What to Do Before Your First Psychedelic Trip

Paul Austin

At first, there was skepticism.

But what if LSD makes me crazy? What if it’s adulterated with poisonous chemicals? What happens if it gets stuck in my spine, causing flashbacks years later? (All LSD Myths)

As these worries dissipated, other obstacles popped up.

How do I find LSD? How do I know it’s high quality? How much should I take?

Once you answered these questions, only one remained:

How do I have a great trip when I take LSD?

Asking such a question will change your life.  A well-planned, thought-out trip on LSD is often a life-changing experience. When friends ask me such a question, I tell them the following:

Step #1: Research Family History

Research your family history before trying any psychedelics. Those who are susceptible to mental illness, especially latent schizophrenia, must be extremely careful when experimenting with any sort of consciousness-expanding drugs.

Like I mentioned in my article on LSD Myths, LSD does not cause long-term insanity in people with healthy mental stability. However, it causes issues with those susceptible to mental illness.

If you have a history of mental health issues, you don’t necessarily need to eliminate all psychedelic use. Rather, proceed with extreme caution.

Step #2: Determine Your Dose

For your first trip, I recommend taking a moderate amount (100 micrograms). Taking LSD is like jumping down a rabbit hole. And the more you take, the further you fall.

It is best to get a feel for psychedelics, and the effects they have on you, before jumping too deep into the rabbit hole.  If you jump too deep the first time, your ability to enjoy psychedelics in the future will be affected.

“For your first time, I recommend no higher than 100 micrograms.”

Step #3: Control For The 6 S’s

Once you determine the amount to take (Substance), you must control for the other 5 S’s of psychedelic use. I give a clear outline in this article on the 6 S’s of LSD use about what to do to control for all variables to ensure a good trip.

As a brief review, here are the 6 S’s:

Set: Healthy, positive mindset before taking a psychedelic.

Setting: Both physical and social. Surround yourself with people you like and know quite well. Take LSD in a physical setting you enjoy. Whenever I take LSD, I like to spend time outside. I have a favorite spot I always go to while at home.

Session: Time for a trip. Set aside 8-12 hours for your trip.

Sitter: Sitter is the person who cares for the person taking LSD during and after the trip. It is often a good friend. It’s best if they have experience with psychedelics and can guide you through any difficult periods.

Situation: Post-experience integration. The relationships and support available after a session. Basically, how you use the psychedelic trip as a learning experience to grow as an individual.

Substance: The particular psychedelic used to facilitate the journey. Also, the amount used to facilitate the journey. If it is your first time, I recommend around 100 micrograms of LSD.

Step #4: Prepare Your Mindset the Day Before

The two most important S’s – set and setting – require an additional amount of effort to ensure a positive experience.

First, your mindset. If possible, approach your trip as a three-day process. On the first day, remain quiet and unhurried. Set aside time to reflect, and, if you can, spend a portion of the day in nature. By keeping stress levels low, your trip will have a higher likelihood of going well.

During your reflection time, clarify your personal preconceptions about psychedelic experiences. What have you heard, both good and bad, about psychedelic experiences? If you have a guide, share your thoughts with him or her. If you do not have a guide, do some research online to discover whether your personal preconceptions hold weight.

You should also write out what you hope to learn, experience, understand or resolve. These expectations may include self-directed goals for the session. Your goals may be spiritual, social, psychological, or work-related. Whatever they are, write them down.

The morning of the trip, do business as usual. If you normally eat breakfast, then eat breakfast. If you normally drink coffee, then drink coffee.

For your setting, find a comfortable, spacious room to begin your trip. Ideally, there will be a couch to lay on and a stereo system or headphones for music. I recommend beginning the trip inside. If you choose to move to an outdoor location later on, do so with caution. Changing the setting of your trip may cause unwanted side effects.

By following the above four steps, you increase the likelihood of a trip going exceedingly well. Remember, research your family’s mental history, be cautious with dosage, and do your best to manage all 6 S’s.


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Our mission is to support educated and informed discourse on the topic of psychedelics, including psychedelic community, microdosing, psychedelic identity, and various other topics relevant to our mission. The Third Wave does not encourage illegal activities. Any information we provide is for education and information only. This site is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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