What to do if someone is pressuring you to do psychedelics

When someone, even a really good friend, boyfriend or girlfriend, or sibling is pressuring you to do psychedelics, it’s very, very important to understand that their behavior is wrong, even though their intentions are probably good.

Oftentimes, when a person has a wonderful experience in life, they want to share it with their friends and loved ones so that they too can have the wonderful experience. This is especially true with drugs. Understand that your friend may have had the most beautiful, life-changing, powerful or even spiritual experience on acid, DMT, mushrooms, you name it, and they want to share that experience with you so that you can have the same kind of beautiful experience. From this perspective, their intentions are good.

In my experience, some people who use drugs have a sort of “Tour Guide Syndrome,” in which they get a sense of satisfaction from giving people their first experience with a certain drug. This is something to watch out for, because it typically means they’re thinking more about themselves than about you.

When you should try psychedelics

Whatever the situation may be, understand that using psychedelics is an incredibly personal experience. Only you can decide for yourself whether or not it would be a good thing for you, no matter how much your friend tries to convince you that it would be good. The only time you should do psychedelics is if you are 150% sure that you want to and that that decision came from your heart. If you have the slightest qualms about tripping, it’s not the right time for you to try it – especially because going into a trip with even slight concern or anxiety can greatly increase your risk of having a bad experience.

A good way to think about trying psychedelics is like losing your virginity: if you give into someone’s pressures to have sex when you don’t want to, things probably won’t go well. Ideally, losing your virginity should be something you do with a very supportive person you trust, only once you’ve decided that you are 150% willing, ready, and excited. Sadly, this isn’t the experience of most people, and the same goes for trying psychedelics.

Some tips for dealing with pressuring friends

  1. Understand and acknowledge their (most likely) positive intentions
  2. Tell them that you’ve given it a lot of thought, and you know that you’re not ready to do it right now. That doesn’t mean never, just not right now. Let them know that you will come to them when you’re ready.
  3. If they continue pressuring you even after you’ve told them how you feel, reconsider the quality of the friendship or relationship. If a person can’t seem to listen to your heartfelt thoughts and feelings, are they really a true friend? Chances are, this is a case of that Tour Guide Syndrome, and the person is just looking for the rush of exposing someone new to psychedelics.
  4. If you do decide to try psychedelics, consider not doing them with this particular person, just as you wouldn’t want to have sex with someone who was pressuring your into it – even if this person seems to be your only way of getting the psychedelic you want to try. There will always be others who have access to these substances, especially if you’re in a college town. If you’re in college, you can usually find a psychedelics club or pro-marijuana legalization club on campus, and people in those clubs almost always have access to psychedelics. Other options include yoga clubs, yoga studios, or even health food stores. Make acquaintances with people around your age in these environments, especially those who are dressed in a somewhat hippy way, and (once you get to know them a bit) simply ask them if they know anyone who has the drug you’re looking for. Making acquaintances with people who like to play music is also a safe bet. While these options may seem stereotypical, I’m speaking from experience – there is a reason that stereotypes develop. Know that, if you want them, you will always be able to find psychedelics.

Again, it is so important to understand that pressuring anyone to do anything they don’t want to do, especially trying psychedelics, is wrong. This is such a personal decision that has the potential to completely change the course of your life, and only you have the right to choose.