Crisis Intervention at Psychedelic Festivals
Psychedelic festivals pose extra safety risks due to drug impurities, dosing errors, misidentifications, drug interactions, medical conditions, or reckless attitude. Harm reduction services include water distribution, substance information, first aid, psychological help, and drug checking. While hallucinogens (LSD, DMT, psilocybin, mescaline, etc). may cause life-enriching experiences in an ideal „set” and „setting”, temporary alterations of consciousness may turn into a “bad trip”, “psychedelic emergency”, or “spiritual crisis”. Specially trained harm reduction teams (“psychedelic support”, “psycare”) intervene in psychedelics-related problematic situations. I introduce harm reduction and psycare services, discuss psychological suitability for psycare work, and describe psychedelic consciousness alteration. I summarise methods to help in difficult experiences, and present example cases and data collected by an international psycare team (Psy-Fi festival, Leeuwarden, August 2015).
Levente Móró is a PhD candidate in the Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience at the University of Turku in Finland. He researches the topic of altered states of consciousness (ASC), particularly dreaming, hypnosis, hallucinations, and psychedelic drugs. Within the topic of psychedelics, his special areas are online drug-user communities, sacramental and spiritual drug use (entheogens), and psychedelic harm reduction at parties and festivals. Residing in Budapest, he is the current president of the Hungarian MAPS organisation.