What to do when you have a bad LSD trip

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Photo: Tino Lehmann (Shutterstock)

Let’s say, hypothetically, I know how overwhelming it can be to overcome the paranoia, fear, and altered reality of what is simply called a “bad trip.” While we’re on the subject of assumptions, let’s say I don’t recommend “letting it go” (aka ingest) acid in a big city on a rainy day, especially not when you’re inclined to convince yourself that your roommate’s hamster is plotting to murder you. (You can laugh now, but I guarantee you it felt like this hamster was looking for blood.) (Hypothetically.)

When it comes to weed, we have an iconic video guide for what to do if you are too high. Tripping on acid is a whole different beast, one with a wide range of unpredictable effects. As explained by The recovery village, bad trips are highly individualized and may be different from previous bad trip symptoms for the same individual. Some common bad trip symptoms include:

  • A feeling that time stands still
  • Negative thoughts or interpretations of events around you
  • Extreme paranoia
  • Sudden extreme mood swings
  • Negative hallucinations which may include sensations, sounds, or images

A bad trip can happen to anyone who takes a hallucinogen, and while it is not possible to stop a trip that is already in progress, there are tips and tricks to help you. face it until you come out safe and sound on the other side.

We’ve compiled a list of virtual resources to use on a bad trip, inspired by this Reddit post in which a user effectively acts as a “trip sitter” (alias someone who ensures the safety and well-being of someone else who takes drugs) for an internet stranger having a hard time. Sometimes screens and electronic devices have a scary effect on a bad trip, but if you are able to interact with them, the following resources can help you get through a difficult drug experience.

Recordsubreddits for when you’re high on LSD

r / LSD

The LSD Subreddit describes itself as a “kind and open-minded community dedicated to lysergic acid diethylamide-25”. Or, like you /Barziboy describes it, “Reddit’s own catalog of random ceiling and floor images captioned with really thought-provoking headlines like, ‘This is it! Or “it all makes sense now.” this example. There is always the risk that strangers on the internet will be fools, but for the most part this subreddit is full of relaxing and positive energy.

r / tripsit

The travels subreddit is even better suited than r / LSD to help anyone having a bad trip. Described as a harm reduction community foremost, the posts are packed with calming tips and general “good vibes” to guide you through an overwhelming drug experience.


Tripsit.me is also a harm reduction resource that provides easy-to-digest information and fact sheets to keep you connected to reality. The site is specially designed to reduce the onset of anxiety introduced by hallucinogens. While I cannot attest to how useful those who are online are, it does appear that the live chats on this site are indeed active 24 hours a day.


Like tripsit.me, this Discord string is an active server where you can chat with likepeople who care about your drug experience. And like any online chat, I can’t guarantee the efficiency or friendliness of strangers on the other side of the screen. Nonetheless, online chats can be useful for participating (or just observing), especially if you need proof that there are people out there who know what you’re going through.


Sometimes the screens are too overwhelming during your trip. Call 62-FIRESIDE (623-473-7433) to connect with qualified volunteers who can help you get through tough encounters with psilocybin, LSD, and other psychedelics. According to a characteristic of Rolling stone, Fireside “aims to promote a holistic approach to preparing for, enjoying and integrating psychedelic experiences”. The hotline also supports sober people who take their friends on a trip or sober people who want to deal with their past experiences.

General tips for getting through a bad trip

Whether or not you find solace in helping others online, keep these general tips in mind for coping with your overwhelming journey:

  • Access a safe and familiar environment (and stay away from excessive stimulation)
  • Play soothing and positive music
  • Try to meditate
  • Drink water
  • Do not try to self-medicate with other medicines
  • Remember it’s not real and won’t last forever
  • Surrender to the experience (rather than trying to control it)
  • Fall asleep as soon as you can and know you’ll wake up in a better place

Know that you will come back to reality soon enough. It’s called a “trip” for a reason, and it’s not going to last forever. You got that.

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