Crisis Intervention at Psychedelic Festivals

Oct 1, 2016



Psychedelic festivals pose extra safety risks due to drug impurities, dosing errors, misidentifications, drug interactions, medical conditions, or reckless attitude. Harm reduction services include water distribution, substance information, first aid, psychological help, and drug checking. While hallucinogens (LSD, DMT, psilocybin, mescaline, etc). may cause life-enriching experiences in an ideal „set” and „setting”, temporary alterations of consciousness may turn into a “bad trip”, “psychedelic emergency”, or “spiritual crisis”. Specially trained harm reduction teams (“psychedelic support”, “psycare”) intervene in psychedelics-related problematic situations. I introduce harm reduction and psycare services, discuss psychological suitability for psycare work, and describe psychedelic consciousness alteration. I summarise methods to help in difficult experiences, and present example cases and data collected by an international psycare team (Psy-Fi festival, Leeuwarden, August 2015).



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