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.
- Excessive sweating
- Erratic breathing
- Suicidal ideations