If you’ve ever experimented with psychedelic substances, you know that they can be incredibly transformative, often leading to profound shifts in your worldview, your relationships, and your sense of self. But with these transformative experiences come significant risks, including the potential for psychological harm and even legal consequences.
In recent years, a growing number of people have turned to support groups like Psychedelics Anonymous (PA) for help navigating these risks and integrating their psychedelic experiences into their lives. In this blog post, we’ll explore what PA is, how it works, and how it can benefit you as you explore the psychedelic landscape.
What Is Psychedelics Anonymous?
Psychedelics Anonymous is a support group modeled after the 12-step program used by Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) and other similar groups. The organization’s mission is to provide a safe, non-judgmental space for people who have used psychedelics and are looking for support and guidance in their continued use or integration of their experiences.
The group is open to anyone who has had a psychedelic experience, regardless of the substance used, the frequency of use, or the reason for using. Meetings are held in-person and online, with both peer-led and professional-led formats available.
How Does Psychedelics Anonymous Work?
PA follows the same basic structure as other 12-step programs, with members encouraged to work through the 12 steps of recovery as a means of gaining insight, healing, and self-improvement. However, the content of the 12 steps is tailored specifically to the challenges and experiences faced by psychedelic users.
The 12 steps of PA include:
- We admitted we were powerless over our use of psychedelics—that our lives had become unmanageable.
- Came to believe that a power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity.
- Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of our higher power as we understood it.
- Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves.
- Admitted to our higher power, to ourselves, and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs.
- Were entirely ready to have our higher power remove all these defects of character.
- Humbly asked our higher power to remove our shortcomings.
- Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all.
- Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.
- Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.
- Sought through prayer and meditation to improve our conscious contact with our higher power, as we understood it, praying only for knowledge of its will for us and the power to carry that out.
- Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to other psychedelic users and to practice these principles in all our affairs.
In addition to working through the 12 steps, PA members are encouraged to attend meetings regularly, share their experiences with others, and offer support and guidance to fellow members. The organization also provides resources for finding psychedelic-friendly therapists, legal advice, and harm reduction information.
Benefits of Joining Psychedelics Anonymous
Joining a support group like PA can provide a range of benefits for people who have used psychedelics. Some of the most significant benefits include:
1. Community and Support
One of the primary benefits of joining a support group is the sense of community and support it can provide. Many people who have used psychedelics feel isolated or misunderstood, and a
support group can offer a safe and non-judgmental space to share their experiences and connect with others who have had similar experiences. By building relationships with other members, you can find a sense of belonging and support that can be difficult to find elsewhere.
2. Guidance and Education
PA meetings can offer guidance and education on a range of topics related to psychedelic use. Members can share their experiences and offer advice on how to navigate difficult trips, how to integrate their experiences into their daily lives, and how to minimize the risks associated with psychedelic use. Additionally, PA may bring in guest speakers to offer education on topics such as psychedelic therapy, harm reduction, and legal issues.
By working through the 12 steps and attending meetings regularly, PA can provide a sense of accountability that can help you stay on track with your psychedelic use. You may be more likely to make changes and stay committed to your goals if you have the support of others who are also committed to sobriety and self-improvement.
4. Self-Discovery and Healing
Working through the 12 steps of PA can lead to significant self-discovery and healing. By exploring the underlying reasons for your psychedelic use and addressing any emotional or psychological issues that may be contributing to your use, you can gain insight and develop a deeper understanding of yourself. Additionally, the sense of community and support offered by PA can provide a safe space to work through difficult emotions and traumas that may have arisen during your psychedelic experiences.
5. Integration and Growth
Finally, joining a support group like PA can help you integrate your psychedelic experiences into your daily life and continue to grow and develop as a person. By working through the 12 steps, you can develop a sense of purpose and meaning that can help guide you on your journey of self-discovery and personal growth.
If you’ve had a psychedelic experience and are looking for support and guidance, consider joining a group like Psychedelics Anonymous. Through the 12 steps, regular meetings, and the support of other members, you can find community, guidance, and healing as you navigate the transformative landscape of psychedelics.
Remember that the use of psychedelics can come with significant risks, including psychological harm and legal consequences. Always research the substances you’re using, and consider seeking professional guidance before experimenting. Additionally, be mindful of the legal risks associated with psychedelic use, and take steps to minimize these risks.
Above all, be safe and responsible in your use of psychedelics, and seek support and guidance when you need it. By joining a support group like PA, you can find the support and guidance you need to navigate the complex and transformative landscape of psychedelic use.