Levente Móró – How not to have a bad trip?
Full talk title: How (Not) To Have a Bad Trip? A Systematic Categorisation of Difficult Psychedelic Experiences
Psychonauts are mind explorers who journey into their psyche by using hallucinogenic drugs or other consciousness altering techniques. Properly planned and duly integrated, these exceptional experiences may indeed lead to long-term and positive benefits in everyday life. Nevertheless, psychedelic substance use may occasionally go wrong and cause ‘train wrecks & trip disasters’ (to quote Erowid’s categorisation). Plausible causes for a difficult experience may vary widely and include drug, set, and setting factors. Inadequate information about drugs and their usage, careless pre-planning of the trip environment, and a reckless attitude toward serious mind-alteration may all lead into unexpected troubles.
Our study examined difficult psychedelic experiences by using a mixed-method (qualitative and quantitative) approach. Data was collected from multiple sources, such as first-person trip self-reports and third-person crisis intervention case reports. We carried out a systematic charting and categorisation of this data, considering the user’s mindset, intention, preparation, environment, substance use parameters, and activities or happenings during the trip which might have contributed to the troubles experienced. In our presentation, we describe preliminary results that hopefully help fellow psychonauts to avoid, handle, and/or integrate difficult experiences.
Levente Móró obtained his PhD (finally!) in 2017 at the University of Turku in Finland (doctoral thesis: Hallucinatory Altered States of Consciousness as Virtual Realities). His special interests in psychedelics are online drug-user communities (psychonauts), sacramental and spiritual drug use (entheogens), and Salvia divinorum as a tool for consciousness research. Instead of seeking a post-doc position or a real job, he rather moved into an off-grid forest cottage, and remembers the good ol’ times when he was the coordinator of the party/festival crisis intervention (psycare) volunteer team DÁT2 Psy Help, the leader of the Hungarian psychedelic community Daath.hu, and the president of the Hungarian MAPS.
Filmed at Breaking Covention 2019.