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“You just breathe out, and [think] ‘fuck, that was a crazy night’. I mean, after every time I take these drugs, I always look at life more positively.”
From feeling like you’re on fire to being overwhelmed by crippling paranoia to aggressively questioning your life, a “bad trip” – that catchall term for the difficult experiences some psychedelic users report – can get pretty unforgettable.
But a small study suggests that psychedelic users who report having frightening bad trips also say that these BTs often gave them “deep existential and life-altering insights.”
The study published in the International Journal of Drug Policy in January and updated this week revealed that psychedelic drug users tend to reframe their bad trips into positive experiences by using storytelling narratives to make sense of the challenging experiences.
The study conducted in-depth interviews with 50 Norwegians found through a closed Facebook group of psychedelic users. The studied group consisted of 42 men and eight women, most of whom had used LSD, psilocybin mushrooms, DMT or ayahuasca at least 10 to 50 times. Only two participants reported that they had never had a bad trip.
Researchers asked open-ended questions about their bad trip experiences, including how frightened they felt, whether it changed them, and how they felt the next day.
Published: July 09, 2021
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