appreciate and process the experience without feeling any kind of pressure.


Tripping Without Intent

Magic mushrooms aren’t just drugs to take for the buzz and thrill of them. They can be powerful tools for self-awareness, and thus should be treated with respect. Having an intent in mind prior to tripping can have positive psychological effects that may last your whole life. Shrooms are an opportunity to have an honest conversation with yourself and confront your foibles for your own betterment. Focusing on your emotions can give you some amazing life lessons.

Suggested intents:

  • What are your goals in life?
  • What might be holding you back from achieving those goals?
  • What is your reality?
  • What and how can you change?

And this is just the beginning! There’s much more to consider before a journey deep into the most colourful spaces of your mind.

Luke Sumpter
Luke Sumpter
With a BSc (Hons) degree in Clinical Health Sciences and a passion for growing plants, Luke Sumpter has worked as a professional journalist and writer at the intersection of cannabis and science for the past 7 years.
How To Shroomshop
Search in categories