Any story about tripping on mushrooms seems, inevitably, to end with the words “…And then I puked.” For an outsider, tales of a bad trip sound nightmarish. But, according to the victims of bad trips themselves, they make you into a better person.
A fascinating online study, conducted by Johns Hopkins, surveyed nearly two thousand people who’d had bad times on ‘shrooms. The results were fascinating — 11% of those surveyed admitted they’d put themselves or somebody else potentially in harm’s way, 7.6% experienced psychological symptoms after a bad trip, and three respondents acknowledged they’d attempted suicide after a bad trip; but those numbers are dwarfed by those who think a bad trip was the best thing to happen to them. 39% said it was among the five most challenging things to happen to them in their lifetimes, and a surprising 84% said they got something out of the experience. Nearly a third found it personally meaningful or spiritually significant, and a whopping 46% would be willing to do it again. The study did note that short bad trips were better for you than longer ones, although it can be difficult to control both dose and duration when buying mushrooms illegally.
The study also notes that in a controlled environment, with prepared participants and trained doctors, the drug’s therapeutic aspects should be examined in more detail. It’s not dissimilar to the argument that MDMA may be of genuine therapeutic use, which might lead to the drug returning to a medical setting by 2021. Confronting anxieties and fears are difficult and psychotropics may be able to help. And then you’ll puke… so maybe eat light beforehand.