The risk of taking psychedelic drugs is not as high as you once thought, but it definitely does not mean that it is risk-free. There are some elements that significantly increase the risk of physical or mental damage, and I will cover the main elements here.
Interactions are the term we use for medicines that do not mix well for a variety of reasons. Since the list of medicines that exist in the world is almost inexhaustible, it is important to do research yourself. These are the main categories you know have interactions:
- SSRI / SNRI (antidepressants): May be fatal in combination with ayahuasca. Significantly attenuates the effect of psilocybin, LSD and MDMA for most people. Read more details about interactions with antidepressants here.
- MAOIs, monoamine oxidase inhibitors (antidepressants): May be fatal in combination with MDMA and ayahuasca. No known interaction with LSD / psilocybin, but care should be taken here anyway. Read more details about interactions with antidepressants here (MAO inhibitors on page 2).
- Benzodiazepines (Anxiety Relief): Significantly attenuates the effects of psychedelic drugs and is often called "trip killers" but is not dangerous. Read more details about interactions with benzos here.
Although psychedelics are tentatively showing good results for treating a variety of mental disorders, there are also some groups that are disqualified from the studies. Classic psychedelics (such as LSD, psilocybin, ayahuasca / DMT) have a risk of a temporary worsening of symptoms, and especially in disorders that lie at the more real-world end of the spectrum (schizophrenia, psychosis, bipolar disorder, borderline). Psychedelic drugs were first called psychomimetic (psycho-imitating) drugs and appear to work by temporarily expanding one's perception of reality. If some of the challenge you already have is about stabilizing thought patterns and a shared reality view, you can see why this can have negative consequences for this group.
In addition, it is not recommended to use psychedelics (both classic and MDMA) if you are suicidal.
Some activities significantly increase the risk of mental and physical harm. Driving a car or boat is of course very dangerous, both under the influence of MDMA and psychedelics. In a moment you may feel capable of driving a car, but a few minutes later the experience can change completely. Candles and open fires can be dangerous in combination with psychedelics, as you may have a reduced ability to assess risk. Activities that increase body temperature (dancing in warm rooms, saunas, jacuzzis, etc.) can be especially harmful in combination with MDMA, as you gain both body temperature and reduced ability to regulate it under the influence.
Contact us if you have any questions about risks around psychedelics and MDMA.