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Psychedelic Harm Reduction Guide

The Collective Voice on January 14, 2021

Psychedelic Experience Determinants

Psychedelic experiences can vary tremendously, and are sometimes unpredictable, but are most influenced by these factors:
set and setting

A psychedelic experience is influenced by the set and setting. Set refers to the drug as well as the mindset of the person taking it. What is the dose, duration, and purity of the drug?

What is the person’s intention, their emotional state, and their previous experience with the substance?

Setting refers to the physical environment: noise, lighting, other people, familiarity, safety. Changes in set and setting can radically shift a psychedelic experience.


Mixing substances is never recommended. Every different drug will have different manifestations and reactions, but there are some generalities. It is very important to know the active duration of what you’re taking. All psychedelics have a similar pattern: there’s the doorway with different physical, mental and emotional manifestations. There is a buildup, then an extended stay on a plateau, then the coming down, re-entry. 

Quick Guide

1) Never Mix Psychedelics With Alcohol

While alcohol can dull the hallucinogenic effects of LSD, it can sometimes exacerbate the effects of psychedelic drugs, leading to panic, fear, and sometimes, outright hostility. The most violent and aggressive reactions are reported when people mix psychedelics with alcohol, that’s when t. It’s a mistake first-timers often make because they decide to try their first psychedelic after they’ve already been drinking, or neglect to let the drug take effect before they add alcohol to the mix.

2) Know That Psychedelics Can Bring Up Past Trauma

Psychedelics have a way of bringing up memories of a past trauma (including abuse and assault), which is a quick path to a bad trip. Other times, users will simply feel like they’ve gone crazy. If you happen to experience this, try to keep calm and ask yourself “Why do you feel that way?”. Remember it’s just part of the experience.