Psychedelics are a kind of hallucinogen that affect mood, perception, and cognition by binding to the brain’s serotonin receptors. These include LSD, MDMA, mescaline, peyote, “shrooms” or psilocybin, and PCP.

97% of Brandeis students do NOT use hallucinogens. 

Source: National College Health Assessment, fall 2022

If you do choose to partake in psychedelic use, here are some safety tips.
  • Do your research! Know the risks and educate yourself on the drug’s effects, duration, and dosages.
  • Do not mix with other substances. When mixed with other substances like alcohol there can be an increased risk of fear, panic, and aggression.
  • Check your medications; there may be adverse interactions or health risks when taken with psychedelics. You can ask your healthcare provider or talk to someone confidentially at the Brandeis Health Center.
  • Choose a familiar space where you feel comfortable and safe. Avoid unfamiliar spaces, large crowds, and flashing lights.
  • Ask a trusted, sober friend (ideally one experienced with psychedelics) to be there with you for your trip. Plan your interactions with others ahead of time.
  • Start low and go slow. Consider micro-dosing or using a smaller dose than you think you may need.
  • Be wary of your mindset. Before partaking, ask yourself honestly about your state of mind. Lingering feelings of anxiety or depression can invoke unpleasant or upsetting experiences.
  • Remember that hallucinogens are a Schedule 1 drug and are not legal in Massachusetts or permitted on the Brandeis campus.
In the event of a bad trip:
  • Move to a safe location (like your bedroom).
  • Remain calm, breathe deeply, and try to distract yourself with relaxing activities.
  • Remind yourself that the feeling is temporary. Wait it out.
  • Call a trusted friend for support, or BEMCo/911 if you have health or safety concerns.
If you are watching over a friend, be on the lookout for. Any of these are signs that you should call for medical assistance.
  • Unresponsiveness
  • Excessive sweating
  • Fever
  • Erratic breathing
  • Suicidal ideations

Calling for Help

In the event of an emergency, even if you are unsure, call BEMCo (781-736-3333) or 911 if off campus. Brandeis' Medical Amnesty Policy and the Massachusetts Good Samaritan Law ensure that students are not penalized when calling for help. Learn more about the Medical Amnesty Policy in Student Rights and Responsibilities.