Another person tells me they regularly take 2 CB while clubbing in order to bring on an emotional release: “ Something about the combination of the substance and the repetitive music means I eventually break through the shell holding in the emotion and I keep crying and crying,” they say. “ It might or might not happen… but I’m partly aiming for that to happen.”
“ When you’re so desperate for help…And someone offers you an alternative, it’s very difficult to distinguish between that and a doctor saying: ‘ Hey why not try this other type of antidepressant? I don’t know if it will work but you might as well give it a go’.”
The fact that so many are taking matters into their own hands suggests a need for more openness around this subject between patients and clinicians. While Frankie (and others I’ve spoken to) have felt able to tell their therapist about self-medicating and found them supportive, others have not. None felt comfortable speaking to their GP about it. “ If you are known to be using illegal drugs it can make it harder to be prescribed drugs in the future or access care,” says Frankie. “ Which is dangerous – not telling them could put you at risk of an interaction.”
In September 2017 , Charlie, a PHD student from London, was in the midst of a severe episode of depression, enduring suicidal thoughts most days. Realising he needed help, he booked an appointment with his GP and was promptly prescribed 20 mg of the SSRI antidepressant Citalopram. It stopped the suicidal thoughts, but the impact on his daily life was punishing.
While Charlie wasn’t concerned about the short term risks – LSD is among the safest, least toxic drugs you can take in a physical sense – he was wary of the potential risks of taking it in the long term, which remain largely unknown. And while high doses of psychedelics present a risk of panic attacks, paranoia and even temporary psychosis, small doses can also result in anxiety. The Third Wave, an online resource with detailed researched backed guidance on responsible psychedelic use, does not recommend microdosing for those with schizophrenia, psychosis or anxiety disorders.
They were prescribed SSRIs but struggled to get through the 2 – 3 month adjustment period, which led to Frankie experiencing suicidal thoughts. While Charlie used LSD to support him, Frankie turned to a drug they’d used recreationally for a decade; ketamine.
“ I would go into these spirals of suicidal thought, having really visual images of my own death,” they say. “ I’d take some K and it would zoom me out. I’d be looking down, telling myself: ‘ you are in loads of pain right now but you won’t be in the future’. It helped me see things in perspective.”
“ It’s coaxed me into letting go of a lot of tension and baggage,” he says, describing how psychedelics have helped him unpick ongoing fears and anxieties, some of which stemmed from his grandmother’s death aged 13 . “ But it’s also made me more self-aware. I do more of the things I know will improve my mental health, like breathing exercises, yoga, cutting down on weed… I listen to my body more. ”
“ Mental wellbeing is not just some state, a button you press,” he tells me. “ It’s a lifelong process. It’s about everything. Your friendships, partner, children, childhood, community, the food you eat, your hopes, dreams… it’s madness to think you can just read something on a blog, buy some LSD and cure your depression. But the question is: how do psychedelics compare to existing treatments and do they have a place in modern medicine?”
Will Coldwell explores how a generation is turning to conscious drug taking.
Examine: “Doses of 1-3g can reduce nausea and ease digestion quite effectively”
2 droppers (2mL) of liquid extract
2 pieces crystallized ginger, each 1 inch square, 1 ⁄4 inch thick
Kava. Interesting anti-anxiety properties
Ginger can be ingested via several ways, and the following is an approximate standardization table for 1g of Ginger Extract:
Don’t combine Zofran with MDMA (thanks sneakish-snek).
“Lemon scent can be effective in reducing nausea and vomiting of pregnancy.” 11
8-oz cup ginger ale, made with real ginger
“Typically, dosages of 1-3g are used as a preventative treatment for nausea.”
Did you know that certain supplements may be able to reduce the risk of a bad trip on LSD or shrooms?