- What is a Trip Sitter?
- What Makes a Good Trip Sitter?
- Know the Drug and Know the Tripper
- Trip Sitting without Experience
- Plan for the Set and Setting
- Understand Your Role as the Sitter
- Helping Someone through a Bad Trip
- Trip Sitting Violent Trippers
- Help Them Integrate the Experience
- Is it Ok to Trip and be the Trip Sitter at the Same Time?
What is a Trip Sitter?
A trip sitter is called upon to be present and sober when an individual or a group undergoes a psychedelic experience. When “to be present” was stated earlier, it means just that. Often, a trip sitter’s job is just to be present to be a safety net just in case stuff goes wrong.
If you’re the designated trip sitter, you don’t have to necessarily think of yourself as a shaman or a guide in order to be a good trip sitter. In fact, a good trip sitter does not interfere with the experience at all. A good sitter does not push their own views, philosophies, and ideals onto the one who is tripping.
What Makes a Good Trip Sitter?
A good sitter is simply someone who is there to tend to the tripper’s needs and to make the experience as positive and as comfortable as possible.
Know the Drug and Know the Tripper
Arguably, the most important part of being a trip sitter is thoroughly understanding the substance that the trippers will be consuming. You need to envision yourself as ultimately in charge of the safety of the group. You need to understand that once the trippers are under the influence of the psychedelic drug, they will not be able to properly communicate other concerns they might have or they may have concerns
that just aren’t grounded in reality.
Every year, there is a massive amount of people who go to the hospital after smoking weed. These people aren’t actually in any physical danger but because they are tripping out harder than they anticipated, all of their fears and concerns aren’t grounded on anything real and they don’t know the difference whether they’re ok or not ok.
This is why as a trip sitter, it’s your job to know when someone is ok or when someone actually does need medical attention. For this reason, it is your job to make sure everyone has tested these substances that they plan to be consuming.
Don’t agree to be a trip sitter unless everyone who is tripping agrees to be as safe as possible. Test kits are cheap and while they won’t tell you exactly which substance you have, they do a fantastic job of telling you what you don’t have.
You need full disclosure whether the people you’re trip sitting have pre-existing medical conditions. You also need to know if they’re on anything like antidepressants, and selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI). Often, SSRIs can interfere with psychedelics and it’s usually advised that people taking antidepressants and SSRIs to stay away from psychedelics and not trip at all.
Finally, you need to be aware of the dose that everyone is taking and the effects the said dose are said to create.
If you’re sitting for a group of people who are taking LSD and shrooms, then you can rest assured that after taking the substances, they will be physically safe. No one has died from overdosing on psilocybin mushrooms or LSD but many people have died due to a. overdose of 251-NBOME which is sold mistakenly as LSD.
That’s why it’s absolutely vital that you test everything or simply get your psychedelic truffles from a reliable source. Truffle Magic sells magic truffles and magic truffle grow kits online.
On the other hand, if the group is going to be consuming a novel research chemical, then you need to know extensively what the effects of the said chemical can be on the tripper’s body.
For example, is a substance known to raise the resting heart rate? Is it known to cause flushing? Is it known to cause physical discomfort such as nausea and vomiting? Is it going to make the body temperature fluctuate?
You need to know these things ahead of time so that if someone does exhibit what might be troubling symptoms, you can distinguish whether it’s a common effect or you should rush someone to the emergency room.
If people are going to be consuming more than one substance at once and they’re going to be mixing substances (e.g. MDMA and LSD), then you need to be well aware of the precautions when mixing said substances.
For safety information on drug interactions, checkout www.tripsit.me
Trip Sitting without Experience
This is a lot to ask of a trip sitter especially if the person hasn’t tripped before. Ideally you want a trip sitter who has a personal experience on the substance you’ll be taking but not everyone has this luxury.
If your sitter doesn’t have any experience tripping or any experience on the particular substance you’ll be taking, then it is YOUR job to print out a factsheet for the person who’ll be trip sitting for you or you can just have the information easily available on a mobile phone or on the computer so they can access it if they need to.
The factsheet should include notes on what they can expect your behavior to be like. It should also include a list of physical complications that should raise a concern and it should include a list of general effects that should not raise a concern.
Plan for the Set and Setting
This has been beaten to death but it must be mentioned. “Set” refers to how you feel and “setting” is the location of your experience which needs to be properly planned out.
Having these two things in check is absolutely vital for creating a positive environment for those who will be consuming the psychedelics.
Unlike stimulants, psychedelics don’t necessarily create an artificial mood enhancement. Instead, they boost what a person already feels. “Setting” has a direct influence on how people will emotionally feel. When on a psychedelic, all your emotions will be heightened to the max so tripping in a comfortable and relaxing environment is very important.
With most psychedelics, paranoia can be a common side effect. For this reason, it’s best for those who are new to psychedelics to take them in a familiar, safe, and clean environment.
Everything can feel exaggerated when on psychedelics. Clutter-filled, messy environments can impact the trippers mind in a negative way.
You also need to be aware of safety concerns. Simple things such as locking the door to the balcony should be done.
You should also have an adequate supply of water. Most people who are tripping don’t necessarily feel hunger but they will be thirsty.
If you’re tripping indoors, it’s important that the location feels warm, safe, and cozy. It’s not uncommon for trippers to just wrap themselves up in blankets and lay on the carpet.
Be sure to plan for any interruptions that may occur. Is someone coming home later? Are they aware that you’ll be trip sitting for someone? You don’ want an angry housemate coming home and interfering or even worse, a non-understanding parent.
If you’re going to be tripping outside, you’re going to have even more responsibilities.
Make sure that no one is carrying any drugs on them. If you’re tripping for a group of people and you’re worried about losing one or two from the herd, you can write down on a list of paper exactly how much of which substance everyone has taken and make sure they put it in their pockets.
You’re also going to have to be aware of how to go back to a safe and private place as soon as possible. This is your safe zone. Be aware of where your safe zones are at all times.
You don’t know how someone is going to be affected by a psychedelic. Even if they have tripped before and many times, no two trips are going to be exactly the same.
Sometimes people do freak out and the best remedy is to take them back to a safe and familiar place. If you’re in a place like a music festival, a safe zone can be as simple as your tent or a car.
In a worst case scenario, just find a public washroom you can go to just chill and calm down for a bit.
Music is also very important. With the effects of many psychedelics, music can be heightened to almost euphoric levels.
Music also has a secondary purpose. It can be used as a tool to save the tripper’s mind from negative thoughts. Sometimes people tripping can’t be rationally talked out of a bad headspace. Sometimes what you really need to do is just play a familiar song that the tripper has chosen ahead of time to get into a more positive mindset.
Finally, always plan to be available longer than you have to. If the drug is known to last 8 to 12 hours, make sure you have at least 14 hours with the person or persons who are tripping. You don’t want to rush the people you’re taking care of. You want to make sure they’re comfortable as possible.
Creating deadlines is just not a good idea.
Understand Your Role as the Sitter
Remember it is your job to facilitate everyone’s safety and wellbeing. Even though it can be fun and exciting to see your friends experience profound shifts in consciousness, keep in mind that their needs are more important than your own.
Mentally and emotionally, they’re in a very suggestible state. Even the slightest suggestion from you can cause a drastic change in the direction of their experience. It is your role as the trip sitter to allow those you are trip sitting for the emotional freedom to express themselves and just feel comfortable being themselves.
Sometimes, when you are trip sitting, you’ll have a friend who will just not let you go. They’ll either maintain physical contact with you constantly through hugging on and off or holding your hand. You’ll also have someone crossing your personal boundaries. Other times, you’ll trip for people who just want to be left alone. They may even ask you to stay in a different room. They just might wat you there in case they desperately need help. It may seem like they’re being rude at the time but just know they really do appreciate you even if they’re not showing it.
Let the tripper decide to do what they want to do because after all it is their experience but you also need to make your boundaries clear. Some people might want you to hold them or cuddle them. If you’re not comfortable doing this then it’s absolutely ok to decline. Maybe you can offer them a long hug instead.
Just do your best not to be rude to them. You have to remember they are not their normal selves right now and sometimes they might act in bizarre or embarrassing ways. Just don’t judge them for it. They’re under the influence of very intense substances.
Sometimes, people will transfer their own energies onto you. If you’re dealing with a manipulative person, they might start behaving like everything you say to them that has an underlining meaning to it. Basically, they will be treating you like a mirror for their own insecurities.
If this starts happening to you, the best thing you can do for them is just to act like a mirror. Let them reflect onto you and let it all bounce off without letting their words affect you.
Try to get under the issues that they’re bouncing off of you. Don’t get mad at them for it. Let them do their thing. They’re not really trying to manipulate them and let them think to their own conclusions.
This is the way to help them the most. If you feel like things are starting to get out of hand, you can move them to a new location or change the music. You can suggest for them to lay down and close their eyes for a while.
You can be surprised how easy it is to snap someone out of a negative headspace because people on psychedelics are highly suggestible to both negative and positive notions.
Helping Someone through a Bad Trip
When dealing with psychedelics, you often get the experience you need – not the experience you want.
This means sometimes people are going to have a challenging run. No matter how cozy you’ve made the environment for them.
Sometimes bad trips happen when a person gets stuck in a negative thought loop. They might start saying the same sentence on repeat over and over again or asking you the same question over and over again. Once they become aware that they are in fact acting like a broken record, they may not even know how to snap themselves out of it.
Other times, people can have bad experiences because the psychedelics can show them something in their own life that they are running from. The trip can take them underneath the lies that they have been feeding themselves, making them face their problems head on.
A bad trip can also be sparked by something as simple as following a nasty thought. They might think their life is in danger when in fact, everything is perfectly fine.
Regardless what their reason for having a bad experience is, you need to know what to do to help them get out of it.
First, if they’re in a nasty thought loop, try changing the physical environment. You might now be able to logically talk them out of it so grab them by the hand and lead them to a new location. Change the music, and change the lighting. If you’re inside, go outside. If you’re outside, goo inside. It might be time to go to that safe zone you picked out earlier.
Sometimes, just knowing you have some direction and doing something different and new can be enough to change their mind onto a new path.
If someone is screaming at the top of their lungs that they need help, you need to check their vitals check make sure their physical body is ok, and reassure them that everything at the physical level is ok.
Remember to speak very calmly to them. It’s not your fault that they’re having a bad experience. Just know that you can’t know exactly what is going on in their minds. If you yourself start exhibiting anxiety, it might show the tripper that there really is something they should worry about.
Try to get them to breathe intentionally. Practicing deep and controlled breathing can help verify to a tripper that they are, in fact, alive and they have control of their basic human functions. When experiencing ego death, people sometimes feel like they are losing their breath.
Remember: when under the influence of psychedelics, time can be experienced in a very different way. What for you may be 10 minutes, the one who is tripping can feel like it’s been 40 minutes or longer. This time dilation can make them feel like there’s something wrong with their breath and there’s too much space in between each breath making them feel like they’re not breathing properly. Continue reassuring them that they are breathing normally and everything is ok. Speak in a reassuring tone.
Just their knowledge that you’re a sober helper is reassuring enough and it can help them calm down.
Some tripper might feel like you’re watching over them like a child and they might lose self-esteem because of it. Simply remind them that exploring their consciousness is a very brave undertaking and remind them it’s ok to experience moments of weakness.
On a rare event, you may have absolutely nothing to do to help someone. If this happens, just set them aside lovingly and wait it out with them. Remind them that they’re on a drug and in time, the drug will leave their system and they’ll return to normal.
Just stay by their side. It will pass eventually.
Trip Sitting Violent Trippers
On even rarer circumstances, trippers may become violent. They might threaten themselves or others and just start smashing things. Violence is always where you should draw the line.
As soon as someone appears to be out of control to the point that they might hurt themselves or others, call for a friend or the paramedics and/or police.
Calling the police and paramedics might seem like the absolute worst thing you can do at the time but it’s a lot better than them hurting you or themselves.
Help Them Integrate the Experience
Try to make yourself available to talk days after the experience.
Sometimes, people’s memories can be fragmented while tripping and it’s important that you’re there to talk to them just so you can help piece their experience together.
If they have what they perceive to be a negative experience, try to remind them that what may look like a negative experience on the surface is actually just what they needed to grow as a human.
Is it Ok to Trip and be the Trip Sitter at the Same Time?
If you’re the type of person who has tripped alone and has countless hours of tripping under the belt, then… still NO.
When you are trip sitting someone, you are there to take care of them. You are there to put their needs above your own. It doesn’t matter how experienced you are.
If someone is under the influence of a psychedelic substance and they’re displaying destructive behavior, you are most apt to help them if you are sober.
Being a good trip sitter just boils down to having common sense.
You can learn more about being a responsible trip sitter by watching the video below.