Talk:Aborting trips

From PsychonautWiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

This page will cover tactics for what is commonly known as stopping or "aborting" what is often referred to as a "bad trip". Some of these tactics involve the acquisition and consumption of additional psychoactive substances such as benzodiazepines. We must remind all readers that any advice concerning the use of additional drugs to halt a bad trip is purely subjective and is provided 'as is' and on a non-professional basis. Please do your research on the dangers of combining different drugs before attempting to trip on any hallucinogenic substances. PsychonautWiki, its creators and contributors cannot be held accountable for your choices. Be prepared. Be informed. Know your limits.

Aborting a trip can be defined as taking action that reduces or eliminates negative cognitive or effective symptoms when under the influence of a hallucinogenic substance. One may attempt to abort a trip due to fear, panic reactions, the experience of overwhelming symptoms, or even just due to boredom, discomfort, and regret for choosing to undergo the experience.

Although the term "bad trip" usually refers to states created by a dissociative or psychedelic drug, it is also applicable for states that are able to be induced by stimulants, deliriants, and other psychoactive drugs.

Dealing with difficult experiences

Often, inducing a change of setting (changing the lighting, the music, discussing with the tripper etc...) to reduce or kill a bad trip. Trying to let go instead of being controlling of the trip is often very efficient at alleviating the discomfort of a bad trip and often leads to significant experiences

Here is a video from MAPS on how to deal with a bad trip ;

According to a John Hopkins study (slightly edited) :

If trippers become anxious during the course of hallucinogen action, it is now widely recognized that the appropriate first response is to provide strong personal support and reassurance (O’Brien, 2006). This primarily includes interacting with the tripper in a comforting and reassuring manner. If the tripper is behaving anxiously and a negative psychological reaction seems to be escalating, the monitors should convey a solid sense of security and calm, while empathizing with what may be an incredibly intense and unpleasant experience. Attempts to ‘talk down’ the tripper (i.e. the use of reality- defining techniques to distract the tripper from or attenuate the altered state of consciousness) may be counter- productive and aggravate a difficult reaction (McCabe, 1977). Instead, trippers should be reminded to surrender to the experience. Appropriate forms of reassurance may include a supportive touch to the arm or shoulder with verbal reminders that the tripper is in a safe setting, has taken the hallucinogen, and that he or she will return to normal consciousness in ‘a few minutes’ or ‘a few hours’ (or whatever the appropriate estimate may be, depending on the specific drug under study and when it was administered). During an intense hallucinogen occasioned experience when verbal interactions may be of limited help, a powerful form of reassurance (some- times called ‘interpersonal grounding’) is simply holding the hand of the tripper (McCabe, 1977). Many trippers report that during such experiences, a reassuring hand provides an incredible sense of stability and connection. Trip-sitters should demonstrate this practice during preparation to normalize hand holding during sessions.

Chemical methods

One way of 'killing' a trip is to take a dose of a benzodiazepine or of an anti-psychotic. Here are known substances that will lessen a trip:


Diazepam is recommended in a 10mg oral dose (Grinspoon and Bakalar, 1979). Because of its high lipid solubility, it has a more rapid onset, a shorter peak time and a shorter duration compared to other benzos (even lorazepam despite its shorter lifespan). The oral route is recommended as injection may further exacerbate anxiety.


This should be used as a last resort (unmanageable psychosis) as the effects are quite abrupt and unpleasant and may lead to subsequent psychological problems. Do not use haloperidol as it will potentiate the effects of psychedelics (Vollenweider et al. 1998)

Ketanserin (a 5-HT2A antagonist) could be used as a non anti-psychotic trip-killer too (Vollenweider et al. 1998). It is not available in the US.