Rave Responsibly, My Friends

night time burning man scene with a neon VW bus , lasers, and dancersWith Burning Man just around the corner, many people have been inquiring about the responsible use of various drugs, including psychedelics and MDMA. So, here are some tips on maximizing the *awesome* in your psychonauting adventure while minimizing the *bleh*.

Everyone’s favorite party girl will want at least one playa date this year, so here’s how to hang with Molly. 3,4-methylenedioxy-methamphetamine metabolizes into free radical compounds which may cause neurotoxicity. Check out this article if you want to dig deeper into the science.

To reduce free radicals load up on antioxidants. Vitamin C is a great one and so is n-acetylcystate (NAC). A psychiatric nurse practitioner friend recommends the following: 500mg of Vit C and 600-1200mg of NAC an hour before, an hour or two into the experience, and in the hour or so afterwards. Taking it the next day won’t hurt, either.

A favorite post-dose among ravers is 5HTP (5-Hydroxytryptophan). The thing is, our guts break it down to 5HT which can’t cross the blood brain barrier so taking a supplement is moot. However, you can load up on tryptophan in the days leading up. Vegetarian-friendly food options include chia seeds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and omnivores can load up on turkey sandwiches.

The best thing you can do for your brain after a night of partying is sleep. Melatonin can help and if you have access to lorazepam it can come in handy in multiple scenarios (keep reading!).

For more info about dosage, warnings signs of overdose, and contraindications check out rollsafe.org

Now on to everyone’s favorite tool for exploring the edges of consciousness: psychedelics. There isn’t much to do in terms of pre- and post- dosing, however there is a lot that can impact the quality of your experience.

Remember drug, set, setting. Consider the effects of the drug you are taking, the chaotic, dusty, bug-infested environment you will be inhabiting, and your current state of mind. If you are feeling funky or freaked out by the environment consider taking a different substance (perhaps a dissociative?) or skipping mind alteration altogether.

Setting intention and having ritual before dosing with psychedelics can really make a difference! Make eye contact with your fellow psychonauts before dosing. Take a moment to reflect on your desires for the experience. Maybe you just want to roll face. That’s cool. Be intentional about it!

It’s a good idea to have someone in the group who is not on psychedelics so they can step in if someone starts to have a bad trip. Check out tripsafe.org for info on tripping responsibly and tips on how to help when someone is not having a good time. Lorazepam is helpful for bringing someone out of a bad trip. Alternatively, you can wrap the person in a heavy blanket. The Zendo Project will be at 2:45 & Arcade and 9:15 & Donniker if you or someone you know is having a difficult experience.

Last, but certainly not least, I present you with this amazing chart on drug combinations created by tripsit.me. I highly recommend their app available on Google play.

Remember to be safe, take care of each other, and have an absolute blast!


Disclaimer: Always consult with a medical professional before taking drugs, especially if you are on medication or have a physical or mental illness. Remember the possession of drugs is illegal and by no means does this site recommend that you engage in the activities described here. The information provided here is for educational purposes only and it is your responsibility to decide whether or not to assume the risks associated with consuming drugs.

Photo credit: Joe Abbruscato